One day I was screwing around on the computer at lunchtime. Unlike my English teacher gigs, this is a job where I actually have to do work. Unfortunately, I’d gotten used to browsing my favorite sites during the daytime, especially considering that it’s nighttime back in America, when many message boards are at their most active. One could theoretically make a witty post, and then check the thread in real-time for all the people who are “rofl”ing at the witty post and crediting the poster with having won the thread, sometimes even the whole internets.
Not that I do that, of course.
Anyway, the habit is kind of hard to break, so sometimes I’ll sneak peeks at my favorite pages when I can. I was doing that one such day, when the company president came up behind me. “What’cha doing?” He asks. He came up with all the silence and suddenness of a fucking ninja–I had no time to quickly switch over to an actual work window. I figured I’d been found out, and it was lunchtime anyway, so I was honest–“I’m just conversing with some friends back home on a message board.”
As for what I was posting about…well…it was about the first time we ever discovered the wonderful and beautiful artistic sport that is masturbation. Again, don’t ask how we got to this point. If you have to ask, you just haven’t been surfing the internets long enough.
There’s an outlet mall near the airport in Osaka. I went out there one day to pick up a new pair of shoes. As you can imagine, buying shoes in Japan is damn near impossible for me. I wear somewhere around a size 13 US, which translates into 30~32 centimeters Japanese. I used to go into a shoe store, browse around, find a shoe I liked, only to ask about the sizes and find that they only had up to 28. Eventually, I wised up, and before even looking at one pair of shoes, I’d go directly to the store clerk and ask if they had my size.
Me: Um, excuse me, but do you have a size 32?
Clerk: EH?! 32?! I’m terribly sorry, but…
Me: Okay, well, thanks anyway.
Clerk: (as I’m walking away) Holy FUCK, 32? Was that a human that just came into our store, or a Big-Footed alien?!
Most times, when my shoes are getting worn, I have mom send me a new pair from America. She’s got decent taste in shoes, and I’ve found that it’s MUCH easier to ask Mom to send shoes than to send condoms. Though I have to wonder, what does poor Mom think?
Friend: Hey, what’s your son doing in Japan?
Mom: Judging by the care packages I send him, going on massive walking treks, and having lots of sex apparently.
This time though, I didn’t have time to put in the Mom request, so I headed out to the outlet. As they import straight from America, and considering the proximity to the airport, they actually do have a decent range of sizes. I bought myself a nice size 32 pair of Timberland’s, at a pretty good price.
Interestingly enough though, none of this is actually relevant to the point of this article.
I went with my girlfriend. We went by a train line called Nankai. And that’s how we expected to come back, but as we arrived in central Osaka, we found ourselves at a JR station. How, exactly, this happened, we have no bloody idea. I can only say that it’s Japan, and apparently, trains will just up and change lines for no apparent reason. I think this is why Japanese people have that “wake up at my stop” superpower, because if they didn’t, they might find that their train has stopped in Russia.
Not long after I started my new job, I found out that the company would be moving. Geographically, it was just a few buildings down the street, but it was a much bigger and better office space. As a going-away party of sorts for the old building, it was decided that we would have a yakiniku party the Wednesday before the move, sometime around lunch time.
“Yakiniku” is basically just Japanese for BBQ. You get your own strips of meat, and cook it yourself over an open grill. This is awesome, as you can cook it exactly the way you like it, and then eat it right off the grill. It’s especially great for me, because Japan is one of those rare/medium countries, and I am a well-done man.* No matter how much I try to explain that to Japanese steak chefs, they just never get it.
Chef: (personally brings out the steak) I’m so sorry. I know you said “well-done,” but I overdid it and this steak has been burned to a crisp. Please forgive me.
Me: Um, sir? This animal is still alive.
*To all of you rare/medium-rare lovers who are just busting at the bit to tell me how I’m “ruining” the “essence” of the steak: fuck you. Well-done steak is the reason why God invented fire. I’m also sure that God put cows on this Earth for us to eat them. Otherwise, he would not have made them so stupid and delicious.
As feedback for the last one was mostly positive, here’s a new Headline News article. …I really feel that you should all listen to Weird Al’s parody song of the same name as you read. It’s what I listen to when I write, and I feel it enhances the experience somehow. If a film were ever made about my life, I would want Weird Al to play me. Sure, he’s not big, or black…but it’s not like Hollywood has never made any colossal casting blunders before. Why get all fussy now?
Okay, I’m a bit confused here.
Public broadcaster NHK was flooded with hundreds of complaints from viewers about costumes worn by dancers in a popular annual year-end show on Sunday, which made them look like they were gyrating in the nude, NHK officials said.
Announcer Tamio Miyake apologized for the costume during the program, saying: “We ended up causing misunderstanding to viewers. We’re sorry.” NHK received over 250 complaints from viewers about the costumes, worn by female dancers dancing behind musician DJ OZMA during the annual “Kohaku Song Contest” program aired Sunday night. The costumes were body suits designed to resemble a woman’s naked body.
“Are they dancing naked?” one of the viewers said in a phone call to NHK. “It’s inappropriate as children are viewing the program,” another viewer complained. (Mainichi)
So, let me get this straight.
Nudity in public baths: not a problem.
Old men reading porn magazines on the train: a-ok.
Dancers wearing “naked” body suits: OMG offensive!
…Would it have been better if the dancers were actually naked?
But I guess Janet Jackson can take a sigh of relief. America isn’t the only country that gets all fussy over nipples, be it .001 second of a nipple, or a fake prosthetic one. You know, to ensure that my kids won’t be “traumatized” by any brief incidental nipples, I’m going to desensitize them early. Nipple-themed baby crib, nipple wallpaper, perhaps even a Lego nipple set. This may be a bad idea, but I don’t think anyone’s ever tried it, and you just never know. I’m willing to be a pioneer here.
This story is so incredibly Japanese.
KOFU — A man has scattered dozens of 10,000-yen notes from pedestrian overpasses here, police said.
At about 3:20 p.m. on Friday, a passer-by spotted a man scattering 10,000-yen notes from a pedestrian overpass along a prefectural highway in the Marunouchi district of Kofu, and alerted police. Another passer-by picked up 10 of the bills, and submitted them to a local police station.
At about 4 p.m., 35 10,000-yen bills were scattered from a pedestrian overpass over Route 358, about 600 meters away from Marunouchi. Investigators said the same man may have been responsible for both cases. (Mainichi)
Only in Japan, ONLY in Japan would this kind of thing happen. You know what I’m talking about.
Passerby 1: Hey, look…that guy is dumping money out onto the street!
Passerby 2: Wow, he sure is!
Passerby 1: Well, that’s not right…I’ll call the police.
Passerby 2: I’ve picked up about $1000, I’ll go turn it in.
And this was only the first story. They’ve been finding loads of money dumped in all sorts of places around Japan. And everyone’s been turning it in! Who is doing this? Why doesn’t he come to Kyoto? If I found some of these bundles of cash…shit, I wouldn’t be here writing this now. I’d be jet skiing off the coast of Sri Lanka. I’d be sipping daiquiris on a Mediterranean beach. I’d be lining up only the finest, high-quality call girls, as far as the eye could see. All thanks to Ankuru Sukuruuju and his endless supply of money bags.
I honestly can’t believe they just turned it in.
Last Wednesday was like, the best day EVER.
I was getting on the train for work, and on a whim I decide to listen to the theme songs for the classic Transformers cartoon on my iPod. Yes, of course I have the Transformers themes on my iPod, do you even have to ask? I wonder what all the Japanese people would think on the train if they saw this big black dude with his earphones, and expect him to be bumpin’ to some Eminem or 50 Cent or something, only to find out that he was really jamming to “the Transformers! More than meets the eye!”
Anyway, listening to the themes only reminded me of my frustration over not having seen the new live action Transformers movie yet. For big movies, Japan is usually pretty good about getting them on time. We got Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix at the same time as America, and we actually got Spider-Man 3 a few days early. But for some reason, Transformers doesn’t come out here until August 4th, a whole month after America. And, apparently, the rest of the world. Swear to God, Japan is like the last fuckin’ nation on Earth to get this movie. Fools in Iraq were ducking bullets while watching Transformers. Kids in Ethiopia still don’t have any biscuits, but at least they could watch the Transformers movie.
With the movie out *everywhere else,* buzz was abound on the internet. Contrary to the popular belief of all the Professional Internet Movie Psychics out there, apparently the movie did not suck steaming piles of donkey shit. I was very excited–more than just a blockbuster summer movie, this was a chance to reclaim a long-long portion of my childhood. Outpost Nine fans know of the everlasting, deep emotional damage that the original Transformers animated movie did to my psyche. Having a TF move–a good TF movie, and live action no less? I could hardly wait. And yet, I was going to have to wait because Japan is apparently some backwards ass nation that can’t get the Michael Bay Transformers movie on time. I bet you they’re still pissed off about Pearl Harbor. Hey Japan, we didn’t like it either! Meanwhile, an Eskimo in an igloo is using his Morse code system to tap out how awesome he thought the Transformers movie was.