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.
Wednesday eventually rolled around, and at lunch time, we temporarily stopped operations to roll out the grill and copious amounts of beef. That was already a beautiful sight. But there was something else I wasn’t quite expecting–buckets upon buckets of alcohol.
Perhaps I should have been expecting it. I mean, this country dances a very fine line between social drinking and alcoholism. It seems like any occasion where people meet and gather must involve large amounts of alcohol. Japanese people will tell you about the “beauty” of cherry blossom viewing, but really all it is is an excuse to get bombed under a tree with pink petals that will only last a week. Back when I was a teacher, any sort of event in the school was almost certainly followed up by a “Job well done!” drinking party. Most of the time, I was never invited. Fuckers.
So perhaps, I should not have been surprised to see the booze come out, but I was. You see, it was Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon to be exact. The plan was to have the BBQ for an hour or two, and then actually go back to work. But with alcohol involved? When Japanese people drink, they usually end up in one of four potential states:
1. Passed out on the street somewhere.
3. Having awkward sex with someone they shouldn’t in a love hotel.
4. All of the above.
You’ll notice that “effectively working your job” isn’t exactly on the list. But hey, who am I to complain? It’s beef and beer on a Wednesday afternoon. How fucking awesome is that? It’s 2/3rds of my Holy Trinity.*
*Holy Trinity, you may ask? I dunno if I’ve ever explained this one before. Maybe some other guys will back me up here, but for me, I really only need three things in life to be truly happy–beef, beer, and pussy. If I have these three, life is good. Pretty much everything else is done either in the pursuit of these things, or to help accommodate them. A nice house? A place to keep the beef and beer and pussy. A nice car? A means of getting beef, beer, and pussy. Health insurance? Something that takes care of you when you eat too much beef, drink too much beer, and accidentally fuck a rotten pussy. You get the idea.
Knowing that I was going to have to work, I planned to really only drink 2-3 beers. That would be enough to get the Nice Happy Feeling, and still be coherent enough to be a functioning member of society. That was my plan. But as Hannibal can attest to, plans don’t always come together no matter how much you love it when they do. My undoing? Must you even ask? The third part of the Holy Trinity.
One of my bosses is this woman–mid 30s, slender, cute, business professional woman, with a nice figure to boot. I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about seeing a older woman who’s still in great shape, neatly tucked into smart business shirts/vests and pants. That shit is like kryptonite to Superman, or crack to Lindsay Lohan.
The thing about this amazing woman is, she drinks like a goddamned horse. The company president warned me early on about her, that she could drink most guys not only under the table, but send them packing to the basement as well. I merely assumed that he was talking about pansy little Japanese guys, who could maybe kick back half a Smirnoff before getting shit-faced and tipsy. I realize now that he was talking about Brave Spartan Warriors. I’d hit my established beer limit, when she comes around holding a plate of beef in one hand and a beer in another. “Have another beer?” She asks. Fuck! All elements of the Holy Trinity stand before me now, and they are more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. There’s no way I could have said “no.” I couldn’t have said “no” to anything coming from that.
Her: Mind if I kancho you?
Me: Be my guest. Please, may I have another?
Three beers quickly turned into four. Four beers turned into…I dunno, 8? I lost count. And whatever I drank, this woman, this older, professional, big-titted, tight-assed, meat-holding Goddess, drank just as much, if not more. I was already starting to feel the alcohol (8+ beers will do that to you), when she comes back around again–“Hey, how about some whiskey?”
This woman is not human.
Of course, I should have turned down the whiskey. I should have. But, you all know how that goes.
Az’s Logic: Ok, we’re already kinda wasted here, drinking whiskey on top of it is a bad, bad idea.
Az’s Penis: Shut the fuck up. Do you SEE this woman? By God, she’s hot, and holding meat and beer! It’s like, I’ve died and gone not to Heaven, but to Super Happy Awesome Heaven. Guys, I don’t ask much from you, but I NEED this woman.
Az’s Heart: Um, hello? Girlfriend back home?
Az’s Penis: Yeah. And that’s your department. I don’t need you for this operation. Anxiety and Conscience, you guys can split too. Tongue, I’m gonna need you to stay and put in overtime.
Az’s Anxiety: Oh for crying out…hey Brain, a little help here? Can we get an overrule?
Az’s Brain: Absdeck griplock saucepan marmalade fury.
Az’s Heart: Um…what?
Az’s Anxiety: Shit, I think brain is fried. I hope this isn’t permanent.
Az’s Penis: Great, Brain’s down. So, now I’m in charge.
Az’s Anxiety: That’s not how the chain of command works and you know it. If Brain becomes incapacitated, Heart’s in charge. Heart, what are your orders, Sir?
Az’s Heart: Well, we’ve already had a lot of alcohol, and we do have a girlfriend who is waiting for us back home, so really…
Az’s Penis: Imagine this woman, with all the ferocity of a 30 year-old woman’s amped up sex drive, riding the absolute shit out of us, while pouring beer all over that ample C/D cup and feeding us well-cooked strips of beef.
Az’s Heart: I’m sorry, I skipped for a second there, what was I saying?
Az’s Penis: You were going to take that whiskey.
Az’s Heart: Ooh, alcohol!
Three or four whiskeys later…yeah, I was fucked up. Though the BBQ didn’t “officially” end, most people sort of tried to mosey back to their computers to get some work done. Well, except for one of our computer technicians, who ended up passed out on the veranda (Japanese Drinking State #1). I was supposed to be answering customer support emails. I sat down, trying to clear my head the best I could, and opened up one,
Hi! I’m interested in one of your bras, but I don’t know the right size! My bust is 95 cm, and I usually wear a C cup, but I’m not sure of Japanese measurements, so could you please recommend the best size for me? Thanks!
I began to write my response,
Dear Valued Customer,
What the fuck do I look like, your personal tailor? Furthermore, I’m a dude, and I don’t know jack shit about bras except the fastest way to take them off.
But, your bust is 95cm you say? Maybe I can help you. But I’m gonna need more information. Please send a picture of your naked bust from all possible angles, and after a thorough investigation, I may be able to recommend something to do.
The one brain cell I had left realized that this was a colossally bad idea, and I closed the window before I could write anything else and, perish the thought, actually send it. I opened a page full of nothing but text – The MSTing of “The Misery Senshi Neo-Zero Double Blitzkrieg Debacle”*, and pretended to study it while really, I was trying to keep the little letters from doing the Riverdance across my screen.
*Fan-fiction crossover story between MTV’s Daria and Sailor Moon. Yes, it is every bit the Harbinger of Death you think it is, but the MSTing is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read in my life.
I went home, and passed out, I don’t remember much about how I actually got home, I remember getting on the train at least. I passed out there, and didn’t wake up until near my stop. It’s remarkable to note that I was sitting in the middle of one of the train benches…and no one else was sitting on the bench. This is a feat in itself, but when you consider that it’s a *packed* rush hour commuters train…I don’t know what I did on the train, if anything, but at that time, I must have spread the largest Gaijin Perimeter in the history of the world. I wonder if it actually physically repelled people? Like, they went to sit down, but the sheer force of my drunken blackness physically knocked them clear across the train car. I only wish I had been coherent enough to see it, or if not, then at least have someone nearby with a video camera.
I got home and passed out again, not waking up until 5AM the next day.…And I was still drunk! How much fucking alcohol do you have to consume to stop drinking and wake up 12 hours later and STILL be drunk? Do I even have a liver left? I dragged myself into work like an old sack of potatoes. I meet the Beer and Beef Goddess, and find that this Japanese woman not only drank more than me, but is perfectly fine the next morning. I swear to GOD, she’s not human, she can’t be.
The best part of the whole day though? I ate my own weight in beef, drank enough alcohol to light the entire Nebraskan plains ON FIRE, and it was all on the company dollar/time. Man, sometimes, I really love this country.