Monday, July 25, 2011

Crunky Ball Nude

In the darker areas of my imagination, Crunky Ball Nude plays itself over and over. Myriad variations on some sort exotic Eastern sex thing. Like the three second blow job or thrusting buttocks loop going over and over and over and over and over the crunk takes hold.

The Crunky Ball disrobed, naked, revealed, stripped bare by bachelors even, all in it's obscene glory. The porn reel continues. A crunky ball is inserted by shining chrome mechanical fingers, the thick wet labia hungrily devouring it. Cut to a woman's face, eyes clamped shut, her red lips grimacing in both pleasure and pain, in mock ecstasy. "Oooh, baby, give me more!" she demands. The ancient mysterious (inscrutable) Chinese pleasure orb. So simple, yet so... magical! Undreamed of sexual pleasure are to be had with the clunky ball. A mandarin robed man with a Fu Manchu moustache observes discreetly from behind a silk curtain.

Or maybe... Crunky Ball is the pseudonym of a devilish or maybe churlish little fellow, like Willy, the unassuming 1920's Brooklynite stumbling into the ladys' bath or Ron Jeremy, that hairy pot-bellied shmoe who manages to peg all the right porn star babes. Hey he's just like me. Wait, I'm better lookin'! Why don't I get the babes? Like he does! Crunky Ball, whew, you look nasty, dude. All naked and shit! I hate you! What you got that I don't? And why can't I stop watching your fuckin' movies? You fucker!

Or maybe... Crunky Ball is a new high. Better than even bath salts. You take wallboard, crunch it up, mix it with Boraxo, spray it with Raid (use the whole can) and boil it in bleach until goo rises to the top. Then you take that goo, form it into balls about an inch around. Cut with baby powder to make it keep its shape. Take the ball and shove it up your ass. Be sure to take off all your clothes or you'll soil them with bodily secretions as the effect takes hold. The high is insane! The addiction immediate. It's a drug that knows what it's about. Oh Crunky Ball, you beguiling master. I will do anything for you! I would even kill for you. Even myself.

But no... I go to the darkest place of all. With the certainty of death - lungs crushed by pressure, water seeping in through all orifices, numbness and then collapse of all bodily functions. And that's what the Crunky Ball Nude makes me think of. Like little underwater mines, these confections are an inside out chocolate ball. Studded with crunchy rice puffs over a soupcon of a chocolate layer over some undefinable cereal center (something like dried white bread). Stripped of any pretense of flavor beyond sweet, likable textures beyond styrofoam, or even candy-ness, they're afterthoughts become objects. The scrapings off the candy room floor turned into another product to sell. A bitter and cynical vision of the future - now - hiding in a layer of sugar. And as I succumb to the deep dark I ask, "Can I have another Crunky Ball? And can you make it nude?"

Saturday, July 23, 2011


In the tradition of spotted dick and Boston brown bread Japan has its own steamed cakes. Appearing recently in my local (Walmart-owned) Seiyu was this thick and big wedge from our friends at Daily Yamazaki (the baking and convenience store concern). The 三角蒸しぱん (Three-Cornered Steamed Bread), the 黒 (dark) version is a spongy trifle flavored with brown sugar and rum-soaked raisins. Leavened with baking soda, it has that slightly acrid taste that actually complements the mild sweetness. The packaging markets in nostalgia with a simple drawing of the furusato in the corner. And the flavor, even for gaijin like me, takes one back to simpler times and tastes.

Steamed buns and cakes have a long tradition in this neck of the woods, but there's a more modern variation that, again, plucks on the heartstrings of Japanese of a certain age. Seems that in the 20's, some clever entrepreneurs in Kansai had the idea of baking up steamed cakes and sending small armies of underpaid workers out on donkey-drawn carts with strict orders not to return until all the cakes were sold. Fast forward a bit to the post-war years and these same baking concerns revived the ass carts. Even then it was banking on the nostalgia factor.

1955 - A clever songwriting team, Minoru Toyoda and Akira Yano, with hit-making King Records wrote a song, パン売りのロバさん (Bread-selling Mr. Donkey). With the treacly voiced Keiko Kondo, the loping rhythm and hee-hawing horn, they not only had a hit, but a cultural signifier to boot. The song, played loudly, as sellers blanketed the neighborhoods of Osaka and Kyoto, made a mark, probably stronger than Hound Dog (recorded and released the same year), on a young generation of Japanese.

The donkey carts are long gone. A handful of trucks still make the rounds in a few neighborhood in Kansai. But now, sans song, you can buy a much more limited and staler selection of steamed buns at your major grocery chains. Not to celebrate the exploitation of the sorry steamed bun sellers by their baking bosses, but a certain quality, a particularity of the Japanese landscape has truly been lost, replaced with a new marketing scheme that exists solely upon nostalgia and not a single new idea. I wasn't even around for the song and the street sellers, but I kind of miss 'em. But I guess I'll just have to settle for listening to the tune on youtube while munching on a mushipan with a glass of milk. And if I want to really wallow in yet another slice of nostalgia, there's Keiko-san's thick 1960's hit, Song of the Southern Cross to indulge in.

パン売りのロバさん (Bread-selling Mr. Donkey)


ロバのおじさん チンカラリン
チンカラリンロン やってくる
ジャムパン ロールパン
できたて やきたて いかがです
チョコレートパンも あんパンも
なんでもあります チンカラリン


赤い車は チンカラリン
チンカラリンロン ひいてくる
ジャムパン ロールパン
甘くて おいしい いかがです
チョコレートパンに あんパンに
どちらにしましょう チンカラリン


いつもにこにこ チンカラリン
チンカラリンロン こんにちは
ジャムパン ロールパン
さあさあ みなさん いかがです
チョコレートパンと あんパンと
はいはいありがと チンカラリン


晴れたお空に チンカラリン
チンカラリンロン 鈴がなる
ジャムパン ロールパン
よい子のおやつは いかがです
チョコレートパンも あんパンも
なんでもあります チンカラリン

Song of the Southern Cross

Friday, July 22, 2011

復刻堂 森永ホットケーキ ミルクセーキ

Sometimes the idea is so grotesque, so faux retro and so insanely clever and good that you can only gape in wonder, shove your 120 yen into the vending machine slot, grab that can just as it drops and pop it open and go ohmygod this is so amazing because it smells and tastes so much like butter and syrup - even though it really doesn't have any of that stuff in it - and it takes you back to an ur-pancake state of bliss. You close your eyes and all those Krusteaz dreams, short stacks at IHOP after all night drinking binges, Mom lovingly servin' 'em up before sending you off to school with a kiss on your forehead, early morning breakfasts - we're talking before the sun comes up - with Dad filppin' flapjacks over the fire during car camping fishing trips, leisurely mornings - with lots of sweet sticky syrup - and your lover, it all comes back. The only thing missing is sausage. So here we're presented with Morinaga's "Reprint Hall" hotcake flavor milk shake. It's not a milk shake in the North American sense. Not so thick and ice creamy, but this baby's packed with enough different milk powders, cream, eggs, caramel color and emulsifiers to pack a mighty diary wallop of a casein rush. Coupled with a perfectly attuned Aunt Jemima flavor simulacra - no maple here, we're talkin' caramel colored sugar syrup - who needs to go to Denny's or any other places in Japan that sell pancakes - at a tremendous cost, I might add, since I'm adding endless clauses to all my sentences anyway. Morinaga's made the claim that by reprinting a nostalgic Showa era image of pancakes on the can they're bringing back something of the good old days, but pancakes just kind of remain timeless and nostalgic no matter when they've been photographed. It's all signification. On a box, on a poster, on a can, on a T-shrit, a pic of three (it's always three) pancakes with thick golden wedges of butter and molten bronze cascades of luscious syrup, as Pavlov suggests, just kinda makes you go all soft and gooey. Don't it? So this crazy hotcake essence in a can showed up about a year ago and still remains in a few choice vending machines around Tokyo. I've made a note of them, but I'm keeping 'em secret. This stuff is like pancake crack and I want it all for myself.