Spiders

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Source: reddit.com

So, fuck spiders, right?

 

My earliest recollection of anything arachnid-related dates back to hearing the classic Eensie Weensie Spider song in kindergarten.

Haha, nah, not really.

There was, however, an incredibly creepy, wooden, spider-shaped slide for kids at my local shopping centre.

Who thought that was a good idea?

 

Let’s make a slide!

Ooh! What kind of slide?

Let’s make it a spider slide!

Genius.

 

Living in Britain meant the first spiders I came into contact with were money spiders.

You know, those tiny little red-legged fucks.

Tiny little red-legged fucks everywhere.

 

When I was in Primary School I would help my Dad with the odd weekend landscaping job.

We would go visit other people’s houses and turn their dilapidated gardens into a beautiful works of art.

During this time I discovered house spiders.

Those bastards were gigantic. Ever since then I’ve been terrified of anything with eight legs.

 

But why?

 

As a village bumpkin kid who loved exploring stuff like forests and sheds, spider webs were always so high up in the nooks and crannies, with glistening web’s eight-legged artist always glaring down at me.

Perhaps it was because they were always in the corner of my eye, but never had the guts to face me directly.

Perhaps it was the way they moved. Scurrying along floors and across windowsills, never giving me a chance to really see them, making them feel more alien than whatever was on the X-Files that evening.

Or perhaps it was the way they would dangle over my beloved swing set, as if saying:

Yeah, nah, fuck you kid, this is mine now. Everything the web touches is my kingdom.

 

As I got older, I would occasionally meet people who loved spiders.

No, yeah, spiders are great!

They would say.

They eat all the other shitty bugs!

True.

But to me, flies and mosquitoes are just annoying dicks.

Spiders are terrifying.

 

Present day, Japan.

I decided to put my Dad’s gardening techniques to use and clean up the area behind my dilapidated village house.

Some brainiac that lived here before me thought it would be neat to pile up a bunch of rocks in the middle of the patio for some reason.

I knocked over the pile and all of a sudden

 

Spiders.

Spiders, everywhere.

Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head.

Black ones, white ones, even those tiny little red-legged fucks from my childhood, scurrying around my feet and all over my arms.

 

I lost it.

 

Tears, sweat, three cans of poison and two vacuum bags later I had successfully committed spider genocide.

From that day onwards, I occasionally see the odd arachnid dangling from my computer cables, flitting between doorways or hiding behind my clock.

Sure, they still creep me out, but nowhere near as much as a before.

 

Still scream like a little girl when one crawls into bed with me though.

What’s in a name?

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I am always reluctant to give my current e-mail address to new people that I meet. When I created it all those years ago, I thought it was cool.

Now it’s just embarrassing.

 

When we create a username, we try to define or express ourselves in one or two words.

 

It could be that high school nickname that stuck with us all these years.

The name of our favourite videogame character.

The name of our favourite videogame character’s one-winged arch nemesis.

Or simply “HairyButt420”.

We all make a choice and stick by it until the bitter end.

 

So, what’s in my name?

 

When I first took the internet seriously…

 

Haha, I know, right?

 

Anyway, I was really into Sonic the Hedgehog.

Heck, I still am.

My first recollection of creating a username was for some really old chat sites such as AOL and Mplayer.com, where I went by Sonic_Fan_1986.

Just…

Just let that sink in for a second.

 

11 years ago I created my first ever website through Tripod.

Remember Tripod?

The site I built and raised like my very own child was known as Angel Island Zone, and surprise surprise, it was a Sonic the Hedgehog fan site, filled with delusional fanfics and incoherent ramblings from yours truly.

 

The best part is it still exists!

 

14 years old and raking in those incredible 3 unique visitors per day.

That level of intense internet fame just wasn’t enough for me.

I wanted more.

 

I needed to change my image. I needed to be cooler.

With the release of Sega’s Dreamcast in 2000, nothing was cooler than the new baddie from Sonic Adventure, or so I thought.

Source: sonic.wikia.com

I know, I’ll make my own, original gigantic, emerald devouring water monster and name him after me!

And so, Chaoz Jamez was born, and stuck with me for a decade and a half.

 

Yep.

I pioneered the ORIGINAL CHARACTER DO NOT STEAL movement before it became a thing!

 

To this day I still use Chaoz Jamez as my default mail address.

It’s just so endearing!

 

14 year old me was such a little idiot.

 

As for my pen name Jkun, a bunch of friends at a local anime club simply shortened “James” to “Jay” then stuck “kun” on the end.

I mean, that’s what they do in anime so why not do it in real life?

 

Much like Chaoz Jamez, Jkun also seemed to stick with me until present day, and ended up being the name of my Final Fantasy XI character.

Now that I am living in Japan, people call me Jkun unironically.

 

All-in-all, my nicknames could have been worse.

 

Yours truly,

xXxSephiroth85xXx Jkun

Gyouza Girl

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Source: japan-guide.com

So the weirdest thing happened last night at my town’s summer festival.

I got a mail from a stranger, wanting to meet up for the annual summer festival as it’s been a while, apparently.

Great! No problems there.

If only I could remember who it was.

I quickly agree to meet up, followed by radio silence for the rest of the day.

Oh well.

 

Maybe it was a wrong number.

Or a murderer.

 

For the whole afternoon I was wracking my brains trying to figure out who this person was and where or even if I had met them before.

After all, it’s only been a year since I came to Japan.

Was it during a drunken pub crawl during my first few days here?

A girl that I flirted with at a bar?

A boy who I thought was a girl that I flirted with at a bar?

An old lady I met in the supermarket?

All of the above?

Source: gaijinpot.com
Anyway, fast forward to festival day. We finally meet up and, well, it’s a girl. But which girl?!

From where?!

We talked in a mixture of English and Japanese before grabbing something to eat. After securing some takoyaki, she spurts “Gross! Not as delicious at that time we made gyouza, right?”

 

Oh!

Ohhhh!

I remember you!

You’re gyouza girl! I blurted out, trying hard not to spit my tiny balls of fried octopus all over her.

 

Gyouza girl was one of the many people I met while taking part in a Chinese culture festival last year.

She really likes gyouza.

Like, a lot.

We chatted some more and turns out she won’t be staying here for another year.

 

I hope it wasn’t because of the nickname I gave her.

Trolled by Coke

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After the gym today I decided to hit up the usual vending machine.

I was really in the mood for a Coke.

 

After slamming in my 150 yen and carrying my cool, sweet beverage back to the car, nothing really struck me as odd.

Feels cold, yep.

Feels heavy, like usual.

Oh man, I can’t wait to down this in one go!

 

I popped the car into first gear and drove up to the first set of traffic lights.

I wonder why this Coke can says Happy Kan on the side? Whatever, Japan is just weird like that.

 

As I hit the second set of traffic lights, I reached for the can and something felt off.

Well, technically not off, but on.

Welded on, in fact.

 

After further inspection before the lights turned green, I noticed the ring pull was simply engraved onto the top of the can.

 

Third set of lights. I managed to find another little opening near the top, so I twist the lid and to my utter amazement this comes out:

A pair of cheap headphones and, hold on, are those weights?

Yeah! They totally are!

Giant, red, plastic weights.

Alright then!

Anyone got a spare 150 yen before I die of thirst?