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- Karma Chameleon -
- Karma Chameleon -
It amazes me how, sometimes, it seems that karma really DOES exist, and, more importantly, I can will it to rear its ugly head.
Take tonight for example. Perhaps one of the more annoying parts of Japanese life are Japanese Bikers. Now you should understand by this point that Japan in many ways mirrors America in its popular culture. However, like all things the Japanese borrow, they change it and make it their own, within their own paradigm.
In some instances this can be an interesting cross section of both American and Japanese cultural phenomenon. In others, it can be a telling difference between the two cultures. Other times, it can be a total annoyance.
Take Japanese manga, or comic books, and anime, or animation. These two facets of Japanese culture were essentially borrowed from America and changed to fit Japanese audiences. You CAN find spandex-clad superheroes, but they are far from the norm. Japanese manga can come in all varieties, and are read by everyone, regardless of age, gender, occupation, or whatever. There are comics for all. Animation is the same.
Another facet is music. American musical styles have been endless copied and changed by Japanese artists (for better or worse) and are an integral part of life in Japan.
One part that I could do without, however, are the Japanese bikers. Japanese biker gangs are not the dirty, sweaty, hairy men riding Harleys that are stereotypical American bikers. No, Japanese biker gangs are fairly clean, normal looking, and do one thing and one thing alone. They ride down streets at night, revving their engines constantly in small packs (usually, I see one or two actual motorcycles being chased by mopeds or scooters). That's ALL they do.
This would be all right, I suppose, if they weren't so damn loud all the time. They are, though, and they just weave around their lane, revving their engines like their the hottest shit around. Nobody does anything about this. They just parade around and nobody (including the police) seem to do anything about it.
Of course, these guys don't wear helmets, and the strong temptation is there to take some pachinko balls (think ball bearings roughly the size of marbles) and shoot them with slingshots right at the craniums of these jackasses.
It was much the same as I was leaving the bar tonight. At about the same time as I left, the bikers were coming out to rev around, and, for a moment, I thought they were heading the opposite way. Instead, I am forced to wonder if they were following me, specifically, because they were never more than a street over from me. As I reached the half-way point to making it home, they hit my street and were revving past me, weaving around as usual.
Something was different this time, though - they were being tailed closely by three police cruisers. Now, this was not, what you could call a high speed chase - they MIGHT have been going 10 MPH. But persuit was being given. I just wished to God that the main bike (the one actual motorcycle) would drop a tire, leaving two bruised young men in police custody.
Karma, it seems, was listening. They cruised just out of sight, and as they did, one of the cruisers' sirens went off. There was then the sound of squeeling and crunching metal.
I knew something beautiful had happened. As I got closer (and was passing by the scene) I saw my prayers answered. The bike was stuck in the drainage ditch. You see, Japanese streets have drainage ditches that are usually covered with concrete blocks, although there are stretches that are not covered. What the bikers didn't know, apparently, was that the blocks on the corners had been removed because they were broken.
The two young men riding the bike were thrown. One of them smacked a concrete wall, while the driver seemed to have been put through a tornado, his clothes and flesh were torn so bad. Their bike, while not completely broken, looked to be bent in a way that the front was not supposed to be bent.
Their fellow bikers had fled the scene on their little scooters with two of those cruisers after them, while one cruiser had stopped and was administering First Aid.
I just had to look up to the sky and give God a big thumbs up before I hummed a happy tune and skipped home the rest of the way.
It's the small victories you appreciate the most, I think.