August 9, 2013
Midsummer Japanese Horror Story
Whatever else it may be, my Japan-set horror story is nowhere near
as execrable as Sarah Michelle Gellar's The Grudge.
I just came back from a sweaty overnight “study trip” with eighteen of my junior and senior advisees. We schlep to a campground in the forested remote western reaches of Tokyo prefecture and crowd together in a spartan lodge for two days of…well, just about anything but “study.” It’s our version of Bohemian Grove, but without that wet blanket Kissinger.
I leave all the preparations and management of these affairs to a select committee of members and then show up only to pay the bill (with the school’s money) and observe the often befuddling festivities. This year, we went down to the riverside to play a piñata-like Japanese game in which blindfolded members take turns trying to smash a melon. Then there was a barbecue with drinking, then bathing, then more drinking.
I came armed with a list of forty questions that I wanted to ask my favorite member, a sincere and friendly idiot. I followed her around, peppering her with random queries whenever time permitted. I learned that Atsumi believes that:
* The Russo-Japanese War of the early twentieth century, aka Japan’s first
great international military triumph, was won by Russia.
* Paris is the capital of Italy.
* Jesus Christ walked the earth “about a hundred years ago.”
Finally, we gathered in a single room for a late-night Bingo tournament.
This was exasperating for me, as I somehow managed to punch out more than
half the numbers on my card without getting a single Bingo, but in the
end, I suppose this was a blessing, in disguise as first prize turned out
to be a sex toy.
The winner was a rather dense, agreeable lad—sort of a titless Atsumi—seated in the opposite corner of the room from me. As he removed the item from its paper bag, I heard someone say, “Holy shit, that’s a sex toy!” and immediately recognized my own voice.
At events like these, surrounded by young folk, I ease into the character
of “clueless old fart who blurts out arbitrary things.” An enterprising
follower could cobble together a “Shit My Teacher Says” book in just a
couple of months and retire on royalties, but alas, our students are not
that ambitious. It was in this character, eyeing something that looked from a distance as
if it might be misconstrued as a sex toy, that I blurted out the above.
Surely the Activities Committee wouldn’t provide an actual blowjob simulator
as a Bingo prize. But the joke, it turned out, was on me.*
Just as I was beginning to wonder what on earth the committee would have done had a female member gotten first prize, a senior girl scored a Bingo on the next number and received…another sex toy. This was of the vibrating egg type, and thus suitable for, well, the female member of a female member. The Activities Committee was nothing if not thorough. If they had brought the same dedication to bear on university entrance exams as they did on Bingo prizes, they all might have gotten into an institution where the students actually know who won their own country’s major wars.
While the first-prize winner regarded his gift as if it were laden with anthrax (or perhaps, somewhat more realistically, suspected that the committee chairman had test-driven the product before repackaging it), the second-prize winner soon had a clutch of curious classmates gathering around her to unabashedly experiment with the vibrating egg’s speed control—which was remarkably similar to that of my beloved “Rolling Fella Bomber,” I thought, choosing not to share this revelation.
After Bingo, some of us remained in the room with the lights off to indulge in the Japanese summertime customs of telling scary stories to take the edge off the humidity. With the obligatory flashlight pointed up at my face, I plodded through a lame tale set on campus involving a dead professor. It was a flop in terms of both content and execution. I skulked off in defeat and tried to sleep.
Of course, this proved futile, because I was in a smallish lodge crammed with eighteen excitable students, so the next five hours were marked by periods in which I would be lulled to the very brink of slumber by the steady murmuring from the next room and then jolted awake by a sudden downpour of shrieking laughter.
At some point in this semi-conscious reverie, I came up with a much better horror story, but soon the sun was rising and there was to be no further opportunity to relate it. So, rather than let all that effort go to waste, I present the tale here as what Wolf Blitzer is wont to call Exclusive Breaking News.
So, it seems that several years ago, there was a college boy in western Japan who went on a study trip to a camping lodge very much like this one, with classmates very much like all of you, to enjoy various activities quite similar to those we have enjoyed this evening.
Because he had been the first member to successfully whack a melon with a stick that afternoon, he was awarded a special prize by the committee in charge. Everyone laughed when he opened the package, because it looked for all the world like a sex toy for men. “Ha, ha!” said the boy’s best friend. “I bet you will have a lot of fun with that!” “You’re the kind of guy who especially needs that sort of thing,” chimed another. The latter comment, as it emanated from an especially pretty girl, carried an especially sharp sting.
Later that night, after all the other members of the group got tired of talking and drinking, and finally went to sleep, the young winner’s curiosity got the better of him. In the dark, he fumbled for his prize and decided to give it a trial run right then and there.
Nervously, trying not to awaken the others, he removed the item from its bubble-wrap and placed it over his throbbing, erect penis, and then, with illicit thoughts of his female classmates dancing in his head, hit the control.
Alas, the young man had not looked carefully enough at the package. Oh yes, it looked like a sex toy. The teasing comments of his friends made him believe it was a sex toy. But do you know what that device really was?
IT WAS A COCKTAIL BLENDER!
And he had set it for “puree.”
The young man felt the whirring blades slicing into his penis from every angle! It was as if he had dipped the organ into a tank full of hungry piranha! He screamed, and then the room folded in on itself and everything went black!! His classmates woke up and turned on the lights, and then…
The next morning, check-out time came and went with no sign of anyone from Lodge 13. “Damn kids,” thought the campground manager. But when he stepped inside the lodge to investigate, what a terrible sight greeted his eyes!
The first thing he saw was the Bingo prize winner, dead, and lacking a penis. And then he noticed the others. Every one—yes, every single one of the other members had been killed in the most horrible manner imaginable. Huge globs of blood had spurted from their mouths and buttholes and eye sockets, as though some tubular guided missile had torn through them. It was a massacre. Then the manager heard a terrible sound emerging from a dark corner behind him.
It was the slithery sound of a creature with no limbs and—somehow the manager sensed this—no soul. Against his better judgment, he turned. The last thing he saw was a diseased and horribly scarred lump of flesh about five inches long, shrieking an unearthly shriek through the loan orifice of its featureless face and then springing straight toward his eye…
The lodge, erected at the end of the path that ran through the campground, still stands. Oh, of course it was boarded up and never rented out again, but no one dared attempt to raze the building.
And they say that, on a hot midsummer night just like this one, if you walk nearby and listen at the windows, you can still hear the sound of some…thing slithering along the tatami-mat floor…
The zombie penis of Lodge 13, still lying in wait for its next victim.
Perhaps owing to this creative triumph that had incubated in my head overnight, I awoke late in the morning with an absolutely fabulous boner. I had not planned it, but nonetheless regarded it is something of a major achievement under these austere circumstances. I detected someone nearby, washing up in a basin near the spot where I had randomly thrown my mat. It was Chizuko, the senior who had snagged the vibrating sex toy.
“Chizuko, I have a boner,” I reported, because, you know, this sort of thing is just expected of me at this point in my teaching career. Chizuko was nonplussed.
|* As recently as 2008, when I was drafting the Rolling Fella Bomber chapter for my essay collection Wussie: In Praise of Spineless Men and Kevin Smith was releasing Zach and Miri Make a Porno featuring Seth Rogen’s soliloquy to the Fleshlight, the whole concept of penis-insertable sex toys for men was still considered risqué, to the point where I was being advised to drop the subject or at least downplay it. A mere five years on, down-market blowjob simulators are party favors on the order of stemless wine glasses or skeleton-key bottle openers.
When Shelley wrote…
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.
…mightn’t the visionary poet have been foreseeing the advent of blowjob simulators?