Monday, April 26, 2010

A Day In The Life

Contrary to one of the more popular Beatles songs, it's not so easy to just wake-up and get out of bed here - at least here in Japan.

Every morning I get up at 6AM. Not because I want to, or have to, or because my alarm goes off, but rather because yet another one of my neighbourhood dogs thinks its time for everybody to get up.

It's one of those stupid, little miniature collies that, as a species, have a cumulative brain the size of an shelled walnut. Of course, a major portion of the blame should be directed at the dog's owners who so thoughtlessly toss the poor stupid creature out at the ungodly hour of 6AM and don't let it in until 7:30AM when it's time for them (ie the man) to leave for work.

Sure there may actually be some well-behaved and intelligent miniature collies, though the only ones I've ever heard of roam the Plains of the Serengeti with their cousins the Poodles-with-Good-Haircuts, which is a dying breed. Now this particular collie is obviously not from Africa. It has papers denoting its lineage, but it's piddled on them. Repeatedly. This dog is just plain stupid. It barks at nothing. It barks at rocks. It barks at parked white cars. It barks at the cold morning air. It barks at tree bark, or at least it would if the Japanese actually had any trees in their backyards that weren't dwarfed bonsai trees (which is redundant).

Going out of my mind every morning, I have tried everything to make it stop barking: like reasoning with it - "Shut up or I'll kill you, ya stupid mutt!!!"; feeding it - "Suck on this, you bastard!" I politely scream as I toss an egg at it; bribing it - "Please shut-up and I'll buy you a nice steak."

Although the dog has a brain the size of a pecan (I have revised my opinion after seeing a feline give it a CAT scan - I even saw the Lab(rador) report), this dog knows (somehow) that I would never be able to afford a steak here in Japan. It's stupid, not crazy.

On this particular day, I get up at the aforementioned appointed hour. I stumble over to the toilet and read the newspaper that I got while you were reading this sentence. Suddenly the air around me is rend by multiple explosions: BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! It happens again. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! and again 30 seconds later, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Apparently that's the local farmers shooting some form of concussive bomb into the air to frighten away the birds that would eat their rice crop if there were any currently planted. It's the middle of bloody February, and there ain't nothing growin' nowhere, nohow. Hmmm, so maybe it's not the farmers. Maybe someone is trying to kill that damn dog. Yeah! Ha-ha! Give'em another!

BARK-BARK-BARK-BARK! Dammit... they must have missed.

A few minutes pass, and then a siren begins to blare. As it draws closer, it drowns out the dog's incessant barking. Louder! LOUDER!! BARK-Bark-Ba-Pee-Pon-Pee-Pon-Pee-PON! It sounds like an ambulance. Ha! Maybe somebody has shot the dog's owner!!

Then, as if on cue, there's a screech of tires, followed by the sound of crunching plastic(!!), as two white cars plow into each other to avoid yet another miniature collie that has wandered out into the street. The stray waddles over to the bereft-of-grass-yard where my bane lives and begins to bark at it. BARK! BARK! BARK-BARK!! They start to have an argument. BARK! BARK! BARK-BARK!!BARK! BARK! BARK-BARK!!

Brains the size of a shelled, half-peanut. Dry roasted.

The two women get out of their cars and begin bowing apologetically to each other, but still in my mind, they do it LOUDLY!!

The ambulance - PEE-PON!! PEE-PON!!! wheels around the corner and SREEEECHES!!!! to a halt as it is now unable to pass by the fresh accident where the two women continue to bow apologetically. And LOUDER!!!!!

The ambulance driver curses the two women. BAKAYARO!!!!! (stupid idiots!!!!!) And then continues his ranting at the stray miniature collie that has just relieved itself on the ambulance's front tire. Both of THEM!!!!!! The ambulance can no longer back up as a long line of white cars has appeared out of nowhere to trap it from behind - just below my apartment. The car horns begin to blare. HONK! HONK!! HONK!!! The air cannons fire up. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! A cacophony of barking continues. BARK! BARK! BARK-BARK!! BARK! BARK! BARK-BARK!! WOOF!!! A lone stray miniature collie piddles noisily on everything white. It's only 6:45AM.

Somewhere, somebody spoke and I went into a SCREAM!!!!!
Andrew Joseph   

Brought to you by The Beatles with accompanying cartoon by Gary Larson, The Far Side and one of his books I own.

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