I'm going to be honest, I'm quite easily amused. Cup and ball, low budget Balkan porn, heroin--it doesn't take much to keep me busy for hours. For that reason, I find monkeys, by and large, hilarious. But every so often, when I'm reading about monkeys, I come across some that are impressive enough to make me a little bit ashamed of myself. In an effort to pass some of that shame along, I've decided to focus this week's column on five of the most bizarrely impressive.
#5. Get Drunk for Free
As their carefree masturbation and poop throwing might indicate, monkeys have a naturally relaxed outlook on life. It's no surprise then that they put all but the most boner-inducing members of the human race to shame when it comes to getting drunk for free.
In places like St. Kitts, alcoholic monkeys set up shop on the beach near bars and wait for unsuspecting lightweight tourists to just leave their cocktails lying around. The result is you paying $5 for a drink that just got a spider monkey shitfaced. Our male readers may point out that female humans have been known to posses this gift. Of course, they're missing the horrifying price those females have to pay: Rejecting their drunken advances, playing roofie roulette and occasionally waking up next to their drunk asses. Meanwhile, the monkey whose drink you just bought probably got laid too, on your dime.
Totally puts out after two drinksAccording to someone who actually gets monkeys drunk on purpose and calls it research, around 20 percent of monkeys will voluntarily drink enough to get drunk, and some of them will drink until they fall into a coma. Repeatedly. So basically, these monkeys figured out a way to do the exact same thing most humans do when they go away to college, only instead of threatening them with expulsion, the University footed the bill and called it Science.
#4. Steal Your Shit
Like people, monkeys won't think twice about up and taking your shit without asking. Unlike most people, if you don't hand your iPhone over, they can pull your arms off and beat you with them until you drop it.
Monkey thievery is such a commonplace phenomenon that the National Geographic channel felt the need to document it as a TV show. Not prevent them or anything, just film it because it's funny. The show, cleverly named Monkey Thieves, follows a troupe of 60 simian miscreants in Jaipur, India as they steal temple offerings, commit home invasion robbery, beat one another senseless in fights over food and run in a panic from furry men wielding sticks.
They're so good at what they do that in Karachi, lazy human thieves have been training monkeys to actually climb in windows and unlock doors from the inside so homes can be looted. Who would you rather have as your partner in crime? A human with whom you have to split the loot down the middle, or a monkey you can probably pay off with some Fruit Roll-ups and Tang. You might think the monkeys are the suckers in this deal, but monkeys think you're badly undervaluing how awesome Fruit Roll-ups are.
Google is rife with personal travel stories of people whose purses, hats, prophylactics and pride were stolen by ravenous Thai monkeys. When you take into account that 80 to 90 percent of macaques in Thailand are infected with simian herpes virus B--or monkey herpes--you start to get an idea of just how damn hard it is to keep a monkey from robbing you.
Let's say you had to handicap the odds of a successful robbery, and these were your two competitors:
1). A human, who can be legally shot in self-defense the minute he pulls a gun, and will be easy for any eye witnesses to pick out of a lineup.
2). A monkey, who eye witnesses will only be able to describe as "a monkey... seriously, a goddamn monkey," who can turn anyone who even hesitates to give him their wallet into "that guy who came back from Thailand with monkey herpes."
You'd put your money on the monkey every time, no matter how certain you were he was just going to spend it all on whiskey.
#3. Wait Tables
You know those days when you're getting screamed at for putting too much lemonade in the Arnold Palmer for the one millionth time, teetering on the brink of setting the whole building ablaze in a rage fueled bath of kerosene because you're positive your work contributes nothing to society as a whole and if they replaced you with a monkey nothing at all would change? Well break out that Zippo because the Japanese have validated all your fears.
Yatchan and Fukuchan are two macaques that work at the Kayabukiya Tavern in Japan waiting tables. They bring hot towels and drinks to customers and wear the same uniforms as the rest of the waitstaff. The two are tipped with boiled soya beans, meaning they can do the same job as any out-of-work actress, and are willing to happily do it for far less pay.
Everyone loves a heroic pet story, but no matter how many senile old people get dragged away from the TV by a dog before they can squander their pension on an all night infomercial bender, few animals can ever achieve the badass heroic heights of a monkey named Bougie.
During the Second World War, Private Floyd Stewart of the 871st Airborne Engineers was in Tunisia during the German bombing of the Kasserine Pass. At some point, Stewart jumped into a water-filled shell hole and nearly drowned a small monkey he hadn't noticed was washing its ass in the pool. The monkey crawled up his shirt and an instant friendship, the sort that can only occur between an armed killer of Nazis and a tiny monkey, began.
And nine months after they met, this guy was born
The monkey accompanied Stewart on missions, including parachute drops, tucked away in his jacket. She would pick out exotic fruits and berries that were safe to eat and help him avoid the ones that would make him sick. When Stewart and 14 other soldiers happened upon a watering hole after three days without a drop of water, they were about to slake their thirst when Bougie sprang into action, flinging poop and monkey curses at the men trying to fill canteens. Figuring something was up, someone had the sense to check the water, which had been poisoned. Hitler's plans had been thwarted by a monkey. "Nein!" I like to imagine him yelling from within his robotic suit of armor.
Later, Stewart was in a foxhole when a shell exploded nearby, blinding him. Not content to let the Nazis win so easily, Bougie dug herself out and alerted other soldiers to Stewart's location so they could dig him out. Presumably once he'd been pulled free she chewed on a cigar stub for a while, then scalped a few Nazi captains.
Stewart was sent home on a medical discharge and Bougie went with him, serving stateside as his seeing-eye monkey, and probably making his wife just a tiny bit jealous.
Back in the 1960s, a hot young artist named Pierre Brassau came on the scene and art critics immediately fell in love with his brash style.
There's a high probability the monkey's dong was on here.
A famous quote attributed to one critic said, "Brassau paints with powerful strokes, but also with clear determination. His brush strokes twist with furious fastidiousness. Pierre is an artist who performs with the delicacy of a ballet dancer." This was, of course, comedy gold because Pierre was a four-year-old chimp named Peter.
After it was revealed that the artist was a monkey, the critic who praised the monkey's work pointed out it was still the best stuff in the show. It would be 30 years before the modern art movement caught up with monkeys. Finally, in 1996, an artist named Chris Ofili painted the most controversial, and therefore successful, piece of modern art of the year using our monkey overlords' favored form of self expression: animal poop.