Okay, Okay, I’m Fat…Thanks Guys

Sam is fat.I live in Japan. In Japan it is socially acceptable to tell you straight up if you have gotten fat. The conversation would go something like this:

“Hey, dude. Long time no see!”
“Yeah, for real! Hey, you got so fat!”

No precursor, no buildup, nothing. People will just tell you because it is a completely normal thing to say after they haven’t seen you for a while. So I’ve gotten used to it. I’m not really on the receiving end of it too much, but I occasionally get it from my girlfriend, who just loves to look at the rolls my stomach makes when I’m bend over, and then she rubs them.

Anyway!

I don’t think I have to tell you that this is NOT acceptable behavior in the U.S., or for that matter, most of the English speaking world. You don’t walk up to your friend who gained 5 pounds over the summer to tell them that you can see their love handles now. You don’t even go up to your super fat friend who used to be skinny and tell them they’ve gotten blimp sized and they should chill the fuck out with the food. Hell, People sue their doctors for telling them that they are fat and need to go on a diet or die from diabetes.

So when I went home for a couple of weeks for Christmas, being called a fat ass was the last thing I was expecting. Boy, was I wrong. I get home and one of the first things my mother says to me is, “Aww, you got a little belly don’t’cha!”. Oh, thanks mom. Something was amiss, usually they tell me how great I look. Whatever, I’ll take it, she is my mother after all. She gets some leeway since she loves me and just wants me to be healthy and all that junk. But then my sister says it. Fuck you. And then I meet up with a friend, he says it. Dude! Another friend, she says it. And then another, and another. THey all say it. What ever happened to not being a dick? You know, I was never too concerned with my weight, but going to a place with awesome social blocks placed against straight up calling people fat, and being bombarded with how big my belly got… you got to wonder… have I gotten fat? Am I a lard ball?

Ok, I do have to admit I have gone through a one month period where my body fat was bursting out from under my clothes (I want to delete those photos so bad), but its not THAT bad. It’s just a belly! Even my Japanese friends haven’t said anything… and they love calling people fat! What’s up people?!

Besides all rational thought, however, I have decided to cut down on my eating habits. So basically, fuck you guys. I’m fucking fat now, happy?!

Yes, you are fat.

Have a great day,
Maxim

My Kids Like to Torture Pets Too

TMNTLast time on Maxim’s Madness we discussed my displeasure with how my students treated bugs. Throwing them like toys, ripping off their legs and presenting them to me as presents; great habits to allow a child to develop. Well, it doesn’t stop there. Despite the knowledge that these kids are sadistic, their teachers allow them to keep scores of pets, and task them to take care of them. We all had some sort of class pet growing up, sure, but I think these kids have you beat. Why you ask? It’s all solved by a little count.

Currently we have:
Two rabbits
A rooster
Not one, Not two, not three, not four, but FIVE turtles
A praying mantis

Can you believe it? What kind of crazy fucked in the head teacher would allow a group of kids so many pets? It blows my mind. Now you’re probably thinking, well, they can’t be that bad…at least they’re alive, right? Wrong. I present to you my evidence.

Turtles be fucked

First the turtles. Our kids always have at least one turtle. There are turtles appearing and disappearing and reappearing all the time. On one faithful day a couple of months ago, the kids found a very large turtle next to a river that runs next to us. Of course, the kids wanted to keep it as a pet, and from some inspiration from hell, the teachers agreed. Now this was a big fucking turtle. I mean, on par with some of the biggest turtles I had ever seen. I mean I’ve seen bigger in like an aquarium or something, but this is the wild! Those aquarium turtles don’t actually exist. Anyway, so imagine your laptop that was a turtle… maybe a little bit taller…thicker… that’s the turtle. It was a BIG turtle! So the teachers agreed to keep the it…only problem? Where the fuck they gonna keep a big fucking huge turtle? The usual place we keep turtles is a slightly larger than average bucket (no joke). So the teachers decided to put the big ass turtle in the bucket the size of the turtle. The kids loved it. Seeing the the turtle struggle to get out. Never being able to. Awesome. Kids laughter. Precious. Big turtle. Fun. Oh yeah, innocence. That turtle died in two weeks. They liked it enough to dig it a grave at least… what the fuck.

It’s not like they treat their normal sized turtles any better. Yeah, instead of one big turtle taking up all the room in the bucket, they put five in there. No rocks to lay on, nothing. The kids job is to change the water everyday and feed them, but in the process they have to remove the turtles from their bucket. So in the meantime they run around with the turtles like they are superturtles. Also when they finally put them back in their bucket they set aside a couple of minutes to shake up their water bucket to help the with turtle earthquake training (I guess?). Again, these aren’t the same kids day in and day out. Different kids have to clean the bucket each week. This is a be mean to animals epidemic. I need to kick the kids heads in one of these days.

Praying mantis death tribunal

Here’s a shorter, yet more direct story about our praying mantis. I have less experience with the torture these kids gave this poor guy, though I do know two important facts. First, the fairly large praying mantis is being kept in an old pencil case. Most people wold stop here and be like, “okay, that’s sad”, but it doesn’t stop. It actually gets worse. Second, the teacher had a meeting with the class to tell them that the school had run out of food for the mantis, and at this rate it probably die from starvation if nothing was done. Being the classes pet, she asked for some of the kids opinions, so they could have a vote on what to do. Here were the three main sides:

1. “I don’t care, I want it”
2. “Put another one in so it can die with a friend”
And the minority opinion 3. “We should let it go”

In the end, the class was unable to come to a consensus and the bug stayed where it was.
Awesome Praying Mantis
Okay….JESUS MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST! Am I some sort of liberal animal loving freak? Am I weird? Tell me! Is the whole world mad?!?!

I’m glad I vented all of that out. Sorry it took two whole posts to do it!

My Kids Like to Torture Bugs

Magnifying Glass MurderI don’t usually write rapid reactions to things that happened to me today, or even yesterday on Maxim’s Madness. I let them fester. I write careful satire and funny observations, constantly rereading and editing to see what lies or fibs I can add to my stories to make them better. Not lies, but…you know what I mean. Well anyway, today I am going to make an exception. I cannot let what happened to me today go untold, and I need to say this while it’s fresh. There is a tragedy of epic proportions going on in Japan and no ones seems to want to talk about it. I alluded to it a couple of months ago, but didn’t go too in depth. Here comes the rant.

Little fucking kindergartners in Japan are fuckin’ sadist freaks. There, I said it. Their teachers don’t do anything to stop then either. The daily torturing of animals I witness is just heartbreaking. Of course back in the day you always had that one kid in your class who liked to collect bugs, or burn ants with a magnifying glass, whatever, It was one kid. Well, imagine that kid times how ever many kintergarten kids there are in Japan. No bullshit.

The following events all took place within five minutes of each other.

As soon as I get to work today I have a young girl kindly inform me that they had found… something. Actually she said a Japanese word, “mimizu”, but I had no idea what that was. She kindly pointed me to where the action was and I went to investigate. I soon found out what “mimuzu” was, earthworms. They had found a bunch of earthworms after digging in some flowerbeds. Well, they were flowerbeds… yeah. As soon as I saw the worms the kids detected my distaste for them immediately. I did not want to be near those worms. I hate worms. One girl came in close to show me what she had found and I sort of backed off and told her “I see it fine from here. Very good!”. That wasn’t enough, she wanted me to hold it… or something. She came closer, I backed away. Big mistake. It suddenly became a game of “Let’s try and get Maxim to touch the worm”. Seconds later I was running across the field with 10 screaming kindergarteners running after me with worms. They won in the end. At least they were content with only pressing it against my clothes a bunch of times, never my skin. They then proceeded to take the worms and feed them to the birds. Poor worms… Next incident.

A minute later I get sucked into a giant game of tag. That’s usual enough. While in persuit of one particularly slimey child, I felt something hit me in the back. It didn’t hurt or anything, but obviously as a teacher I don’t take kidnly to having stuff being thrown at me. I turned around and found the laughing culprit right behind me. He quickly scoured to pick up what he threw at me, and threw it at me again. He missed, but this time I got a good look at what he was throwing at me. It was a fairly large grasshopper, fighting desperatly to get out of the demon child’s clutches. Horrified, I yelled at the kid that you shouldn’t throw a living thing like a toy, and to think about how the grasshopper feels. He responded to that by picking it up again and throwing it at his friend, who then picked it up and threw it back. I pleaded with the boys to let the poor soul go, but they said nothing and ran off with it. No idea what happened to the thing… probably dead. Next incident.

Literally the second after they ran off, the same girl who had been chasing me with worms came back to present me with a smaller grasshopper she had found. Having just been through a much worse ordeal, and with the grasshopper seemed to be in decent enough shape (living), I congratulated her, but also told her her I would be happy if she let it go. She did, to my surprise. However, soon after she put it down she ran back to me laughing, “Max, look!!!! It’s the grasshoppers leg! I let it go but I ripped it off too! HAHAHAHA”. I could see the grasshopper where she put it down… struggling to jump out of the busy field. The only thing I could think of was whether it was appropriate to put it out of its misery.

I am not exaggerating when I say this happened it the span of five minutes. It really did. It was horrible. They aren’t doing anything technically wrong, they are actually encouraged to go out and find bugs. Why are they so sadistic? This is not even the end of it, either. The kids also allowed to keep pets… we have eight. I’ll save their stories for another day.

In the meantime I will be thinking of ways to punish my kids for torturing little critters… I may need some help since the only thing I can think of is torturing them in return. Sigh…

Until next time,

-Maxim
Help Us!

Culty Kyushu

Kyushu MapI had a couple of three day weekends over the past month and I decided to take advantage and go on a nice three day and two night vacation. The destination? Kyushu, one of the four major Japanese islands. Since coming to Japan I have only visited two of the these islands, Honshu and Shikoku, and to eager to discover some new places. So how was my trip? Well, the easiest way to describe it would be to say… it was very culty. That’s right culty. It would be easy for the untrained eye to walk across this island and not see anything particularly out of the normal other than the usual Japanese idiosyncrasies. However, what I witnessed in my three days traveling around this large island was frightening to say the least.
Fukuoka Food Stands
The first five minutes after arriving were normal enough, me and my travel companion had to kill time between our train arrival and our bus departure in Fukuoka, the biggest city on the island. We decided to walk around and search for some illusive street venders which were supposedly famous in the city. We couldn’t find one. Very curious indeed. How could a city famous for its food on the street, have none anywhere to be found? Cult activity? Hmmm.

On our way back from our long walk we stumbled upon a large Buddhist temple. The temple seemed pretty popular since loads of cars were going in and out. They even needed a guy directing traffic outside. Thinking it was possibly some famous attraction in the city, we went inside the walls. It took us ten seconds to figure out something wasn’t quite right. This was no temple, it was more like an office complex, with weird symbols gilded on every orifice. A sudden feeling of dread took over me. Flash backs to my own cult experience filled my mind as we ran past the guard to get out of there. Did I mention that the cult I had joined was founded in Kyushu? Did I tell you that? It’s kind of important. Anyway, my friend informed me that since we had entered the grounds, the tracker implants that my cult had injected into me unknowingly, had probably triggered alarms at the main cult base, and that they would be after me. Crap! In the end, no secret cult agents came pouring out to get us, but the idea did keep us on edge for the rest of the vacation.
Saigondenji Temple
The next incident came during our second day of vacation. We were chillin’ around an active volcano called Mount Aso. We were walking around the area when we came across the ruins of an old Buddhist temple. My friend, being a real working archeologist, did a quick survey of the area. After about a minute he was able to determine the cause of its destruction, fire. We couldn’t say when it burned down but it was fairly being that all the trees and were burnt to shit and the ground all the metal around was warped to all hell. We thought about the nature of fire for a second. Fire…fire…fire… We looked at each other and quickly came to the same realization. Fire? Burned down Buddhist temple? Those dirty cults, they struck again. You could feel the sacrilege in the air, the hatred, the suffering. Needless to say we got out of there real quick.
Ken-chans
Next incident. On that same day we set up camp in a town called Takachiho. The area is famous for its place in Japanese mythology. We found a hotel quickly enough, and even did a little sightseeing before we decided to get unhealthily drunk. We had eyed an interesting looking bar/restaurant (called an “izakaya” in Japan) when we arrived, so we decided to go honor the funny looking establishment with our patronage. We went inside and was greeted by a man wearing large glasses with perfectly circular lenses, and a greased back 1950’s style yakuza haircut. He directed us to the counter. The very large barkeep, and owner of the place, was quick to inform us that he was a karate and boxing master, and to look at the photos of himself plastered all over the restaurant. Most of the photos were idealized pictures of the bartender in a sea of clouds wearing traditional garb and inspirational messages written in large fonts. Not only was this picture all over the bar, but on three or four large flags waving in the wind outside. It was obvious at that point that we had walked right into a cult base. We finished our food and drink and got out as soon as we could, not after cautiously accepting a clear unknown drink from the man which may have been brainwashing potion.

We had planned to get out of the cult populated town early the next morning, but the bus we planned to get on was conveniently full. We had to wait for another five hours for the next one. We decided we probably shouldn’t stay in one place to avoid detection, so we began circling around the area, not frequenting one place for more than a half hour. However, when we stopped to eat in a place we chose for its lack of customers, as soon as we sat down a group of young people came in. They numbered seven and by the looks of them (skinny jeans, bandanas, and long hair) they were trouble. For a while none of them did anything suspicious and we were beginning to feel a little bit at ease, but then came the look. A girl, the obvious leader of the group, sporting wild long black hair and fake eyelashes, turned her head and began to stare at us, mouth slightly opened, eyes wide. I looked at her back, but she continued to stare. A staring contest ensued. I nodded at her, a “ok, please stop staring at me now” sort of desperate nod. She nodded back, but she wouldn’t look away, mouth still slightly open. She was salivating. My heart beat faster. I was scared. I was no match for her mouth derived powers. We quickly ran out of the store, but the cult outriders were soon on our backs. They chased us around until we begged a passing bus to let us on. We never would of gotten away if we hadn’t suddenly became parkour masters. Driving away we could see them dissolve into cultish mist through the back window.

The time finally came for our bus, and we were glad to leave. It was the scariest experience of our lives. How could an island as big as Kyushu be so densly populated by crazy cultists who want to burn us at the stake? Needless to say, I’m back safe in the normal Japan, where you find only the occasional cult. It’s a good feeling to be alive after a brush of death. Won’t be going back anytime soon…unless… unless they tracked my movements back here. Woah. I forgot about the tracker. Crap, better hide.

See you next time?

-Maxim

Ken-chan
Ken-chans worker

The Great Heist

Last week, I had announced that I had discovered the reason for the recent flurry of natural disasters occurring on the east coast of the United States. My Japanese girlfriend that I had taken to my home in an act of kindness, was actually a Japanese spy sent to reek havoc on the country I hold so dear. I vowed that I would have my revenge. After days of careful planning, I gave those ninja spies a little taste of their own medicine. What unfolded will go down as one of the greatest heists in the history of the world. Here is my story.
The Heist

America, FUCK YEAH! You can stop worrying about the stranglehold those ninjas had on the rest of the world now. Maxim’s in control now.

Until next time,

Maxim

P.S. A strong and destructive typhoon did actually hit Japan this past weekend. It was the first time the prefecture got directly hit by a typhoon in thirteen years. Seriously, what is with all these strange weather coincidences and me?

The Three Rules

Don't mess 2345In case you don’t know, I am a teacher in Japan. I am deep inside the Japanese education apparatus… deep, deep inside. A sleeper agent if you will. Summer vacation has just begun, and we had our first semester closing ceremony yesterday (yes, they have a ceremony for that). It basically was a lot of bowing, standing, and sitting, but there was one thing that caught my ear. After the ceremony one of the teachers went in front of the entire school and gave a speech outlying three rules that they absolutely must follow during summer break. The thing you must understand about these rules is the seriousness the tone of the teacher’s voice was while he said them. A seriousness so well conveyed, every single person in the room knew that if they broke the rules, they would destroy the balance of the universe, or at least Japan. Here are the rules and parts of the speech he gave:

1. Don’t die (死ぬな)

Don’t die. Don’t be dead. Don’t be beheaded. Don’t drown. Don’t get hit by a car. School is a safe place, people don’t die in school. I protect you in these walls. People only die outside in the scary world, where I can’t save you all the time. So don’t go outside of school and get killed, or I will haunt your eternal soul forever.

2. Don’t steal(取るな)

You god damn kids better not steal. Do not take one piece of candy, one spec of dust from anywhere. Do not take anything that does not belong to you. Don’t steal from your friends houses. When you are invited to someones house you are their guest. Even if your friend says you can borrow something and you take it, you are stealing. That is not their property to give and you just took it, you are beyond scum. I will find you, and I will give you my divine justice.

3. Don’t be a lump(だらだらしない)

You are all required to wake up everyday at 6:30 in the morning and do radio calisthenics. Do not lump around the fan all day talking into it. Yeah it makes your voice sound funny, but do it for one more second and the blades may cut your tongue out. You always have something to do at all times, whether it be the one months worth of homework we gave you, or helping your parents, or even just running around your house, do not stay still. You must moving. If you stop, we will find you. We know.

The teacher walked off the stage. Those kids were going to follow his rules, he knew it. He wasn’t exaggerating one bit, and they knew it. It was going to be a long summer.

All I could think about throughout the whole speech was, “Crap, Mr. Fan, don’t take my tongue!”.

I’m Sorry I Disappoint You

I could tell as soon as I arrived that they were afraid. There I was, a Jew from Brooklyn. In Japan, I may as well of been Michael Jordan. Everyone stared at me with eager anticipation as I warmed up. A lot of people came up to ask me where I was from. I told them I was from New York City. Yes, the world Mecca of basketball New York fucking City bitch, what? Oh yeah, I was the fucking man. I finished my stretches, laced up my shoes, took a basketball, and walked out on the court. I hadn’t been on a court for a long time. It felt good. I walked towards the basket. I stop, set my feet, adjust my grip, and take my first shot. A collective gasp fills the room. An air ball. The basket is higher than I remember. I shoot again. I shoot too hard and it bounces off the top of the backboard and back into my hands. I then sloppily go in for a layup. I let go of the ball and it flows through the air, right over the basket. A guy realizes the truth and comes over to give me some pointers. Yes, I suck at basketball.

This is a sad story. Probably not for you, the reader, but for me, as a person. In Japan, as a foreign American guy, there are many preconceptions about you. For example, I’m supposed to speak none of the native tongue, only eat hamburgers, be fat, not be able to use chopsticks, love coffee to death, and mostly just be loud and obnoxious. These are things that a lot of Japanese not only think about of Americans, but most white non-Japanese in general. I have learned to accept these things, and politely (and sometimes not so politely) inform the person gawking at my use of chopsticks, that I have used them since I was twelve, and I learned how to in Brooklyn, NY from countless nights of Chinese takeout. But recently, there has been one thing thought of me that really hit me in the heart, because I wish it to be true. It also blew out in the open one of my misperceptions of Japanese people. It’s basketball. They think all Americans (even the white ones) are really good at basketball. And I thought (key word THOUGHT), that Japanese people were pretty lame at it (since they are all short or something).

Yeah, I was wrong. Most everyone I have played with so far is amazing. I am totally jealous. And most of them are just as tall, or taller than me. Most of the time. I end up massively disappointing every single person I play with. But there’s something deep inside the people I play with, even after seeing how terrible I am, that think I should have some sort of genetic disposition for playing. So despite them knowing fully well that I am atrocious, they play extra hard against me. The most talented, and scariest players defend me, and my fat ass has to run all over to defend them. They’ll be like, “MAXIM, YOU’RE MINE!” right before we start. All I can do is sigh and get my ass kicked.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake this notion that I should be good at basketball. It’s a sad reality. All I can do is show them quick that I suck, sit down, and take the beating that my white ass deserves.

-Maxim