Oomzi the Helper Monkey: Sanding is His Life
Issue: Issue 348.5
Posted Date: 4/1/2014
When woodworkers who hate sanding go looking for the obvious answer -- a helper monkey -- that's where Oomzi comes into the picture.
"I was trained for it," said Oomzi. "It's all I know."
While his family history includes several organ grinders, Oomzi is the first generation to work in a woodworking shop. "They had me surrounded by wood shavings from the time I was a little monkey on my mama's back.
While Oomzi sometimes dreams of a different career -- perhaps in Hollywood, where he would pursue starring roles under the stage name Ray Fae -- he feels that his training has currently limited him to a lifetime of sanding servitude.
"Belt sanders, drum sanders, hand sanding: I've done it all. And I'll continue to do it. Day in; day out. Sanding by machine; sanding by hand; sanding is all I'll ever do ... and it makes me sad. Sometimes I just want to lie down on the job."
When asked his favorite part of his career, Oomzi admitted that the occasional banana is a nice perk, but noted that he's mostly paid peanuts.
He has not yet made up his mind about entering belt sander racing competitions, although he admits that the foray into the racing world could be a step in the right direction for a career in entertainment.
"Just as long as my sponsors are somebody besides Sandpapers R Us, " Oomzi said. "I get a little tired of looking at that logo every day, from all directions."