Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Sacrifice

Monday was a dark, dark day in the life of Brent. For the first time, our (anti)hero returned to his home regretting having done something selfless for a friend. This was no ordinary regret, either, but deep seated sadness stabbing into the tender mushy parts of his being.

The day began like any other Monday: wide eyed and full of boundless opportunity for mischief making. The previous night's nightmare of a large Japanese man in a feather boa waving fake penises and humping our hero's leg was swiftly fading to nothingness. An old and dear friend was coming to town for a brief 'shopover'. The sun was shining, and the oversized, mutant Tokyo crows were cawing from nearby powerlines with gleeful rancor. There would be sumo! Sumo! That joyous event where large men in tiny loincloths smash into each other for large amounts of sponsorship dollars in an language you don't understand. Yes, the day was indeed looking good.

Leaping out of bed after only seven impacts with the snooze button, Brent met his friend downtown and enjoyed a most excellent day of shopping, coffee and rehashing old stories. After a farewell and an emotional high five, it was out and down the Tokyo rail tracks to the sumo stadium.

The view was wonderful, and the seats were worth every one of the 10000 yen that Brent not so foolishly squandered on the afternoon's fatstivities. A camera phone with no real zoom button to speak of captured the moment perfectly, especially the stage spotlights...
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The box was red, soft, and very comfortable. It was also pumped full of all of the wonderful innuendoes that can be spouted in such a situation. The fun in the box reached its climax while our (anti)hero was eating in the box. Although he had to wait for several large men to finish their sweaty action, Brent managed to fit in what was more than a good point.

Holding his sushi dinner, Brent turned to the girl nearby. "Karen," he smiled, "this box smells a bit like fish."

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The box was super comfortable because the other two people we had intended to share the box with were able to get their own box!

From the smile on his face, one can clearly make out "cloud nine" in the distant depths below Brent's glee. Still, it is easy to see in retrospect that the highest highs can only end with the lowest lows. Most people with a "C" or better in high school science know that Newton was the asshole responsible for alerting the general public to this particular bit of party-ruining physics. Although scientists and Virgin Galactic exectutives everywhere hail this schmuck's discovery that "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction", it has long been known in may circles that Karma is indeed a bitch.

Which brings us to the point where Brent's fortunes soured.

From the heady heights of the soft and luxuriant box, to the thrilling smash of hundreds of sweaty pounds of man-meat into other hundreds of pounds of sweaty man meat, it seemed that there could be no better moment to complete the day.

Then, He was there.

A man. A legend. A giant among giants. A glorious ray of comic gold, blessed with fists of steel and acting of lead. A walking blog-punchline wet dream, and sweetly hilarious opportunity embodied. Best of all, He was walking unflustered through a crowd of completely obvlious Japanese folk who had the misfortune to be born in a land of anime rather than sweet explosioney goodness.

Jumping forward and feinting the entourage with a pair of girls pouring on as much "we're EXTRA cute groupies" as their eyelashes could handle, we managed to score a few minutes of His time. It was then that it happened. A horrid, terrible lapse in judgement. Unforgivable, yet burned to this day into retinas and grey matter alike, it could be labeled a 'mistake' only by bitter understatement.

Ignoring everything that our (anti)hero has learned from the Japanese about how to treat women, Brent offered to take a photo and let the women jump in first. The cell phone camera thundered its fake shutter sound as it fulfilled its manifest destiny on earth.

The "saving" bar appeared, doing anything *but* saving the day. It trudged along without mind, far slower than the golden opportunity that slipped away with a nod to the bodyguards and a quick exit out of the stadium.

The opportunity, like the second most awesome action hero without facial hair or a government post, was gone.

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All but inconsolable, our hero stalked home to the steady beat of "fuckfuckfuckfuck... fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.... It was Stephen FUCKING Segal!!!" and tossed himself into his futon, grinding his teeth at the lost punchline.

Time and a good night's sleep can do wonders for stripping away a man's anger. In Brent's case, a day or so is usually enough to sandblast away almost any damage to his superhumanly inflated ego. Frustration turns to ire, which itself degrades into huffyness, followed by eight seconds of pouting, then self mockery, and eventually, blogging.

Somewhere after the pout but before the blog comes reflection:

Why am I here? Why do I seek out comic gold wherever I can find it. For self glory? Do I want fame, fortune and everything it goes with it, and thank you all? But that would be no bed of roses.... no pleasure cruise. I consider it a challenge before the whole human race, and I ain't gonnaaa loooooooossssssssseeeee.....

As Freddie Murcury rolled in his leather grave, a smile crept across our (anti)hero's face. Despite the missed opportunity to record the moment for later glee, the fact remained that Brent had been able to come within kung-fuing distance of Stephen Segal. The grin widened further, as Brent started to rip himself away from the squandered photo opportunity, and focus more about the significance of the event on a galactic scale. A thought slowly knit itself together in Brent's head. "I was there," he thought slowly. "He was right in front of me, and I took his willing picture. That has to count for something."

From Robertson Davies' Fifth Business to Billy Crystal in "The Princess Bride", and from Sideshow Mel in "The Simpsons" to Xenu in Tom Cruise's life, every story needs a supporting character. Much like Tostitos or shots of melon liquor in first year university, supporting characters lube everything up for a smoother time. Everyone needs to be that background, forgetable, unfunny character in the story of life. And just for once, it didn't kill Brent to step back and let someone else win the "Ok, so this one time...." crown for the day.

But then, a shadow rose in our (anti)hero's mind. Fucking Newton. How to phrase all this? How should this tale of glory and failure, triumph and defeat... of...of sheer humanity be packaged appropriately for the critical world of self-publishing?

Surely not a monologue. Clouds of hesitation became thunderheads of doubt, as Brent pondered the sheer amount of melodrama that had to be shoehorned into this tale of loss and redemption. A punchline had to be stretched for paragraph upon paragraph, when a simple post of the picture and "I took this. :( Me no LOL. Brento = p0wn3d." would easily defeat the strict literary filters that Google maintains to protect English in the blogosphere.

What to do? What literary device would be equal to the olympian task at hand?

Then suddenly, out of the shadows of 95% of the books published each year, the Third person stepped into the forefront. Smiling, he brushed the clouds of doubt aside like mixed metaphors at a mullet convention.

"I'll do it," he said.

Unfunny Notes to kill the moment:

1) The thought I put myself to sleep with upon getting home was "At least it wasn't Chuck Norris..." Chuck Norris is far superior in every way to Jackie Chan, Hulk Hogan, and Arnold, but these are the action heroes that form the basis for this line: "The opportunity, like the second most awesome action hero without facial hair or a government post, was gone. "

2) "Fifth Business" is a stellar book that I read in Grade Nine English class. You can only imagine how good a book has to be for someone to be able to force me to read it AND have me like it enough to make obscure references to it over ten years later. If you've read it, let me know next time we hang out, and I'll buy you a beer.

3) When you've got Tostitoes, you've got a party. This was a slogan used to advertise tortilla chips in North America in the early part of the decade.

4) By offering "a beer" in note #2 I've neatly excluded Geoff (who doesn't drink). By asking you to "mention it next time we meet", I've also neatly excluded most of you, dear readers, who will likely have had this post pushed out of your short term memory by a thrilling ringtone or a filling quiche before the next time we meet.

5) If you are ACTUALLY interested in Sumo, here are some sweet pics, courtesy of my good friend Geoff and his super camera, which I hereby cristen "Skynet: the portable edition". Geoff was on the upper deck, despite the "hanging over the middle of the ring" look.

No, no, fuck YOU.
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Check out this sweet choke hold.
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Ah, sweet momentum.
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By the way, this bulgarian dude ("Kotooshu") is easily the most popular wrestler. Everyone chants and cheers his name whenever he fights. People seriously love him. Maybe its because he's winning without the whole "get super fat" thing.
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There are also other white dudes, like this guy who got made into someone's bitch about 36 seconds after this picture.
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Of course, it's Sumo. A lot of people get made into bitches.

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Father of 3 said...

Hi from NYC. my name is John G and THIS IS NOT SPAM!! I am hoping you can help me with a charity project I am involved in. Your location of Japan makes you uniquely qualified to help. I have heard from all over the world and woud love to include Japan. Please check the project out at HOTSHOTSCHARITY.BLOGSPOT.COM The Handball team shot is great.



Tara said...

I have TOTALLY read Fifth Business. That's also pretty sweet how Stephen Segal was there.

Sweet blog, been reading for a while now! Always an interesting story to read.