I’m finally getting caught up on my reading–I’d saved quite a few long-ish posts to read later, and I’m getting tired of seeing them sitting in my Bloglines, taunting me. (After this, all I’ll have left to read are 2 About.com Japanese posts…plus 394 Language Log posts. Ugh.)
Anyway, I was reading this post by Jake Zigler, and I came across some absolutely hilarious hyperbole. The setup: a French couple, Pierre and Ruth, has come to stay briefly in the guesthouse where Jake is staying.
Pierre squashed a cockroach and asked Chikako (the manager) if,
“Een Japan… eet ees bad to keel?”
Yes, Pierre, cockroaches are revalled as Gods in Japan. Whole shrines are dedicated to them. If you kill a cockroach you must carry a 200 pound golden Buddha over your shoulders for 6 days, one day for every leg. During wedding ceremony the bride and groom, instead of exchanging rings and a kiss, throw cockroaches on each other, and then lick them, ever so gently. What you just did may have very well caused the Jenga tower that is the French/Japanese foreign relations to faulter if not topple completely onto its side. Spilling its aged wooden blocks made from the sweat and blood of not only YOUR ancestors but the Japanese ancestors. Way to go.
Chikako just said no and gave him a weird look.
Read on for the further, rather disconcerting yet ultimately LOL antics of Ruth and Pierre.