Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Brief Wondrous Life of a Free Bible

| 7 persons flung their shoes
Forget about those hungry mouths in Africa; forget about those killer bees from Outer Mongolia; forget about those shrinking gonads of the general male population. Why should we even be concerned with these issues when there're other matters that demand urgent attention? Like, say, saving the rest of humanity from the eternal furnace in hell? That's why you see pretty girls and old aunties going from door to door to get new members for the church. More churchgoers means more tithe. And that would appease god, because god loves tithe. And what's more than having an appeased god? He's our ultimate solution to the famine in Africa, the killer bees, the shrinking gonads and other earthly issues. Praise god.

It is also the donations from generous souls (may god bless them) that I get to see the light of day. Obviously, it'd be more preferrable that I didn't end up in this garbage bin but despite my shortlived existence, I'm more than proud to have been entrusted with the holy duty of spreading the gospel.

I have as many days to live till the next garbage collection. But spending your last four days of life with a banana peel and a bento box in a garbage bin sucks high time. Which is why I'm going to pen about my brief wondrous life as a free bible before the garbage truck comes.

Yes, I'm a bible. Not just any bible but a bilingual one - English on one page, and Japanese on the opposite side, just like those Penguin readers. Learning English can never get better! It was a brilliant idea from our beloved priest, who had his epiphany (praise god) when he rolled off his bed in the middle of the night.

I came into existence in a printing factory, together with thousands of other copies just like me. Each and everyone of us was printed on 100% recycled paper with soy ink. So whatever those enviromentalist hippies (may god have mercy on their souls) tell you about melting polar caps and mutant lizards in the Pacific Ocean (I believe the Japanese call them godzilla), we have nothing to do with them. True, recycled paper and soy ink cost more but the church has deeper coffers than you can imagine. The cost for a thousand copies of bibles can't possibly be enough to fund an African child for more than 826.21 days anyway.

I don't really know where my brothers ended up. But some of us, including me, were given out to passer-bys in front of some university. Just in case you don't know, cults are pretty rampant in Japan. A lot of them satanists (may they burn in hell) actively recruit unsuspecting university students. (That's a reason why you shouldn't be an atheist. Nothing is more susceptible to cults than an atheistic mind.) You know, they invite you to coke parties, make you drink goat blood and whatsnot. That's why, we have the holy duty to reach out to the innocent minds, before they fall into the dark abyss of devil-worshipping.

It's simple. It works the same way as giving out free tissues. Sometimes, people just come up to you and ask for a pack. But in our case, people actually walk away from you so you'll have to coerce them. No one is rude enough to reject a free bible stuck right in front of his nose. Believe me, it works because that was how I ended up with some dude, whom I barely had the chance to give sermons to, because before long, I was shoved into a garbage bin ten paces away. (Lesson of the day: never give out bibles within ten paces away from a garbage bin.)

Oh, holy Jesus son of Mary, wife of Joseph! May god have mercy on the heathen! I hold no vengeance upon that misguided soul but I do hope he'll come to his senses soon and seek forgiveness from god.

It's lame to end up in a garbage bin but looking on the bright side, I'm leaving behind a legacy, this little autobiography chronicling my brief wondrous life!

Now, will you excuse me, I have to give a sermon to the banana peel and the bento box. God bless you.

*This autobiography is 'mostly' fictional.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Self-torturing Ritual

| 2 persons flung their shoes
Jogging is a fun self-torturing ritual. It's more fulfilling than banging your head on the wall.

A game of soccer is charged with adrenaline; your eyes can never stray away from the actions on the field; once you do, you get kicked in the balls. Swimming is pretty much a matter of life or death; you know you can't stop paddling until you reach the end of the pool or you'll drown.

Jogging, on the other hand, is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. Except that you have to do it at a fast enough pace, or you'll have to call it "walking" instead. It sounds deceivingly simple, but it's as boring as watching a moustache grow. Occassionally, you bump into a hot chick on the jogging course but to be that lucky, you'll have to have amassed a hell lot of good karma in your previous lives. Instead, more often than that, you only get to jog together with shirtless uncles. So, you see, what keeps a jogger on the track is a sheer will of steel. And for fickle-hearted souls like me, it's a mental torture.

I had the worst jogging session today. After a long week of rain, the clouds had finally broken. A rainy day may be much dreaded but thanks to global warming, a sunny day in spring isn't quite as much a welcoming thought as it used to be. Today's a freaking 27゜C. Good for a bottle of scotch on a sun-kissed beach but certainly not for jogging under the scorching sun.

Nevertheless, I set off for my self-torturing ritual, feeling all eager to keep up to my previous personal record. My target was to go all the way to Futako-tamagawa roughly 7km away, and back, just like last time.

This was the route I took the other day. I didn't strictly followed the same route this morning but thanks to iMapMyRun that malfunctioned for the second time, I have to make do with this one.

Let's just blame it on the breakfast I skipped in the morning but for some reason, I was in low spirits. The red lights at the crossings pissed me off as much as the nicotine addicts puffing away by the streets. Even the slopes were killing me. Merely after 15 minutes, I started to doubt I could finish the course. The anticipation of running into a hot chick couldn't keep my attention on the track.

First bridge crossed. This was supposed to be the best part of the route but unfortunately, no breeze was blowing. To add to that, the sun was ridiculous. I wondered if by the time I finished the course, I'd be so badly sunburnt that my mom would mistake me as an Afro.

After crossing Marukobashi and turning right was the start of the jogging track. To my right was Tamagawa, where a bunch of anglers could be seen dozing away by the river. Along the river, there are more baseball fields than you can count, where aspiring kids train to be the next Ichiro Suzuki.

Futako-tamagawa could be seen in a distance. If it could be seen, it could't be too far away, eh? Yeah, right, 30 minutes away, to be exact. At this point, I started feeling as if I had had cow dung for breakfast. But I couldn't stop because my calves would start to hurt if I did. Anyway, I hate to admit it but I did make more than a few stops.

It felt almost as long as it takes to reach the end of the universe, but surprisingly, I managed to come to Futako-tamagawa within schedule. There were significantly less people there compared to Golden Week. After all, it was spring last week; today, it's summer. You don't go for BBQ in this weather unless you're thinking about getting yourself fried.

I soon came to the spot where we had our picnic last week. No picnickers there now. I thought I'd just lie down in the bushes and get dried up like a prune in the sun, till the next group of picnickers come by next Golden Week and discover my mummified body.

The last half of the course was more of a battle of mental strength. But I was just running a 15km course for goodness sake. By the time I train myself to finish a marathon course (if that ever happens), I'm sure I could light a match by mental power!

Now, here I am, feeling all achy in the calves and drained from the workout, physically and mentally. Preparation for the presentation? Nah, after a few episodes of my newfound entertainment, South Park.

But despite all that, I guess I'll be off in my running shoes again next week.