“I’m sure that’s an urban legend.”
“It is totally true because it happened to me,” Mark said.
I rolled my eyes; despite the fact that Mark had a story for every occasion and I had been tricked by him before, the look on his face made me want to know more. “All right. Go,” I sighed.
Mark looked relieved. “Okay, so I was in college and had a summer gig throwing newspapers in the morning. I didn’t have a car but since I was in a relatively small part of town I was able to walk my route. The papers had to be on the porches by 4:30am so I got started around 3am for my route each day. This one time I was about half-way through when I saw a dog–or what I thought was a dog–coming down the street. It was moving really fast and when it got close, it talked to me!”
I rolled my eyes again. “There is no way a dog actually said real words to you, man. At 3 in the morning, you were probably sleep walking or something.”
Mark’s eyes got wide. “Naw, man! It was real. Haven’t you heard of the Jinmenken?”
Mark was an anime fan and kept up with all things Japanese; I’d been his friend since junior high and our conversations usually involved something about a Japanese legend or somesuch. Today, obviously was no exception. However, over the years I’d done my homework. “Tell me where this was again?”
“Dude, you know I went to school in NYC.”
“Right. What you saw was a Japanese Macaque. I remember the story; one of them escaped from the Brooklyn Zoo. They make noises that sound like human speech, run quickly on all fours, and have human-like features.”
“Then how do you explain what it said?”
I went along with the gag. “So what did it say?”
He leaned in close even though there was no one else around. “He said, ‘Get the #%&k out of my way and leave me alone.”