Friday, March 10, 2006

Old whine in new battles

One good thing about living in the 'Nog is the Tottori Exchange. It's the cyber pony express of the day, where we digenous (well, why not?) folk keep atop the zeitgeist. This morning an item came through, guaranteed to provoke outrage: the current initiative to fingerprint foreigners in Japan.

It's old news people. When I first arrived here 12 years ago, getting your thumb inky was de rigueur. While my gaijin card no longer carries the mark, no doubt it is still on file somewhere amidst the bureaucratic paper fortress of City Hall. Which brings to mind a story.

Burnicle and I were drinking beers in the back alleys of Tottori City. I'd make the trek across the Ken a few times a year for a night reserved solely for talking shit. (The boy had The Gift, until Brotha Cancer took him far too early at 29. More stories to follow.) On this night, he was telling me about how he came out of a bar one night to find a taxi idling there in front of him, driver nowhere in sight. Burnicle being a man of quick thought and even quicker action, jumped into the car, drove around the corner, and left it idling on the next block. He was laughing as he told me this, until I said, "Betcha didn't think about how your prints are on file." His face went completely white, taking on a shade far lighter than what is considered (in many cases anyway)the basic requirement for the card in the first place.

On the turntable: The Pretenders, "Learning to Crawl"
On the nightable: Peter Urban, "The Karate Dojo"

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