The Japanese government is alarmed that not enough young people are buying alcoholic beverages. So, it has set up a contest for young people to come up with ideas on how to fix this “problem.”
It’s not clear if this is real or not, given that most Japanese people appear to be learning about the contest from foreign news sources. But I just have to believe it’s for real because I can’t bear to think anything this ridiculous is a hoax. Please, it must be. I need this. We need this.
The foreign news stories I’ve seen don’t say if you have to be Japanese to enter the contest, how old you have to be to constitute being young or what the prize(s) for winning are.
I’m 73 years young and a U.S. citizen, but I like sake. Can I play?
My first idea — straight off the top of my head — is to sing the praises of nigori sake, aka cloudy sake. Years ago I found out by accident that a bottle of cloudy sake every other day rid me of symptoms of arthritis. Maybe we could tell all these young Japanese kids horror stories of how awful arthritis can make you feel. That should convince them to load up on cloudy sake. You know, for prevention.
Before I found out how good for me cloudy sake was, I thought I was going to spend my final years bedridden. I thought I would never dance again. I can now get out of bed and can dance, as long as it’s a crappy version of the mashed potato. No bunny hop. No foxtrot.
I think just for the heartfelt testimonial I should win a case of assorted brands of nigori sake.
My next thought is: Who says you have to drink it? There are so many uses for bottles and cans of sake and beer.
You could wallpaper your house with Kirin Ichiban labels, for instance. I’m not kidding. The mythological creature on the label is so fetching that artists have recreated it in larger paintings for sale for thousands of dollars. So why shouldn’t you want to paper at least your living room with Kirins (while, incidentally, drinking all the beer. Or not, it’s up to you. You can give me the beer)?
Speaking of contests to fix problems, Sound Transit has finally gotten around to addressing the fact that escalators at the light rail stations are constantly breaking down. They say it’s because they are being misused, but they aren’t saying how exactly we are misusing the escalators. Telling us the answer to that would be a crucial step in enabling us all to stop misusing them.
The thought occurs to me that Sound Transit has no idea how people are misusing escalators. They are just passing that notion on to us because that’s what the escalator maker is telling them, rather than admitting their escalators are just junk.
But, suppose it’s true that the escalators are being misused. How might we put our heads together to explain this?
It’s not the first problem like this that Sound Transit has faced. Their elevators break down even more often. They have told us why. Since there are no public toilets in the stations, people who need to urinate use the elevators. The urine drips down into the machinery and causes problems.
Try this experiment. Get a five-gallon bucket. Put a battery-powered watch in it. Drink four gallons of Kirin Ichiban, Asahi or Sapporo beer. (I’m assuming no one could bring themselves to drink four gallons of Budweiser.) Pee it all out into the bucket. I don’t really know what will happen, but I’m willing to bet your watch will be history by the end of the day. Same with elevator machinery.
When I heard people are misusing the escalators, I thought, “Oh no, they’re peeing on the escalators, too.” It’s just how the world is today. It’s why we can’t ever have anything nice.
Either people should stop peeing on the escalators or Sound Transit should install public toilets in all the light rail stations, whichever is easier to accomplish.
Other guesses as to how the escalators are being misused: People are parking their chewing gum on the rails. The escalators are eating people’s flip flops. The escalators are eating little foo foo dogs.
Or maybe copies of this column, after the author impugned the foo foo dogs.
Read more of the Aug. 24-30, 2022 issue.