Tuesday, June 03, 2008


We had been wandering around the Shinkyogoku-dori shopping arcade in Kyoto, checking out the sights and trying to decide if we were hungry enough for a sit-down meal.

That’s when we saw the Edible Football.

Edible Football

Edible football? No, just an okii-na-omu-raisu. [Click to embiggen.]

There it was, nestled in the window amongst the other Plastic Window Food. An enormous pile of fried rice, tucked under an omelet blanket...and decorated with (gak, choke) ketchup. The sign said it was an okii-na-omu-raisu. Not just an omu-raisu (the Japanified contraction of “omelette” and “rice”), but a giant omu-raisu. Big! big! big! said the sign, and it could be mine for less than a double sawbuck.

No, thanks. I’d sooner have eaten sea urchin gonads. Wait: We had eaten sea urchin gonads, that very day. For breakfast. Cheerios, move over.

But that’s when a familiar - dare I say, comforting - presence appeared before me.

He was an old friend from down South, back home in the good old United States. I’d known him for years, and, though he’d shortened his name in recent years, he was still the reliable, rock-steady Colonel I’d done business with since small-kid days.

At first I didn’t recognize him, owing to the unusual chapeau he was sporting. And I, being a connoisseur of Fine Headgear, asked him about it. “Say, Colonel,” says I, “What’s the deal with...?”

“Aw, son,” he said, with that familiar twinkle in his eye. “Sometimes ya just gotta go with the flow. When in Rome, and all that.”

I guess I understood...

The Colonel

The Colonel and his Unusual Chapeau.

Who’s up for Kentucky Fried Prawns?

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