1. The Men from 7-11

    So last night Mrs. A and I stumbled drunkenly into a 7-11 in search of snacks and more booze. Among the things that I grabbed was the last pack of donuts. 7-11 donuts are pretty good. Especially when you're drunk. But when the cashier scanned the barcode there was an error, so he went to check the shelf. The donuts were expired. Yes, convenient stores in Japan register when the shelves were stocked and have a time barrier beyond which the baked goods can't be sold. Because...
  2. Time Travel

    Just a quickie inspired by a friend wondering where the time travelers are and why they aren't helping us out of this foul year of our lord 2020: 2076 Alpha (lost timeline): "Look, Bob, 2000-2008 was a terrible time for America and the world and it lead to the current situation. With this new time machine, I'm going to go back and make sure that black dude, what was his name? Ombaba? Obomo? Anyway, once those past Americans see how beneficial a truly multiracial society can be it'll all get...
  3. Paternity?

    TMW you're walking home from dinner with your wife and there's a group of young gaijin outside the local market enjoying a few (!) drinks and one of them shouts at you "Oh my god, is that my dad?!?" Well, true, I take my styling cues more from Leonard Cohen and/or Mad Men than from Jay Kay or P. Diddy, but considering that the young man shouting at me looked to be in his early 20s and I'm in my late 40s, I wondered what sort of point he was trying to make. I suppose if he could give me a...
  4. Oubliette

    Nothing to do with this joint or you lot. "I'm so glad I could get that off my chest." "I just needed someone to talk to." "Keep this between you and me, okay?" Yeah, okay, fine. Y'know what the worst thing about being trustworthy is? Everybody knows, everybody knows, everybody knows that you can be trusted. They can tell you about their concerns about Smith from Accounting. They can tell you that Jones from Marketing is fucking Baker from Baking. They can tell you that they've been...
  5. Posterity

    During the sack of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204), the plunderers: dressed their horses in ecclesiastical garments from the vestry of the [Hagia Sophia]. Drunken soldiers sang bawdy songs in the sanctuary of the church and sat a prostitute on the throne of the patriarch. Richard Tillinghast, Istanbul: City of Forgetting and Remembering But... Will history remember as much about you in eight hundred years as it remembers of her?
  6. Minding One's Manners

    This is something I've had kicking around in my head for a while, but was spurred onto the page in partial response to @Foxxx's Thoughts Stirred by Stripclubs Ah, the gentlemen’s clubs. In my younger days, I spent… well, no. If I was still doing it, it would be far too much time, but there’s a time to every purpose under heaven, and your late teens/early twenties are the perfect time to be throwing large chunks of your paycheck at women wearing less than small pieces of cloth. But now it’s...
  7. Technical Difficulties

    While I was browsing the net the other day, I chanced upon a site that was hosting some sort of international short film festival. After looking at a couple of the titles, I discovered what appeared to be a Japanese romance movie. Now, my language ability isn't so hot, but I always like the opportunity to learn more about local culture so I figured I'd give it a shot. As my wife was still at work, it was up to me to understand as much of it as I could. The beginning was a little confusing,...
  8. Gluttony

    Over on the "What are you cooking tonight?" thread, @Homer Potvin has been sharing his accumulated wisdom on restaurant costs and profits, which I find absolutely fascinating. No, really, I'm not being sarcastic. So I went out to tabe/nomihodai (an all you can eat, all you can drink restaurant) with a friend the other week. There were options from two to three hours, with last order coming thirty minutes before your time was up. Since the breakdown between two hours (90 minutes ordering)...
  9. Lunch

    I thought about workshopping this, but it's really not worth it. I've got no experience with the software in this story, so there are probably lots of errors, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. My stomach growled. “Siri, where’s the nearest Subway?” “This city doesn’t have a subway system, but there’s bus stop one block east of here.” “No, I mean a, um, someplace I can get,” What were they called in this part of the country? “a hoagie? A, um, hero?” “Hogan’s Heroes, the complete series, is...
  10. A Betrayal?

    So I'm off in a few minutes, but this vacation is different. I've become one of them. For so many years, I held on to the ideal of "packed and ready to move at a moment's notice." When I was a Boy Scout, I got elected patrol leader one year. Pretty much everybody did, at one point or another, so don't read anything into that. But this was summer, and when we went to camp, a new boy got assigned to my patrol. We had this backpacker cult going on, who could pack the least, who had the...
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