Dokodemo Door!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

15th Anniversary of the Hanshin earthquake

It feels appropriate to make note of this date.

I've been looking-around town for signs of the earthquake, and they are very hard to find. If you didn't know that there was a natural disaster here a decade and a half ago, you would never have guessed.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Emperor's New Clothes, 2010 Edition

Remember the story of the Emperor's New Clothes? Where the emperor was suckered by unscrupulous tailors? They took his money and offered him a set of clothes which were "invisible" to those who were foolish or incompetent.

So everyone pretended to see the fine clothes so as to not look stupid. And at the end, while he was on parade, some little boy/girl said "Look! The Emperor has no clothes!" I'm certain that you know the tale.

But I don't like that ending; it never sat very well with me. I just hate the fluffy, preening kind of moral exhibitionism. It gives me cavities.

That's why I wanted to try my hand at re-writing it, starting from when the Emperor is on parade...


Everyone in the teeming crowd of onlookers oohed and ahhed. They exclaimed, loud enough for everyone around them to hear: "Look at the Emperor's new clothes! They're beautiful!"

"What a marvellous train!"

"And the colors! The glorious fabric! I have never seen anything like it in my life!" The onlooking crowd gushed in feigned admiration.

A young boy, however, who could only see the things that his eyes saw, peered at the carriage as it rolled by.

"The Emperor is naked!" he shouted.

The crowd gasped in shock!

"No! Nonsense!" shouted his mother. "The Emperor is dressed in his best finery!" She tried to cover his mouth with her hand.

"But mommy! The Emperor isn't wearing any clothes!" He insisted.

Suddenly, the little boy heard a gruff voice come from behind: "That's enough, kid."

He turned-around in astonishment to look-up at the pair of burly men in wraparound sunglasses and dark coats towering over him. "Come with us, boy." One of them sneered menacingly.

"But I-"

"Don't hurt him!" cried his mother, who began to sob. "Take me instead!"

Before another word could slip from the little boy's tongue, the two large men grabbed his arms and dragged him, kicking and yelping, down a winding cobblestone alley. There, they promptly kicked his teeth-in.

And to this very day, he takes his food through a straw.


Maybe there's a slightly different moral to this story, but I think it'll help children get ready for the real world.