"working on my faults and cracks..."


J-Train Repellent

* The following archived post was actually written on June 21st, and promptly buried in my blogspot 'drafts' pile. So shoot me.
Just be grateful I even let you read it.

I've finally been bested by the stupid NHK man.

Y1300. A small television usage fee, but in the grand scheme of things, one that I had flat-out refused to pay, for several reasons:

#1: I abhor Japanese television, and thus have not equipped my tv to view it.
#2: It is generally understood that only gullible suck-ups, and old people pay him.
#3: Actually, #1 is the only real reason, but apparently the principle of the matter wasn't good enough for him.

Little rat bastard finally got me on his third try.

The first time (three months ago), when he appeared at my doorway on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I knew exactly who he was, and what he wanted; NHK pin on his lapel, electronic clipboard in hand, he said that I owed an NHK usage fee, to the tune of Y1300, and to be paid immediately. I had not yet been in my new apartment for 24 hours, and still didn't have a bed, a desk, or coat hangers, much less a television. I was crabby from having spent consecutive nights on the floor, so I threw up the asshole gaijin hail mary, and pretended I couldn't speak Japanese. He totally fell for it.

Shortly thereafter, he returned to try again. Being a complete imbecile, I had totally forgotten my brilliant routine to guard against obnoxious salesmen. I greeted him in Japanese, after which he ran his collections speech, to which I courteously responded. In Japanese.


I frantically backpedaled, as the little yen signs started spinning in his eyes. First telling him that the television I now owned was for gaming only, then proving it by showing him the coaxial cable that I wasn't using--come on, nobody could possibly be that stupid. I mean, bullet-proof logic, meet airtight proof--how the shit could they legally make me pay for something I clearly wasn't using? Well, apparently, I am totally missing something here, because they can. He politely pushed again for the Y1300. I sighed in resignation, and told him to wait. I took my wallet into the kitchen out of his line of sight, and quietly emptied it on the counter. Bringing it back, I showed him how payday was still a week away, and that I only had a "few coins" at the moment. He totally fell for it.

And then, just last week, he was back. Worse still, he caught me on my way out, wallet and keys in hand, which prevented me from identifying him through the peephole and deploying the boiling oil. He ran his polite little rubber-spined collections speech again, as I groaned and moaned and sighed all the while in utter displeasure, in hopes of expressing my burning desire to drop-kick his scrawny ass off the balcony. I threw another hail mary and told him I was an exchange student who would be returning to the states next month. He stopped for a moment, nervously cowering behind his printer clipboard as he decided my fate. This time, he would not totally fall for it.
I still had to pay.
I groaned and loudly let fly a disgusted "awwww maaaaan!!" Maturity, the likes of which can't recall employing since being sent to the principal's office for throwing snowballs in 4th grade. I gave him his damn money, and he printed me a damn receipt. And then, instead of handing it to me, the little rat bastard reached down and put the receipt in my mail slot--just inches away from my outstretched fist hand! As I stood there, seething in the doorway, my mind was rapidly calculating the levels of justification required for punching a vertically challenged human being, unprovoked, square in the face. Finally, with an apology and a bow, he stepped out of my tiny genkan--but not before smugly affixing his hard-fought gaijin victory to the corner of my door; a permanent daily reminder of my failure.

I honestly wish he had been more impolite--it would have made being a total douchebag about the whole thing, much easier for me. But all the bowing and apologizing--he was too nice. So now, not only am I out thirteen bucks, I'm also out a considerable amount of pride.

The truth may set you free, but not if you have to pay for it.

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