There are 99 deep and true secrets in the universe, hidden behind things, in things, outside of things and arounds things. And so it was that we realised that god knew only 98 of the secrets and not the full 99, never the 99th. Turns out that only the old wise monkey, the monkey of wisdom knew them all including the 99th. God isn’t particularly pleased about this arrangement and he's angry and frustrated about it. He's angry that the monkey knows the 99th and frustrated that despite the various pressures and bribes he has subjected the monkey to, the monkey steadfastly refuses to reveal Number 99. An intolerable position for any self respecting divine personage, so god lost patience with the old wise monkey. “Monkey” he said, “you know that I wish to know this 99th secret that you persist in keeping from me, you know that I could destroy you and your family, you know that I could wipe you from the pages of history and make your name to be as nothing but still you defy me, why oh why?”
The monkey didn't answer at first and looked god up and down and set a deliberately grim expression onto his face. “God you know I love and respect you but you also know that I cannot simply surrender my deep secret to you for nothing at all, in order for me to share secret No 99 you must give me something, something special, something that at least matches the value of the secret, something truly unique and precious.” The monkey smiled, “I have waited a long time for this moment, I believe you can and will give me the full desire of my very simple animal heart.”
God sat back, clenched his thumbs and thought long and hard. Finally he broke his silence saying, “Gentleman’s relish”. The monkey looked puzzled. “I know that you desire more than anything to be like man, I know that you, if you could would rather be a man than a monkey.” The old monkey smiled and nodded, god had seen straight into his monkey soul and pierced him with a plaintive and powerful truth he could not easily deny.
“If you will share with me the 99th secret then I shall share with you the secret recipe of Gentleman’s Relish and that my monkey friend once known to you and applied will make you more man than monkey and set you on level terms with the grass cutting, meat eating, coal diging, beast taming, number crunching men of the world.”
The monkey replied, “then tell me the recipe and give me the plain directions to the Road to China and I will reveal to you the 99th secret.” God looked pleased with himself and allowed himself a grin and snapping his fingers produced a glass full of gin and tonic, with crushed ice and fresh lemon. He supped it slowly slurping slightly. “Approach me and whisper your tale.”
“No”, said the monkey, you first.” God looked a little frustrated but humoured the monkey, “very well, here is the recipe, once you know this, once you have mixed it and tasted it you will be more of a man than a monkey and more of a man than any man on earth.” God did a quick hand shuffle and handed the monkey an A4 sheet headed “Gentleman's Relish Recipe”. Then in another quick move he produced a Tom Tom Sat Nav, “this is set for travel to China, by both the shortest and fastest routes.” The monkey grabbed the paper and the Sat Nav and scuttled into a corner to study them. “Stand tall, stand straight monkey,” cried god, “you're so close to being human now!”
For a few moments the monkey looked over his items and then stood up, tall, straight and (for a monkey) almost erect. He approached god and cupping his monkey hands began whispering in god's right ear. After a few seconds the smug look on god's face began to change, his eyes widened, his jaw dropped and he seemed to be swallowing hard. He straightened up, ripped the recipe sheet from monkey's hand and tore it up and then threw the Sat Nav against the wall smashing it to pieces. Then he stormed out of the room, stamping his feet as he slammed the door.
A small blue bird flew into the room, narrowly missing being trapped in the rapidly closing door, the bird circled for a few moments and then settled, landing on the shoulder of the monkey. They regarded one another for a few moments. The bird began to tweet sweetly and then gently spoke in a thin, birdie voice, “so what did you say to him to upset him so?” The monkey allowed himself a little giggle that seemed to twinkle up into his eyes and across his face. “Well god wanted to know the 99th secret of the universe, the final great secret, so, once he had given me the tokens that I asked for I told him, yes I did.”
“And just what was that?” The monkey grinned widely, “ I simply told him the truth, I told him that despite his Relish Recipe and his Sat Nav gifts the 99th secret stays with me because long ago I promised my own monkey god that I'd never reveal it to any lesser being. I don't think he liked that.”
"Tweet” said the bird.