USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘dangerous’
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Legends
Narrative

Chimp Attack

Chimp Attack

Informant: So two summers ago I went to Costa Rica to do a research project with two USC professors, umm . . . so we were talking because there are capuchins. They’re wild and they’re small, but I was still like afraid of them. Because they have teeth and  . . . . I walked up on them once and they got mad because I got too close to them. Okay, so I was talking with my professor and he was like oh yeah, “You know primates are dangerous because. . . .” and then he started telling me this story about how he had a friend, but he didn’t give me a name, who was in Africa studying chimps in the wild. And the village he was staying had one on like a leash, he has a collar, and he was like their pet. The whole time he was there he didn’t want to get close to it, because their dangerous and then tend to tear off things like fingers and  . . . parts that you don’t want torn off of you. And so one of the last days he was there he finally was like, “fine, I’ll go touch it”, like pet the chimpanzee and he finally got the nerve to do it and he like walks up and puts his hand out to pet it.  There would always be like little children always like playing with it and it was fine and he never saw the chimpanzee do anything bad, he was just afraid because they’re like really strong. So he walks up . . . and he put his hand out . . . and the chimpanzee takes it and like looks him right in his eyes and tears his fingers off. Like at least two or three fingers. It was actually not a good story for the professor to tell me because then I was afraid that the capuchins were actually going to eat me, but I’m not sure if that actually happened.

Interviewer’s notes:

The tale fits the classical definition of a legend in that it may or may not be true. In this case, regardless of the authenticity, it meant to serve as a cautionary tale for the young student. It does so effectively as the student notes that the story instilled even more fear and her and she was further encouraged to stay away from the primates.

This could possibly be a type of Blason Populaire, playing off of the fact that Africa is seen as wild, dangerous, and to be avoided.

Digital
Legends
Narrative
Protection

New Form of Kidnapping (Ladies – be aware – worth a read)

“NEW FORM OF KIDNAPPING

Please take a minute to read this. This is very scary and could happen to
any of us.. Seems like every nice thing people do for one another can be
perverted.
A new twist on kidnapping from a very smart survivor:
About a month ago there was a woman standing by the mall entrance passing
out flyers to all the women going in. The woman had written the flyer
herself to tell about an experience she had, so that she might warn other
women.
The previous day, this woman had finished shopping, went out to her car and
discovered that she had a flat.
She got the jack out of the trunk and began to change the flat. A nice man
dressed in a business suit and carrying a briefcase walked up to her and
said, ‘I noticed you’re changing a flat tire. Would you like me to take care
of it for you?’
The woman was grateful for his offer and accepted his help. They chatted
amiably while the man changed the flat, and then put the flat tire and the
jack in the trunk, shut it and dusted his hands off.
The woman thanked him profusely, and as she was about to get in her car, the
man told her that he left his car around on the other side of the mall, and
asked if she would mind giving him a lift to his car.
< BR>She was a little surprised and she asked him why his car was on other
side.
He explained that he had seen an old friend in the mall that he hadn’t seen
for some time and they had a bite to eat, visited for a while, and he got
turned around in the mall and left through the wrong exit, and now he was
running late.

The woman hated to tell him ‘no’ because he had just rescued her from having
to change her flat tire all by herself, but she! felt un easy . (Trust that
gut feeling!)

Then she remembered seeing the man put his briefcase in her trunk before
shutting it and before he asked her for a ride to his car.

She told him that she’d be happy to drive him around to his car, But she
just remembered one last thing she needed to buy (Smart woman!!)

She said she would only be a few minutes; he could sit down in her car and
wait for her; she would be as quick as she could be

She hurried into the mall, and told a security guard what had happened, the
guard came out to her car with her, but the man had left. They opened the
trunk, took out his locked briefcase and took it down to the police station.

The police opened it (ostensibly to look for ID so they could return it to
the man). What they found was rope, duct tape, and knives. When the police
checked her ‘flat’ tire, there was nothing wrong with it; the air had simply
been let out.  It was obvious what the man’s intention was, and obvious that
he had carefully thought it out in advance. The woman was blessed to have
escaped harm.

How much worse it would have been if she had children with her and had them
wait in the car while the man fixed the tire, or if she had a baby strapped
into a car seat? Or if she’d gone against her judgment and given him a lift?

I’d like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life.

A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this
to the ladies only; but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters,
daughters, etc.., you may want to pass it on to them, as well.

Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that The world
we live in has a lot of crazies in it. Better to be safe than sorry.

PLEASE BE SAFE AND NOT
SORRY”

 

This email was originally received by my real estate agent, she resent it to me with the message that I should be, “extra careful!” especially since I am a single woman living away from home.

What first threw me off about this narrative was that the woman remembers the man put his briefcase in the trunk of her car; however, when she is narrating what he put in the trunk, she doesn’t mention the briefcase. It was inattention to detail like this that made me look it up and as it turns out, it’s an urban legend that’s been around since at least 1998.

My real estate lady is older, and she sent it to me because as a single young woman living in a big city like Los Angeles by myself, she thought I was more at risk. I guess this goes along with the stories and legends you hear about how dangerous and gang-infested big cities are.

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