Bongo, Wayward Monkey Doll, Returns Home

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In a story we have been following all too closely (thank you for your industrious reporting, New York Post!), we have learned, despite the world around us seeming to sink and wither under its own weight, that there is hope yet! And what we mean is that Bongo, the Beanie Baby monkey that sent a couple into a tailspin when they discovered him "disappeared" upon their arrival to a restaurant in Park Slope on August 1 -- leading to frighteningly global media attention for the loss -- has been reunited with owners Bonni Marcus, 47, and Jack Zinzi, 58.

Apparently, Bongo had been found by 61-year-old Park Slope man Luis Barreto, while he (that is, Bongo) was just sitting atop a parking meter. Barreto took him home with no intent of returning him.

"I fell in love with Bongo and wanted to keep him," Barreto said. "He looked real to me and is cute."

Yet, when confronted with Marcus's heartbreaking tale face-to-face (and given promises he could visit Bongo, not to mention the $500 reward dangling like a carrot would it be too much to say banana? over his head), Barreto took pity on her and led her to his apartment, where Bongo was waiting on a stereo speaker. Marcus identified Bongo via his specific markings (one time he got burned by cigar ash, which she was devastated about, and, afterward, quit smoking), and, oh man, this story is too much.

The photos are pretty special.

As is this:

Following dinner with Baretto, the couple and toy monkey headed back to Manhattan to bar hop before returning home so Bongo could again sleep in the bed it shares with them.

As people seem fairly evenly divided between the "this story is a hoax" and "I desperately want this story to be real" camps, we've put in a call to the "parents" to see if we can confirm this is not some kind of elaborate performance art. We hope it's not. We think. Also, Marcus apparently works at a private school in Manhattan. Of course.

Thank you, Bongo family, for taking our minds off of Wall Street, if only for a moment. Steve Buscemi, can you write and direct the screenplay?

Lost stuffed toy monkey returned to owners [NYP]

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]


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