They should put this down as the first rule in the bus driver’s handbook: you must never, ever, for any reason, let a monkey drive the bus. What if the monkey gives you bananas? What if he insists? What if the monkey makes puppy eye? What if he keeps his hands at 10 and 2, checks his blind spots, and seems like he’s actually pretty coordinated?
We cannot stress this enough.
A bus driver in Bangalore broke this rule last week. A monkey came aboard with another passenger, refused to sit anywhere other than up the front, then took the wheel for almost ten minutes and drove a bus full of 30 passengers on a merry joy ride around Davangere. While the monkey had the wheel, the human driver managed the acceleration and gear changes.
Obviously, footage of the monkey driving the bus quickly went viral. And then the man who was actually supposed to be driving was suspended from his job.
“Driver M Prakash has been taken off duty for allowing the monkey to sit on the steering wheel and handle it,” said T.S Latha, a spokesperson for the government’s road transport corporation. “Passengers’ safety is paramount and the driver cannot risk it by allowing a monkey on the steering.”
The passengers, for their part, seemed to take little issue with the fact that they were being driven around by a monkey. Online, comments on the video have cycled between disgust—”Utter disregard for public safety—adoration—”OMG so cute! In the USA they would taze it to death or something”—and foreboding—”Be careful with that because at some point, monkeys can take your job. They would work for peanuts and bananas.”