It's difficult to imagine trained monkeys being anything but fully 100 percent awesome, but leave it to the Taliban to find a way to screw them up, like they did with Afghanistan, the "Jonah Hex" movie and, you know, life.

It's difficult to imagine trained monkeys being anything but fully 100 percent awesome, but leave it to the Taliban to find a way to screw them up, like they did with Afghanistan, the "Jonah Hex" movie and, you know, life.

According to a newspaper in China called The People's Daily — and by that they mean the State-Run Things Awesome About China Herald-Bugle, although whatever they call it their comics are terrible ("Andy Capp" in China is basically straight-up Communist propaganda, which is what it is over here, too, but we all seem to be OK with it) — the Taliban in Afghanistan is actively training monkeys to serve as pint-size soldiers. Leave it to the Taliban to take an animal that routinely throws its own poop at its peers when angered and make it more displeasing to have around during meals.

The story says that Islamic insurgent-types are arming macaques and baboons with AK-47s, machine guns and trench mortars and releasing them in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan known as Bananastan. Ha! Just kidding, easy one there. I mean to say it's called Bubblesistan. No, no, I got it, I got it, It's really called Chimpanzia! Listen, I've got Google and the rest of the day, people. Rest. Of. The. Day.

The idea, of course, is that the monkeys will be converted into howling, tick-picking, '60s Bond-villain-style snipers. That is, of course, terrible, yet let's just be blunt about it: When you consider the notion of having a trained monkey on hand, when you see one in the movies, when you're lunching at a friend's house and their helper macaque pops out on cue to deliver the fruit plate, is the first thing that comes to mind not, "Seriously, how great would it be if that thing could take out my enemies?" You're all thinking it.

Yet we still must draw the line, as this news, I hardly need tell you, is a gross misuse of monkeys, which have historically been one of nature’s most consistently hilarious creatures. Monkeys are funny, they do adorable things when you throw change at them in a zoo, they’re delicious, they can play boogie-woogie piano if Showbiz Pizza is to be believed and they are single-handedly responsible for keeping the organ grinder industry alive (I read that last part in the Atlantic).

For instance, the New York Post, which is considered a legitimate news venue while the People's Daily in China isn't for some reason, has a hack-job Photoshopped picture of a tiny monkey holding an AK-47 and IT IS A COMPLETELY ADORABLE MONKEY ASSASSIN OH MY GOD I JUST WANT TO TAKE IT HOME PINCH ITS CHEEKS AND FEED IT BUTTERSCOTCH CANDIES. I would actually be pretty much OK with having my bedroom laid waste to with automatic-weapons fire if I could buy this monkey. (Not to belabor a point, but this is seriously the single most adorable potential animal assassin I have ever laid eyes on, and I used to own a camp where we trained murderous kittens.)

Anyway, this should be stopped at once, not just because pretty much anything the Taliban does is a terrible idea that should be mopped off, but also because it paves the way for all manner of horrible future endeavors, such as the monkeys forming a winged army that could be controlled by a wicked witch of some kind. Think of a world in which we humans are forced to do the jobs out monkey masters don't need to do anymore, such as peel bananas and make awful Disney movies, while the monkeys sit back and pound pina coladas and listen to monkey jazz and think, “Gosh, remember when we had to sit around in cages and pretend that ‘Project X’ didn’t bother us?”

And we have to move fast, because these pinheads appear to be serious. “Today, the Taliban forces have given the American troops some of their own medicine,” The People’s Daily wrote in an article that wait what? Oh, got it, they're referencing some crazy site called the Pakistan Defense Forum — and here I must claim to be sourcing my information second-hand because if you think I live in South Carolina and am going to have a minutes-long visit to the Pakistan Defense Forum skulking around my browser history, you are insane. So let's just all remember we're dealing with a humor column here and I'm not about to be tossed into some gulag in Bananastan.

Jeff Vrabel would also have his monkey handle most of the gambling. He can be reached at and followed at