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.
This might have been fine if we were using normal tickets, but of course we weren’t. I had my magical sensor card, and my girlfriend was using a pass card. As far as train lines go, JR is retarded, and they don’t accept our specific type of magical sensor card and merely ordinary pass card. What this meant was that we were going to have to have to pay out of pocket the JR price, and then get a note from the JR station that the unsettled balance on our rail cards was, in fact, settled, for the next time we wanted to use the cards at the 1.37 billion other train lines in Japan that aren’t as retarded as JR.
My girlfriend and I lined up at the gate. She explained our situation, and the JR station guy began to fill out a note for her while she paid the ticket price. While standing there, a light bulb went off in my head–You don’t have to pay the ticket price. Just Gaijin Smash this dude. I’m not sure why I came to this conclusion–perhaps it was the way he refused to look directly at me? And while you might argue that he was just focusing his energies on the current patron, the guy did manage to look everywhere else. The look in his eyes too resembled that of prey, hoping that if it didn’t make eye contact with the circling predator, maybe, just maybe, it would turn invisible.
So after my girlfriend paid for her ticket…I simply smiled at the guy, and walked through the gate. The guy returns my smile, and says nothing as I pass through. My girlfriend is shocked. “What the hell?! You didn’t pay! And he didn’t even care! What in the?!”
I realized then that, in all our time together, while she’s been witness to a lot of the other Gaijin Superpowers, this was her first time seeing a Gaijin Smash.
I repeated the Gaijin Smash at the next train station. Since I hadn’t paid at JR, I didn’t have the little note saying I’d settled the balance on my card. My girlfriend is freaking out–“You can’t do that, they’re going to arrest you!” Maybe, if I was Japanese. But not with the Gaijin Smash on my side! I handed the card to the guy, and in the clearest, most perfect English I could muster, said, “Oh, I made a mistake on this card, can you erase it?” Of course, I could have said, “I like pleasure spiked with pain and you can be my aeroplane” and it would have been all the same to this guy. He looks at me, blinks a few times, takes the card, and promptly erases the old charge.
The girlfriend is amazed. “Wow, you just rode all the way to the airport and back, totally for free! And just because you’re a Gaijin?! Man, I wish I was a Gaijin…”
Though the powers of the Gaijin are great, the burden and responsibility are also much to bear. It is our blessing, it is our curse.
Despite having coined this term, I actually do not Gaijin Smash all that often. I don’t like the stereotype of “big, rampaging Gaijin” and do my best to show the Japanese that we actually CAN fit into their society if they let us.
But sometimes…you just gotta smash someone.
I bought a new cell phone recently. It’s one of those super-ultra-advanced deals, with a built-in TV, electronic wallet, mp3 player, movie player, full internet browser, GPS tracking system, digital money, news, sports, and weather forecasts, mind-reading, lasers, light sabers, and a replicator that can only produce hot earl grey tea. Oh yeah, and it also makes phone calls too and stuff.
With my new super-phone, I began to think–hey, I wonder if I can watch porn on this thing?
For the ladies in the audience thinking, “How the hell did he arrive at that?!” it’s pretty simple–I’m a guy. Give us a screen or display of some sorts, and we will wonder if you can watch porn on it. If there was a way to watch porn on those handheld Tiger LCD games, we would. What many mathematicians don’t want you to know is, if you calculate the Pythagorean Theorem on an abacus, it’ll show you the first 20 minutes of Debbie Does Dallas.
Perhaps I was inspired by all the old men who read porn magazines and newspapers on the trains? They’re not even trying to be subtle about that shit, they just spread it open, and there’s some girl in lace lingerie with her (non-existent) tits hanging out, as she’s sitting spread eagle with the caption “I’m wet and waiting for you tonight!” The guy will be thoroughly engrossed in it, like he’s reading the Nikkei or some shit. “Let’s see…Sony’s down…Matsushita’s up…and Yuko took some naughty pictures with her friends, and she’s willing to share them in this limited offer.”
So one day on the train, I tried browsing for a little porn on my phone. I actually found a site that looked promising. Before I could get the goods though, I had to go through a series of verification screens, each one requesting more personal information from me. Now, any sane, rational human would realize that this was some sort of trap, but men who are locked in on porn aren’t exactly sane and rational, are we? Logic, deductive reasoning? Right out the nearest window.
I finished progressing through the screen, and eventually, I got to a final screen. I was quite surprised to find this message.
“Thank you for completing your registration! We request that you submit your payment up front. Please pay the balance of $1200 in the next three days.”
Now, everybody knows the Cardinal Rule of the Internet–never pay for porn. This usually applies for some site where you have to buy a $60 dollar, year-long membership or something. But, $1200?! For 6 months?! Of shitty cell phone porn?! That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my LIFE. You could tell me that the Grand Canyon is made out of rocky road ice cream, and the reason it’s a crater is because Kate Moss got hungry, and ate so much that she actually imploded into herself, becoming a human black star, and I would still find that more believable than $1200 for 6 months of cell phone porn.
Clearly, there was only one thing I could do–not pay.
I’ve found, in my 26 years here on Earth, that when you sign up for some service from a company, most companies expect you to pay for the service you’re getting. And if you don’t pay, they tend to get a little angry, and pesky. That’s what happened here, someone from this rip-off service called me, and judging by the tone and speed of his voice, he wasn’t too happy with me.
I’m pretty good at Japanese listening comprehension, but this guy was talking like that dude who used to do the Micro Machines commercials/was the voice of Blur in S3 of the G1 Transformers cartoon. I didn’t fully understand what he said, so I was about to ask him to repeat himself, when the ever-present, omnipotent voice chimed in again.
Voice: Dude. It’s time for another Gaijin Smash.
Me: Again? Over the phone? I don’t think it works over the phone.
Voice: It can be done. Do not underestimate your Gaijin powers!
Me: I dunno….I guess I can try
Voice: No, do. Do or do not, there is no try.
I decided, the Long Distance Gaijin Smash was worth a shot, especially since the alternative was trying to convince this guy why I didn’t owe him $1200 for cell phone porn. In the most basic, somewhat broken Japanese I could muster, I asked, “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” Dude catches on quick–“Hold on, are you not Japanese?” “No, I’m not Japanese.” I say in English. “What country are you from?” The guy asks. I respond that I’m American. “Huh?” He says. “I’m American.” “What?”
I know it wasn’t a problem with my vocabulary, or pronunciation. “I’m American” is something you learn in Japanese 1. It’s one of the most basic and fundamental Japanese phrases you’ll learn, right up there with “My name is,” “I’m sorry,” and “I have pancreatic cancer.” Why didn’t dude understand me, then? It’s a side-effect of the Gaijin Smash, the Gaijin Blackout. The Japanese person is so flustered, so mind-blown over you not being Japanese, that they instantly become incapable of normal human functions. A Gaijin can speak perfect Japanese to them, and they would fail to comprehend even one word. I think you could even punch a Gajin Blackout-afflicted Japanese right in the face, and they would be too flabbergasted to fall down.
So then the guy does the unthinkable–he hangs up on me! Japan is a country where customer service is not just valued–it’s revered. And somehow, through the phone lines, I’d Gaijin Smashed him so hard that he actually hung up the phone on a customer. Nice. At any rate, now I no longer have to pay $1200 for shitty cell phone porn.
Ah, being foreign in Japan. Free train rides and cell phone porn. Really, do you need anything more than that?