Tourist Files Complaint Against Primate Thief

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Kim Dang Hoon, a South Korean man traveling in India, has filed a complaint against a thief who stole his reading glasses. Kim was visiting Varanasi, a Hindu holy city in the northern part of the country, when the theft took place. Police have scoured nearby sections of Varanasi hoping to find Kim’s property, but to no avail.

This is funny because the thief is a monkey.

Studies have shown that the involvement of a monkey in a crime increases the humor content of stories about that crime by as much as 150 percent. In this case, the matter involves not only a monkey perpetrator but also a formal complaint against the monkey, a frantic search by policemen for the monkey and the special status of the thousands of wild monkeys that roam the city of Varanasi. At a press conference this morning, scientists therefore officially declared the story “pretty decent and worth reading, at least if you aren’t too busy and think monkeys are funny.”

Varanasi is a holy city to the Hindu faith, and monkeys are venerated there as manifestations of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman. Thousands of monkeys roam unmolested throughout the city, and having apparently learned that they are venerated by much of the population, have taken to harassing tourists and residents alike. Meanwhile, Hanuman himself does nothing.

Without his assistance, police in Varanasi were not having any luck catching the thief. According to the report, police “combed Varanasi’s alleys searching for the monkey” on Tuesday to no avail. “It is difficult to trace the monkey,” admitted Inspector Govind Singh, seeming to suggest it would not actually be impossible to “trace a monkey” in a city full of thousands of monkeys, “but I am trying my best to locate the rogue.” (Well, unless these guys are all running around wearing reading glasses, I have at least one idea as to how you might locate him. Ever heard of a lineup?) Singh conceded that monkey-harassment incidents are common but held out little hope that the problem would improve. “We can’t do anything,” he said.  “We cannot shoot them or beat them as Hindus worship monkeys.” Suing them is apparently not forbidden.

In his complaint, Kim said that the rogue had sprung upon him when he opened his hotel-room window for fresh air, and that it headed straight for the reading glasses before making its escape. He said he had filed the complaint so that he could make a claim on his travel insurance policy, which it seems is pretty comprehensive.