From: Michael McShane <>
Subject: Shinjuku Nights Redux
To: (Simona M.A.D. Stanzani Pini)
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 95 18:52:16 JST
Mailer: Elm [revision: 70.85]

Hey Good Buddy,
Here is another story from my diary.

Shinjuku Nights

Was a beautiful crisp autumn Friday,
and becoming all excited about
meeting good Kentucky (KY) buddies Toe and Jam,
for another night of people watching
in Shinjuku.

Earlier in the day received an e-mail
from a dude introducing himself as Joe,
and he was curious about Shinjuku Nights.
Said his Bro was coming up from Kobe,
and they might wander around that lively
area and see if we be there.

Toe and I got to Isetan Dept. store just as it was closing
at 7:30 and picked up some bento bargains.
JUMBO maki (roll) sushi as thick as your wrist
with all manner of things inside. A color fiesta.
And yakitori moriawase. Everything 20% off.
Us late birds were getting some big ole worms.

Then, a rush over to the liquor corner to get
some beers. The foreign brands are cheaper than
then local brews, so we went for some Heiny's.
But local brews were tempting. Love how they
change the can with the season even though the
beer inside is the same. Those red Japanese maple
leaves on the fall brew cans were enticing, and made me
feel good to live in the only country with four
distinct seasons. :-)

Also, got a couple of bottles of sake as the dessert
after we polished off main course of bentos and brew.

This time we sat right across from the Big Screen on
the wall of an elevated circular area that has
a tree in the middle. Commented on how it felt
like one of those fine crisp fall football
nights from our KY youth. And wondered how
much we would flip out if the Big Screen suddenly
started showing. "Live from Glasgow, Kentucky,
High School Football".

But we were satisfied to watch highlights
of Japanese women's pro wrestling. Our
favorite was a woman who wrestled in
a pure white wedding gown. And we
imagined she was promoted as:
"Her man didn't show up for the wedding,
so she is out for revenge forever".
Great Expectations, Japan Style.

Right behind us, there is a sign that says
no street entertainment or stands for
selling food or other things is allowed.
No street entertainment!! Seems like a crime
against humanity. Across the way, a twelve piece
marching brass type band started playing, and
we really felt we were back in high school.
We planned on going over to check it out
after Jam arrived, but soon they were closed
down by the police. Curiously, the police
were not bothering a nearby ramen and CD

Jam arrived and starting drinking without
eating, and thus soon caught up with
our "sitting pretty" state. The big
double-decker Hato sight-seeing buses were starting
to stop and let people out stagger out.
Don't think the bus hostess was that experienced.
She bowed to every customer as they go off,
but her bowing was kinda sloppy and not very
geometrical. Definitely not elevator girl

And there was a sweet ole lady who was standing
near us waiting for someone, and she waited
and waited and no one came. We really wanted
to offer her some sake, and tell her to
sit with us while waiting, but were worried
it might freak her out.

Saw some of the same homeless as last week.
There is one rasta looking guy who keeps
on walking by in circles and has a huge stomach
that hangs way out, or maybe its some of his
belongings stuffed up in his shirt.

And a party trio with few teeth sat there with
us for a while, and they were so kind,
and offered us some pineapple on a stick.

No blood purifying religious types this week.
Were out in force the week before, and almost
couldn't eat and drink in peace.

Then, lo and behold, two curious looking gaijin
were casing us out. JoeBro!!
So, we needed to make a beer run. Shinjuku
is a drinking town, but amazingly, there are
almost no liquor stores. But due to past
experience, we knew where the closest beer
machines were, and I broke down and bought
the fall brew this time.

Back to our perch, and much talking story.
Turns out that all of us, except Bro, had
come to Japan, stayed a year or two,
and left with no intention of coming
back. But we all did. Our relationship
with Japan is like the river. Ever changing,
never remaining the same, but always returning.

Somehow, we all had disgusting train stories.
Usually, gaijin train horror stories involve rivers
of salaryman vomit and platform pizzas, but these involved
about every other bodily fluid and excreta, and reminded me
of that underground best seller,
"Search Guide to Bodily Fluids",
by Paul Spinrad. "A look into bodily fluids and

At one point, Joe looked up at the tree
we were sitting under, so all of us glanced
up and almost simultaneously, said,
"Seem like a fractal pattern".
What synchronicity!! The leaves were really
a fine mesh that seemed like patterns within

Starting to get late, and JoeBro were heading home,
when suddenly we heard the brass band start
up again. We made a beeline over there, and stood
right in front of them, and were as happy
as little clams. "Blister Brass Band" was
written right there across the big Tuba.
The leader (trombone player) of the band looked like he
might be in the sumo club at their college.
Big ole hefty feller who wore
a "University of Paris" T-shirt.

Jam was really getting into it, and was starting
to boogie, and inspired me to do some PeeWee-Herman-type
big shoe dancing with Kentucky modifications, which
I call the Chicken Dance. Bout then JoeBro headed home.

Band was jamming and made ya want to holler out
"Walk on it", "Take it around the corner",
"Knock my dick in the dirt", and general Mexican
fiesta "Viva la fiesta" , Tarzan jungle bird "akk, akk, eek, eek,
dookie, dookie bird" yells.

Crowd was getting into it like a big dog, and we were starting to have too
much fun. Requested "When the Saints Go Marching In",
and place was on the verge of a major street party.
JM's words were entering my brain:
"The time to hesitate is thru,
no time to wallow in the mire,
gotta set the night on fireeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!
Just glad no voice was saying,
"Build it and they will come"! :-)

But I guess the people were startin to
have more fun the the law allows,
and the friggin police come and shut
the band down right as they are bout
to play Saints. What a let down!!!
Tokyo is always on the verge of
being the coolest city of all time,
but something always happens to stop it.

Two young Japanese guys and a filly
named Naomi seemed kinda interested
in us, so as me milled around after
the shutdown, we bummed some fraunks (what
we called cigs in KY), and showed
them the KY stylized way of smokin.

I went up to ask the band if they
were gonna play again, and found out
that they were shut down because they
had not paid the mafia (Yaks) anything.
Yaks own the sidewalks here, and
police are just a weak arm of the
mafia. The ramen and CD stand
were not shut down by the police
because they are paying sidewalk
rent to the Yaks.

Made me think the Yaks were like high
level 33 order Masons, and the police
are kinda like the very low order
public Shriner buffoon, keystone
cop end of the Yaks. It is actually
the Yaks that keep the streets safe
here, so if you believe in Machi V,
and that the "ends justifies the means",
then we need to thank the Yaks for
a safe Japan.

Police are like inept Barney Fife types
who have to keep their bullets in their
shirt pocket instead of their gun to
prevent themselves from accidently shootin
their foot off.

One guy told me he was walking
in Kabuki-cho once and saw a Yak
beating the bejesus out of a policeman
while other police just watched. After
the Yak finished, he just walked off.
The police in that area know who controls
the streets.

So, ToeJam and I were just hanging and
street rappin with our three new friends,
and when it was bout time to catch
the last train, the two guys kissed
Toe and I goodbye on the cheek, and
Naomi was hugging the hell out
of Jam and trying to do a big
lip lock on her.

I love the streets of Tokyo, because I feel
no fear of hanging with strangers on the street
like that. In the USA, I would be tense and constantly
feeling for my wallet in such a situation.

Mr. Huggsie, your personal Shogun of Fun
and Party Word Made Flesh!!