Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Ladies please look away now

Morning in Shinsaibashi Heights, Dan is preparing coffee in Andrew's kitchen.

DAN: Where's your bin bag at these days?

ANDREW: Oh, she's coming by tonight.

Brief silence

DAN: You twat, I meant your garbage bag.



It's a good job her English is pretty basic and she doesn't know my URL.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


The things I teach

I got to work to find that I'd been allocated a special lesson, and had done nothing to prepare. At the eleventh hour, I opted for STICK MAN VOCABULARY.

We started off with NATURAL DISASTERS, then moved on to CRIME.

image by Dan

image by Dan

For me, the greatest joy of stick man art lies in keeping the characters' faces identical, regardless of whether they're walking the dog or being robbed at gunpoint. The students were delighted with these. One of them pointed to the vein in her arm and haltingly asked me how to say that. I refused at first, mindful of my employment prospects, but then relented:

image by Dan

I'm particularly pleased with the penguin.

One student then asked me about "when the father beats the child too much." I had a brief vision of a stony-faced stick man with a can of beer in his hand kicking a stoical (if slightly smaller) stick man up in the air. This, I decided was a bit too much.

Having made it through my special lesson, I headed off for football, where team centre forward Issei provided me with further evidence of my English-teaching genius:

Dan, I went to class this morning. We had arguing lesson, so I told other student Shut your fucking clam. My teacher was very laughing.

I imagine he probably was.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I ratted on some mother, so sue me

Riding across Shinsaibashi Loft-mae odanhodo, the pedestrian crossing that sends Osaka's busiest shopping street across one of its busiest roads. Well past midnight. Oh heck, there's a guy lying in the road in nowt but a loud shirt and some conservative jockeys (conservative, apart from the fact that they're wrapped round his knees.)

I look around for a police officer. In one of Osaka's hot spots. On a Saturday night.


Passers by are doing sweet doodle, so I take the incentive and approach the drunkard.

ME: Oi, are you OK

HE: Nah...

ME: This is dangerous, why don't you move?

HE: Mwbrghhh...

ME: Righto...

Approach unhelpful passer by, who is making a pretty good fist of ignoring unsightly drunkard.

ME: 110 for Police, right?

HE: Er, yes.

ME: Thanks, you've been WELL helpful.

Scathing sarcasm is apparently lost on him. I speak to the police operator.

His questions:

Sorry, where?

Which country are you from?

I said: which country are you from?

You're a male, right?

Which goes to show that the forces of law and order in this country are missing the point at least 75% of the time.

That said, 45 seconds later, a paddy wagon rocks up.

ME: I don't know this bloke. Can I go home.

HE: Yep.

Thus was my good deed done. I retrieved a guy whose head and torso were sticking out into one of the busiest streets in Japan.

God, stick that on my tab will you.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Homophobic Snoopy

Beagles sniff out sausage smugglers
from The Yomiuri Shimbun

(As usual, the story doesn't live up to the headline...)

As people return from their vacations abroad, many are being welcomed at Narita Airport by Japan's first meat-sniffing dogs--Cleo and Candy--who are on patrol to prevent banned meat products and the pathogens they could potentially carry from entering the country.


Friday, August 11, 2006


Jibaku terror

Having exhausted all other topics of conversation, I asked my students if they'd seen anything interesting on the news recently. It seems one of my students had been waiting for me to ask this.

"Police arrested several men..."

I listened politely whilst he outlined the latest terrorist plot on British soil. The other students made the customary noises of disbelief (same as when I tell them I don't eat sushi because it tastes dirty.)

He finished speaking; everyone waited for my reaction.

"Well, I'm happy I came back last week now."


Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Heat in the kitchen

Imagine you're a bomb disposal officer and all the wires are the same colour. Oh, and you also have to cut them with a chainsaw.

Imagine you got your first death threat of the day before you got your first coffee of the day.

Imagine you're me.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Public service announcement

Ladies and gentlemen, the disabled toilet will be uninhabitable for the next ten minutes. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


If you only see one thing at the Fringe Festival this year

Make sure it's 4.48 psychosis. Not least because it has my brother doing one of the most lunatic things I've ever seen on stage. (Blog link here; bad spelling and mention of randoms in shit cars denotes the contribution of McKeown Jr.)

Favourite line: "I know it's not my fault. You've told me that so often I'm beginning to think it is my fault."

Accept no substitutes: there's a rival production of the same play going down AT THE SAME TIME. Judging by the photographs of the other production, it looks like they're just a bunch of squawking mingers. Save your pennies.

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