2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year, so far, and we’ve still got nearly five full months of it to go. But your perspective informs your view, doesn’t it? My grandmother, for example, frequently said: “Nothing’s so bad that couldn’t be worse, from the day you were born ’til you ride in a hearse.” Drawing upon her wise counsel, I’ve adopted a world view that says we shouldn’t complain too much, because things could always be worse than they are.
And even in 2020, there’s no doubt that things could be worse than they are. Much, much worse, in fact.
Consider the plight of Lopburi, a city of 750,000 people in central Thailand. It’s now being overrun by thousands of famished, libidinous monkeys who rampage through the city, gorging themselves on fast food, having sex on the streets, and attacking whoever stands in their way.
Interestingly, Lopburi has always been associated with the monkeys, a species called macaques. For years, the monkeys have hung around the Khmer temple and Khmer shrine in the city, and have been fed by the locals. And in November, the people of Lopburi put on the “Monkey Festival” to celebrate their crab-eating primate pals.
But now the monkey population has exploded. Gangs of angry monkeys, with no fear of humans, roam through the city, taking what they want and terrifying the locals, who have barricaded themselves in their homes. The monkeys live on a diet of sugary fast food that makes them even more unpredictable; one official made the terrifying observation that “[t]he monkeys are never hungry, just like children who eat too much KFC.” (Anyone who has experienced a kid on a post-fast food sugar rush knows just how frightening that comment actually is.) The number of monkey babies seen in the city indicates that an even bigger monkey population bomb may be getting ready to explode. Police estimate that thousands of monkeys have established a base in an abandoned cinema, where they attack any human that tries to enter. The police apparently believe that trying to disperse or deal with the monkeys is “hopeless.”
So yes, 2020 could be a lot worse than it is. Until we open our front doors and are confronted by hundreds of ravaging angry monkeys eating cheeseburgers and eager to take a bite out of your skull, we haven’t really hit rock bottom.