Image: Sasaluk Rattanachai

“Total Monkey Riot” isn’t just the name of my ’80s ska band… it’s a description of daily life in the Lopburi district of central Thailand.

As you can see in the video below, hundreds of malcontent primates have taken to the streets and formed unruly mobs, and the presence of a single banana is enough to send them into a screeching, maniacal frenzy.

”They looked more like wild dogs than monkeys,” said Sasaluk Rattanachai, who captured the now-viral video. “They went crazy for the single piece of food. I’ve never seen them this aggressive.”

The Bangkok Post reports the monkeys are split into two distinct squads: one that lives in the city’s temples, and one that lives on the street. So they’re basically the Sharks and Jets of primate gangs. While the factions usually respect each others’ turf, lately they’ve met up to rumble, West Side Story-style. It’s not because of a chimp called Maria, though; the violence is probably a result of the Coronavirus.

The prevailing theory of the Great Monkey Fracas of 2020 (hey, now I have a title for my band’s first album) holds that travelers, afraid of catching COVID-19, are staying away from Thailand in droves. Without those sweet, sweet bananas that tourists supply them on the regular, it’s now a pitched battle of monkey-vs-monkey for whatever scraps are available… giving us all a chilling preview of human society in about six months.

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