Tokyo Damage Report

Tokyo street scenes

various vignettes i have witnessed while walking . . .

Me and Monorail were walking down the street, minding our own business. . . . no, wait, I was actually staring at girls. Their hats, to be precise. This young lady had a hat that said ‘AIRHEAD’. Then, just to close the deal, in smaller print, ‘SMOKE WEED EVERY DAY.’ I asked her if she knew what it meant, and she said no. I didn’t know how to say ‘reefer’ or ‘kind bud, duuude’ in Japanese so I just told her it was a very ‘dirty meaning.’ I thought she’d just laugh but she got super embarrassed and ran away, hatless. an hour later we run into them again in this museum, just by accident, and SHE’S STILL NOT WEARING THE HAT. I feel so crappy. I’ve just ruined this perfectly awesome hat for this poor girl. I feel like one of those horrendous plantation owners that N.W.H. complained about.

In ikebukuro one night, I’m waiting to cross the street. Listen up, this is good. I’m waiting and while I’m waiting I’m looking at the totally inebriated people next to me. Some fairly short older couple, plus a plump, 6 foot, 40-something woman in a really short tight dress and spike heels.

She keeps circling the older man like a shark, and puts her hands on his shoulders. Then circles him again, and puts her hands on and sort of jumps up and down a little bit. Then circles him again. Everyone talking like nothing is happening. Then circles him again. You KNOW what happens next: suddenly she jumps on top of him like piggy-back style, and they IMMIDIATELY fall over backwards, the blow cushioned by her vast booty, her stockinged feet pointing up at the sky. The weirdest thing about this is, they didn’t laugh hysterically about this in the manner of drunk people everywhere. They just carried on like this was totally insignificant behavior. Fucking amazing.

Why is this important? Random socks on the train platform, curled up like 2 little random mummified elves.

In SHIBUYA: me and Monorail spotted the most Japanese guy ever in a game center here. A salariman wearing a suit and tie, playing a shoot-em-up game, holding a gun in one hand, blasting zombies, while talking on his cell phone. Fucking awesome.

In IKEBUKURO, there’s a used videotape store. Here you can find old porn for UNDER A DOLLAR. This raises what I think is one of the most important philosophical questions of our age: which is worse for one’s mental health? To let a bunch of strangers spooge on your face, or to see that tape on sale for less than a dollar? This is the kind of thing that the ancients from Diogenes to Lao Tsu would have no doubt debated, had the technology only been available to them.

My favorite purikura booth is in the ‘parking garage / videogame’ shop here. Why? As if the concept of ‘parking garage/videoarcade is not enough. . . and the latest technology allows you to superimpose yourself in a ‘rap’ setting OR a ‘pirate’ setting. PLUS they have these amazing little ‘frames’ you can leave copies of your pictures in. . . so the public can see your efforts. Among the posted purikura is:
+ an older married couple, posing dead serious like "American Gothic"
+ a young woman, who, in a fit of pure pathos, is doing Purikura by herself, who I just want to take home and give some hot chocolate and scented candles to, because she is breaking my heart
+ four guys striking rap poses, with the word ‘oppai boys’ graffitied above them. it means, ‘boob boys.’
+ a bunch of girl Pirates with Photoshop moustaches, manning the mizzenmast and making rabbit ears with their hands

I kept seeing little half-drunk bottles of cheap sake around here. I figured it’s just like America, where teens go drinking in the cemetery because they are all out of control and shit. Then maybe they get drunk and forget where they left their bottle? But I asked my friends about it and they said, no, this is a legitimate and honorable custom called OSONAEMONO: you buy something the deceased liked and you leave it on their grave. So if the deceased liked peaches, you’d leave a peach. And if they liked to get their swerve on, you’d leave. . . half a bottle of sake. What happens to the other half? "well, you pour it out," they replied. HOLY SHIT, DOGG IT’S GANGSTA STYLE!! Way before ice cube was pouring a forty out for his dead homies, Japanese dudes were all doing traditional OSONAEMONO. DAMN, that is so uncanny it makes me want to phone up Thor Heyerdahl and get him on the case. Also, if you want to be pedantic, the technical term for the booze you left for your dead homey is OSONAESAKE.


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