Mei’s the girlfriend you’d love to have but can’t, because my buddy Yuki got her first.
She’s got big eyes, enormous boobs, long brown hair curled into ringlets, and an ass that’ll make you reevaluate your life. When Mei wears a sweater more people line up for a viewing than Star Wars. Is she smart? Who cares—-she’s too busy looking sexy and giggling to discuss quantum computing. Of course, Mei works in a Girls Bar. That just makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is why she’s with Yuki.
Going to a Japanese Girls Bar
So, the Girls Bar. That’s a bar with, uh, girls. Now, maybe if you’re from some normal country you just assume that all bars have girls, but uh uh, not in Japan. Since bar culture, and young single women out drinking, never really caught on in Japan, the Japanese in their wisdom engineered a brilliant solution: a bar where girls are paid to talk with you. There, you can have the experience of chatting up a sexy girl, and she’s going to laugh at your jokes, make eyes at you, and mix you up another shochu with water. All the girls are smoking hot, and sing pitch-perfect karaoke like angels. It’s like partying with AKB-48.
Now, Yuki’s a friend of mine, and an all around cool person. I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus, but when people say “it’s all gone pear-shaped,” you’d be hard-pressed not to conjure up an image of Yuki’s body. Doesn’t spend a lot of time in the gym, is all I’m saying. Yuki’s middle-aged, wears glasses, dresses like crap, has no money, and oh yeah, no dick. Sort of a minor oversight on God’s part.
So how does a frumpy lesbian woman score a young, normally heterosexual girl who spends her weekends winning wet t-shirt contests? That’s what I asked Yuki, albeit slightly more diplomatically.
“So just how drunk was she?” I demanded.
“Nah, you just gotta know,” she replied, “the one thing all Japanese girls want.”
We were at a table in the Girls Bar, with three of Yuki’s friends: a couple of other girls who were also pretty hot, and this guy named Moshi who wasn’t, trying to have a conversation over the karaoke belting from the bar counter.
“Is it sex?” I asked. “Please tell me it’s sex.
“It’s not sex.
“Let’s just say sex,” I said.
After a bit, Mei came and sat with us, which I think is kind of technically against the law, but whatever. We had a bottle of shochu and a bucket full of ice, and were all sitting around this low, glass table. I was sandwiched between the two girls on one side, with Mei on the other between Yuki and Moshi. God, she looked amazing. Ringlets, jeez.
How not to Sing Karaoke in Japan
What happened next was, okay, partly my fault. Suddenly my turn came to sing and so I launched into this Japanese song about how God’s in the toilet bowl. Seriously, it’s a real song, and a pretty good one at that, but it’s also freaking sad because there’s this grandmother and she kind of, you know, dies. Sorry, did I just spoil the ending? Whatever, look, Ken Seeroi’s only got so many Japanese songs in his repertoire, and once in a while this is what you get. Deal with it. So I sang it.
And then Yuki started crying, Why is a mystery. Maybe her grandmother died a fiery death or something, who knows. And then Mei started crying, because Yuki was crying, or because her grandmother was also engulfed in the same fatal crash. Again, who knows. I mean, we were all nice and drunk. Then I started crying, then Moshi, then the two girls, and we were all boozily sobbing and I kind of messed up the lyrics but it didn’t matter because my voice was filled with emotion and I sound like an angel anyway.
Then that was over, and we all went back to chatting and flirting. Although I was carrying on a random conversation with the two girls flanking me, mostly I was watching the action across the table, with Yuki and Moshi both leaning in, competing for Mei’s attention.
Mei was wedged between them, rhythmically batting her fake eyelashes in time with the music. Being a cute girl in Japan is like being that guy who can bend bars of steel with his bare hands. Like you’d take him to a party and he’d all, Can I see that fireplace poker for a sec? And then he’d bend it into a U shape. Or you’d be out walking and it’d stop raining and he’d say, I’ll carry the umbrella. And then he’d U-shape that too. You’d be like, Stop doing that! Stop bending shit into U-shapes! Then he’d look majorly forlorn and softly mumble But that’s what I do. That’s my thing, being that dude that bends stuff into U-shapes. This essentially sums up what being a cute Japanese girl is like.
The whole scene unfolded right in front of me—-Mei laughing at Moshi’s jokes, then Yuki trying to amuse her girlfriend but falling flat a bit, and gradually getting slightly pissed off. She rapped her tumbler down on the glass tabletop.
That caught my attention, but nobody else seemed to notice. Hey, Ken Seeroi’s been in a lot of bars, I’m not gonna lie, and the same events repeat with remarkable consistency. It’s all just a variation on a theme. Still the competition played out, with Moshi lightly touching Mei, Mei giggling, and Yuki looking madder and madder. Finally, she reached across Mei, grabbed Moshi’s arm and barked something I couldn’t catch. Then Moshi snapped back, Mei got up and ran away, and Yuki palm-smacked Moshi.
That’s when the music stopped. I mean literally, since the karaoke was between songs, so everything suddenly got super quiet, except for Yuki and Moshi, who were yelling insults while doing a strangely gay, sitting-down boxing match. Then all hell broke loose.
I am a Japanese Fortune-Teller
I’m pretty sure I’m clairvoyant. Is that when you can see into the future? Whatever, you get what I’m saying. Because I saw that glass tabletop and Yuki’s tumbler, and it was like when you want to pause a movie but can’t find the remote. Yuki snatched up the tumbler and slammed it hard onto that glass table and…well, nothing happened, except the entire place echoed with this giant Bam! and everyone turned to look. Then just like I knew she would, because Ken Seeroi’s been in a lot of bars, she did it again with real anger, smack in the middle of the table.
Ever wonder what happens when a giant glass table explodes? Yeah, me neither, but it’s pretty much just what you’d think. It sounds like a car crash and then there’s a shit-ton of sharp stuff everywhere. I thought my decision to wear boots was due to my incredible fashion sense, but apparently the clairvoyance had foreseen that I’d soon be standing on a massive pile of safety glass. But even before the crash’d stopped ringing through the bar, suddenly out of nowhere these two huge pro wrestler-looking dudes were at our table, yelling they were gonna rip everyone’s heads off and eat them. I was like, Man, first crying, then the table detonates, and now we’re all gonna die, this evening’s not panning out well at all. Meanwhile Yuki’s standing all five-foot-three yelling back I’ll Kill You Too! I’ll kill You All! and Moshi’s bowing and apologizing like mad and the two huge dudes back him against the wall and the other two girls are like Peace, we’re out and I crunched over the glass and wrapped my arms around Yuki said Shut the fuck up.
Which of course she didn’t. I just held onto her as she kept yelling and trying to slug Moshi, who had his own set of problems. Then another hottie came over from behind the bar, talked the two big guys out of eating our heads, and tried to calm Yuki down. Amazingly, someone had already started singing karaoke again. Japan’s great like that.
Eventually, I walked outside, where the two girls and Moshi were staring silently at the sidewalk.
“Okay, I think that went pretty well,” I said.
“I’m going home,” said one of the girls.
“We all need to calm down,” said Moshi.
We looked at each other, and realized how right he was. Two guys and two girls, standing drunkenly in the cold at one in the morning; it was a ridiculous situation. Clearly, actions were called for. And since we were all worried about Yuki, we did what any responsible Japanese friends would do: abandoned the hell out of her. We dashed into a little pub around the corner, had a ton more shochu, some soft tofu topped with kimchee, several skewers of glazed chicken or possibly pork, and sang karaoke till dawn.
Japanese Gay Marriage
When I met Yuki a week later, she was like, “Sorry about the other night, by the way.”
“Yeah, no big deal,” I said. “Although you did leave me hanging about what Japanese girls want.
“Sex,” she said. “You didn’t know?
“So I was actually right?
“Just kidding. Really, security. That’s basically it. Someone who’ll love them and not leave.
“Must you always crush my hopes and dreams?,” I asked. “Anyway, so when’s the wedding?
“Ah, her father hates me.
“Sure he’ll come around,” I said hopefully. “And how’s that anger management working out?
“Well, it’s your fault for singing the damn Toilet God song, getting me all worked up.
“Don’t be hating on the angel voice.
“Right,” she said. “Anyway, let’s get a beer.
“It’s like you read my mind,” she said.
“Nah,” I said, “just saw into the future.”
And I did. We went back to the bar, and there was Mei, smiling and radiant as ever. I pictured her ten years on, but things didn’t look as rosy. Unless she harbored some as-yet undisclosed talent, she’d need to lock in a stable situation pretty soon. Maybe that also explained the steady stream of women I barely know asking me for marriage and children. Of course, I’m sure it’s just me, owing to my rugged good looks, slim-fit jeans, and promising career as an English teacher. Anyway, The three of us sang some happier songs, including the one where I’m the scales on this fish, and drank more beer and then some shochu and ate several bags of Baby Star Ramen snacks. It was a magical evening. Even the glass table was back, fixed like nothing had happened, looking like it’d stay shiny and beautiful forever.