I’d just like to mention that Chris From Tokyo Tales really struck my funny bone with this really simple post.
Inspired by a comment on Johnny’s recent Cellphone Girl post, I have to spew forth another complaint related to cellular phones. This complaint relates specifically to hands-free phones.
It used to be that when one walked down the street and saw someone carrying on a loud, emotional conversation complete with hand gestures, and there was no visible second participant; one could safely deduce that the person in question was cracked, loopy, mad, insane, shy a few marbles, and/or crazy. Now you can’t be sure. They might just be an inconsiderate tosser. (nod to Ian for the list of British insults)
With the advent of hands free phones, a person can walk down the street talking to someone on the phone without the phone being visible to those around them. I liked that extra cue as to who was off their rocker, and it’s absence leaves me feeling cheated. I guess on the good side, if I ever go bonkers it may not be quite as obvious.
I should have made this announcement five posts ago, but I didn’t notice it. We have now been bringing you our unique brand of worthless drivel for 100 posts, and let me just say that you haven’t appreciated us nearly as much as you should have up to this point. We expect double appreciation for the next 100 posts in reparation.
Johnny and I do agree on things occasionally, and the cell phone complaint Johnny wrote about in his last post is one that we both share. Cellular phones or keitai as they are called here in Japan have infiltrated the population to such an extent that a line of site without a keitai in it is a rarity.
Take this scenario as an example. The dialogue is imagined, but is true to life. I have, personally witnessed similar situations on at least two occasions. I could only hear one side of the conversation, but through skillful guess work, I have managed to piece together the words spoken by the unheard party:
SETTING: A wealthy looking, but somber Buddhist temple used for funerals, such as the one I was attending in this instance.
NOTES: This dialogue has been translated from the original Japanese for your benefit.
PERPETRATOR 1: A young lady probably in her late teens or early twenties wearing way too-much eye make up as is the fashion among young brainless females in Japan these days. She wears the black dress that you may expect one to wear at such a somber event along with the aforementioned sparkly whitish-purple eye makeup which contrasts hideously with her deep machine induced tan.
PERPETRATOR 2: An unseen young lady very close in age to PERPETRATOR 1. We can be sure that PERPETRATOR 2 is almost exactly identical in appearance to PERPETRATOR 1’s normal get up. Likely the only difference is how cheap looking the gold-imitation belt strapped loosely over the hips is. (The girl with the cheapest, most hideous looking belt is probably the leader in the group.)
P2: Hey Mayumi what are you doing?
P1: I’m at my grandfather’s funeral?
P2: Oh yeah? He died? Did you see what Takashi was wearing today, he was like SOOO cute!
P1: Yeah he was hot!!
P2: The way he walks is so cute!
P1: His way of walking is REALLY cute isn’t it?!?
P2: Yeah, I think so to. I saw a shirt in the department store today that was SOOOO cute!
P1: Of really?!? Yesterday I almost bought this super cute Gucci bag, it only cost $450!
P2: You mean the bag that we were looking at last week?!?
P1: No not that one, I already bought that one. Did you see Kumi talking to Shintaro today? She thought she was all that. She’s so ugly and stupid!
P2: Kumi? Yeah, she was talking to that loser Shintaro, he is not even a little bit popular these days!
P1: What are you doing this weekend? I was thinking about going shopping in Odaiba, I heard about this one shop that has like all kinds of Prada and Louis Vuitton bags and stuff.
P2: Oh really? Yeah maybe I can find a bag like everyone else has! They are SOOOOO cute!!
P1: Yeah! They are SOOOO cute!
I cut this conversation short because it continued in the same vein for a good 20 minutes. If you would like to hear the rest of the conversation, just scramble the words in the script above, and read them again. Repeat this again and again in a husky smoker’s voice that you are doing your best to make sound feminine and cute. Add a large quantity of whiny, and 3 cups of I only know how to intone my sentences one way: with the emphasis on the last few syllables. This will give you a near perfect idea of what the rest of the conversation was like.
I find it outrageous that you see people answering their phones at funerals, but I’m sure it happens at weddings too. I’ve seen someone answer their phone and begin a loud conversation in the middle of a university lecture as well.
My other big issue with cell phones in Japan is that people send e-mail on them. This alone is not a problem, but when people walk along the sidewalk looking only at their keitai, and paying absolutely no attention to who they are about to run into, one can hardly blame me for purposely walking through them on occasion. It is a far nicer reaction than grabbing the phone and shoving it where I really feel that it would serve the best purpose at such moments.
It’s late and I need to go to bed, but I would like to hereby solicit cell phone horror stories from readers. I have a huge number of similar stories that I could tell; and I’m sure that you do too, especially if you live in Japan.
Click on the comment link below, and let us know the worst abuse that you’ve ever witnessed!
Let me paint a little picture for you. You are in the Sub in between classes. The luxury of even having a “in between classes” is rare for you on Tuesdays, but luckily one of your teachers cancelled class. You are trying to just relax and read the paper while trying to let your overtaxed brain recharge when suddenly you hear it. The sound of Cellphone girl! You want to scream but hold yourself back hoping that she will sit somewhere else and have the courtesy to talk somewhere where many people are not trying to study, but of course she does not. She chooses the seat right next to you and blathers on and on in the most whiny tone imaginable. You try not to listen, but it slowly bores into your brain pushing out the words on the newspaper and bringing you to a simmering boil. This inhuman creature of darkness will just NOT stop her whining! And that isn’t even the worst of it, it’s her voice and the blather, OH THE BLATHER! Non-stop it goes on! She is using 10 words in places where she could easily have used one. Does she know how annoying this is? At first you try to give her the benifit of the doubt based on her blatantly obvious moron-hood, but as time goes on and on and on and still she shows no signs of stopping you start to wonder… You remember the Sucubus of ancient Greek mythology which would suck a mans soul and you wonder… “Is this it? Is she slowly sucking out my will to live?” When finally she stops. Blessed silence!!! Oh glorious wonderful silence! It lasts for all of two seconds when you hear a faint beeping. Glancing up in horror you find that she is dialing her phone. Please you pray, let her be brief, let it be important. And again your prayers go unanswered and you have nothing to do but recoil in horror as you realize that this beast of ancient legend is repeating the EXACT SAME WHINY CRAP that she just go through giving in her last conversation. Slowly you rise and with a deft flick of your wrist decapitate her with the pepper shaker (placed on the table for your convenience).
This has sadly happened to me several times… with the exact same girl. The names are unknown, but the problems are real… the only fabrication is the gloriously justified ending. I suspect that all of you have encountered these evil cellphone creatures who have decided that, as the world is such a hideously unfair place, they will dwell in their own private cell-phone-land oblivious to those around them. I still get chills when I consider that there may have been an actual human being on the other end of that phone call who had to endure that blathering self-pity directly. If you have had similar experiences please let me know. I would gain a little comfort from the knowledge that other real human beings have had to undergo this onslaught.
NOTE: I admit that the Succubus came to my knowledge through South Park, if such a creature does not exist in Greek mythology I apologize
NOTE 2: To those of you saying to yourself “Why didn’t he just move??” I have only two replies. A. I hoped that it might soon leave. B. Because I was there first!!
Attention all viewers. It appears that Bob is getting lazy in his old age. His two newest posts contained several easily catchable typos. Also, his two newest happen to be same exact post. I tried to remedy this, but I was unable to figure out how to do so and fear trying to many new things because I don’t want to screw up the site. I do hope that he will fix this error and stop embarrasing me so with his unprofessionalism!
Today was my first day at my new job, since getting out of my old company for good. (It wasn’t my firsy day ever at the new job, but I won’t get into that here.) Today we had an explanatory meeting followed by interviews to recruit some translation staff. I used an awful lot of Japanese, and when my Japanese storage banks were already bursting at the seams, I went to my Japanese lesson. At first, I couldn’t do anything right, but through a combination of kindness, humor, and gentle nudging mt teacher got me going, and by the end of the lesson I was flowing pretty well.
I think this is a very important trait for a language teacher to have, and I really appreciated it. I went into the lesson feeling burned out from speaking Japanese all day, and came out feeling refreshed from speaking Japanese for an hour. This probably doesn’t make sense to you, I know that it doesn’t really make sense to me, but I appreciate it, and hope that when I finish my contract with this school, and begin taking lessons closer to work, that I can find a teacher that does as well at getting me started.
I thoroughly enjoyed Johnny’s post, and I hope to see more movie reviews like this from him in the future. Johnny, you should try going to the flicks. Have you been there, they usually have at least one great independent film on all the time. My friend used to work there, and I would sometimes get free beer and stuff. I wonder if Jenny is still there. She couldn’t seem to decide whether she was a lesbian, bisexual, or straight; and when I last saw her, I think it was kind of tearing her apart. I hope she is ok.
Finally, I would also like to thank Andrew for his comment. It was encouraging, and getting Johnny to post was more than I’ve been able to do lately. I would also like to compliment you on your sites design. When I was designing this site, I was thinking of going for a look similar to yours. It’s really subdued, and I really like it. Finally I ended up going with this design because it seemed better suited to two authors, and also because that is where my experimenting with CSS took me. I also really enjoyed your pictures. If you visit again, please let me know what kind of camera you use to produce such vivid shots. I jope to see you in our comments again. I will be back to visit your site again soom.
It’s late, and I need to get to bed. All for now.