Question for Your Saturday

Monkeys or ponies?

Explain why. Show your work.

Jonathan Coulton fans: No half monkeys-half ponies. They do not please me.

127 Comments on “Question for Your Saturday”

  1. @Matthew Hughes


    1. Ponies are an alternate form of transport as long as you are small.
    2. I have yet to see any news articles about ponies going crazy and eating their owner’s/owner’s friend’s face off.
    3. When monkey escapes it’s a nuisance, when a pony escapes everyone goes “Dawwwwwww”
    4. You want to keep your stuff your stuff and food not eaten? Ponies can’t unscrew lids!’
    5. Ponies are the younger cousins of Mr. Ed. Let’s see Cheetah get his own sitcom.
    6. Four words: Ponies don’t fling poo.

  2. Ponies: Monkeys:
    Can carry children Can carry ebola
    Make lots of poop Fling lots of poop
    Smell nice Smell like poison
    Eat hay and carrots Eat baby’s brains (looking at you, baboons)
    Whinny endearingly Screech like the damned
    Are related to horses Are related to humans

    I have to give it to ponies.

  3. I’m going to have to join the pony brigade on this one. Along with the lack of poo flinging, pony poo can be composted and used to enrich the garden. Also, we have room for one (though neither a Mercedes nor a sauna). Most importantly, both my wife and at least one daughter would disown me if I failed to pick a pony.

  4. This is a trick question. Urban dwellers would favor monkeys because of the limited amount of living space (no stables in the city). Rural folk would prefer ponies due to the obvious advantage of work obtained per bale of hay/ bucket of oats. Monkeys are smart and therefore not to be trusted, ponies are dumb and hard to train. It’s a tossup. I’ll stick with my dog Peanut, she wouldn’t like monkeys or ponies and is scared of most everything anyway.

  5. Monkeys are just like humans in that they’re capable of waaaaaaaay too much drama. I’ll take the pony, thanks.

  6. Monkeys. I prefer relationships with things that don’t obey, ideally can’t obey, but might agree. Same reason I like cats and detest dogs.

  7. Down the street from where I lived when I was fifteen there was a second-hand store whose owner kept a caged monkey in the window. The monkey spent most of its time doing what my gym teacher had told me was a sure and certain harbinger of blindness. I’ve never seen a pony engaged in such behavior. Advantage: ponies

  8. Having dealt with the dung-flinging, I must now go out and let three horses (not ponies, but close) out into the pasture, then shovel out any dung they have left in the stable overnight. It’s not quite flinging, so my pro-pony case remains solid.

  9. Ponies.
    – Actually domesticated
    – Don’t tear off people’s faces or otherwise attack them
    – permitted in many residential areas
    – Fun to ride (useful!)
    – like people
    – pointy, emotive ears
    – Friendly

  10. Ponies. You can ride them, they can carry things for you and they’re different enough from humans to add some uniqueness to your life. Monkies are sometimes troublesome, and they climb trees. I rest my case.

  11. Ponies because:
    1) As others have pointed out, no poo-flinging
    2) Pony Shines does not exist

  12. I would have to go pony. They are domesticated, monkies aren’t.
    Monkies are not chimpanzees. Monkies aren’t known to eat faces.

  13. Tigers. They are 100% concentrated awesome and they can kill and eat both ponies and monkeys. Plus they can purr! They are big fuzzy kitty cats.

    On the menu we have ponies (annoying, ugly poop factories of no redeeming value) and monkeys (creepy pseudo-people who delight in feces, murder, and cannibalism). Tiger chow!

  14. Ponies don’t have hands, can’t use tools, and requires humans to muck out their stalls. Monkeys, if you have enough of them for an infinite period of time, will come up with the works of Shakespeare.

    Advantage: monkeys.

  15. Ponies… there are already well defined methods for preparing them but monkeys? I guess you could spatchcock them and grill them but it would be messy.

  16. Ponies over monkeys, although I wouldn’t want either, really. A cat is sufficiently annoying. Elmer the Hell-Mule is right out.

    Fletcher: Hobbes?

  17. Tough call. Monkeys do fly better than ponies, but they are also scarier and tend to hang out with wicked witches. On the other hand, flying ponies have an unfortunate tendency toward sparkles and rainbows, which don’t age well. Can we arrange an aerial dogfight, (or is that too many species at once?)

  18. I prefer ponies. Likely due to having been indoctrinated by my 4y/o daughter and her fondness for Rainbow Dash.

    However in an objective ranking of which I’d rather be, I’d have to go with monkeys. Lacking an opposable thumb, ponies can’t, err, uhh, self-gratify.

  19. Having once had a monkey jump up on the window sill next to me while riding in a train across Italy, and having said monkey proceed to pee (on the floor of the car, not me), I have to give it to ponies. The guy who owned the pony thought it was hysterically funny. I moved to a different car.

  20. Ponies, because it is much less likely they will be plotting your death than monkeys. With the one exception of ONE flying, TALKING monkey named, “Finley.” However, if we are assuming you are only talking about monkeys and ponies in OUR universe, rather than an alternate universe, then, PONIES, mainly for the reason stated above.

  21. Going to go with monkeys. Could invite them around for dinner, where we could toast the memory of Douglas Adams.

  22. @John Barnes: Monkeys. I prefer relationships with things that don’t obey, ideally can’t obey, but might agree. Same reason I like cats and detest dogs.

    Ponies are actually quite stubborn and not prone to obeying a person, unlike a horse. I think you’d like ponies. I had a pony when I was a kid; he’s the one who screwed up my shoulder when he brushed me off against the side of the barn.

    I’d still prefer ponies, though. They smell way better, and they’re kinda lazy, so you can lay on their back and read. Or at least that’s what I used to do when I had one… :-)

  23. Ponies!

    Rationale: I *am* a monkey. Or possibly a thing which is happening to a monkey. I am adequately supplied with primateness; it suffuses my world.

  24. Ponies.
    Can be transport for even adults when put to cart.
    Instills good work ethic/exercise in caring for them.
    Horse shows.
    Cheaper to feed herbivores.

    I know more than one young lady who has paid for her college working with equines.

  25. In Cockney slang a monkey is £500 and a pony £25, so the real question is how many monkeys, and/or how many ponies.

  26. Not to come down on either side, Geoff K, but there are stables in the city. You think they bring those mounted police in by rail? Where do the horse-drawn carriages stash their nags overnight?

    (Central Park in New York and Rock Creek Park in DC also have stables for civilian horses.)

  27. Ponies grow up into horses, and a cavalry is an invaluable first step in crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentation of their women.

  28. Ponies. I did a bit of casual research on primate attacks a few years back, and I’m still horrified by what they can do to a human being. As far as I know, no pony has ever torn a human apart.

  29. Actually, tyger11, ponies are not immature horses; they are small horses (less than 14.1 hands high at the shoulder when grown, a ‘hand’ in this context being 4″).

    Immature horses are called foals (either sex), colts (male) or fillies (female).

  30. Ponies for the win. They live in a non-euclidean pocket universe where nothing functions properly unless they give it a push.

  31. Toby: See “Hung, Drawn and Quartered”, esp. “Quartered”. I hope you didn’t have any money riding on the correctness of your post. I, personally, am with Fletcher: tigers. Cause their noses are made out of rubber and their tails are made out of springs.

  32. You know, I’ll totally go with ponies, but the people who argue that ponies are better because they are not plotting your imminent demise have clearly not ridden enough ponies.

  33. Somehow I’m suddenly worried that we’re being polled about what to give Athena for her half-birthday present.


  34. New World or Old World Monkeys? First there is the issue of size… In most cases a pygmy marmoset cannot be substituted for a Orangutan. Then there is the lack (or presence) of color vision, prehensile tales, and a host of other features that will significantly skew the utility of a pony. For instance nothing beats an old world primate if you are looking for a post-apocalypse replacement for humanity. You need to be more specific on ponies as well…are we going to the Artic? Dogs are the best choice here, but you limited us to pony vs monkey. With that restriction I’d choose a Shetland pony over a just about any variety of monkey. It becomes less clear if its monkey vs. polo pony. Until you can formulate a completely testable scenario I afraid your question simply cannot be answered.

  35. When I think of the best monkey, I come up with a supervillain. When I think of the best pony, I come up with what amounts to a grad student.


  36. Ponies. The poop is more containable if larger, and it makes better compost. You can tie a pony to a post outside, whereas monkeys get everywhere or make annoying noises in their cages. Ponies don’t want my food, unless it is apples or carrots. Monkeys want whatever you are eating. Ponies chew up sweaters but monkeys hair pull. Ponies eat grass, monkeys steal things and hide them. Ponies give an excellent back massage, butting their heads into your back muscles. Monkeys do not. Of course, I’m apparently slightly allergic to horses and I don’t think I am to monkeys, so they are not without their good points.

  37. As a math fan, I have to ask: What about half pony-half monkey? Since matrix algebra is not commutative and genomics is basically applied matrix algebra, the half-pony-half monkey is not the same as the half monkey-half pony.

  38. Ponies. You can knit them Fair Isle sweaters, which they wear quite stylishly. Have you ever seen a monkey wearing a sweater?

  39. Ponies, (14 1/2) hands down.

    If you ride a pony, assuming you’re of appropriate height for such a thing, it’s great! If you try to ride a monkey, you get arrested. QED.

  40. Monkeys. Ponies won’t come to your prison cell windows with after stealing the keys from the warden. Hamsters, on the other hand…

  41. Can it be a half pony-half monkey? it is anatomically different……

    In all seriousness though, monkey jockey. (monkey riding a pony). It is the epitome of awesome and satisfies my need for monkeys and my inevitable want for monkeys doing cute things.

  42. Seebs – you and I aren’t monkeys. We’re all primates, and one type of primates did become monkeys, but not us; we’re apes. Don’t say the M word around librarians.

    Ponies are fine for kids, but can’t carry adults, and even the racehorse versions of larger horses have weight limits. None of the local riding stables go for draft horses or Clydesdales (or camels.) On the other hand, ponies and llamas can carry stuff for you.

  43. Ponies, naturally:
    1. they are further away from us hairless monkeys in the genetic sludge pool
    2. ponies with horns are unicorns! monkeys with horns are just horny…or that one weird, sad little chimp from Lost In Space brrrrrr.
    3. There is no secret monkey level in Diablo 3, only ponies, which you can slice & dice every which way from Sunday!

  44. Everything’s better with monkeys!

    Next time you’re eating ice cream, bring along a monkey — comedy gold! If the IRS calls you in for an audit, bring a monkey — they’ll never ask you back! If you’re trying to seduce someone, just say “wanna meet my monkey?”

  45. Monkeys. As shown in Raiders of the Lost Ark, way better as evil henchbeings. (Just remember to keep them in the loop about any poisoning attempts.)

  46. Monkeys. No one would pay to see a movie called Planet of the Horses. But monkeys can ride horses. It’s a Rock Paper Scissors type thing.

  47. Neither. Can’t say they’re on my list of favorite mammals. But definitely better than birds, who hate us for some obscure reason.

  48. Ponies. Absolutely, ponies.

    I have worked with ponies and with monkeys.

    Monkeys are horrible little demons. I kept one from falling into a thorny blackberry tangle and he tried to rip my ear off for keeping him away from the berries.

    Ponies are adorable and sweet.

  49. Monkeys.. monkeys… WHICH ONES?!? Gah! Bonobos (sex is a great resolver of tensions!)? Chimpanzees (saw video of a group crossing a road using almost the exact same technique we learned in basic training)? Gorillas (another video in which a female uses a stick to constantly probe the depth of water in the river she is crossing)? Orang’Utans? Spider? Too many choices.

    Ponies, eat, poop, sleep, poop, eat.

    Monkeys: self grooming, shared grooming (mmmmmmmmmmmmmm… my long haired Irish redhead loves to be groomed!), can enjoy soaking in a stream or pool of hot water.

    Ponies: lots of grooming required to keep the mane and tail from looking like a rat’s nest… love to roll around in the dust after having been washed and groomed.

    Monkeys: can pick up sticks/stones or climb to drive off/kill/avoid predators.

    Ponies: Run, kick, bite. Escape or die.

    gaaaaaaaaaaaaah… I’ll go with my relatives, the Primates. They are pure naked humanity without all the veneer of civilization we have. You are either liked or not liked or are of no concern. Ponies on the other hand may be nice to look at, but the never ending cycle of having to feed them, groom them, wash them and watch them roll in the dust… not so much.

  50. Ponies. (Though I know from experience, some of them do bite: Shetlands were notoriously bad-tempered when I was a kid.) Monkeys are cool, but I’d just as soon let them play in their own groups. Plus: better fertilizer.

  51. Monkeys, of course. SEA monkeys. They don’t take up much room, and are inexpensive to keep. Plus, cute. Ah, sea monkeys.

  52. This question is best answered by asking, Between “Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys” and “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”, which has the greater buddha nature? The answer can only be answered by looking within one’s own heart to know which is more true for oneself.

    Hint: One has the tagline “Flip Out!” and a lot more guns than the other.

  53. Ponies because the the only time russia has been conquered was by mongols on ponies. The ponies could get at the grass under the snow and could ride efficiently along the frozen rivers like roads. Mongolian war ponies are seriously bad ass.

  54. @Digitalatheist – none of what you have listed are monkeys, except for the spider-monkey: they are all apes. Apes are closer to us genetically than they are to monkeys.

    @eviljwinter – “No one would pay to see a movie called Planet of the Horses” – you don’t have daughters, do you?

    But actually, half-monkey/half pony would be a mini-centaur, which would actually be quite cool.

  55. Ponies. They taste pleasant and eating monkeys is entirely too close to cannibalism.

  56. @Marc Wilson: Which is why I asked WHICH MONKEYS at the start. For too many people the higher primates such as Gorillas, Chimps, Bonobos are monkeys. As for Spiders, I would still take a monkey; you can drop 3 slices of banana in one jar, and 5 slices in another jar… the Spider monkey will watch and take the 5… rudimentary mathematical ability.. but better than a pony who can’t decide which pile of hay to eat from… and yes.. been around equines for a lot of years thanks to my niece and her (ex)husband*

    Still.. monkeys regardless. Although equines can have their moments of beauty and/or hilarity.

    *all things aside, ex makes “The Horse Whisperer” look like the bowbing amateur that he was. Seriously. Despite the $#!+ that happened… I can sit and watch him work with any equine all day. That and his Native American Flute playing. (When the son of “Tonto”/Jay Silverheels won’t except a hand made flute until it has been played by Ex… saw it with my own eyes. As for horses and their kin… seriously.. in AWE.

    p.s. but still.. monkeys. Check out lemurs… especially ones that can tap on a tree trunk… find where termites and such have bored through.. bite a hole to the tunnel.. and fetch out lunch… compared to pouncing on.. Grass?

  57. Marc Wilson: Apes vs monkeys is a common problem, alas. My girlfriend got her degree in anthropology, and one of her professors apparently went through all of her kid’s Curious George books and edited them (with a sharpie) to say ape instead of monkey. Though I suppose there could have been a tragic accident involving his tail, before he meets the man with the yellow hat.

  58. Did I mention that there is evidence that Juvie Chimps also use sharpened stick to hunt? both sexes even.. hmmmmmmmm.. naked humanity as I said before.

  59. Just Add Wings:

    Flying monkeys, because excellent minions

    Pegasus, because who doesn’t love that? Even the Greeks thought it was a great idea.

    But as a Wombat, thank you Ian.

  60. Oops, meant to say *pegasi.

    *joins ever-growing ranks of Haters of Autocorrect *

  61. Well notwithstanding some very persuasive arguments for ponies, it has to be monkey. Why? Easy: in cockney slang a “pony” is £25, but a “monkey” is £500. So a monkey is worth 20 ponies…

  62. Monkeys!! Code Monkeys, Sea Monkeys, Flying Monkeys, and Monkey-see, Monkey-do – can’t get that with a pony. (Code monkey stalling on her C# studying, this afternoon.)

  63. I have been bitten by horses. I have been kicked by horses. I have been fallen on by horses. I have been stepped on by horses. No equine mammal has ever hurled poop at me. No monkeys please.

  64. If I get a monkey, can it take care of the damn ponies?
    (Tired of having equines here.)
    Was just commenting the other day to husband that it’s a REALLY good thing horses don’t have hands. We’d be in a lot more trouble.
    My (10 yr old) son says that he is saving his money to buy a Capuchin Monkey. I think that if he ever manages to do it, he will have already moved out by the time it happens, so it won’t be my problem. I’d hate to have to crush his little monkey dreams.

  65. Ponies. I have cats and small children already – no way I want to add a monkey to that mix. Mind you, either one would break the current “no additional warm-blooded pets” rule.

  66. I was going to answer, “MONKEYS!” because it’s always monkeys at my house (I might have a decent collection of monkey stuff hanging about). Monkeys are smarter than ponies, have cute little hands and climb stuff and would give the cats a run for their money (true, the house would lose in that situation but my cat is already doing that on his own and it would be ever so much more entertaining to see him interact with a monkey). I prefer New World monkeys though and the smaller the better. However, I was only thinking one monkey and the question is clearly Monkeys vs. Ponies implying at least two. Monkeys trouble probably grows logarithmically the more monkeys you add. On the other hand, the more ponies you add, the closer you are to a 3/4 scale stagecoach team which…would be freaking awesome.

    Singular: Monkey>Pony.
    Plural: Ponies>Monkeys.

  67. Monkeys. I met someone who was “training” monkeys so that they could be service animals for quadriplegic people. I put “training” on quotes because he was really just training the monkey to be a good monkey citizen – someone else was going to do the actual “how to be helpful” training. The monkey was very friendly, wanted to stand on my shoulder, and was fascinated by the dregs of my Coke (he had a sip. “Dad” said it was okay).

    Have you ever heard of a service pony? Do they drink soft drinks? No and no.

    It’s no contest. Monkeys.

  68. Monkeys. Because ponies can’t fling poo.

    But no half monkey half pony? There is a long protocentaur evolutionary history you are rejecting out of hand, including the much loved Neighandertal.

  69. @Alan M: In addition to ponies acting as guide horses (I’ve seen one in action, and I have to admit it took me a minute to realize why someone was walking around with a small horse in a big city), riding can be a helpful therapy for people with certain kinds of motor problems and developmental delays.

    I’m still voting for Team Pony.

  70. I think monkeys can vote, if we stretch the great apes definition (or harsh on the voters of certain elections, which I won’t specify). On the other hand, only a horse can stand for Consul of Rome.

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