Did you happen to see this season of Top Chef? If so, perhaps you remember contestant Jeff, and what his opponent Carla said about the "creative monkeys" he just couldn't tame.
Jeff was very capable in the kitchen and everyone seemed to enjoy him too. But when they teased him in the post-Finale
episode, it was about how often he couldn't resist pulling out every
trick with every ingredient on every plate. It didn't seem to be about
ego or showing off; it came across like a kid in a candy store having
too much fun to rein it in.
Unfocused might be the kindest way to put it. Except that wouldn't
be entirely accurate, since Jeff was incredibly focused while working,
and he had to be unusually good at multi-tasking to produce three
variations or more on almost every theme. His
problem, if it was one, was that he was the King of Complexity. He was
rarely content producing one thing, unlike his opposite, Carla, the
Queen of Simplicity, who was also very creative, but within a narrower
On my "Creative Monkey Scale" below, Jeff
would clearly be a 5, while Carla would be a 1. If Jeff was challenged
to a banana dish, he'd be hunting for every flavor and kind, from
Chiquita to plantains, then presenting small bites of the experiments
that worked out the best. Carla, on the other side, would be looking
for the one best banana in town, then making a great rendition of her
single best banana dish.