Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Monkey Detectors of Spurious Coin" [truth]

An excerpt from the San Saba News, March 15, 1889:
Monkey Detectors of Spurious Coin

The Siamese Ape is said to be in great request among Siamese merchants as a cashier in their counting houses. Vast quantities of base coin obtain circulation in Siam, and the faculty of discrimination between good money and bad would appear to be possessed by these gifted monkeys in such an extraordinary degree of development that no human being, however carefully trained, can compete with them. The cashier ape meditatively puts into his mouth each coin presented to him in business payments, and tests it with great deliberation. His method of testing is regarded in commercial circles as infallible; and, as a matter of fact, his decision is uniformly accepted by all parties interested in the transaction.

What's the best part of this article? The term "cashier ape"? The assertion that no human being can compete with them? Or the notion that parties to a business transaction are satisfied with the ape's decision?

This article does raise the question, though, of what to do with a Siamese cashier ape in the 21st century.

Source: Library of Congress