Sunday, September 9, 2007

Miniature Military

Today I went to the Yochien (little pre-schoolers) sports festival. My boss described it as a miniature military demonstration, and he wasn't far off. We looked onto a giant dirt circle. There's a jungle gym and a Godzilla-shaped slide in one corner, and the school in another. There's a Buddhist temple and mountains rising off a hundred feet to our rear.

All of a sudden there's staccato bursts from a whistle and drums banging to a marching rhythm. Out march streams of little kids, wearing tiny little colored hats to denote their class.

They march, they dance, they sing, they cry. There is always at least 3 children crying.

After a few hours of watching, I was told to join the next activity. I was kind of given vague instructions in Japanese and handed a red headband, which I tied around my forehead. I was confused. Then me and about 20 of the parents were ushered into the center of the ring to face off, gladiator-style. There were about 500 people watching from all sides.

We were given a huge, thick rope. Ah, a tug-of-war. This is something I know. Unfortunately for the other team, I only counted as one person, but my rope-pulling abilities are glorious compared to the 100 pound Japanese women we faced.

The whistle sounded and the war began. In the underdog upset of the century, my team won. We played one more time, and we won easily again. If you haven't competed in a brute force no skill no aerobic capacity needed contest against young mothers, you should treat yourself--it makes you feel like a badass.

I wish I had pictures, but I woke up, got dressed, and left in under 3 minutes and forgot my camera. I'll try to rustle up pictures from someone else. This being Japan, probably 10,000 digital pictures were taken today.

12 comments:

d said...

Let's get this straight. You were in a tug of war contest where both sides of the rope consisted of young Japanese mothers and you? And you were *worried* about your team losing?

Lisa said...

ack! how could you forget your camera on a day like that!

Luke said...

I should have been on the other team. Since I started doing my dissertation in earnest, I've stopped going to the gym. I do however have some dumbells in my room and so I do bicep curls whenever I'm bored (which is frequently.) As a result, I'm getting huge guns and a huge gut at the same time. I'd be a one man team!

Anonymous said...

Luke, are your biceps as manly as this?

http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=211hate

And I think there was a camera at the event: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/29/101721957_70c1a6f792.jpg

Nate's in front.

Luke said...

Way more manly. His biceps are the size of my forearms right now...

PS
The flicker thing isn't working

Luke said...

PPS
I think I feel slightly sick from looking at those photos. I'm not joking...

Nate said...

I'd rather be an old man in a kilt than someone who spends their time looking up pictures of old men in kilts on the internet.

Luke said...

That sounds really deep... but I have no idea what you're talking about.

Nate said...

That's because Flickr doesn't work in GB apparently!

Anonymous said...

I'd rather be looking up pictures of old men in kilts on the internet than looking up old men's kilts...oh, nevermind.

Sam said...

Did this tug-of-war take place in a mud pit? And, afterwards, did you end up rolling around in the mud with the young Japanese mothers? And after rolling around in the mud with your red bandanna on, did you look like Rambo? And did that make you irresistible to all the young Japanese mothers? And did that make them fight each other to get to you in the mud? And did that cause accidental wardrobe malfunctions?

So, what you're saying is that you had a big naked mud orgy with a bunch of young Japanese mothers. That's really inappropriate given that their children were watching.

PS: Luke, I know you're dying to see the old man kilt picture from flikr, so I copied it for you. You can check it out here: http://samcates.com/pics/tug-a-kilt.jpg.

Luke said...

Damnit, I'm sure somewhere along the line I was promised photos of naked old men in kilts...must have just been wishful thinking...