These are painful:
I know I’m as good a writer as a something likes to do things with and pertaining to the left, as in, not a good right-er, you see, I really am the best, but I genuinely would be incredibly chuffed with myself if I had written any of these. :(
And number 18 is directly ripped off from Douglas Adams so jog on, judgmental American person who put all these together on Imgur and jog on UsVsThem for agreeing apart from if it was the one of them who I know who is lovely in which case I respectfully disagree LOVE ME WORLD
1. The merest hint of an implication that there could have been some sort of sexual congress between Alan Davies and Joanna Lumley, which, if you have a mind anything like mine, set off a thought process which many hours later shows no signs of getting anywhere near a conclusion, being, as it is, a real-time re-enactment of what would have happened if that sexual congress was initiated and J-Creek turned out to be a lover burdened with both a darkly perverted sensibility and unnatural longevity. Because: ain’t nobody got time for THAT.
2. Absolutely everything other facet of the plot and dialogue and characterisation.
Alan Davies’ tits give a solid performance to clinch bronze.
..I really don’t think so.
You see, to talk Japanese, you need to have a brain the size of a planet, or a Japanese person. For one thing, the greedy buggers have three alphabets. Three! More over-employment! Two of them, hirigana and katakana, are phonetic, one of which is just for foreign loan words - coffee, internet, buffet, which is actually pronounced “viking”, because even the most simplest part of their language must be wrapped in an riddle inside an enigma buried in a plot synopsis of the last episode of Lost. In Hampton Court Palace maze. When you’re on mescaline.
To talk Japanese (yes, yes, OK, I mean read Japanese, but that didn’t sound so good in the title of this post, and what did you pay for this, nothing, so maybe stop the trap-flapping and settle the heck down, yeah? Yeah? Oh god I’m sorry, please keep reading, the movement of your eyes are all I live for) you need to know a third alphabet called kanji, based on Chinese characters, of which there are anything from 13-50,000. In fact, most game shows we saw scattered around on Japanese TV seem to be based on guessing obscure kanji characters from clues in hirigana and katakana, which I suppose is the equivalent of Countdown or Call My Bluff. But of course, this being Japan, it was Countdown or Call My Bluff while standing on a thin ledge in front of a wall made of tetris blocks which poke out one by one as you get answers wrong, forcing you to contort your body into strange and wonderful positions to avoid being pushed off the ledge into an infinite abyss, and there’s 30 contestants.
Everyone in Japan is automatically more brilliantly clever than me just because they can talk Japanese, and that is a real and true fact. So you will forgive the occasional snicker leaking from the corner of my sly little facehole when coming across the odd example of the Japanese taking my native language and going slightly off-piste with it:
I didn’t mean to hurt you, Japan. I’m just a jealous guy.
This article of extreme digestive uncomfortability was found in a shop in Harajuku, which is, of course, the area of Tokyo where Gwen Stefani rattled her funky androgynous braces and gathered a bushel of hip young girls to follow her about for a year and gather sustenance from her unnaturally flattened belly, presumably by using it as some kind of teppanyaki grill. Hey, what a coincidence! We also used a teppanyaki grill while we were in Harajuku, in a strange little funky restaurant with trees growing through it, and we were taught how to do it by that humourless goth bint from the cartoon in the back of Metro!
Talking of humourless goth bints (oh, but everything is linked with me. You may think this is all tossed off in the time it takes to plonk piggy hands onto weary keyboard, but every scintilla of this content has been many years in the planning, including the fact that scintilla is probably the wrong word in that context) Harajuku is very much the Camden of Tokyo, comprising as it does of 10% on-trend Japanese teenagers hanging around on street corners looking threatening with crepes, and 90% green felt DMs, skulls on black string chokers and t-sharts saying “I love the Pontiff, the Pontiff smokes dontiff”. And this charming fellow:
Here’s another thing - just as a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters will eventually unionise to better bitterly complain about their outdated technology and get their little mitts on an iPad to Google the complete works of Shakespeare, the random sprinkling of Romanji within Japan will inevitably gang together to spell out your own name, and if you’re really lucky, capture the perky blonde bangs and heinous dead eyes that are the essence of your being.
Anyway, before I could spend too long cowering on the shop floor whimpering “Why am I Mr Sparkle?!” we were away to have one last head-butting with the great and powerful language of the Japangs; and as we gesticulated and honked and grimaced and flicked unintentional Vs at the very patient and friendly man behind the counter of the first karaoke complex we stumbled into after partaking of the bacchanalian delights of the 300 yen bar (slogan: “every drink 315 yen! Shut up about our name!”) and managed to bag ourselves a room to bark in and an unending supply of birru to lubricate our bark nodes, we thought the battle was won. After all, the last place we did karaoke in had big English buttons.
Unfortunately, the last place we did karaoke in was the Waitrose of karaoke and we were in the bins at the back of Bejam. Also, crucially, it contained people who could ask for English buttons in Japanese. Possessed of no such skills and rapidly losing the English ones, we were confronted with a dark empty room showing K-pop commercials on loop, and this:
Somehow, though, somehow, with the aid of a lot of poking at random buttons and hearing a lot of the first few seconds of a lot of songs we didn’t know that confused and scared us and finally locating a telephone directory-sized catalogue with a whole 4 or 5 pages of English songs, we worked the damn thing out and caterwauled the night away. The war on Japanese won, at least for one day; much to the apparent delight of the guy in the backing video.
Yeah baby. I’m working that Stevie Wonder. I’m working it into the ground.
Shop That Was Closed And By Hercules’ Shins Did We Wish It Was Open Because Seriously What The Gary Wilmot Could It Possibly Be Selling Of The Day:
Japan: the land of over-employment. The second thing you’ll notice about the restaurants over here - the first being the rather alarming habit of every member of staff shouting “Irrasshaimaaaaaaaaas!” at you as you enter, which can feel a little bit like you’ve somehow walked through a force-field activating their electric shock collars or love eggs, depending on their intonation - is how many staff there are in each place. Walk past the entrance to a car park, and you’ll find three men in hats and little flags directing traffic in and out of it, even when the entrance is controlled by its own set of traffic lights and the men are completely superfluous. The monorail that runs from Tokyo Bay to Odaiba doesn’t need any drivers, but has two. They shout things too, and wear hats. Japan: the land of over-employment, shouting and hats.
Then there’s Japanese TV. Here’s an untrue fact for you - there’s only four programmes on Japanese TV: there’s news (each with six newsreaders), noir dramas about frustrated men stalking beautiful women where sex is only shown in half-remembered flashback and consists entirely of neck-nuzzling and clutched hands being passionately pressed into pillows, and manga cartoons about batshit crazy blondes with dog-monkeys living on their shoulders. That’s about 10% of the schedule - the rest is taken up with odd One Show-esque human interest shows, each of which have at least eight presenters, often complemented by a sub-committee of 20 other presenters to sit at the side and react to the first lot of presenters. But they don’t even do much, these Bleakley hordes; the main bulk of the programme will be pre-recorded VTs of the sort previously described in this blog, you know, kids questing, crying death girls, god only knows what else, and the presenters’ only job is to pop up in-vision occasionally and look like they’re enjoying it. They seem to particularly like the stuff where toddlers fall face-first into snowbanks. Japan: the land of over-employment, shouting, hats and child cruelty.
And check these rooty-toots out:
That’s just a small proportion of AKB48, a J-pop girl group specialising in the type of song designed to burrow into your brain and wind itself among your neurones like a tapeworm who just wants a cuddle, and videos which offer a winning combination of cutesy schoolgirl happiness with a tantalising hint of imminent sapphic orgy. And how many of these smiling pairs of eyes in fetish underwear are there in AKB48? 48, you say? Ha! Idiot. Sorry. No, really, I am sorry, especially if you watched that video. Good luck not singing “I want yoooooou, I need yooooooou” constantly till Michelmas.
This pop group has 91 members. This pop group could fill the cabinet and shadow cabinet of the United Kingdom. This pop group could re-enact a meta-musical where the whole cast of Les Mis adopts the whole cast of Cats and have enough spare to staff a panel show discussing what a bad idea it all is. This pop group could turn up at your house and within 30 seconds have you tied to a chair with a leftover Christmas satsuma stuffed in your mouth while you watch them mockingly try on your beloved grandmother’s precious jewellery through tear-stung eyes. There’s a lot of them, basically.
And while I can’t pretend to know the socio-economic reasons for all this extraneous effort and extra hearts and lungs and brains for every vacancy, I think it’s something to do with the following: there are just So Many Japanese People.
This is something we encountered today while visiting Asakusa, where there is a very large Buddist temple called Senso-ji, a market selling assorted Japanese wares and general souvenir tat, and when we were there, about 20 million Japanese people, all smooshed together in a slow-moving human millipede through the stalls of samurai swords and silk fans towards the temple’s giant lantern. It’s the equivalent of the whole population of Selfridge’s at 7:49pm on Christmas Eve deciding to go to Westminster Abbey at once for a couple of Our Fathers and some octopus balls, but all the time.
Luckily, I did have a chance to break away from the throngs and ponder my ideal future; this involved shaking a metal barrel containing numbered chopsticks while making a wish, pulling out a chopstick and matching it to one of hundreds of drawers, each containing random sheaves of fortunes. Mine said “Your target deer runs far away thousands of miles ahead - your hopes will come out to be true, but you should know about yourself,” which is thrilling, as it means within the month I will be Fenton. And we also had the wonderfully exciting revelation that the Japanese know there’s always money in the banana stand:
We didn’t have a pink banana. The concept of dealing with a tombola to get a pink banana was just too much of a puzzling one to undertake. Plus what with all the fried balls everywhere, then this fruity phallus…frankly, our Carry On-style swannee whistle was getting over-used.
Japan: Land of over-employment, shouting, hats, child cruelty, burglarising teeny-poppers, and the perfect juxtaposition of holy architecture and innuendo.
Thing I Forgot To Mention About The Wedding That Would Have Explained Why We Were Dead Right Now If We Were Which We Aren’t Which Is Good: we ate blowfish sashimi!