Volcanic drumbeats

Teaching `pet hate`.
Miki: `Smoking in public`
Kazu: `People shaking their leg`
Fumiko: `Foreigners`

And the joy of teaching English in Japan continues. As
I write this, my birthday (the second in this country)
lies two weeks behind me. The first was spent much as
it would have been spent back in the old country, just
with more arm wrestling of random Japanese salary men
(`Hey handsome guy, hey Clint Eastwood, you tough
guy?`) and screaming Bon Jovi`s `Young Guns` in
Karaoke with a bunch of inebriated Canadians.
Not this year.
Seven months ago I joined a Japanese drumming group.
The Japanese drum is called a `Taiko` and the face
varies in size, the smallest diameter being from the
top of your fist to your elbow and the biggest being
taller than a standing man. Bigger Taikos are stood
on their side, the face vertical, with the drummer standing upright. The
sound is fantastic; deep, rumbling like thunder, with
metal studs on the side as a variation, much like a
The people I play with are kind, though free from the
burden of any knowledge of the English language.
`You`re in japan, learn Japanese you lazy git!` I hear
you cry. And to that I reply...nothing because there
isn`t really any excuse is there? Anyway, suffice to
say communicative ability is low. Usually I just
listen as they rattle away, occasionally nodding with
a slight smile to give the impression of
understanding. Sometimes there would be a sudden pause
in their monologue and I`d look up to meet eyes
peering at me expectantly and realise I`d been asked a
question. `Bimio` I`d reply(This means `it`s hard to say
exactley` and is the most usefull Japanese word EVER
as you can say it to anything e.g - `Do you like
wasabi?`-`Bimio`, `Did you steal that?` - `Bimio`,
`Why are you teaching without any trousers on and
reeking of alcohol?` - `Bimio`).
Suddenly one week our practice shifted up a gear.
Duration and strictness increased dramatically. I
didn`t think too much about it. So the first time i
knew I would be riding on the back of a moving truck
playing a drum in the midst of the BIGGEST DRUM/DANCE
FESTIVAL IN HOKKAIDO (Yosakoi Soran) was when I was presented with a
drawing of said image with `Benjamin` written next to
a stick figure...
Cut to three weeks later. I`m rounding a corner in blazing sunlight atop a
float. There are literally thousands of people on
either side of the road. I`m wearing traditional
Japanese dress including a `sarashi` which is ten
meters of cloth that is wound around your chest and
stomach so tightly you can hardly breath and I realise
that the only thing I truly understand is that I`m
way, WAY out of my depth.
Behind me are around sixty dancers who I met for the first time ten minutes ago. they have been reheasing with the same music all year and yet we have never had a practive together. Godo San (snowboard instructor, Judo black belt) assures me this is normal. looking up i see Iku san (our senseii, she`s the best drummer I`ve ever heard) looking down on me from a platform above smiling. i turn to the right and see Sami San (mason and kendo master). He nods at me - `ganbatte kudasai` (`good luck`).
I hear us get introduced. people are screaming. I can feel my heart beating so hard - thump thump. it re-occurs to me that i`m the first foreigner to enter this festival. Pressure. Thump thump. We start to get introduced, someone screaming over a megaphone. Thump thump. Everyone is screaming for us. i turn toward the crowd, which is a mistake, as I see two cute girls pointing directly at me excitedly and yelling `gaijin` (`foreigner`). THUMP THUMP.
Our tune starts, it`s getting blurry and I`m wondering if I`m ready for this, all the while knowing I`m not, and in the corner of my eye i see a female student that I`ve had a crush on for a long time shouting to me from the crowd, thump thump thump thump thumpthumpthumpthumpBANG!! I crack the drum with all my mite, my arms are on fire and I`m into the performance.
Afterwards people are congratulating me. On playing, on wearing their clothes, on being foreign, when one of my friends who came to see me says `I didn`t realise you were so confident`. `What do you mean` i ask. `Well,` he says `you were playing with your eyes closed...`

I thought that was the most intense my time here would ever get. And then I entered a room of screaming people wearing white pyjamas and was told i was about to get punched in the stomach ten times. Next time...  
Posted by benzaemon at 21:41Comments(2)TrackBack(0)


If you`ve ever asked `who would win` on the internet then you`re a douche...

Ok. So I`m messing about on IMDB.com the other day, which is a breeding ground for scuz, and I come across this post from someone called `cyber-dragon3000` or something ridiculous like that -

`Guys, I was just thinking - who would win in a fight out of Bruce Lee, Sho Kosugi, Shintaro Katsu, Donnie Yen, Sonny Chiba, Toshiro Mifune, and Jackie Chan

Round 1! FIGHT!

btw... All weapons allowed... except guns. no guns. or bombs or anything like that`.

What...a...moron. And to make it worse, there`s a bijillion posts like this all over the information super highway. And people replying to them, and arguing about them. These are the times I imagine angels walking in on God with his head in his hands moaning softly. But, for the purposes of science, lets answer this query.

Bruce Lee
He`s dead. Dead people aren`t worth much in a fight. Except in `weekend at Bernies`.

Sho Kosugi,
He`s 58. Movie titles include : Ninja III: The Domination, Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja II, The Last Ninja, Enter the Ninja and Nine Deaths of the Ninja. He might stand a chance if the others don`t laugh in his face until he cries.

Shintaro Katsu,
Also dead. Stands a chance against Bruce Lee.

Donnie Yen,
Can`t say much about him. He is pretty solid. And he`s alive.

Sonny Chiba,
He was the guy that made Uma Thurman the sword in Kill Bill. Did he look very threatening? No.

Toshiro Mifune,
He`s dead too.

and Jackie Chan
Yeah he`d be good. In between getting punched he could leap around pulling comical faces and land on bikes with no saddles on and stuff like that.

So, under sixty and alive are Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen. Who would win in a fight? WHO GIVES A FLYING ****!

Posted by benzaemon at 16:44Comments(2)TrackBack(0)


Hey kids!

Havent written anything for an age coz ive been so busy. To all you blog girls who read this - vanessita, sarsprilla and joyfull, i tried sending you some comments a while ago and they wouldnt send. WHY!!!

Anyway read the other day that in the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king. I think what this is trying to put across is there are always people worse of than you. It sounds like a bunch of crap to me. If the blind have managed to make a kingdom then their other senses have obviousley evolved to an extremly acute level and they have possibly developed a primitive radar sense (much akin to a bat) to compensate for their sightlessness. Therefore not only would the one eyed man find the architecture EXTREMLEY dull (they wouldnt bother with fancy designs) but he would probably also by seen as an evil wizard and put to death.

Posted by benzaemon at 16:26Comments(2)TrackBack(0)



Just got this excerpt in an email from a friend. It made me laugh so, so much.

"Considering writing a B Movie script with Steve Guttenberg as the
star......he's a washed up, hard drinking drag racer who is suddenly
back into action. The authorities need a fast driver to get a High
witness half way across the country..........with the mob and corrupt
hot on their tail!

Title options include 'Nitro-Injector 3000' and 'Flaming Nights'."

Posted by benzaemon at 22:54Comments(0)TrackBack(0)


Youth magazine article

Here`s an article I wroted for a magazine back home that has just been publisheded.

I`m standing in the center of the busiest airport I`ve ever been in, staring blankly ahead. My eyes are red. There`s a man opposite me holding a sign. He`s looking at me opening and closing his mouth. I think he`s calling my name.
I had just arrived in Japan. That was eight months ago now, in early May, before I knew the legend of Momotaro or what it meant to be offered a cup of Ochazuki in Kyoto. What does it mean to be offered a cup of Ochazuki in Kyoto? I`ll tell you.
What do you do when you don’t know what you want to do? Everyone else was going into jobs and talking about `fifth tier employment`, `no claims insurance bonuses` and ` standardized systems`, which is as alien to me as a foreign language. I had this feeling once before, just after college. Back then it sent me on a working holiday to Australia, a country where a can of corned beef is considered a valid meal and the concept of culture is getting out of the bath to take a pee. It was the best thing I ever did. Going to Australia that is, not getting out of the bath to take a pee (I’ve always done that). The travel allowed me to meet people I would have never met in the normal course of my life, and experience things that I wouldn’t usually have a chance to experience, such as intense manual labour, living out of my pocket…and a…ahem…”gentlemens” club (sorry mum). When I came back my head was clearer and the challenge of university seemed to be something I was ready for, rather than something I was mindlessly drifting into.
`Do I really want to go to Japan? ` I thought as I stood in Heathrow airport saying goodbye to my beloved papa Images of my close friends drifted through my mind. A flash of my cat waking me up on a sunny morning. A memory of a night in the pub and then home to watch a terrible Dolph Lungren movie called something like `American Cop 3: Tequila Midnight` on channel five. Did I really want to fly for twenty two hours to the opposite side of the world and leave all this behind? Just then I had a violent memory of standing in the dole office behind an aggressive, drunk young man who was demanding more money. I shook my father firmly by the hand, turned, and boarded the plane.
Japan. The country of contrasts. Where I can buy a `Hello kitty` camera that prints out stickers in every corner store and yet nobody can tell me where I can find vacuum bags. Where prostitution is legal, and adult images don almost every magazine cover, yet eating on the street is considered the height of bad manners and will earn you disgusted glares. Where people cry from embarrassment at acts of public foolishness and yet by turning on my T.V at night I can see middle-aged businessmen dressed as high school girls competing over who can snort the most wasabi.
My job is teaching English. The requirements to do that here are basically to speak English and to have a face. Due to this vigorous screening program, all manner of…interesting…people turn up here chasing the dream of cheap sushi and cutesy anime style babes. Take one lad I work with. A strapping ex military American fellow who can usually be found happily leafing through the pages of `Guns and Ammunition` magazine on his lunch break. Whilst listening in on his low level class one day I overheard him posing the intriguing question of whether or not dogs should be classed as weapons. Then there’s the bright young Canadian chap who once asked me `How many milliliters are in a gram? ` Or how about the New Zealander who believes in all manner of conspiracy theories and often arrives at work red-eyed due to a night online trying to work out who is really responsible for Iraq, 911, and the cancellation of X-Files…
Then there are the students. Oh good gosh. One girl comes to my school only to try to get over her fear of foreigners. She will sit stone silent in my classes until I ask her a question, at which point she will stare at me wild eyed and start shaking until I move on to another student. And even if the students are eager to speak, the road to fluent English is a rocky one and is riddled with potholes such as the following:
Me: `So what are you into?`
Mizue: `I love pornography`

It took several very uncomfortable minutes of floundering before we established that `Pornography` is the name of a Japanese pop group.
Me: `So how was your weekend? `
Random low-level housewife: `This weekend...I...did a horse`.
Trust me, it’s times like this where your holding back aggressive snorts of laughter that force stuff to come out of your nose you realise that, no, you haven’t matured at all.
But despite the hilarity or the frustration or the abject rage that they cause, all of these experiences are rewarding. I have met so many people here that I have learnt and grown from, and made some friendships, both with teachers and students, that will stay with me for years to come. When I came to Japan, it was because I had no idea what to do with my life. I still have no idea But now I know that that can be a good thing, it`s ok not to know. Look around. Explore. Try Thai food. Take up fishing. Join an intergalactic youth committee. Just don’t do nothing. Oh, and as for what it means to be offered a cup of ochazuki in Kyoto…why not try and look it up? Who knows, you may find something you like…
For more insights into the world of Go (Japanese chess), check out Benzaemons online diary at http://blog.livedoor.jp/benzaemon/
Posted by benzaemon at 13:15Comments(2)TrackBack(0)



A simple dialogue to demonstrate `asking a favour`.

`Please will you.......` (students fill blank space)

`Please will you feed my dog`
`Please will you check my homework`
`Please will you drive me to work`

These were the usual ones. It was a suprise when someone said simply: `Please will you touch me`.  
Posted by benzaemon at 17:53Comments(2)TrackBack(0)



I`ve got tonsillitis for the first time in my life.
It`s ASS!
I started feeling discomfort around friday and looked in the mirror halfway through the day at work on saturday. Interestingly my throat met in the middle at the back and was covered with white spots. Nice! So my office is on the eight floor, and on the sixth floor is the office of doctor Fu, an ex student. I`d heard all kinds of rumours about this guy, but things tend to get overexagerated.
Was he really an alcoholic? Had he really been barred for over-prescribing himself?
I remember Sterrit telling me that when he went down to see Dr. Fu, the man opened the door to his little office with blood all over his shirt. Classic.
So anyway, the office girls organised an appointment for me and downstairs I went to meet the legendary Dr. Fu.
He opened the door on the third knock.
He looked like Lurch from `The Adams Family`.
He stank of alcohol.
He had track marks in his arm.
He motioned me in and asked what was wrong. I explained and he asked if he could look. Then he said he would give me some medicine.
He literally just picked up three half empty packets of pills off his desk and presented me with them.
The Silver ones I had to take ONCE every six hours.
The orange ones I had to take ONCE every six hours.
BUT! The gold ones I had to take TWO of.
`Let`s start now` he said. He put one of each in my hand.

Me: `I need two of the gold ones`.
Him: `Hnnn?`
Me: `The gold ones I have to take two of right?`
Him: `No..tshh` (he gave a kind of laughas if to say `how ludicrous!`)

I pointed down to where he had written `two every six hours` on the gold packet. `errnnnn` he moaned softly and scribbled out the two, writing one in its place.

He didn`t charge me for any of the medicine.

I decided a second opinion may be in order. So Maki took me to the hospital on monday. The Dr. took a look and told me I had severe inflamtion and prescribed some really strong medicine. He asked what I`d been taking so far. I showed him and started to laugh. Then he called in the nurse and showed her and she started to laugh. Then he told me to throw it all in the bin.
I wont be going back to see Dr. Fu. I had a lucky escape this time. Next time I imagine it`ll be a case of waking up naked on a warehouse floor, a circular scar above where my kidneys used to be.  
Posted by benzaemon at 18:13Comments(3)TrackBack(0)


Panda for Prez

Stevey was talking to a student who is going to America. When the student asked him if he had ever been or wanted to go, and Stevey replied in the negatory, the student inquired why. Stevey explained it was due to his extreme dislike of the current president and his policies.
`That`s ridiculous` replied the student `that`s like not going to China because you don`t like Pandas`.

As Stevey pointed out, the chances of meeting a Panda in China are quite remote. It`s coming across one of the many thousand people who voted for the Panda to be in power which is more of a worry.  
Posted by benzaemon at 14:27Comments(0)TrackBack(0)


When realities collide...

Ok. This may at first seem cruel, but I believe that it`s something the world should be made aware of.
The following is an phone email exchange between my friend and a student over the course of a week or so. Bear in mind that he never dated this girl, never saw her in a social context, she asked for his email for some help with something. It`s not like they were seeing each other a bit and he changed his mind, she is someone he has met a few times in his entire life while teaching.
I love the way that you can chart the progression of his irritation.

From Saori:

From Stash:
(He keeps it civil but short)

From Saori:

From stash:

From Saori
(I think you`ve answered your own question there, love)

From Stash:
(OK, balls out of the bath. She must have got it now.)

From Saori:
(serious relationship...or you?)

From Stash:
(She must. She has to.)

From Saori:

From Stash:
(I think that`s about as blunt as you can be without using four letter words)

From Saori:

This last one went unanswered...  
Posted by benzaemon at 16:25Comments(5)TrackBack(0)


Oceans Twelve

First a disclaimer. This is basically a post slagging of a movie I went to see. There`s nothing particularly clever about it, so you may want to stop here. But if ye don`t heed the warnings, then by all means...CONTINUE!

Summary of Oceans Twelve

George Clooney is in a bank talking to his wife Julia Roberts on the phone.

Julia: Hey honey, how`s the bank stuff going?`
George: `Great`
Julia: `Oh George, you`re planning a robbery aren`t you? You`re such a scamp…

Just then, Julia looks out of her window and sees…Andy Garcia! Who they stole loads of money from in the last one. She immediately drops some wacked out thief codewords to George `The pigeon has shat all over the loft`. George, entirely aware of his wifes grave peril hand flips into his open top sports car and, wheels spinning, roars into action! Actually he runs and gets the train, but whatever. Meanwhile, Andy tells Julia his sickeningly evil wishes. He (wait for it) wants back all the money they stole…WITH INTEREST! Wanting back what’s rightfully his! Bastard!

Fade out

Fade in on Jive Talking Black Man

Jive Talking Black Man: So anyways I said to ma Biatch, why you wanna play me like thiazzat, honey dawwwg?`

Suddenly, in walks…Andy Garcia!

Andy Garcia: ` I want my money back`

JTBM: `That`s some cold blooded shizzo my nizzo!`

Fade out

Fade in to English Jim being English in England

English Jim: `Avin` your pardon me lords and ladies, mayeth I shimmy your shoeshine for threpence?`

Suddenly, in walks…ANDY GARCIA!

Andy Garcia: ` I want my money back`

English Jim: `Happen I think I`m right fooked!`

Fade out

Fade in on Matt Damon

Matt Damon: `Geez, I hate the way everyone always talks about my parents. I mean I know I`m the innocent naïve one that`ll probably do a really good job at something by the end and make my parents proud, but why do my parents have to always be mentioned in every parenting line I say? It`s like they`re going to play a major role by the end of the film or something…`

Suddenly in walks…ANDY GARCIA!!!!

Andy Garcia: ` I want my money back`

Matt Damon: ` I hope my parents don`t find out!

Fade out

Fade in on Hong Kong Billy hanging out with a super model in his pad

Suddenly, in walks…five time Olympic gold medallist Steve Redgrave! Only kidding, it`s ANDY GARCIA! Really.

Andy Garcia: `I want my mo…wait a minute I don`t get it. What`s your special power? How are you uniquely individual while at the same time fitting perfectly into the group dynamic?`

Hong Kong Billy: `Chang shoo miiiia!`

Andy Garcia: `Ahhhh…I get it, that`s great! You speak a different language, which automatically makes you humorous. In fact this whole scene is funny because you are hanging out with a beautiful white supermodel, who in reality would obviously never go out with a china man…`

Hong Kong Billy: `Dim sum`

Andy Garcia: `Wait a second…I don`t have to do this for all eleven people do I? I mean turn up in a location which offers a revealing look into their characters, tell them I want my money back and then watch them respond in a way that sets them each perfectly into a movie character cliché?`

Hong Kong Billy: `Sam to wah, jang kong kok` (`Shut up and get into the scene with the highly strung and mildly effeminate computer expert`)

Fade out

Seven `I want my money back`s` later

Oceans Eleven are in a room discussing what to do. It`s shot in a kind of post modern documentary style way, the camera shakey and moving freely around, picking up bits of conversation.

English Jim: `Bloody `ell guv`nors, we`re in a spot of whistle and toot!`

Elliot Gould: `I look ridiculous don`t I?`

Matt Damon: `Parents`

Brad Pitt: `Look I`m eating! Get used to the sight of that…it`s somethingI do in every scene, just as a quirky gimmick`

George Clooney: ` So what shall we do? It`s not like we can avoid paying him, I mean we have to do the honest thing – we are criminals after all`

Elliot Gould: `Do you think my careers gone off the rails?`

Matt Damon: My parents will be so angry if they find out`

Elliot Gould: `People are laughing at me, not with me aren`t they?`

Hong Kong Billy: `Chim chim cheroo`

Strong dumb one: Holy shiz-balls is this scene still going on?`

George Clooney: `Yeah, your right strong dumb one, it`s been going for ages…ok then it`s decided lets go to Amsterdam and do some robberies`

Other ten members: `…really? Won`t that cost money we don`t have and take ages to get there? Remember we only have two weeks to get all the cash and we`ll probably be jet lagged for a day either side if we fly there. Also we don`t speak the language or have a place set up…won`t it make more sense to stay here and do crimes?`

George Clooney: `nope`

Cut to

On the plane. Matt Damon and Brad Pitt have a horribly awkward conversation, basically to show they’re on a plane.

Cut to

Zeta Jones talking to a conference

Zeta Jones: `I hate thieves and have dedicated my life to catching them. However by the way I talk it also seems I am strangely fascinated by them and have a deep seeded respect for their ways. I hope I never meet a strangely charming and handsome one as I could fall for him so easily and end up in a quirky cat and mouse situation. Kind of like that film with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, but more Brad Pitty. But as a side note, theres a really good thief around at the moment that we should try and catch. He`s called `The Night Fox`. No really.

Oceans Eleven are in Amsterdam trying to figure out how to rob this old geezer. There`s no way and they don`t have a clear shot through a window. Brad Pitt suggests tilting the entire house. Cut to them underwater with loads of machinery and pistons set up and stuff. This scene is such an abomination and gross insult to the audience that I don`t even want to write about it. But I will. They tilt an entire house to an angle to shoot through a window. Here are some questions.
Why didn`t the man inside notice?
How do you tilt an entire building without ripping it off it`s foundations?
Where did they get all the machinery and equipment to do it? In one day?
How did they know how to do it?

When they finally get into the safe, it`s empty and there`s a note from the master thief (The night fox) that Zeta Jones was on about saying that he wants to challenge George Clooney.

Zeta Jones is called to the scene.
Zeta Jones: `The Night Fox was here before them…around 3:30…I can feel it!`
We never find out how. She just obviously has extra sensory powers, which allow her to feel exact times that people have been places. Hey, there`s more implausible bits than that coming later.

Later, her and Brad Pitt meet in the street. They are attracted to each other and begin a whirlwind romance. Unfortunately the director only has eight days left to play with, and can only waste a day on Brad Pitt and Zeta Jones getting to know each other…so…MONTAGE!!!
Take it away South Park Boys…

The hours approaching, just give it your best
You got to reach your prime.
That’s when you need to put yourself to the test,
And show us a passage of time,
Were going to need a montage (montage)
Oh it takes a montage (montage)

Sure a lot of things happing at once,
With mind, everyone what’s going on (what’s going on?)
And when every shot you show a little improvement
Just Show it or it will take to long
that’s called a montage (montage)
Oh we want montage (montage)

And anything that we want to know, from just a beginner to a pro,
You want a montage (montage)
even rocky had a montage (montage)

Always fade out in a montage,
If you fade out, it seem like more time
Has passed in a montage,

So now they`re in love. But Zeta suspects the Brad Pitt is up to some crimes and so they end up in a quirky cat and mouse situation. Kind of like that film with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, but more Brad Pitty.

George Clooney: Ok. So we need to find out who this `The Night Fox` is. we`re on the move boys. Hong kong billy, you get into this big bag and we`ll carry you.

Jive talking black man: Yo brotha why he has to sniz dizzown in a bag?`

George Clooney: ` Because it`ll be funny when he gets lost en route and ends up in a different place for a while`

Jive talking black man: `Will it?`

Audience: `No.`

George Clooney finds out who the night fox is. Some frog called Pierre LeJaques or something. He goes to see him.

George Clooney: `Why are you playing games with me like this?`

Pierre LeJaques AKA The Night Fox: `Becoz I am le French and I am ze bored. Zo I weel play a leetle game wiz you. You must prove you are ze better zan me at stealing.`

George Clooney: `Didn`t see that coming.`

So they have to steal a Faberge egg. But on the day…Oh NO! They all get arrested. There`s only Matt Damon, strong dumb guy and someone else that`s only in about two scenes left. They have a beautifully crafted scaled down model of the museum they`re going to rob. You can buy stuff like that in foreign countries ok?!

Matt Damon: `We`re gonna have to do a looky loo`

Strong dumb guy: ` Not enough people. How about a kitkat flip flop?`

Someone else that`s only in about two scenes: `Not enough people. How about a wizzleteet?`

Matt damon: `Not enough people. How about a…

Audience: ` this isn’t charming you know…`

Matt Damon: ` Ok ok ok. I got it! Get Julia Roberts on the phone!`

Cut to:

Them in a car with Julia Roberts. They`ve also got this absolutely ridiculous holographic Faberge egg that they want to switch for the real thing. It`s a joke. Theyre explaining the plan in a Scooby doo kind of way – `first we wishawishawiasha, and then we wishawishawisha`.
Basically what happens is that Julia Roberts ends up playing Julia Roberts. Like, her character in the film is impersonating the real Julia Roberts. Most of the audience where dry wretching into their hands by now.
The plan goes tits up and they all get arrested. It shows them all in a cell. I mean ALL of them. Everytime we see a reaction shot, it shows us all 11 effin people pulling the same no talent facial expression. It gets really painfull.
Suddenly, outside, several big black cars that have `bad ass government agency` written all over them pull up.
A hard ass Virginia lady gets out and walks up to Zeta Jones.

Hard ass: I`m taking over this investigation`

Zeta Jones: `on who`s authority?`

Hard ass: `Head office. They`re very interested in talking to you about some faulty paperwork` (she is referring to the fact that Zeta Jones faked her bosses signature in order to get the manpower and resources she needed).

Hard Ass then goes all hard ass over Matt Damon ass. She grills him about the robbery before eventually saying `take em away` to `faceless government agent one`.

As they are being led out, we zoom in on every single characters face. Check this out:

Zoom in
Zoom in
Zoom in
Zoom in
Zoom in
Zoom in
Zoom in
Zoom in
Zoom in
Zoom in
Zoom in
Zoom in

Now that only took a few seconds to read, but it was annoying. Imagine watching it.
Matt Damon and Hard Ass are in one of the cars.

Hard ass: `How do you get yourself into these things`

Matt Damon: `I don`t know…MUM!` (Holleeee shiz balls! Hard ass is really Matt Damons parent!)

Hard Ass: `Your dads going to have a field day with this!`

Matt Damon: `Ohhh Mom! By the way…just out of interest…how did you know where we were? And how did you manage to get all these cars and agents together and get to this country in just a few hours? And how did you know that Catherine Zeta Jones had faked her boss’s signature? And why did you interrogate me in a cell for ten minutes before getting me out? It`s almost as if you were building the tension for some onlookers who had paid ten bucks to let their brains dribble out their ears on too badly upholstered cinema seats?

Momma Hard Ass: `Yeah well…what?! You think that’s a stretch, here`s the bit where Brad Pitt tells Zeta that’s he`s found her long lost father, while doing a bank robbery, and has a plane ready to take her there!`

Cut to:
Brad Pitt and Zeta Jones standing by a plane.

Brad Pitt: ` I`ve found your long lost father, while doing a bank robbery, and have a plane ready to take you there!`

Zeta finds her dad. The frog gets stuffed. Andy Garcia accepts the money and doesn’t do anything bad to the team. Zeta Jones obviously somehow quits the police force.. Oceans twelve have a party. A scriptwriter makes a hell of alot of money. A director snorts cocaine off the body of a naked stripper. The Holly wood machine keeps churning out piles of poorly thought out, worsely executed tired ideas that have no grounding in reality or logic. And why? Because we watch their crap. We pay for Don Cheadles insulting English accent and Elliot Goulds horrible wardrobe. We fund Terminator 3 and Tomb raider 2 and Star Wars: revenge of the sith.
Lets stop.
I will if you do.
Ready? 1…2…
Posted by benzaemon at 18:26Comments(4)TrackBack(0)


Why smoking is tottaly rubbish

Whoever has a break at the same time goes for lunch together at work.
There`s a few smokers in the group.
Now in England, smoking didnt bother me so much. I didn`t like the smell, or the effect it had on turning people into scavenging hobos (`can you lend me a butt` `no way man, you owe me two..`) but basically I accepted it as part of pub culture, something you had to just live with. But I didnt eat out much at home. Here I do everyday and I bloody hate it. Smoking...not eating out. Eating out is good for a plethora of reasons.
Here`s a number of reasons why. Firstly the smoker will usually say `do you mind if I smoke?` to which I always reply `I`d prefer if you waited untill after we`ve eaten` to which they will then say `tell you what...I`ll just breath away from you` to which I reply `Great! Thanks for the utterly superficial offer`. I only reply that in my head though.
Then they light up and start talking to me which blows the smoke in my face. I start waving it away and then they start going `oh sorry, sorry` and flapping their hands about. AND SUDDENLY I`M THE TWAT! I`m the one making a big fuss about the harmless passive smoke just because I can`t have my own way. Never mind that this utter bastard has decided that them lighting up NOW is more important than me being able to taste or smell the food I`ve paid for, never mind that I have to return to work with the stench of cancer on my clothes, I`m the one coming across as some kind of private schooled anti-smoker with a rod up his ass.
Now don`t get me wrong, this is an entirely selfishly motivated. I never lecture a smoker on what they`re doing to themselves, mainly because I don`t care...that`s up to them and they can live with the consequences. We all have bad habits right? it`s just that I don`t crack my knuckles in THEIR lungs...  
Posted by benzaemon at 11:22Comments(3)TrackBack(0)


Because The Joyful Raconteur demanded it...

Hey kids! It`s `laugh at foreigners for making an effort to speak our language time!`
I always feel guilty about this kinda post, especially because my Japanese is rubbish.
But this is very funny, especially coz the guy who made the error (nickname `Gas Monkey`) is a complete arse.

(Reading a text article, the word `Withered` came up)

Saki: `Sorry, I don`t know withered.`

Benzaemon: `Ok, it`s when something that contains moisture...`

Gas Monkey: ` Yes I know, it`s very easy word`.

Benzaemon: `Ok, so please tell the rest of the class`.

Gas Monkey: (smug grin) `Yes, a withered is a character you can be in role play. He does magic`.

When he said this I did that spit laugh like the chuckle brothers do when they get a shock and spit their drink out. I managed to turn it into a cough. What really made me laugh though was that the context was:
`...as the algae can only survive underwater, many of them withered and died.`
I keep trying to figure out how this worked in his head.  
Posted by benzaemon at 20:10Comments(3)TrackBack(0)


Ooooh! Awkward!

Benzaemon: `So how was your weekend?`
Random low level housewife: `This weekend...I...did a horse`.

It`s times like this where your holding back aggresive snorts of laughter that force stuff to come out of your nose you realise that, no, you haven`t matured at all.  
Posted by benzaemon at 23:18Comments(2)TrackBack(0)

Stupid name...

Benzaemon: `So what are you into?`
Mizue: `I love pornography`

It took several very uncomfortable minutes of floundering before we established that `Pornography` is the name of a Japanese pop group.  
Posted by benzaemon at 23:14Comments(4)TrackBack(0)

Makin` Mochi

We went to this exclusive bar staff end of year party the other night, Me, Sterritt, Wardo and Joey. We got invited because we always go there and have made friends with the Japanese bar manager who is possibly inhuman, but that`s a story for another time.
So anyway, it was us and then a bar full of Japanese people, absolutley packed out.
I knew the only way to enjoy the evening was to get tanked and set off on that merry mission. I started the night with a glass of gin. Gin and tonic? Nope. Just a glass of straight gin. A quarter of the bottle went in there, but that`s nothing special at this bar.
In the middle of the floor they had this Mochi making set. Mochi is a traditional Japanese new years food; it`s rice that`s put into a kind of hollow tree stump and beaten with a (very expensive) long traditional hammer for ages and ages untill it just becomes this amazingly tenacious goo.
So anyway, they had this hollow tree stump set up and people were taking it in turns to beat the stuff. Everyone was at least `merry` and a round of cheers went up every time the hammer came crashing down.
I`ll report the event exactley as I remember it.
I`m at the bar. I need the toilet so I get up and start to stagger toward the stairs. I turn around briefly and see some japanese guy motioning toward Jeff to come and have a blast on the hammer. Jeff`s a big old bastard that`s tall, broad and works out far too much.
So there`s a ring of red faces screaming gleefully as he steps forward to accept the challenge.
I stumble upstairs and go for a pee.
I stumble back down.
Jeff`s sitting back at the bar.
A ring of melancholic faces are clearing away the sacred tree stump. The sacred hammer is splintered to pieces across the floor.
I start laughing and don`t stop untill my blood hurts.  
Posted by benzaemon at 22:53Comments(0)TrackBack(0)


Stop and smell the salaryman

Sapporo works on a grid system. That means that every block has an intersection and four traffic lights. Streets don`t have names, they have co-ordinates. I live at North 20, West 4 for example.
The other day I was walking to work, back from my lunch break.
I was walking in straight line, but the timing of the lights seems to be that you have to wait at every single one. Figure. Anyway, so I`m walking along and I notice that there`s this salary man, briefcase in hand, going the same way as me. Except that every light that turns green he just takes off like a rocket, full steam while trying to maintain an apologetic gait.
Every time without fail he`d get stopped by the red, and I`d come wandering up behind him with my relaxed walk which I have been told is akin to a cheerful hobbit (someone really said that to me. And everyone else there started saying `yeah, yeah, you do walk like that!`).
Then the light would turn green. I`d start ambling along as he dashed off at full speed only to be stopped by the next red light, where I`d catch up with him.
I think there`s a lesson in life here somewhere. Drop me a line if you find it.  
Posted by benzaemon at 22:08Comments(1)TrackBack(0)


One of the students that we have is called Megumi. She`s a really nice youngish girl and always fun to have in class, though a little shy because of her huge braces. She does that thing that people with braces do when they start laughing at something and then become really self conscious and close their mouth quickley, lips protruding a little.
She came in today a little late. Something was definatley different about her, but I was a little tired and couldn`t put my finger on it. I was going round the class asking people what was new, and as she was late I got to her last.
`Hey buddy! What`s new?` I said.
`Yesterday...I had my braces taken off` she replied and broke into the most gorgeous straight-white-toothed smile. It was lovely. She looked so happy and her teeth looked great.
All lesson she was beaming proudly, and she had a fantastic smile.
It made me feel good inside.  
Posted by benzaemon at 21:57Comments(0)TrackBack(0)



cc6abbb4.jpgHere`s a picture of Matto doing me mohican for me. Pretty sweet huh? (Screaming boss with tears of rage in eyes not pictured).  
Posted by benzaemon at 19:19Comments(0)TrackBack(0)


Christmas Party

So the christmas party was on wednesday.
I thought at first that it was going to be a rather sorry affair. CHRISTMAS here is a sorry affair.
Did I tell you that one of my friends actually saw a santa claus on a crucifix? After laughing at that for about four solid days I started to find it kind of sad.
Anyway, enough of that.
We were sat in a big hall at tables of students. Two teachers on opposite ends of a big circle table, with around ten students. We were told that there was no option toward where we were allocated and we HAD to sit where we were put. A quick glance confirmed my worst fears. I was sitting with someone who would certainly NOT want to have the kind of party I envisaged. But ABRACADABRA! Suddenly my name card was on the same table as Sterrits.
The party sheet we were all given was, in itself, hilarious. Lines like `at six the party will start` and `at six thirty the students will arrive and begin to have fun` were standard...all planned down to the most minute detail in iron fisted style.
Before the party our boss told us to behave in a manner fitting profesional teachers.
I`d like to think that we did that.
I mean if forcing your students to down drink after drink untill many of them can`t stand, swinging skinny japanese girls around in your arms, tie strapped round head isn`t proffesional, I don`t know what is.
Despite the many festive cries of `No second party, NO SECOND PARTY!` from our bosses, around thirty of us headed out into the night in a drunken haze for a night of broken English.
From both students and teachers.
I mentioned this was on the wednesday right? I knew it would be ok though. Despite the fact I was supposed to arrive in work at 10 am the next day, I have always been pretty good at getting up the morning after.
You can imagine then, how suprised I was when I awoke, fully clothed, to the sound of my phone ringing at 11 am.
OOPS! I threw on some different clothes and dashed into a taxi heading full speed for work.
It was then that I realised.
I was still very very drunk.
I mean, not hungover - wrecked. I fell into the office, coat flying all over to the hatred laiden stares of the co-ordinaters who had had to rearrange the class I had missed. That was when I saw Sterrit.
It was classic. He and another of my good friends here woke up an hours bus and train ride away from work in a married womens house. One of them had halve a piece of cheese sticking out of his mouth when he woke up. When I turned up he was slumped in a chair wearing the same clothes he`d partied in and slept in. It was one of the most hilarious sights. A really big muscular canadian guy just giving it the full roswell alien in the teachers room with loads of lesson files all over the table. I was still tottaly yopparai from the night before and howling with laughter in my high pitched cackle. I taught my first two classes, for want of a better word, drunk.

Sorry mum.  
Posted by benzaemon at 20:41Comments(0)TrackBack(0)


Interesting people might be severely unwell

When I worked in the pub back home it always amazed me how if you scratched the surface of the most seemingly dull and uninteresting person, they had a whole lifetime of opinions, experiences, laughter and tragedy underneath.
I relished this fact. People who were often written off as uninteresting (that`s the polite term; the more used one was `boring sods`) I would often talk to for a while and find that they had alot to say. Sometimes it took a while, and sometimes afterwards I wished they`d go back to not talking to me, but nevertheless, there was depth in seemingly shallow waters.
Just before coming to japan I got a job as a computer consultant for a month or so. The same thing. I was confronted with people who at first glance looked about as interesting as a three hour BBC2 special called `ferret farming in east Anglia with Donald Cruckshanks`.
But after talking to them repeatedly on a daily basis, I soon found that they too had multiple layers for the peeling.
One man in particular fascinated me. An older gentleman, he used to come in and use the computer, would ask for assistance, but would never EVER discuss what he was trying to do, save that it was for a book.
It took me weeks.
I started off battling at his armour, chipping little chinks into it.
`It`d help me help you if you tell me what it`s about` I`d say with the kind of face that I imagine people that work for `Allied Dunbar` put on.
At first he was crusty, but I gleaned bits at a time. I wasn`t in a hurry. I could wait. I`d wait untill he`d been at his computer work for a while, untill his brain was a little tired and I`d swoop in.
`What`s it about today?` I`d ask. Again, I`d recieve a tantalising morsel before his defences re-aligned and he shut down.
His family called the center. Apparently he was locking himself away writing his book for hours at a time and not even they were allowed to know anything about it.
`Why are you spending so much time on Mr. X?` the cafeteria ladies would ask me. `He`s a daft old man`. But I knew better. I knew that like a crusty old oyster, he had a pearl tucked away inside somewhere.
So I`d just shrug and roll my eyes.
Eventually it happened. After a couple of months of rattling at him he finally confided in me. He told me I was not to tell anyone, that the information I was about to be privy to was to be his children and grand-childrens inheritance as well as a revolution for world religion and history.
He layed it on me.
He`d found an ancient book, in it where directions to a cathedral that held another book, written in Latin (which he had to translate), and in that where the secrets of a person who had been completley written out of world history, but had played a major part in forming it.
He gave me details. They related to the modern religions, the `real` causes of hitlers Germany as well as countless other things. I left feeling fully satisfied. In a few years, there would be a book published whch would cause scandal and horror and I would have known about it first.
So it kinda blew the roof of when I was recounting this tale one night to my disgustingly intelligent colleague Marky and he casually dropped in `Did you ever think he might be schizophrenic?`
I faltered. Because he probably was, wasn`t he? No, no, now that I think back, he definatley was. He is.
But that wasn`t the worst. because then I started thinking back to all the other `interesting` people from my life, the pub for example.
The story Lawrence told me about getting bayonetted in the face. That probably wasn`t true.
The story about Stevey beating up four guys from Loftus and biting one of their ears off seems off as well. He`s a skinny guy after all.
And the story about Karl recording and album with `Kraftwerk`, bloody hell, that`s an all out lie!
GEEZ! These dudes were just spinning me!
I started this email talking about how impressed I was with the hidden depths to joe public. I should have used past tense. Coz now i think people who have something interesting to say for themselves are lyers, cheats and/or alcoholics.
Did I tell you that I met Neil Armstrong?  
Posted by benzaemon at 22:21Comments(1)TrackBack(0)