HE ORDERS TAKE-OUT, STIFFS DELIVERY BOY
New Jersey’s legendary large, beaked and winged Jersey Devil made an appearance after four decades of solitude, ordering fifty pounds of Chinese food from a local Food To Go outfit and refusing to pay the driver.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said delivery driver Tim Lubbock. “I drove into the middle of nowhere to get this grub to this massive, uh, winged dude…and he stiffs me a tip? They don’t call him a devil for nothing.”
The legendary creature, the accursed 13th son of the Leeds family, was born in 1736 and was normal at birth but, as his horrified family watched, grew talons, horns, hair and hooves because of his curse. Wings and a tail erupted from his body and, after slapping his family silly with his tail; he flew away through an open window.
Weekly World News, investigating the take-out incident, followed a trail of discarded fortune cookies deep into New Jersey’s sprawling Pine Barrens. It was then that we spotted it. The creature was at least seven feet tall. It walked upright but had the legs of a goat. Its face was half-human, half-beast, topped by fur and a pair of large antlers. It was eating from a container of Moo-Shu Pork as we approached. The creature froze when it spotted us, its red eyes glaring, his wings flapping ominously. It slowly walked towards us, extending a taloned hand.
“Hey, guys. How ya’ doin’?” it said. “Jake Leeds, here. Most people call me the Jersey Devil.”
A MONSTROUS STORY
When questioned about the Chinese take-out, the mythic figure admitted he’d made a mistake. “I could’ve given him a gold coin or two, but I’m not used to dealin’ with people except to scare the crap out of ‘em. And I haven’t done that in a long time. This kid just freaked out on me. And I wasn’t even tryin’.”
Alluding to his long, taloned hands he shrugged: “It’s tough enough to count out exact change with dese things, let alone figure out the tip.”
He sat, reflecting, over his portion of Moo-Shu Pork. “Back in the day, I could just come out of the woods in the Pine Barrens and scare the crap out of people. They’d drop everything. The campers always had a lot of food. Nowadays, it’s the people that scare the crap out of me!”
Jake held court and told of his long life in the vast forest, as part of the Weekly World News team tripped over his undulating tail. “The Roaring Twenties was a great time with a lot of jamokes making their own booze with stills. They were half-lit when I showed up and didn’t react much. We drank many the night away, singing.
“The 1960s was fun, too. Gangsters would drop off bodies, here. When they saw that I could hurl them further into a river than they could, they took a shine to me. They’d never drop off a corpse without bringing me barbecue; sometimes a whole side of beef. I even bonded with this little kid, Johnny Knuckles. We became blood-brothers because of a handshake. It was accidental but it moved me, ya know? We vowed to help each other out. But he moved away.
“And the late 60s? Whole groups of half-naked kids would show up taking acid. That blew my mind. We’d dance, sing songs about peace and I’d give them sky-rides. Good times.”
THE CHINESE FOOD SCREW-UP
He seemed to focus in on the past, his brow furrowing, his ass emitting a large fart. “But things changed real quick. Young punks began tearing up the forest with their off-road vehicles, shooting at anything with bazookas and killing for sport. Look, my gig is just to scare people, not harm them but, boy, have I been tempted. They’re animals. I just retreated further into the woods, eating berries. They give me hives, by the way. I just can’t deal with these human monsters. This effed-up Chinese delivery is all my fault. I was just hungry for real food.”
Swishing his tail, he walked into a secluded area, beckoning us to follow. “Just don’t step on the tail, okay? You guys have already given me bruises.”
A NEW PATH FOR THE DEVIL
Jake took us to an old treasure chest. “Take a few doubloons for the delivery boy and take a few for yourselves. And tell him, next time, he should tell me the total amount over the phone. I’ll have everything cyphered out before he gets here.”
As Weekly World News left, he waved us good-bye and emitted one of his trademark, horrifying howls. “I still got it,” he called as we drove off.
Weekly World News returned for a second time, bringing the (now) smiling delivery boy with us. Jake and the delivery boy hugged (carefully). It’s then we introduced Jake to an extra passenger.
When Jake saw our passenger, his face lit up. “Johnny Knuckles?” he exuded.
“Uncle Jake Leeds!” our elderly passenger yelled as he ran forward to embrace his long-lost blood brother.
The gangster and the creature rocked themselves back and forth in an extended embrace. Johnny was ebullient. “Your problems are solved, my friend. Remember ‘No Neck’ Freddie? He’s retired here! We pulled some strings!”
The Jersey Devil emitted a blood-curdling howl to a round of applause. “Chinese is on the house, my friends!”
JERSEY DEVIL INTEGRATES INTO SOCIETY
Today, the Jersey Devil has been hired to host guided tours of the haunted Pine Barrens. He even has a manicurist.
“It’s made it a lot easier for me to use my cell phone,” he grinned.
Since he doesn’t wear clothes we asked him where he kept his phone.
He smiled, farted and said: “You really don’t want to know.”