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Subject: Los Angeles #70 - Japanese Vending Machines
(Posted on Mar 11, 2016 at 03:04PM ) Tags:
At a wedding as best man right after the Northeast Blackout of 2003, you find yourself in conversation about things being REALLY different in Japan with a relative of the bride, since a large contingent from her family are over across the Pacific for the event.

That Asian country has a ton of very kool things going on, and just one of those is the ubiquitous vending machine. That distribution mechanism / channel has been taken to a whole new level of near-art, way beyond the more functional and mundane electromechanical boxes typically found on this side in North America.



From funky and colorful designs, to high-tech user interfaces and inner workings, and the actual products dispensed—which run the gamut from food, snacks, beverages (including alcohol), and a whole lot more to undergarments, pets, and even cars as above—the Japanese vending machine is in a world unto itself, as countless foreigners can attest to when living or traveling there.


From a global perspective, here’s a list of some of the most bizarre items ever to come out of a vending machine. Note that a good third of them are from Japan, thoroughly cementing their prowess and proficiency in this department. As a sidebar, Bob nods in acknowledgment to the crack pipe vending machine (clocking in at #11 on the countdown) right here in good old YVR, Canuckistan.


Here are some additional links diving more deeply into the subject of the Japanese vending machine: one, two and three. Any place that sells alcohol in public and allows for its immediate consumption thereafter has to be viewed favorably overall.


And yes, you did hear and/or read that correctly in a few spots above. This type of item below (be it brand new and in various "pre-owned" states) was, and maybe still is, indeed sold in vending machines.


As mentioned in the book: 

“Hey there, buddy boy,” Wade added, “you lot in Japan also sell used girls’ panties out
of vending machines. My girl Klyta told me about this years ago.”

“That sounds pretty civilized to me,” I said.

“Weren’t those panty sales banned, since some were allegedly coming from underage
schoolgirls, Teddy?” Wade asked.

“Everything’s relative,” Teddy shrugged. “You can still find them—in Akihabara, Tokyo’s
electronics district. You just need to know where to go.” Teddy winked at him.

“Just like with everything out there in the world,” I said.


Some may cry "Urban Legend," saying it can’t possibly be true. As with most things that one is told about the world out there today, do your own research and come to your own conclusions. Snopes weighs in on this matter here as an added back-up, and there's more here.

This single element is part of a more encompassing Burusera subculture that is expanded upon hereOr better yet, hop on a plane and be your own truth-seeking, “sneakers on the ground" journalist as in this nicely narrated overview about Japan's panty fetish. 


The differences in Japanese society and culture spill over to humor too. For proof positive of this angle, just watch this surreal scene snipped from a 2005 movie called Funky Forest


And so you thought Monty Python was a bit "out there" at times back in their heyday? Ha! For some, after that unusual experience, and depending on how open you are to new things, you may be feeling a bit like our furry friend below.
 

As for Japan on the whole. and figuring out stuff there, well, we’re not even scratching the surface with this one post.

Yo, when you’re some single dude hitting up weddings all around the world, one gets into all kinds of interesting situations, experiences and discussions. There’s no substitute for travel, various pundits have said thoughout time, but you can live some of that vicariously in this book, at a small sliver of the price. But after reading it all, a few may well feel as our furry friend above did after that last video. Go figure. 



Subject: Los Angeles #70 - BFF Neighbo(u)rs
(Posted on Jan 15, 2015 at 08:41PM ) Tags:
You’re at some wedding in Greater LA just after the Blackout of 2003 took out a big chunk of the Northeast on both sides of the border, when the following comes up in conversation about supposed neighboring BFF countries, Canuckistan and Amerika.
 

“Canada is America's invisible, steady, safe-sex partner. The Beaver's only too happy
to just bend over and take it like any good bum buddy. One day, we’ll just take the
place over,” said Jock.

“That won’t happen,” said Wade.

“It’s not imaginable at this very moment, but go back almost 200 years. We attacked 
and invaded Canada in 1812. Then, in the 1930s, there was an attack plot—War Plan
Red,” said Jock.

“OK, I’ll give you that. Canuckistan even had its own cockamamie preemptive plot to
invade south before that, in the 20s—Defence Scheme No. 1.”

“You never know how quickly close friends can become enemies, or vice versa,” said Lamont.

“Betcha there’s still some super-secret-squirrel crank Yank plan in the works under the
guise of liberating Canada one day from its socialist left-wing tyranny—for water and
oil. But,” said Wade, “that’s another topic altogether.”

“We’d still graciously let you keep all the hockey rinks, polar bears, maple syrup, and
McKenzie brother tuques you’d need,” Jock said. “America’s munificence is unbounded.”

So whaddup with all that?

Not only was Canada attacked as mentioned in the War of 1812, there was an earlier invasion in 1775, and the series of Fenian Raids between 1866 – 1871. Okay, so maybe America officially wasn't involved in these last raids, but it appears they looked the other way. Yeah, go figure like that tactic of tacit approval ain’t never been used since by nobody.

The skinny on War Plan Red and Defence Scheme No. 1 are in the links and are also summarized below. 



Canada has, like, stuff, and shit, as this informative website lays out. Another interesting but much more serious spin on the topic, both historically, and with a modern day slant, can be found here



The pretense of war could all shake out just like this in Canadian BaconIt doesn't take much to start a war, and today, most folks seem to believe what they see and hear on TV about world events unfolding as depicted and being accurate. 


Or maybe it will go down as it did in South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncutit all started from that fine flick the kids saw, Asses of Fire, as previously covered in a blog post here (see Step 2), Next, the kids' behavior gets modified, Kyle's Mom goes apeshit, scapegoats are created, and war breaks out easy breezy before you can say "Bob's your uncle."


That’s when the propaganda machine revs into overdrive and feeds the masses pulp to fan the flames of patriotism and doing the right thing.
 

Bob’s basic premise is that if invasion plans like that existed historically, they certainly exist now. They could now be camouflaged under different guises of economic harmonization, secure perimeter integration and other stuff like, uhm, say protecting against the coming zombie apocalypse as elaborated on below in Canada's Parliamentary House of Commons. Bob be only bringing your ass the important stuff. 
 

Or maybe it will be about the ever au courant, contriived and poorly named War on Terror, really about a state of mind when you think about it. Everything’s relative, depending on your perspective.
 

But if shit shakes out either way down the road, here are some great ideas for a new flag, depending on how the "union" goes.



But really, some others at higher levels are really looking to have things all end up like this below, as taken from that classic 1964 Kubrick masterpiece, Dr. Strangelove. Bob digs this scene, as our man Slim Pickens, playing the role of Major T.J. “King” Kong, rides it out to the end  and goes out with a bang. Yee haw! He shares the same birthday as Bob too, so what’s not to like.


And like all great fairy tales (as with marriage, perhaps, some of the time), there is the stereotypical Happily Ever After, or HEA, as it is labeled  in all them romance novels. Hey, just like in Dr. Strangelove and its full title, learn to stop worrying and love the bomb.  Relax. 


Then there's the momentary happiness when you’re just some guest taking in the scene as two folks walk down the aisle together, the ceremony is finally over, and you're anticipating the start of the reception N.B. This be where the food, drink, music and fun is at.

This is the kind of stuff going down in Wedding Chronicles. In this particular chapter, single simpleton gets caught up in discussion about Canada and USA before Japan-meets-Canada ceremony with his friends at sea, and everything "goes to hell in a handbasket" thereafter.



Subject: Los Angeles #70 - Monty P meets South Park
(Posted on Feb 8, 2014 at 11:09AM ) Tags:
Put a groom and his “best” man together for a few idle moments early on wedding day when no one else is around within earshot, and what do you get? You get a mashup of Monty Python and South Park, taking two separate pieces and slamming them together to make something better.



Sometimes, 1+1 = 3, especially when you’re taking the best of British and American humor.

Step 1 – Take some elements from this classic “French taunting” scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). The relevant bit runs between 2:20 and 2:43 but the whole scene works well if you have the time and inclination.


Step 2 – Add a much more animated  (and less subtle) Terrance and Phillip from their potty-mouth ”Unclefпɔʞer” scene in the more current South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999). The relevant bit starts 0:25 in, but it is ALL top-shelf, classy, high-brow material. 


Step 3 - Combine and stir artfully with some tender loving care, and yowza wowza, you get the end result as exchanged between George Johnson and Bob Boguslavski in their wedding finery before all the action of the day started up on the boat.

What else would some groom do on his wedding day after all when there was nothing else going on? Clearly, we were two sick Canuckistanis messin' around and having some fun, eh?

I think Kenny Dixon Jr. (aka Moodymann) said it best (at 3:50 for a few seconds) in this deep house number called Doin’ Ya Thang by Oliver $  released in April 2011.


Keep it simple folks, with just two categories, as the man said there. It makes for much easier navigation in life, and filtering stuff. Therein lies some real wisdom they will never teach you in skool, even if you’re just some single guy hitting weddings all over the place.



Subject: Los Angeles #70 - Canuckistan (be it Soviet or not)
(Posted on Jan 24, 2014 at 02:27PM ) Tags:
Yo, whaddup with that Canuckistan label for 'The True North strong and free'? At least until some day when it becomes overrun militarily or economically 'integrated' by its steadfast friends and drinking amigos south of the 49th parallel (north).

In my own twisted antihero way, 'infiltrated by all, inculcated by none,' I am really smitten by Soviet Canuckistan, and throw the term around liberally, much to the chagrin of some on the northern side of border. I so way prefer the handle with the 'Soviet' part exorcised—it’s shorter and punchier, and most on either side of the boundary still totally get it unless severely geographically challenged.


Looks like we can thank Nat Bukannan for all that back on Halloween 2002 (Trick or Treat) amidst the discussions and build-up for the second foray in Iraq. Awesome job, buddy! Folks like him, Anne Coalturd, and Will O. Wiley are beacons of worldly analysis, insight and opinion, doing their utmost to keep our (m)asses au courant with global affairs. It’s all right up there with Freedom fries.

But, in balanced fairness to both sides of any debate over a bottle or two (or more, depending on your cohort) of some unnamed refreshment, preferably of the red type, part of Nat’s TV diatribe did have some valid points, as perhaps brought to light in this piece, which I don’t completely agree with either from her spin on this matter. It’s just that good old Nat muddled a bunch of stuff together.

However, the initial usage of Soviet Canuckistan can be attributed to almost a decade before, and digging one reference link deeper. Nat, because of his public profile, just took it to a whole other level is all (whether arrived at independently, or not), breaking it out into mainstream popular usage. We thank you profusely for that, Sir!

For anybody out there that has never been to Canuckistan, or knows little about the place, this piece is supremely (mis)informative, depending on your point of view and sense of humo(u)r. Useful information to have as you plan that virgin trip to The Great White North. Here's a classic specimen of local art from 1981 that speaks to trumpeting that cause, eh?


It’s always good to bone up on stuff before taking a trip to a new spot, even if it is to some fun wedding adventure far away as some single guy.



Subject: Los Angeles #70 - Manuel Noriega and Oreo Cookies
(Posted on Jan 11, 2014 at 10:43PM ) Tags:
It was a fast comment in passing by Wade Roe in dialogue, but based on fact.

"It took out the Northeast faster than Manuel Noriega does a bag of Oreos."

Manuel Noriega has (or had) a large love of Oreo cookies. I wouldn't spin no crap on that. Here's some support from back in the day when our main man Manuel first started cooling his heels in the clink.


Exhibit  #1

WELL, THAT'S HOW THE COOKIE CRUMBLES
October 30, 1990

Who's that kid eatin' the Oreo cookies? Surprise, surprise, it's the pineapple-faced Panamanian Manuel Noriega, former Foreign Enemy No. 1, who now resides in the "dictator's suite" in Miami's Federal Correction Center.

We don't know if he's a twister, a dunker or a cruncher, but we do know that the Nabisco treats are his favorite snack and just one of life's little pleasures that the once-mighty strongman enjoys while awaiting his Jan. 28 trial.

Source: Philly.com

***

Exhibit #2

January 25, 1991

DO EX-STRONGMEN EAT THE FILLING FIRST? It`s doubtful, however, that even daily 2,500-milligram injections of coconut would do much for the pockmarked, russet complexion of Panama`s deposed Manuel Antonio Noriega, a confessed chocoholic (if not drug co-conspirator). "The Dictator's Suite" at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Miami is stocked with candies and other junk food, Oreo cookies being Noriega`s favorite.

Source: ChicagoTribune.com

***

Exhibit #3

News of the Weird
May 02, 1991

Vanity Fair reports that Manuel Noriega always offers visitors to his prison cell Oreo cookies. Said Noriega's lawyer, "He may no longer be the ruler of his nation, but psychologically he still has this need to offer you hospitality."

Source: ChicagoReader.com

***

Exhibit #4

He's Our Thug, And We're Taking Good Care Of Him

October 29, 1990

The government isn't revealing the cost of maintaining Chateau Noriega, which was custom-designed because an ordinary jail cell was too confining. Nor is it known which of the general's goodies - from deodorant to English-lesson tapes to his beloved Oreo cookies - are paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Source: TheSeattleTimes.com


Case closed. This is the kind of weird stuff that gets thrown at you while attending fun and wonderful weddings around the world. Nabisco shoulda made that guy their spokesperson for the brand. Everything taken away, and he chooses Oreos for a treat. That's hardcore! You can't buy that kind of brand loyalty.

Only the important stuff for you, and just the facts.