At the end of May, it will officially be six years since my friend and I visited Japan. Six years?! Somebody get me a rocking chair, set me up on a porch, and stage some children playing out front. All this so I can tell the children to get off my lawn, mumble something about Whippersnappers and then shake my fist when in the same breath I tell them...You youngin's have no respect! Why back in my day... And they'll all roll their eyes and mutter, "Here we go! It's Flashback Friday..."
There's lots of good stuff that happened in Japan during our visit...the time we got shooed off the train. The time we got hustled off the bus. The time we got chased out of the closed Pachinko parlour. The time I tripped in front of a shrine at the Tsukiji Fish Market and busted up my knee. The time I broke down and cried in the bar and all the patrons thought my friend was breaking up with me (lord, that was hilarious)... all things I'm sure you would love to hear about! But not today, friends. Not today.
Today, I just wanted to share a little of our obsession with the UFO Catchers and the best things we won.
My friend, as it turns out, was actually rather good at playing the crane games. With her magic touch and any chance we got, we would find ourselves passing into various arcades so she could feed her addiction. Of course, the flashing lights, the noises, the video games and the buzz from the after-school kids all kicking it at the sensory overload fun time arcades were all lures we could never deny. And why would we want to?
In her defense, it was a lot harder than it looks.
We even played a game where you stood on a treadmill and walked your virtual dog. Ehem, my friend kinda killed her virtual dog or left it in poor shape. And to think that child is a veterinary physician now...but I promise she's actually saving lives these days!!! Heh...Heh...but I digress.
But it was one morning, just outside Chinatown in Yokohama, we found ourselves at an arcade some time after 9 a.m. Maybe it was a bit later but it was early enough, a week day and no one else was really there.
We played Taiko Drum Master and it was probably one of the best things ever beating out those awesome Japanese tunes. I could have spent the entire day playing that game! But that would have been a wasted day being that we only had two weeks in Japan.
Our plans for that particular day were as follows: Chinatown because it's Chinatown and I have made it a life mission to visit the Chinatown (if I can) of any new city I go to to eat dim sum and experience such things, general walking about in Yokohama, the Doll Museum, and Ramuen Town.
Then it happened. On our way out of the arcade, we spotted a UFO Catcher that was filled with rows and rows of Monokuro Boo.
There's nothing to not like about a Monokuro Boo. It's a pig. Pigs give us bacon. And Monokuro boo are particularly of the cute persuasion. And so, notoriously known for my fondness of piggies, I had to have one.
"Of course you want a pig," she said, exasperated.
Psh, as if she did not know me for more than six years at that point and not know my obsession with pigs. Hell, you guys have known me less and probably know I obsess over bacon. Well, I just told you but whatever!
And so the UFO catcher hand went down and no pig. We were about to turn away when I noticed that the crane hand snagged a tag on the second row of pigs. Oh. My. Glob. Was this really happening? One pig was being pulled from the second row and the surrounding pigs and the ones on top were all going to come crashing down with it.
Wide-eyed we watched and sure enough, one snagged pig became seven.
SEVEN. FREAKING. PIGS!
Squealing like pigs ourselves, we watched those little guys tumble out of the machine and then scooped up their kind. We were happy, laughing hysterically and red in the faces. I don't think either of us could breathe because we were laughing so hard.
The poor attendants working the Arcade certainly were not as amused though. They had to open up the machine and re-stack some piggies, while we ran off into Chinatown with our haul stuffed into plastic bags.
The pigs eventually became quite the pain to lug around and other misfortunes befell us when they ended up costing us more than the 100 yen we paid to get them (having to store them in a locker for a few days while we went to Kyoto). But no matter! It's all memories to treasure in the end.
Evil pigs, surrounding a poor defenseless Highland Coo. Oh the carnage!
Have you guys won anything fantastic over the years? Gaming related? Anime related? Anything related? Any obsessive stories with UFO Catchers? Memories from your various adventures to share too? Want to talk about pigs? Share! Share! Share!
Above Picture: My friend happily playing Taiko Drum Master. I covered up her face with a bao head I drew. I specialize in doing that to people.
Rather go over to TAY Classic and talk to sane people instead of reading my rantings? You can do that! I mean, you might hurt my feelings...but.. ::sniff:: I'll be okay. Anyway, click the link! Join in discussions and/or start your own (just be sure that your posting editor is tagged with "TAY Classic")!