An Open Letter to the Man I Saw Passed Out in a Puddle of his Own Vomit in Osaka

The famed “Glico Man” – the most famous neon in Dõtonbori.

Dear Sir,

First let me say, I applaud your commitment to the “salaryman” lifestyle.  Your friends did not seem to mind looking after you that night so I am going to assume that you’re an okay guy who rarely finds himself face down in a puddle of his own vomit.  If I am incorrect and this is a normal Friday evening for you, perhaps you should step away from the sake bottle and let your friends give the Dõtonbori pavement a try – they might like it.  Either way, it’s only fair that you take a turn wiping the puke off your buddies’ ties for once.

It’s unfair to criticize you without truly knowing your story and how it unfolded that evening.  It looked as if you and your comrades had a long, stressful work week and you got a touch overzealous during the end of week celebration – we’ve all been there.  Regardless, Dõtonbori is a busy place on a Friday evening, some may even compare it to Times Square in New York.  Why would you pick such a heavily trafficked area for an evening nap?  Wouldn’t one of the nearby alleys have made for a better spot to rest your head?  Also, why fall asleep in the immediate vicinity of your own vomit?  A simple barrel roll could have easily removed you and your snazzy black suit out of harm’s way; leaving your filth for the rest of us to enjoy.

As I am sure you are aware, drinking on an empty stomach is a bad idea.  In fact, that very night I remember meeting up with some friends for a hot pot and some sushi.  It was a quiet restaurant right around the corner from that place with the massive animatronic crab that lurches out at the passers by.  Oh, before we continue I have a question about that crab.  Was that crab designed to traumatize the toddlers of Osaka?  If I had to pass that thing every day on my way to preschool I’m pretty sure all crustacean would be off my life’s menu.  (back to the meal) Collectively the four of us drank the weight of a small child in sake, yet none of us managed to have a narcoleptic attack in the middle of the street.  I mean, we’re not talking about meatloaf and mashed potatoes at this dinner.  The hot pot was thinly sliced beef tenderloin dropped in a boiling broth of vegetables and some random bits of tofu.  The sushi, which was excellent by the way, was very simple tuna and cuttlefish nestled atop small pillows of rice.

CRAB!

At this point you’re probably getting embarrassed and I should apologize for catching you in a weak moment.  To your credit you have chosen a fantastic city in which to live.  The people of Osaka couldn’t have been nicer and the energy of the city was a welcome charge of intensity compared to where I am currently living.  Obviously Osaka is a major metropolitan zone, the second largest city in Japan if I am correct, but I was quite impressed with how its neighborhoods were able to maintain a legitimate level of autonomy.  Our hotel was quaint, elegant, inexpensive, and on a street that resembled Rue de Buci in the 6th.  The room was too small but the beer vending machine across the hall more than made up for our discomfort.

Still feeling a bit peevish?  I suppose I can’t blame you.  Who am I to come into your city and make judgments of you, an Osakan, about the ways in which you spend your Friday evenings?  You’re right.  I have no right to visit your fine city and take a dig at you during a moment of vulnerability.  The truth is, I’m jealous.  I’m jealous that you get to live in a city like Osaka.  The public transport is efficient, the architecture is modern, the people are swell, the airport is close – all things I look for in a city.  I’m not even going to bother to mention the food.  Your city has a strong claim to the title of culinary epicenter of the universe, but I’m sure you already know that.  The bars and izakayas were inexpensive and clean.  The beer was cold and the ice cubes were translucent – perfect for before, during, and after dinner sake.

I’ll leave you with some advice.  I’m not sure when I will be able to make it back to Osaka, a melancholy reality unfortunately.  If I do make it back to town, the law of averages says that I am unlikely to find you passed out in a puddle of your own vomit, but if anyone can defeat the law of averages, it’s you Salaryman.  My advice is simple – enjoy every moment you can in your city.  I know that work can be overbearing.  I know that sake and takoyaki every night will lead to an early grave.  I know that there are times you just want peace and quiet – to get away from the urban zoo that is Osaka.  Fair enough.  But the next time you’re passed out in a mound of your own sick and your pals aren’t there to roll you out of the way of the sushi delivery scooter barreling down on your skull, just be thankful that your final moments weren’t spent wondering what could have been.  You lived your life on your own terms.

Yours truly,

CM

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  1. Pandant Manço says:

    Wow. What a boring, self involved, and smug piece of crap you wrote.

    Do everyone a favor and take your next “open letter” and shove it up your ass .

    Reply