This story began over a beer in a Kabukicho restaurant, when an adventuresome Canadian lassie named Christine, who had requested a tour of Shinjuku's sleazier hangouts, leaned suggestively across the table and asked me in a husky voice if I had ever eaten monkey brains.
I hadn't. And for that matter, I certainly wouldn't. Medical textbooks say eating simian gray matter can give you kuru, a disorder similar to mad cow disease.
For those unfamiliar with this famous tale -- featured in the documentary films "Mondo Cane" and "Faces of Death" -- consumption of monkey brains calls for a live monkey (species not specified) to be immobilized by a collar in the center of a table designed specially for such a purpose. A tool of some sort is used to whack open his skull, upon which the live, bloody gray matter is apportioned to eagerly awaiting diners.