Little House In Ise

Bullshit Artistry
January 17, 2010, 14:06
Filed under: Expat, Japan | Tags:

I just read a story about how Mark Spitz convinced Russian Olympic swimming coaches that his mustache gave him a fluid-dynamic advantage over bare faced swimmers. He then claimed that the following year all of the Russian swimmers competed with mustaches. True or not, this is a beautiful piece of bullshit artistry. Respect! It got me thinking of my personal favorite moment of well-timed story telling.

I was riding a bus home from work on a sunny Seattle day when the young man standing next to me started chatting up a pair of Japanese exchange students. Normally, this wouldn’t have registered but we were standing next to each other and he was making a his move in Japanese. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop a bit. After much giggling and such his stop arrived and he got off the bus. The girls continued to laugh about about how the pick-up artist had hit on them. Just as my own stop was approaching one of them said she was shocked that an American could speak Japanese so well. That was my trigger…

I turned to the two of them and, in my best hick Japanese dialect, told them that ALL Americans can speak Japanese, we just pretend not to. And I got off the bus. Their expressions were worth it.

For bullshit to rise to an art form, opportunities given must be accepted.


5 Comments so far
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Zabuton, nimai!

Comment by Eddie deGuzman

High praise! Thank you!

Comment by Eric Holcomb

Can you translate for the few of us Americans who canNOT speak Japanese?

Comment by Ita

Traditional Japanese stand-up comedy, really sit-down comedy, is called “Rakugo” (落語). In head-to-head competitions rakugo story tellers who tell a funny story are rewarded by the judges with zabuton — pillows for kneeling. The more pillows proffered the higher the score and the winner is the comedian sitting on the tallest stack of pillows. Eddie offered me two. 🙂

Comment by Eric Holcomb

Ha, ha… See! That´s funny! Oh how I wanted to see the faces on the girls…

Comment by Thomas

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