Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What's the deal with Japan?

What's the deal with Japan? We, the U.S., have a pretty good relationship with Japan. There is a lot of trade, goodwill. They make most of our electronics. Sushi is huge in America. Some people even like Japanimation. (Do we still use that term?)
Japan loves baseball. They sent us Daisuke Matsusaka in a trade for Tom Selleck, I believe. They win the Little League World Series and probably learn English just so they can someday understand the baseball commentary of such great minds as John Kruk or Joe Morgan.

But is it not so that we are still the only nation to drop an atomic bomb on another nation, and wasn't that nation Japan? And didn't we do it twice? How can this be? Perhaps it's best to let sleeping dogs lie, and if they're over it, I'm more than happy to put that whole WWII incident behind us, but if I'm in a bar someday and some Japanese person picks a fight with me or any other American, citing the dropping of those two nuclear bombs as the source of his animosity, I would have no choice but to be pretty understanding. I might counter with "that Pearl Harbor shit was a dick move!" but this argument would easily be refuted by pointing out that Pearl Harbor was a military target. Here's the parallel: if a fight ensued in the bar, and the Japanese guy hit me in the face, I would respond by hitting him in the face then shooting his girlfriend, to demoralize him.

I heard shit-talking about the Revolutionary War and 1812 when I went to London for a while which, admittedly, was just loud-mouth losers looking for something to pick a fight about, but doesn't Japan have loud-mouth losers? And don't they have something much bigger to complain about?

It's not fair to judge the actions of yesterday with the mindset of today. The Allies had been fighting a war that would not stop and there was no end in sight. If they beat us to the atomic bomb, would San Francisco and Sacramento have been leveled? Likely. When someone is committed to your annihilation and is willing to do anything to achieve that, you have no choice but to respond in kind, right? Japan was a worthy adversary in what could be described as a life and death struggle.

We look back and see all the civilians that had been killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but Americans at the time had to have been pretty pissed at Japan. We think back on the internment camps as being more embarrassing for America than the indiscriminate massacre of two entire cities, and that may even be true.

But either way, thanks Japan for being so cool about this whole thing.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dead Dog, Suitcase

So there's this girl I know,
She's house-sitting, also dog-sitting,
for this couple that's on vacation.
Her name is Meredith, she's 19 years-old and she lives in Brighton, a section of Boston populated mostly by college kids and recent college grads. The house she's sitting is in Newton, just outside of Boston.
So while she is dog-sitting, through no fault of her own, Newman, the Siberian Husky, dies. She freaks out a bit, but Newman was very old and probably died of natural causes. She immediately gets on the phone and tries to track down this couple on vacation and after several failed attempt she is able to speak with them. She has calmed down slightly by then and explains to the kindly couple that unfortunately their dog kicked the bucket, that there was nothing she could have done, etc.
The couple is understanding, they may have even seen it coming. They tell Meredeth not to worry, but since they can't reasonably ask this 18 year-old girl to bury their dog in the backyard, they suggest she take the dog to the vet. Surely, the vet must know how to deal with such things.
Meridith hangs up the phone and sets about trying to reach some friends or probably family members or someone to come and help her with this dead fucking dog. Nobody's picking up the phone. The Friends finale was on that day I think. She has no car herself. She has no money for a cab. She knows she can't let this dog rot in the house, but all she's got is a T-pass.
So she has to take the T. Luckily the house is right on the Green line, but she needs to find a way to transport this large Husky on a subway. Quickly scouring the house, she comes across a pretty sizable suitcase, with wheels and the extendo-handle thing. This will have to do. With ziploc bags on her hands, she pushes the canine corpse off the couch (it died on the couch by the way) into the trashbag-lined suitcase, zips it up, and rolls on out the door down the street to the Red line.
Margaret sits quietly on the crowded train, with a suitcase, containing a dead dog. She eventually gets off at the Park Street Metro station, which is underground. After struggling to get this suitcase through the turnstile, she sees that the escalator is busted and sets about lugging the thing up the stairs. This proves difficult for the 100-pound 17 year-old, and a seemingly friendly gentleman offers to help, at about the 7th stair.
When the team finally gets to the top, this man, exhausted, says to her "Jeez, this thing is heavy. What do you have in here?" Meredith, unwilling to admit that she has a dead dog in a suitcase, says the first thing that comes into her head. "Electronics."

The man punches her in the stomach, and takes off with the suitcase.

Meredith gets up, a little winded, and walks back down the stairs to the subway.

Now many of you may have heard this story already. For those of you who are just now hearing it, that's a great story, huh? When I heard the story, I was so blown away that I needed to find the person it happened to. Who was it? Who stole the suitcase? What happened when the thief opened the suitcase and did not find any electronics.

The person who told it to me said it was a friend of her sister. so I called the sister. The sister said it was her friend's friend whose number she didn't have. But since I was telling this story to everybody I met for like a month, I met a few people who had also heard the story. I followed up every lead, but every person I talked to was 2 degrees separated from the girl it happened to.

This all proved to be very disheartening for me. This was a great story, perhaps the greatest story, up there with Exodus, the Iliad, Anchorman. But I could verify its authenticity. Even still, I want this story to be true. Could someone have made this story up? I don't know. If it's made up, it's just some wacky sitcom plot, albeit a pretty good one. If it's true, it's the funniest thing I have ever heard.

You know what I just thought of? Scenario: The dog died, yes, but the girl never got on the T. She disposes of the dog off a nearby bridge or something, then drums up an elaborate, hysterical story about a thief. It's possible.

Reader, I would ask for your help with this, but at this point too many people have claimed it happened to them. Everybody knows the girl, but she always has a different name. Actually, the name Meredith was the first name I heard. A couple people used that name, but I could never track down this Meredith. The coauthor of this blog, who we have yet to hear from, but I'm sure we will shortly, called me from a bar in DC saying he was with the girl, or the best friend of the girl, but at this point, I don't know if I can be convinced by anybody.

Disclaimer: The details of the story I made up. Don't come at me with "you got it wrong." Until I get a sworn affidavit and corroborating video surveillance, the story I just wrote is the "true" story. However, I am interested in variations. Maybe some embellishments. Some twists, turns, back-story.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aaaaaaaaah whaddup blog.