The road to Tokyo is fraught with danger and excitement.
A long, long time ago, I went to Japan to attend “geisha finishing school” to complete my training to be the ultimate queen. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)
I was used to my small farming town in Idaho with a population of 350, where rush hour consisted of two tractors passing each other on the way to the field and stopping in the middle of the road for a chit-chat. So, imagine my shock and disorientation going from that to Tokyo, population 35 million, the largest city in the world. Home of Shinjuku station, the busiest railway station in the world, containing 87 platforms, with a train arriving or leaving every 11 seconds, serving 3.5 million people each day. Add to this the added confusion of me not being able to read Japanese signs or speak the language very well, and hilarity ensued.
Traveling on Japanese trains during rush hour was often a challenge to stay alive — similar to the danger of anyone standing between me and the chicken strips at a buffet. The train cars would fill so full that, when each car was overflowing, train station employees wearing white gloves would go to each door and push the people in, packing us in tighter than my buttocus rotundus in my girdle, to be able to force the doors closed. Then upon arrival at the next station, when the doors would open, the tightly packed people would involuntarily spill out onto the platform. Again, the men with white gloves would be there to help catch anyone tumbling out and help prevent them from falling all the way down.
Sometimes, I would take advantage of these incredibly tight conditions. While waiting for the train to arrive, I would scope out the crowd waiting on the platform to identify the hottest guy in the mob. I would discretely maneuver myself to be in his vicinity. Then, when the train arrived and we all boarded, I would often be able to manipulate myself to be pressed up against my targeted hunk. OH MY!
On one occasion, several of us “girls” from the geisha school decided to go to the Ginza Strip to visit McDonald’s. My God, a Big Mac cost the equivalent of $15. Well, I guess I’ll forgo the fries then. After the Mac attack, we went shopping for some new kimonos. I still did not speak the language well enough to get around on my own, so the school paired each of us newbies up with a more experienced student. We boarded a train near McDonald’s, and indeed, I maneuvered my way to be pressed up against a most handsome man for about ten minutes. Then we got to Shinjuku station and needed to change trains.
The train we needed to catch was down a long escalator four levels below where we were. As we got off the train, my companion was leading the way along the train platform heading to the escalator and I was following closely behind so as not to get lost. Some shiny object caught my eye, and in the split second that I took my eyes off my journey, suddenly, despite all my efforts, I was caught up in a cross current of people boarding a nearby train heading for a destination unknown. This crush of people was extreme. I was pushed far into the car away from the door. I was pressed up against another hunky guy, but I was not able to enjoy it this time because I was packed in so tightly that I had trouble breathing. My feet were not touching the floor. My left breasticle was jabbing some poor lady in the back of her neck, and my right breasticle was poking some unfortunate kid in the eye. My companion had given me prior instructions that if we were to get separated, that I should get off the train at the next station and wait on the platform. She would catch the next one and come find me.
My train stopped at the next station, but I was unable to make my way to the door. It took three more stops before I was able to force my way off the train. I waited on the platform. When the next train arrived, I searched for my companion. She was not there. I worried what I was to do. I did not speak Japanese well enough to be able to ask for directions or help. So, I continued waiting. Three more trains arrived and departed. After ninety minutes, I was beginning to lose all hope, and resign myself to becoming a karaoke courtesan to support myself.
The fourth train arrived, and I spotted my companion. She explained that by the time she figured out I was gone, that train had departed so she needed to wait fifteen minutes for the next one. She got off at the very next station but had to wait until the platform cleared to discover that I was not there. Consequently, she needed to wait another fifteen minutes to catch the next train. Lather, rinse and repeat, four more times.
This story leaves us with several important questions:
- If I wore my white opera length gloves, could I become one of the pushers?
- Is train riding a good way to find a husband?
- Since I was packed in so tight, was it okay that I didn’t iron my clothes for a month?
- Should I employ some Japanese men in white gloves to help squeeze me into my girdle?
- If I had farted, would the crowd have let me get to the exit?
- Do I need to design some pagoda style breasticles to go with a kimono?
These and other eternal questions will be answered in future chapters of The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear.