I live in Tokyo now but most of my friends and family do not. The main idea here is that I can tell these people about interesting things that happen and are seen.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Moments Like Those

Sometimes you see a stranger do something and you get this big feeling in your guts like the random thing that you've just seen is a complete summary of what is going on with that person.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, think again, because actually you'll find that you DO know what I'm talking about.

Anyway I was thinking about that after my first visit to a Japanese video/DVD rental shop yesterday. Aya took me there to get some movies since that's the sort of thing couples do when otherwise short of inspiration. This was a local shop, not a major chain - I forget the name but their store mascot was Christopher Columbus for some reason.

(What We Rented:
National Treasure - what the "Da Vinci Code" movie might've been if it had attempted to be interesting or fun. How's Nick Cage's elocution though... it's like he's balancing an invisible coin on his chin and is therefore afraid to open his mouth too much when talking.
Tremors - one of the cool things about dating a girl from another culture is that you can say "OMG YOU'VE NEVER SEEN TREMORS" and then make her watch Tremors.)

Like most entertainment venues in Tokyo, it had a couple of pachinko machines and a couple of slot machines in it, ancillary to its main purpose but nonetheless as necessary as toilets. Apart from myself, Aya, and the staff, there was one guy there, alone on a Saturday night, hitting up the pokies in a video store. I noticed him when he paused from playing to angrily stomp a cockroach that had been scuttling around at his feet. And that was one of those moments - the surroundings, his purpose, his crappy track suit pants, the exaggerated fury he vented on the roach, all said to me: "Here is the Sum of this Man"

i mean if you wanted to play pachislo why not go here, was he not man enough for the Big League

Of course, I realize that it's completely unfair to think that way. And I'm forced to wonder if and when this has happened to me - what unguarded moments have summed me up for people who will never see me again - in the street, yanking at a stuck zipper, flying half mast and failing to balance a coffee in my free hand as it spatters against the T-shirt that I've put on backwards and inside-out - "Well, there's THAT guy's life..."

Doggs, think about it and tell me what kind of moments like this you have had if you can be real about it.

Other observations:
- The porn in Japanese video stores is not segregated from the regular movies?!? When pointed this out to Aya, she explained that the "real porn" was upstairs... given that the stuff that was shelved alongside the collected works of Sean Connery was unambiguously hardcore, I can only surmise that the Real Deal is some kind of parade formation synchronized jackhammer anal with a cast of thousands, retrieved perhaps from a secret Nazi research base in Antarctica. (Fear and only fear prevented me from going upstairs to check).

- There's a whole lot of American direct-to-video releases available in Japan that I've never dared to imagine might exist?

"Snake Train" - a terrible train crash occurs when the 9:15 collides with a giant snake.
The snake was "pretty angry" but otherwise unaffected.

I am tantalized by the prospect of watching them and making fun of them, but scared of the ten-year regression in my psyche that would represent.


Anonymous Mel said...

What's Tremors?

Sun Sep 16, 08:26:00 PM PDT

Anonymous Anonymous said...

mother fuggin snakes on the mother fuggin train?

Mon Sep 17, 11:44:00 PM PDT

Anonymous etnobofin said...

Yeah, at the risk of exposing once more my woeful knowledge of popular culture...

What's Tremors?

Wed Sep 19, 10:27:00 AM PDT


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