Jon and Mike or possibly Mark hard at work inspiring the
'Kinki Karaoke' chapter of 'Memoirs of a Vending Machine'.
This is a photo I just had to post. If you have read 'Memoirs of a Vending Machine' you will be familiar with the 'Osaka Big Luck Snack' a fictional 'snack bar'. In the chapter titled 'Kinki Karaoke', alcohol plays a part in some comical dialogue inspired by moments like those represented in the photo. This is the real Jon and the other guy is the real Mike or maybe the real Mark - not really sure as both Mike and Mark are a mix of a few characters so I'll leave it up to you.
This is a fascinating photo because, the two foreign guys are wearing traditional Japanese 'Yukata' and wooden 'Geta' for footwear while the locals are dressed in T-shirts and denim - seemed to work though! Below I have posted one of my favourite scenes from 'Kinki Karaoke' .
When they arrived at the snack bar, Tsuyoshi was a little overwhelmed at first, not knowing exactly where to sit such a loud and rowdy bunch of foreigners. The bar had become more crowded since Mike had been there earlier and Tsuyoshi seemed a little preoccupied with all his other customers.BTW: I have spent the last couple of days on 'Kujira' and am about half way through another self edit. Glad I did 'cause it is full of typos all provided absolutely free of charge. When I am finished, I'll run it by my favourite copy editor for a fee and then upload. Don't worry Andy, you get the first coupon.
Two young, attractive Japanese women in their early twenties were now also working the bar in addition to Tsuyoshi and there were another two working as waitress for the folk sitting at tables. Smiling politely, Tsuyoshi sat the boys in a corner, off to the side, at first paying them little attention. One of the waitresses came over to take their orders. Happy to be in each other’s company, their mood was lively and flippant. Jon was the first to speak.
"I love you," he blurted in his most refined Manchester accent. Not expecting this, they all smiled, embarrassed, then waited to see how the waitress would react. She stood silently poised, smiling, pencil in hand held a couple of millimetres above the order book but obviously confused.
Jon, sensing that his brazen remark was not being taken in context, tried again, this time ordering a drink in Japanese. He had studied a little Japanese while at university in England and felt reasonably confident that he could negotiate this simple task. He remembered that big in Japanese was ookii and that beer was beeru. He strung the two together and, adding a little Samurai theatrics to his accent demanded, "Ooki beeru arimasu" The waitress maintained her silence.
The other three glanced at each other, while Jon smiled. Embarrassed, he tried to pretend that everything was still okay. Still smiling, the waitress didn’t flinch. Mark, the wild Canadian, who had told the others stories of a previous trip to Japan while they walked towards the bar, took on an air of confidence as he motioned to the waitress and smiled. The others watched on, jaws agape, intrigued by this development. He immediately caught her attention and she turned to him, cocking her head ever so slightly to the side while changing her expression to one of polite anticipation.
"Ano ne," (Umm) he began. Her expression quickly changed to one of relief. "Dai jocky yotsu onegaishimasu," (Four large beers please) continued Mark.
"Dai jocky yotsu," (That's four large beers) she repeated.
With a short and succinct "Hai," (Yes) from Mark, she smiled at each man in turn, twirled elegantly in the opposite direction then walked off to the bar.
"Well, that was impressive!" exclaimed Jeff in a toffy English accent.
Jon, obviously outdone, sat silently stewing, while Mark sat beaming, explaining to the others that Jon had confused the waitress by simply stating that there was a big beer somewhere.