I woke up in a strange place

By Marc Heiden, since 1997.
See also: a novel about a monkey.

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July 13, 2006

I made it rain in my apartment! This is my greatest achievement yet. As you can imagine, being in Japan and all, I live in fairly small quarters. Last night, I left the air conditioner on at a shamelessly cold temperature. I meant to turn it off, but I didn't remember until I was already in bed, warm in my blanket, and I wasn't about to sell out my sleepy contentment by standing up. I had the fan going all night, too. In the morning, I opened my balcony door to check the conditions outside: hot and humid as fuck, actually. I pondered the outdoors for a few seconds and then closed the door. Then I turned up the a/c, which hangs over the balcony door, with the fan a few feet away, blowing in the direction of both the hot air and the cold air. A few seconds later, a few drops of rain fell on me. Obviously, I have become some kind of weather god. This is a remarkable development. I will accept requests for use of my powers from desert nations of good, upstanding character. My rates are reasonable. All proceeds will be used for research and development, specifically:

And they're all coming to Pyongyang with me. Oh, yes. Increases the number of Canadian passports I need, but every one will be worth it.

So, as I mentioned a few entries ago, the school has been doing a lot of advertising lately. Yesterday, one of the staff asked if I would mind chatting with a student while being photographed. I said fine, because I was in a cooperative mood. She showed me pictures of some of the poses and hand gestures that they would like, and said that I should talk about summer. Out in the area set aside for the photo shoot, there was a pleasant looking Japanese guy I'd never met before. I sat down, introduced myself, and started the conversation about summer. He mentioned swimming, so we talked a little about beaches, and that led to barbecue, so we talked about various foods you can barbecue for a while, and then we went back to beaches until the photographer had everything she needed. They seemed pleased with the results. Later, though, I discovered that a transcript of the conversation was going to be included with the photos, in Japanese and English, and because the person doing the transcription did not speak much English, it went something like this:

MASAHIRO: Often I am my friends swimming! It is Yamaguchi Prefecture. Also we eat the food.
TEACHER: Do you BBQ like it?
MASAHIRO: Yes I am many kinds of meats like.
TEACHER: I like!

So I begged them to let me do a quick touch-up on the transcript. There wasn't much I could do other than a rough fix on the grammar, unfortunately. The structure of the conversation, as understood by the transcriptionist, really turned on my passionate love and praise for hamburgers and giant sausages. They pretty much have me exhorting every man, woman and child in Japan to eat a giant sausage in the summer. (Which, as long-time readers know, is exactly the sort of thing I do. It's my own unique spin on being a vegetarian.) I didn't even get to see the whole transcript. I bet they have me totally renouncing every method of eating corn other than with soy sauce, because that came up, too.

This, by the way, is part of a recent ad:

My very own Mr. Sparkle moment

Why is my disembodied head floating next to a koala?!?! Why are the advertising departments at these schools never, ever on speaking terms with the education departments?


I'll be right back!

Where are our appetizers, Mr. Koala? We ordered those cheese sticks almost an hour ago!

I ate them! I'll be right back!

One can make great use of that ad by printing it out on high-quality paper and constructing a rudimentary set of the game "Concentration." The advertising department needs to cooperate with the marketing department on that.

I was impressed that you got the adjacent-to-the-koala square. COol. :)

Yeah, there was no way I was letting that dolphin beat me. Him and the airplane can get fucked over there on the left side.

Mr. Koala, why can't I stay angry at you?!

I am guessing it has something to do with the fact that my totem animal is a koala.

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I woke up in a strange place is the work of Marc Heiden, born in 1978, author of two books (Chicago, Hiroshima) and some plays, and an occasional photographer.

Often discussed:

Antarctica, Beelzetron, Books, Chicago, College, Communism, Food, Internet, Japan, Manute Bol, Monkeys and Apes, North Korea, Oregon Trail, Outer Space, Panda Porn, Politics, RabbiTech, Shakespeare, Sports, Texas.


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Written by Marc Heiden, 1997-2011.