Humor Journal People

Christmas Joy and the Sales Representative from Hell

Susuki sunset
A last tuft of Plume Grass encircling the late autumn sun

And there I was, like a good little elf, sitting at my great, big studio desk, humming to myself and thinking, “Okay, this year I’m going to make an effort to show people I care and let them know that things are quite as bad as they’ve been imagining, and perhaps undermining Santa’s insidious Black List of Bad Little Boys and Girls… maybe I’ll buy myself some Skype online telephony credit and give a few lonely people out there a call.” Stll humming verily, merrily to myself, I skipped on over to the Skype homepage and checked out the deals. “Sounds pretty good!” I chimed to myself (as elves are wont to do), and went ahead to the Skypeout credit purchasing page, clicked the button for $10.00, and, still humming along, coming to the “Billing and Address” page. “No problem!” I fluted (as elves are ever fond of doing), “Just fill out my personal information.” Everything went well until I had to fill out my address form. No doing. The text field only accepted a very truncated version of my rather long address (as elves like doing things the hard way), which would never do, what with the stern admonishments of the credit card company. Again and again I tried different ways of getting the address in there, but no doing.

So I clicked on the LiveSupport link and waited for the Skype representative to appear in the chat window. Here is the transaction:

Please wait for a site operator to respond. We are experiencing high volume of chats. Your wait time may be longer than anticipated

Paula: Hello, my name is ‘Paula’, how may I assist you today
butuki: Hi Paula,I am thinking of purchasing some skypeout credit, but when I try to input my Japan address in the order form, the address line does not permit long addresses.
butuki: Is there something I am doing wrong?
Paula: May I know what is the error message that you are getting?
butuki: Hmmm, there is no error message. I start writing the address and then the window just stops allowing extra letters. Everything else in the order form seems to work fine.
Paula: Please provide me with your Skype user name
butuki: butuki
Paula: Please wait one moment while I check that for you
butuki: Thanks very much

Ten minutes go by in which I resume humming to myself (as elves cannot help themselves doing) and fiddling around with my other computer, trying to get a scratchboard drawing right.

Paula: Presently we accept payments using major credit cards (Visa / Dinners / JCB/ master card ). We also accept payments using, and are currently in the process of adding more payment options 🙂

I smile with uncontrolled glee (as elves forever find themselves doing) at the cute little smiley emoticon. Such friendly service!

butuki: ??? Er, I’m not sure why you are quoting the credit cards… I have to get through the “billing name and address” form first before I can get to the credit card form. My guess is that an extra text field line needs to be put into the order form before people with longer address can fill it out.
Paula: We have recently added a new payment method called which is now available in your account page. You will get this option towards the end of your Credit purchase process where other credit card options are also listed. Please try using this method if your credit card purchases are not going through.
butuki: I think we are misunderstanding one another… Let’s see.. When I click the ten pound button for enteriing the credit purchase process the first page I am presented with is the address page. This is the page I cannot get through. I can’t even get to the credit card page yet.

I pause a long time, during which my elvish earnestness takes a severe beating.

Paula: May I know which country is your credit card registered in,
butuki: Japan. But, I am not referring to the credit card page right now. I’m not sure if you understand what I mean.
butuki: or maybe I’m not understanding what you mean…? (I add this hastily for courtesy’s sake. as elves are notorious for good manners)
Paula: Please try to buy with money bookers

Another very long pause on my end. (Elves don’t handle anger very well). So I decide to bow out gracefully

butuki: Okay. Do I just go straight to their home page, instead of going through the Skypeout credit purchasing process?
Paula: Please try with money bookers to buy credit
butuki: Okay, thanks. I’ll see what I can do. Thanks again. And Merry Christmas!
Paula: Thank you for using our live support chat! Should you have any questions feel free to contact us. Please do rate my support after ending this chat session. Bye!

The elf sat for a long time afterwards contemplating the definition of intelligence and communication. Luckily, to the elf’s salvation, the sky had opened with a cape of stars, sprinkled upon it like scattered gems. Time seemed to lose all meaning and the words “skype” and “sky” became one. This is the age-old secret to elvish peacefulness and cheer. Ignorance surely is bliss.

Humor Journal

Suiting Up

Laughing BeastSometimes no mere mortal can prevent the scourge of the Mothers of All Evil! When that torrent comes falling and you’re at work and you remember that your bed sheet is flapping in the wind…. When those cute little Lady Bugs that scuttle like little red buttons up your raspberry vines suddenly multiply into hordes of ferocious, scarlet, winter-woods carpets, when the antenna on your roof breaks loose and threatens to make contact with the antenna of that loathsome Mr. Pinkley next door, when, Lordy no!, Mrs. Igglefleur’s paper grocery bag loses its bottom and her oranges go bouncing down the hill straight toward Mr. Dorpermeyer driving his Cooper Mini while ogling Miss Lukeshins waddling up the street, not watching where he is going…

Who do you call!? Why….Wa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Never fear! The Laughing Beast, of course! None other! Other than none! None the other! The none of other! Neither none, nor other! Other or none! An other none!? Or none too other? Other when none? None for other? Other, then none? Ohhhh… give me that!

Wah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah (more “h’s” have more effect). It is I, Laughing Beast! The Master of Darkness, when no light there be, but shadows form where there be no light! And among the shadows be I not other than when I am! Me, the Laughing Beast! Hah-Hah! Take that! And That! And that! That-that!

Via Rana, using The Hero Machine. This was a lot of fun to make, but I’m afraid I’m more of a Japanese hero fan. I grew up with Gatcha-Man, Casshern, Ogon-Batto, Tetsuwan Atomu (Atom Boy), Testujin 28 (Gigantor), Ultraman, Eito Man (Eighth Man), Mahha Go Go (Speed Racer), Cutie Honey, and Captain Harlock.

I’ll (try to) be back! Wah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah!

Humor Journal

The Warm Glow of Distant Turkey

One of the things I’ve always loved about the Thanksgiving holiday in America is that more often than not it falls right on or around my birthday, November 26. Here in Japan it is already the 26th so I can bathe in all that cross- world cheer going on on the lighter shade of pale end of the globe. All those people unwittingly celebrating my birth! And going out of their way to bake, broil, roast, boil, saute, flambe, rotisserie, simmer, fry, deep fry, stir fry, chill, freeze, mix, toss, and stuff that groaning weight of delectable table fare, just in honor of my coming into the world! How nice of them! Like an offering. Or a tribute. They even brave the binary storms of air traffic control to ratchet across their landscapes, pulling together for genetic camaraderie, all to thank me for my existence. I must say, that though I never asked for it, there is a wonderful sense of delight, knowing that people will even go on holiday and proclaim a national weekend off so that I might have a day to myself, comfortably ensconced in a cornucopia of food. Winter may be coming, but the fat that will build up will last until spring: the closest form of nature worship that I could have hoped for. I feel like the Green Man or Bacchus. The revelers dancing for plenty and sheer forgetfulness!

Well, I am 44 now. I had promised myself that by this date I would get myself into Adonis-like shape and go prancing in the hills alone, in search of Diana and her stag. Unfortunately the bud of a belly still rings my Saturn and the mountain I plan to climb when the light reaches these longitudes will extract more grunts and heavy footfalls than willow-like grace. But the heart is dancing more than it has been in months, like a little satyr, and I’ve even taken to singing. I hope the clouds clear enough for me to view the snowy tresses of Mt. Fuji from my favorite secret spot to the south; for a day I want to feel small and insignificant, just the pinprick of awareness behind these eyes lost to the vast serenity of Fuji’s great seat. A day for stilling my existence and losing myself in anonymity, celebrating the integration of myself with the wind and leaves. The joy of the windblown soul.

To all those who celebrate it, I raise my glass and toast to your lives and your hearts, for Thanksgiving, in its original sense. Thank you for your company and thanks for the gift of life. Thanks all around for another year. And thanks to the Earth for giving me this moment of simple joy, of being alive on her shores, and for the passage of night and day, toward another rounding of the trail along the sides of the mountains.

It is so good to be alive.

Humor Japan: Living Journal Life In


On my way home on the train this evening I over heard two drunk senior Japanese business men having this conversation. It was interesting for several reasons: First, it seemed to represent the two main faces of how Japanese are feeling about themselves today, one a very polite and amiable face, the other, much more rarely seen unless the personage happens to be drunk, full of trepidation and suppressed anger and frustration. Second, because one of the men was slyly directing his comments at me, a foreigner whom he imagined could not possibly understand their conversation, their words rang against the bell of my own two-faced feelings about Japan right now. Third, their conversation budded directly from the seed that Bush planted three years ago, digging deep into the feelings the world’s populace has about their own place in the world and how outsiders see them and how they see outsiders. To a different degree I’m sure this same sprouting seed is growing throughout the Muslim world, albeit in much more explosive and anguished ways. But if a self-effacing Japanese businessman can feel like this, than just imagine what others feel.

I surreptitiously listened to the two businessmen while playing a game of Othello on my cell phone…

“Have you been to the Kabuki-cho district recently?”

The other man shook his head, his face tomato red with alcohol. “No, my dear sir, I have not,” he replied with exaggerated courtesy. “Spend most of my drinking time around Ginza after work.”

“You should go. It’s still got quite a few good places left.”

“You mean you still go?”

“Well, yes, occasionally. My son lives near there.”

“Your son? The one with blonde hair?”

“That’s him. Gives me hell when I tease him about the hair. Now what business does a Japanese have walking around with blonde hair, you tell me?”

The other man leaned over and smiled. “You shouldn’t say mean things about your son. It’s not seemly.”

“Ah, you’re right. You’re right. But it makes me so mad.”

“What, that he has blonde hair?”

“No, no. That he lives near Kabuki-cho.”

“But I thought you said it is still a good area.”

“Well, yes, there are still a few good places left there, but my son shouldn’t be living there.”

“Why ever not? He’s got to live somewhere.”

“True, but that’s not a place for decent people to live.”

“Is he a decent person?”

“Of course! He’s my son, isn’t he?”

“Yes, yes. That he is. That he is.”

“It’s just that people don’t watch out for one another any more. These Tokyo people don’t talk to each other any more. You live somewhere and you don’t even know your neighbors.”

“Things are changing. They’re always changing. It’s the way of the world.”

“But it wasn’t like that thirty years ago. Neighbors made an effort to be there for each other then. Like back in my hometown in Kyushu.”

“You from Kyushu?”

“Small town outside of Fukuoka. You’re from the country, too, aren’t you?”

“Sort of. My family moved around a lot. Tokyo’s been the longest.”

“My son is being sent to Hokkaido next year.”

“Ah, it’s starting then, is it? The years of moving around for work?”

“Yes, and his company doesn’t have drinking after work. It’s all work until late at night, without even a little chance to have some fun. I say he ought to quit a company like that. What’s the point in working if you can’t enjoy a little of the fruits of your labor?”

The other man nodded solemnly, grunting his agreement and swaying a bit too far with the jolt of the train.

The first man continued, “Something is really wrong with the Japanese people.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, first you got them all stampeding to the cities and forgetting who they are and where they come from. Then they start only thinking about themselves and forgetting what it means to live as neighbors.” His voice rose a notch, causing the woman sitting opposite his friend to look up from her stack of computer printouts. “And finally they start letting foreigners roam the streets as if they own the place. I’ve nothing against foreigners, but this is Japan and they should remember that this is a country called Japan! Why would they choose to come to a place like this?”

The other man squinted at the first man with some concern. He reached over and patted the first man on the lap. “Whoa, whoa there old man, you’ve no reason to get so upset. We’re all on good terms here.”

The first man deflated and hung his head. “You’re right. You’re right. You’re always right. I get angry too easily…” He paused to reflect for a moment. “That’s what my wife says, at least. I get angry like an old dog. That’s why I’m glad it’s you I am talking to now. You’re an old dog just like me!”

They both burst out laughing, only realizing too late that they are making a lot of noise, and putting they’re hands over their mouths in embarrassment. The second man leaned in and behind his hand whispered, “We really are a couple of old farts, aren’t we?”

They burst out laughing again, slapping they’re knees. They laughed until they gradually fell silent. Outside I could hear the clackety-clack of the traintracks.

The first man leaned forward and buried his face in his hands. He sat up, shaking his head slowly. “But seriously, I am very worried about the future of Japan. Very worried.”

The other man nodded and grunted agreement.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with the Japanese. Look at us. Here we’ve got this fool [Prime Minister] Koizumi. A fool! And we just go along with him: the Iraq war, the economy, the useless government… If I were a foreigner I would think the Japanese are a bunch of stupid gits.” He looked at his partner and shook his head. “I really think so. We Japanese are a bunch of stupid gits!” He hung his head again, a deeply pained expression gripping his face. “There is nothing wrong with our genes, that I know, but all the same we are an idiot people. We’ve got great genes though.” He looked up at his partner. “What do you think? Is there something wrong with our genes? Have foreigners got better genes than we do?”

The other man gripped the first man’s hand and held it. “My old friend, there is nothing wrong with your genes or with mine. Or with any Japanese genes. We are doing all right. Don’t fret yourself so. The world is just going through a difficult time. Everything will work itself out, you’ll see. You just have to be patient.”

“I truly hope so.”

Here the first man glanced up at me and for a split second held my eyes, before looking back down again and continuing his dialogue with his friend. “I’m glad that I ran into you here on the train. I’m so glad it was you and not my son. My son would have argued with me and just made me feel bad. It’s always like that. With you I can open my heart.”

The second man smiled and patted his friend’s hand again. “That’s exactly the way it should be, no? You and your son, me and you.”

“And me and my wife. She would have kicked me off the train with all my whining!”

They both broke out laughing again. The train arrived at my station and I turned to get off. The doors closed behind and from out in the cool night air I watched the two men continue to trade assurances from inside the warm glow of the train’s interior. The train pulled away, leaving me with a curious feeling of outrage and empathy negated. Above, the moon shone. Tomorrow would be a lunar eclipse, the whole world party to the same shadow. I wondered what the two men would say, sitting and drinking together, watching the night sky.

“It doesn’t look right through all this Tokyo smog.”

“But the tinting effect is that much more accentuated, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Hmm. Now that you point it out, so it is. So it is.”

Family Humor Journal Musings Race

Good Grief

DaisyWinnefred, of Animated Stardust relates a hilarious experience with an off kilter heterosexual. Her grace and humor in an intolerable encounter certainly are lessons in humility and kindness. I wish I could be so charming and tolerant. But, I guess, what else can you do in such a situation?

Reminds me of a story my mother told me of when I was a baby in Hannover, Germany. This was back in the early 1960’s, when Hannover harbored precious few dark-skinned creatures and just seeing a black or Asian was as rare as flamingos in the Black Forest. My father is a Filipino/black American while my mother is a cream-skinned German. The resulting cocktail is an olive-skinned mutt who can pass off as Mexican, Nepali, Turkish, Iraqi, Brazilian, Italian, Indian, Spanish, even Portuguese (all of which I have been mistaken for). Suffice it to say that in Germany, in the small city of Hannover, in 1960, I was pretty much an organic representation of an exclamation mark.

Anyway, my mother told me, she and I were taking our leisure in the hallowed walls of the hospital where I was born, waiting for my checkup. There were a few tables lined up against the wall for mothers to attend to their babies and my mother stood beside one, changing my diapers. Another mother with her little, curlicue-haired, blonde baby was changing his diapers, so that he and I could begin our first jaunt into urinal bathroom comparison rivalry. I’m not sure if I initiated any undue cause for attention, but the woman leaned toward my white mother, gave her a rundown with her eyes, switched headlights toward me, this swaddled muffin, lightly browned, gave me the once down, glanced back at my mother, then me again, all in head-cocking appraisal, before standing up straight and inquiring, in all earnestness:

“Please, tell me. How did you manage to get that particular shade of skin tone? My son’s skin remains as pink as when he was born. What do you do? Feed him carrots? Do the carrots make a great difference?”

It wasn’t my fault! I do happen to like carrots. I often wonder now if my affliction could have been prevented with a bit more forethought on my part. A bit more whole milk, perhaps. Or maybe tubs of yoghurt. Marshmallows? Or how about Cool Whip?

Humor Journal

All Together Now…! Yeah!

What would we do without Monty Python? Eric Idle sings his lyrical protest. Good enough to link arms and raise our beers in joyous camaraderie. (those of you who prefer softer language might want to seek other sources of protest)

Thanks Lashlar

Art & Design Graphic Design Humor Journal Musings


The brochure design project I am working on went though a critical review session yesterday with the hotel people and, while wringing my hands under the table, culminated in the turning point of the design. With my design partner and I anxiously peering at our clients, wondering what they thought, and with me basically sitting there overwhelmed by all the arcane Japanese politesse that was flying between my partner and the reviewers, I kept repeating the litany in my mind: “I will not die if they don’t like my design. I will not die if they don’t like my design. I will not die if they don’t like my design.” I brought my hands out from under the table, picked up, for reassurance, the ball point pen I always use for sketching wherever I go, forced myself to sit up straight, and deliberately, and s-l-o-w-l-y, turned it over in my fingers, to give the impression that I was cool and nonchalant.

Probably the clients didn’t really care. They were all eyes for the brochure. After about five minutes of passing the mockups around, the leader nodded, looked up, and pronounced, “Ma, iijanai?”, which, translated literally means, “Well, good enough, isn’t it?”, but, which in the parlance of Japanese restraint means, “Looks great. Exactly what we were looking for.” There weren’t even any criticisms of the details. My partner turned to me and, tightlipping a restless grin, mouthed , “Fantastic.” It was like a key to a landslide. All the sleepless hours, all the grand visions of failure, all the intimidation of creeping under the shadow of the hotel skyscraper, came tumbling down and disintegrated like popping bubbles at my feet. And, much more than relief, I felt a sense of accomplishment that perhaps I haven’t felt often enough in my life. Good, honest hard work has its own rewards.

Needless-to-say, I feel pretty battered and torn. I tried to get up to go for my daily exercise, but the body had other ideas. I puttered about the apartment, dabbled in blog comments, read some more awful news. And ended up collapsing in my bed like deflated dough. And napped.

I just woke from the nap a little while ago. From a bad dream, actually. I had been dreaming about this beautiful blogger (with the familiar face of a woman I knew back in college… but it’s so unusual… I never have fantasies about blondes…) with whom I had exchanged telephone numbers for some not-too-hard-to-fathom reason. In the dream I gathered up the courage to ring her up. We talked about the topics we both enjoyed writing about, then decided to meet.

The next scene found us standing face-to-face on the street outside my apartment here in Japan, just at a you wish distance apart, mumbling to one another, but already beyond intelligible speech. This woman blogger was about to say something very profound (at least for me), when from all around us a hoard of Japanese children, mostly boys, started gathering. They didn’t speak or move their hands, just advanced toward us. My blogger diva, frightened, clung to me (can’t recall in real life a woman ever clinging to me out of fear), and I, so manly like, pushed through the crowd toward my house (yes, it was a house now). The children grew insistent, however, and a wordless moan rose up among them. The female blogger and I dashed into the house, slammed the door behind us, and threw the lock before anyone could get in.

I switched on the lights. The interior of the house boasted walls stripped down to the frames, moulting armchairs and sofas, and a chandelier that had crashed to the floor. Dust had settled over everything. We tiptoed through the rooms to my studio where my computer was located. I guess I wanted to show my blogger date my stuff. Instead we encountered the entire back wall of my room fitted with a giant 2 meter by 3 meter LCD flat panel monitor (lots of unrequited desires here, no?) on which was running a documentary, narrated by David Attenborough, about tree frog mating habits. My blogger lover and I reached out and took one another’s hands to comfort one another in the face of this monstrous horror.

I noticed that my usual computer desk was gone and that the room was occupied by three beds, and in each bed, wrapped in a bed sheet, facing the monitor, lay a different woman. Each of them sat up and I recognized them: my wife, an old friend from college, and a childhood victim of my puppy love. They said nothing, just sat there staring at me. Did I feel guilt?

The next moment my brother Teja (hi Teja!) walked in through the door, carrying a notebook PC (it wasn’t Apple, that much I am sure). He stopped, held out the PC to me and frowned. Playing on the screen was a news clip of me marching in the antiwar protests here in Tokyo last year. I held a placard with the words, “Out with Bush!” scrawled in black paint on its surface. When the clip was done, my brother lowered the PC and stood to join the women.

My blogger delight was gone. I raised a hand to make my protest when, out of nowhere, the doorbell rang. I tried to open my mouth, and the doorbell rang again…

I woke from my nap. The doorbell was ringing and I could hear the sound of the mailman’s motorcycle.

I slipped out of bed and trotted to the door, opened it. The mailman was dripping wet from rain. He handed me an envelope and asked me to sign it. Which I promptly did. I closed the door behind me and ripped open the envelope.

It was a new credit card from Master Card.

Art & Design Graphic Design Humor Journal Musings

Copy that?

It is 3:00 in the morning, my brain has oozed into the consistency of refried beans, and surely my eyeballs must have loosened in their sockets… Here I am attempting to write copy for the hotel’s restaurant brochure. It’s been a slog of hours now and, by Jove, the words have turned off the Muzak and taken to dancing on the table. What d’ya think, as an introduction to a major offering of victuals:

“The world reeks of flavors. All kinds. And the flavors come with food. All kinds, too. There’re hot flavors, cold flavors, Japanese flavors, French flavors, Korean flavors, and even Karaoke flavors. And they’re all good. Really good. Nothing bad. All really, really good. Cooked by good cooks who can cook good. No really, no one bad. Well, at least not where you can see them. And the seats are straight and the tables don’t wobble. No really. Sturdy as Gigantor. The restaurants are good. You can enjoy food. Come and eat.”

So what do you think? Simple, straight, to the point. Can’t be anything wrong with that! Ugh, gotta get back to the notebook…

Sleep a wink for me, ye Ramblers of the Land of Dreams…



Upsidedown Sasa
Hanging out in the bamboo grass of Ashitaka Mountain near Mt. Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, 1992

Well, so much for my triumphant Rocky antics. The day following my euphoria and canine empathy session, I woke up to a blithering cold sweat and a stomach playing, “Pass the cheese, please.” I spent a lovely, sunny day staring into the toilet bowl and wishing gravity were on my side. I wore a down quilt about the apartment like a northern king and spent too much time genuflecting to the refrigerator, seeking something, anything that would not offend my oh-so-vapid nose. Nothing doing. The mere whiff of anything hinting of nutrients sent my inner space into earthquake musings, so I finally bowed to my body’s greater wisdom and lay for two days, fasting.

Just when I thought the storm had passed, the vile little space invaders decided to try WMD’s. My fever abandoned me to the exquisite world of pain, and after four weeks of working on my abs for that “leaner, straighter look”, found myself hobbling about the rooms bent over like a wizened old man. “Good evening, my dear,” I was forced to croak to my wife, “Would you be so kind as to help an old pretzel like me to lift a glass of water?” Needless-to-say, that night recounted, for my wife, the sheer joy of the nocturnal callings of wild creatures in the jungle… as she endured the grunting, oofing, moaning, snorting, panting exhortations of this fitful boar, awash in a high fever, beside her.

Yesterday she accompanied me to the hospital. The taxi driver kept flicking nervous glances in the rearview mirror as this foreigner in the back seat of his immaculate car made strange noises that didn’t quite sound like language. I must have looked like a none-too-distant relation of Mr. Hyde, with my dark, unshaven face, cactus hair, and smudged mascara-look under my eyes. The hospital had just opened and the young receptionists, clear-eyed and smiling (I was quite surprised when the entire front desk staff lined up and bowed a cheerful good morning to all and sundry… I breathed to my wife… some unconscious attempt to emulate Marlon Brando upriver, no doubt… oh, the horror, the horror… that I wondered if they were going to sing and dance a scene from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), greeted everyone with an enthusiasm that surely made the venetian blinds wink and the potted plants dance a jig.

Until one of the receptionists met me. She told us that, since this was our first time at this hospital and that we didn’t have a referral from my usual hospital, we would have to cough up Â¥2,000 (about $22.00). I was incensed (as much as I could be that wasn’t already pretty much up in smoke already) and must have slobbered on the counter or something, because she stopped talking and stared at me. Luckily my wife intervened and a rational progression of vocabulary ticked out of her mouth. Both of them didn’t say a word, just silently endured my presence and agreed on the inherent boorishness of men.

The doctor. too, couldn’t restore my lost Rocky Horror Picture show. He greeted me with a pale blue face mask obscuring his features (he did have nice eyes, I have to admit) and a habit of rearing back from me when I leaned in to make a comment. With the avian flu scare and mad cow disease and SARS and worldwide flu epidemic I guess he had every reason to suspect some foreigner who complained of “very painful intestines, possibly due to a semi-satisfying meal (though the company was wonderful) at a Mexican restaurant on Friday night”. He laughed, albeit somewhat with a hiccough, saying, “Ah, you can speak Japanese! That makes me feel much better!”

In the end, it was simply a stomach flu, nothing to notify Doctors Without Frontiers about, or the CIA, or Jean Luc Piccard. I am safely back in my cell, ready to stand up and sing, “The Boar’s Head”.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll give Rocky another go for his money.

Humor Journal

British Humour

Sometimes you’ve just got to laugh:

Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About

via Genewolf.

I just love British humour, don’t you?

(now why does my spell checker keep underlining “humour” in red?)