Traveling Monkbot Journeys to Dundee


Please follow my train of thought behind the above video.

I was going to post a picture of Desperate Dan, since Traveling Monkbot is pictured below with his statue in Dundee. However, in my search for just the right image, I came across this picture and realized there was a group called Lieutenant Pigeon who had recorded a song called “Desperate Dan.” (There is also a band called Desperate Dan…but they weren’t as much fun.)

So, I went to YouTube in search of Lieutenant Pigeon and came across the video above for their song “Good-bye,” but no “Desperate Dan” video.

But it really wouldn’t have mattered. Within the first 10 seconds of the above video…I was laughing hysterically and had absolutely no choice but to post it.

Anyway…on to what matters…

Monkbot Makes It to Dundee
Text by Rowan
Photos by Mind Doc

Dundee I: This photo shows Monkbot perched cheekily on the rolled up comic book belonging to local hero, Desperate Dan. Dundee, which sits on the banks of the river Tay, is the home of the D.C. Thomson publishing house, responsible for a myriad of high-profile comics in Scotland, and the UK. Dan first appeared in the Dandy comic in 1938. Although he is a tough son of the Wild West, his Cactusville landscape is thinly veiled as Dundee. The city of Dundee had this very large bronze tribute to Dan set up in the city square a few years back, as he has been the delight of generations of local comic readers. I am sending the link to the Dundee webcam, where you can see him in situ.


In this photo, Desperate Dan wears a deeply pissed expression, as he has noticed a small interloper having the temerity to hitch a ride on his latest issue, which he is speeding home to read, along with his lunch of cow pie. This contained a whole be-pastried cow with the horns left sticking out. Childhood memories return, of wishing for a slice of cow pie!

This photo shows Monkbot in the railway station, perched on the windowsill of the station bar, which offers “anti-freeze solutions” to frostbitten travellers stamping their numb toes on the platform. Those like myself, a bit suspicious of fellow-travellers who indulge in alcohol-fests during the daytime, hang around outside and take pictures of the bar’s auspicious name. Perhaps Tay Tay himself will grace it with his presence, order a beer, and answer the time-honoured local greeting at this time of year, “Gie wiz a sang, laddie.”


Here is Monkbot perched amongst the penguins outside the impressive City Churches building, which houses the lovely Steeple Church. There has been a church on the site since the Twelvth Century, and part of the original tower still exists.

Monkbot is jiggling along in the company of a string of bronze penguins, part of the extended metaphor of Dundee as the “City of Discovery.” Famous polar explorer and scientist Captain Robert Falcon Scott had his ship “Discovery” built in Dundee, and it stands anchored in the harbour now, visited by tourists entranced by his tale of unfeasibly “gung-ho” British bravado and ill-fated “derring-do.” This led to him freezing to death in a tent in an Antarctic snowstorm in 1904. He took ponies.. they sunk into the snow, and the guys hauled the sledges themselves…Brrr. No duck-down and microfibre for them, just hand-knitted balaclavas and ex-army parkas. The Norwegian rival Amundsen, who got to the South Pole first, and home safely, used Husky dogs. Hmmmm.

Anyways…the 1940s film, “Scott of the Antarctic” is one of my all-time faves. The composer Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote a breathtaking score, “Sinfonia Antarctica” to accompany it.

Will Traveling Monkbot make it back to the U.S.? Will he ever be the same since he’s become a world traveler? Where is his next destination?

To be continued…

Seriously…y’all didn’t think I was going let us leave Scotland without a little BCR, did ya?


18 Responses to “Traveling Monkbot Journeys to Dundee”

  1. Quossum Says:

    LOVE Monkbot in front of Tay Tay! LMAO!!! Oh, Monkbot, travel on!


  2. Mind Doc Says:

    Yay to BCR. Rowan is now cringing, but, ah well. I love, love, love the penguins.

  3. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Ummm…are the BCRs Scottish? How come I never knew this? I mean, it’s not like I ever put a lot of thought into the BCRs, but it just seems like I woulda known that…

    I’m so loving the pic of TM with Desperate Dan! It looks cartoonish almost…

    What was Dan so desperate about anyway??

  4. nolagirl Says:

    Love the writing – it kinda takes ya on a pretty little journey. And of course, the pics are fabulous as well!

  5. leejolem Says:

    Is that Desperate Dan’s chin or beard? Loved all the pics and commentary. Who knew there was a place called “Tay Tay”? Thanks Mind Doc and Rowan for all the hard work!

  6. leejolem Says:

    I’m at work and can’t see the “BCR” pic/video. What the heck is BCR?

    I’ve figured out why
    Dan is desperate–he has an out of control goiter.

    I am going to use the word “be-pastried” in every day conversation today. I lurve it!

  7. MInd Doc Says:

    Let’s not tell Rowan what a cow pie is. Because it is just these little differences that adds to the cosmopolitan vibe here.

    And it makes me chortle.

  8. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I know MD…I laughed just a little when Rowan said she wanted a slice of cow pie…heehee! I’m sure she could find some in the fields around my parents home.

  9. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Lee- Bay City Rollers

  10. leejolem Says:

    S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night! I am so uncool that I didn’t know that’s what it stood for. Can’t wait to get home and see the pic.

    That is so cute that Rowan was thinking of an actual cow-in-a-crust pie. Being from Indiana (even though I live in vinyl siding suburbia) and the granddaughter of farmgirls, I’m very familiar with cow pies myself. Desperate Dan needs a Moon Pie instead of a cow pie.

  11. Shrewspeaks Says:

    I am soooooooo loving these adventures!!!

    M O N K B O T travels!
    M O N K B O T travels!
    M O N K B O T travels!
    M O N K B O T travels!

    Gonna keep on travelin’ to the
    far and near
    a MonkBot travel, MonkBot travel
    Dancin’ to the rhythm in our
    heart and soul
    a MonkBot travel, MonkBot travel
    IIII I just can’t wait,
    III I got a date

    At the good ole rock and roll road
    show, I gotta go
    MonkBot travel,
    MonkBot travel
    Gonna go to UK, roam the USA
    Do it all, have a ball,
    MonkBot travel
    MonkBot travel
    It’s just a traveling MonkBot
    It’s just a traveling MonkBot
    It’s just a traveling MonkBot

    M O N K B O T travels!
    M O N K B O T travels!
    M O N K B O T travels!
    M O N K B O T travels!

    Cow pie…word

  12. shelley Says:

    BWA HA HA HA @ Shrew.

    Girl…you crack me up.

  13. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Shrew…Oh dear. I’m wiping my eyeballs right now! You make me laugh funny lady!

    Lee-We actually call ’em cow patties in TX…but I heard called cow pies afore too!

  14. Rowan Says:

    o-{<:8o } Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!

    *****processing the chagrin *******

    Well, there is a Scots saying, “Ye’ll eat a peck o’ dirt afore ye dee” meaning that you’ll eat a lot of dirt before you finally peg out, and a little bit won’t harm you. It a sort of anti-hygiene rallying-call, I assume.

    (Okay…going back to bein embarrrisd)

  15. leejolem Says:

    Rowan, the cow pie thing made my day, so don’t be embarrisd!!!!!

    LOL at the anti-hygiene rallying-call.

    Maybe you can answer my question about Desperate Dan–chin, beard or goiter?
    Thanks for the wee giggle in an otherwise miserable day.

  16. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Oh, Rowan! Don’t be embarassed! You and your cow pie eatin/anti-hygiene antics are adorable!

  17. Rowan Says:

    Awww, Bama, Lee – thanks! As to Dan’s mandibular overgrowth – he has a huge chin, with designer stubble before it was fashionable, and was just the result of an over-production of testosterone! The goitre hypothesis is interesting – one of the causes of the condition being an an over-production of thyroxine… Dan seems to be a walking over-production.

    I wonder if the “desperate” thang is a take-off of desperado – he is a sort of volatile chap, macho to the point of criminal insanity. The comic strip made fun of his machismo to quite an extent – nothing is too scuury, too high, too hot, too wild, for him to handle…that sort of thing. (I’m remembering my corrected pronunciation, and saying ma-cheese-mo, not mackismo…MD…hope your listenin, Chica. Thanks for droppin me in the cow pie…: )

    Jest kiddin. : ) I am chorrrrtlin very loudly. As Forrest Gump once famously quipped, “cow pie happens.”

    We call them cow pats over here, or country pancakes! I hail from a rural background, and have been up to my knees in country pancakes on school cross-country runs. We ran for miles over crag and bog, whilst the PT teacher shouted encouragement from behind the wheel of her gleaming Land Rover off-roader. Life aint fair… : )

  18. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Rowan- I pronounce it mackismo too…or, more like…mackeesmo. I mean, if you were taking a survey and needed to know…I just thought I’d share.

    I’ve seen on tv that there are cow-patty throwing competitions here in the States. I don’t know where exactly…I just remember watching and thinking, “There are some weird, weird people in this world.”

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