Looking for a *beeping* date
by Mad Dog
France has given us brie, fine wine, and Jacques Cousteau
while we sent them McDonalds, le fruit roll-up, and Jerry Lewis. This goes a long
way towards explaining why the French dislike Americans.
|| Sharing is a good
thing. It must be if our parents spent the best breaths of their lives trying to drum the
concept through our heads. Of course they also tried to convince us that breakfast is the
most important meal of the day, that if we run with a stick well poke our eye out,
and that wed grow hair on our palms and go blind while looking at Playboy, yet for
some reason Dad wouldnt.
sharing occurs between countries its known as importing and exporting. The concept
is simple: They send us what they make best, cheapest, or most uniquely and well
send them ours. Sometimes this works well. For example, we sent democracy to Germany and
in return they gave us Claudia Schiffer. Not a bad swap since it made the women of America
feel safer from David Copperfield.
Other times, though, its rather
uneven. For example, over the years France has given us brie, fine wine, and Jacques
Cousteau while we sent them McDonalds, le fruit roll-up, and Jerry Lewis. This goes
a long way towards explaining why the French dislike Americans.
Lately weve been bad trade partners.
While other countries ship us the usual goodies all weve been sending back is our
dirty laundry. They send us the latest fashions, we give them a story about Monica
Lewinskys blue dress. They ship us Monets to look at, we send them pictures of Linda
Tripp. Is it any wonder the rest of the world doesnt want to play with us anymore?
Jellyfish are easier to care for than dogsafter all, you dont have to walk a
jellyfish, clean up after it on the street, wipe its slobber off your pants, or explain to
your friends that it only humps the legs of those it truly likes.
|| Japan, however,
hangs in as one of our biggest trading partners. We started the ball rolling after World
War II when we sent them as much as $1 million a day tucked inside a Hallmark Card which
read, "Sorry to hear about your loss of two cities", then followed it up by
giving them the transistor radio, the VCR, and the CD Player. Being good trade partners,
they turned around and sold improved, miniaturized, and less expensive versions back to
Still keeping that sharing spirit, we
shipped them Levis, Melrose Place, and a bad remake of Godzilla. Being good friends, they
sent back sushi, karoake, Cheap Trick Live at Buddokan, and Tamagocchi. Where will it end?
Hopefully at Japans latest exports to
us Pokemon and Lovegety. Pokemon is a video game made by Nintendo whose title
translates as "little monsters". Its unclear whether that refers to the
characters in the video game or the kids who are playing it. In Japan it was a huge
success. In this country its claim to fame so far has been last years news reports
when the popular cartoon show based on the video game caused 700 youngsters in Japan to
suffer seizures. Now thats some enticing advance publicity for you.
How popular Pokemon will be here is hard to
predict. After all, Japanese tastes run very different from ours. Recently, theyve
taken to keeping jellyfish tanks at home. While easier to care for than dogsafter
all, you dont have to walk a jellyfish, clean up after it on the street, wipe its
slobber off your pants, or explain to your friends that it only humps the legs of those it
truly likesjellyfish have the added bonus of being able to be turned into dinner. In
Tokyo alone last year over 359 tons of jellyfish were consumed, yet another way Japanese
tastes are different than ours.
You get to choose from three mood settings: Talk, which means youre open for a chat,
Karaoke which means you want to sing "You Light Up My Life" badly, and Get2
which means youre ready for action.
|| But now comes the
latest Japanese import, the Lovegety. This is a small pager-like device which supposedly
helps you find an appropriate mate. Thats right, it beeps when it detects someone as
desperate as you are.
Just kidding. Kind
of. The Lovegety comes in two versions, one for men and one for women. You can tell the
difference because the womens is pink and has a higher pitched beep while the
mens is blue and shocks you if you even consider asking for directions.
When you go out, you set your Lovegety according
to your mood and when it gets within 15 feet of someone of the opposite sex carrying a
unit thats set to the same mood it dispenses a condom. Kidding again. That version
wont be out for at least another 6 months.
You get to choose from three mood settings: Talk,
which means youre open for a chat, Karaoke which means you want to sing "You
Light Up My Life" badly, and Get2 which means youre ready for action. Actually,
Karaoke is what they call the second level but it actually means youre
looking for a date. This obviously lost something in the translation. At least until you
realize that anyone who sings karaoke really, truly, and desperately needs to find a date.
Its hard to tell how well the Lovegety will
go over here in the United States. After all, we already have our own ways of giving
signals to the opposite sex, even if they are more subtle. A smile means youre open
for conversation. Pulling your wedding ring off and slipping it in your pocket means
youre looking for a date. And if we follow the lead of President Clinton, dropping
your pants means youre ready for action. Export that, buddy.
©1998 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them while you're waiting for your Lovegety to go off.