Watched another Tigers vs. Giants match and solved the mystery of the 大丈夫 message on the bullpen phone. It seems it is an advertisement from an ISP called DTI (Dream Train Internet). It’s probably a great time for providers to grab up customers since the market share controlling Live Door CEOs got themselves arrested.
I went into town on Saturday for calligraphy class and dinner, and was invited to join some friends at The Melting Pot in the evening. The atmosphere has been getting more and more smoky and seedy there, so I don’t go by on a whim; however, several people I hadn’t seen in awhile were planning to show up. Sure enough there was a tear gas feeling level of smoke, and several Brazilians seemed to be looking for a reason to start a fight.
I parked myself under a fan in the bar area (the troublemakers seem to be drawn to the dance floor in back) and started chatting with a new ‘friend’, who I’ll call Mark. He is part of the JET program, where they indoctrinate all newcomers with the ‘you are an ambassador of your country’ speech. He started off seeming innocuous enough, but started to worry me when he explained why he loved drinking Margaritas. The rationale was that whisky is dangerous because it is too easy to drink too much, but tequila is smooth and tasty; and hence, easier to control how much you drink. I postulated that ‘smooth and tasty’ might be the drink that begs you to over-indulge, and added a little personal experience (from my deep, dark past). Mark saw my point. Well, rather, he said that he saw my point, but seconds later ordered up another round.
Noting that some friends had arrived and grabbed a table, I moved to join them. Later we observed him throwing a fake snake around the necks of scantily clad women with the dangerous Brazilians. Some of them looked like they were debating whether to ignore the crazy man or defend their ‘trophies’. Fortunately for Mark, the effects of his easy to control beverage kicked in: he collapsed with a dull thud on the floor.
Two of my friends took compassion on him and decided to walk him back to his apartment. They were absent for a suspiciously long interval when one of us got a ring on our phone begging for help. We ran out to find that he had ‘regained his senses’ halfway back to his apartment and started fighting with my friend. He was convinced that he was being taken to some strange place in the opposite direction from his home against his will. Our friend was holding his limbs and laying on him, waiting for him to calm down again. We established the wait might be very long for no line of reasoning had any effect on him. My friends started dragging him the remainder of the way to his apartment before I convinced them that this might not be best (again, based on personal experience from a deep, dark past). We each grabbed a limb or two and carried him home. Once released inside he commenced fighting again. Deftly escaping the apartment we held the door handle for about 5 minutes while he went on irrationally about needing to come out so he could take his pants off. This was punctuated by another dull thud followed by silence.
One of the helpers is a supervisor in the JET program and wasn’t impressed by Mark’s ambassadorial skills. I’m guessing Monday was not a fun day back at work. Remember kids, this is just another one of the dangers of drinking. Not exactly how I hoped to spend my evening; probably won’t be going back soon.
Ironically most of my conversation with Mark at the bar centered around keeping things in control and staying out of trouble: he insisted he was quite skilled in these areas.
Update: I have more recently become acquainted with this teacher and find that aside from alcohol issues, he is one of the better and more skilled teachers around here. He has also proven to be more stable than the two guys who wanted to “help” him by dragging him through the streets for several blocks. (July 14, 2008)