The Devil IS Prada: Retribution
So I got dragged to a fashion show.
You may be thinking, for someone who hates shopping such as myself, a fashion show must be like walking straight into the lowermost depths of hell itself. And you would be absolutely right. It was like everything I hate about shopping, gathered into one place, super-sized, and then extra-concentrated for good measure. Being forced to watch Japanese TV for a week while Kathy Bates takes a sledgehammer to my feet would have been a far more enjoyable experience. Even if Ms. Bates were naked.
So then, why would I go to a fashion show? I’m married, and sometimes that means doing things you just don’t want to do. …A lot of the time, actually.
Some of you may be thinking “C’mon, it couldn’t have been that bad? A venue with dozens of hot models and you couldn’t get at least a little enjoyment out of that?” My brother-in-law asked me the same thing. I’ll tell you what I told him – yeah, there are hot models there. So what? Its not like any of them are going to jump off the stage and say “Oh Az, I can’t control myself in your incredibly sexy presence…I need you to take me backstage and ravage me right now!” And even in the extremely unlikely event that that actually happened, I was going with my wife, so there’d be nothing I could do about it anyway. If I want to ogle hot women, I may as well just stay at home and surf some internet porn, which would be far more productive.
The bro-in-law was a bit surprised by my answer. “So you’re telling me,” he continues, “if Ebi-chan was there, and she took off her bra and threw it at you and you caught it, you wouldn’t be excited about that?” Why would I be? My wife has a million bras laying around at home. What am I going to do with Ebi-chan’s bra? Its probably only an A-cup anyway. He was surprised at this answer as well, saying, “Well, if I was there I’d be excited.” I then offered my ticket to him, which he quickly refused. Hypocrite! Charlatan!
Honestly though, I’m a bit worried myself. I can remember a time when I used to get excited about looking at even moderately-attractive women. Now, unless I can actually do something about it, I just don’t care. Am I becoming a grumpy old man? I’m not even in my 30’s yet! What the hell?!
I would like to tell you more about the venue, but the honest to goodness truth is that I wasn’t paying attention for 99% of it. The wife understood my predicament and allowed me to bring along anything that would help ease my suffering. So I brought my PSP. While Japan’s top models strutted their stuff on the runaway, I staged an epic battle between Cloud Strife and Squall Leonhart to determine who is the most whiny emo bastard of the decade. For those keeping count, Squall won by a longshot.
I did notice a few interesting things though. As one might expect, 95% of the attendees were young girls. The 5% male population, much like me, seemed to be a captive audience. I scanned the seats and saw guys asleep, reading magazines, or with their eyes in the rafters daydreaming (probably about sports, sex, or anything that wasn’t a fashion show). For you young single guys, this could potentially be a paradise, although I have no idea how you would go about explaining how you ended up at a fashion show on your own free will.
I met a former student of mine from the Ghetto School. She recognized me, and was happy that I remembered her. She had also dragged her boyfriend along. The poor guy looked at me, and in an instant I knew what he was thinking – “Do you mean I still have to do this kind of crap ten years from now?!” Yes, yes you do. That’s why you don’t do it now, young gentleman. But he did get dragged along, so I hope she put out later or something. …I do not officially condone underage sex, just…I hope he was properly compensated for his sacrifice, is all.
And although not a rigid rule, Japanese crowds are sort of infamous for not getting buck-wild. They cheer, sure, but there isn’t a whole lot of screaming and going crazy as you might find at an American venue. The fashion show, for the most part, was no exception. There were some pretty big musical names there (AI, Juju for those who follow J-music), but the crowd never mustered more than a “barely-alive” cheer, something that both musicians commented on.
…That, however, changed drastically when one of the “cute” boys came out. Me and the missus were still on our way to our seats when one performer, a rock musician called Daigo, came out by surprise. The crowd went batshit insane. An entire horde of girls zerg-rushed their way to any point that could give them a decent view of the stage, screaming like banshees in the process. My wife doesn’t even particularly like Daigo, but she got caught up in the pandemonium. For fear of death (not kidding), I retreated to the back of the hall, safe in that it was the furthest point away from Daigo and as such there were no screaming psycho girls here. I was joined by two old Japanese ladies, who much like me, had no idea WTF was going on anymore.
I usually consider Japanese obasan to be an enemy of mine. Mostly because they’re unnaturally strong and do not fear death. Much like Klingons. However, as the three of us retreated from the stampede, our eyes met and we shared that Male Bonding Moment of Mutual Understanding. To see bitter enemies become friends in an instant – that should give you an idea just how ridiculous the stampede got. Meanwhile backstage, AI and Juju must be PISSED that for all their songwriting and vocal talents, in the end they lose out in hype factor to a guy who crosses his hands and makes “uiiiish!” noises.
So ultimately I survived the fashion show, but thanks in no small part to my PSP, and my ability to run the fuck away in the face of an incoming stampede of Japanese girls (I feel like my teacher days trained me for that exact moment). In the unfortunate event that I get dragged again next year, I’m bringing my laptop, a good DVD, and riot gear.