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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fu*kin' Sale In Japan


Okay... above is a sign that first made an appearance in Japan back in 2012.

But what the heck... I saw it back then and decided I couldn't publish... but now... on a Saturday evening when I'm struggling for a topic after a busy day of birthday shopping for the boy... I'm tired.

My problem with birthday shopping for my son, is that I wanted to get him a new baseball bat... but it's like buying a bra... you have to try'em on to ensure you are getting the right fit.

As such, I needed to take the boy with me to ensure that we got the right bat.

Bats are measured for kids by length determined by kid height. Weight... it's determined by how well one can do a full on swing, but stop it at a predetermined half-swing point (over the home plate).

As such... I need him with me as I shop for him. Ergo, and I use that word incorrectly, he now has a baseball bat some three weeks before his birthday... which means I will now have to go and get him another birthday present so he can be 'surprised'... and actually get a birthday present.

Trust me... as XX-something-year-old man-boy, if I didn't get a present on my birthday - even if I had received one days earlier, I might wonder why my life sucks.

Anyhow... it also means that I have to get him a Christmas/X-Mas present, too... as his birthday is two-weeks before Christmas.

Now... that photo above at a Japanese department store seems like it has that whole marketing thing down pat... attract your Japanese customers by offering a 20% sale on every fuckin' thing in the store.

Now, you might think that in Japan, this is simply a gross misuse of an English swear word... you know... they just don't know what it means... but I can tell you that 25 years ago when I was in Japan... my junior high school students sure knew how to use the word "Fug You", or at least the more grotesque version of it.

Oh wait... maybe the Japanese were not aware that fuckin' and "fug you" are based upon the same root swear word.

That's the only explanation that I can come up with.

Some keen Japanese marketer did a stay in some English-speaking country during Christmas time and heard his billets talking about some fuckin' sale they wanted to check out at the mall...

And maybe they were told that the word fuckin' was a slang way to emphasize its importance.

I mean... just because one lives in an English-speaking country and is billeting a Japanese national for a month does not mean they automatically qualify for ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher of the year.

Let's chalk this up to poor internationalization on the part of the English-speaking country where the home-stay occurred AND on the Japanese marketing executive who didn't bother to do their homework.

The store in Osaka was Gallerie, who only learned of the global snafu (Situation Normal All-Fugged Up) (that's an acronym) with a couple of days left in their month-long sale.

And... despite all of my conjecture... there is a logical explanation for the department store's gaffe.

Fuckin' was a Japanese play on words created by Gallerie, for the Japanese word "fukubukuro"... a term that means "lucky bags".

The implication now, is that there are "two" letters missing from the AFTER ad, and minus the apostrophe, there's no chance that it's missing a "G".
In Japan, some stores participate in a New Year's tradition where they place all overstock items from the previous year into a bag, and sell them as a mystery bag to customers at a discount.

You fuckin' never know what you are going to get inside...

In this case, Gallerie sells clothing... so a lucky grab bag of clothing.

Hey... at least it was an honest mistake, and nothing as crass as what I was suggesting.

It's kind of like collecting sports cards... you buy a pack and hope it's something cool... except that there's obviously no discount. I also once purchased a bunch of black plastic enclosed Hot Wheels cars for myself, er my son when he was two-years-old... it was like a Forest Gump line: Ya never know what's inside. I bought three Hot Wheel packs - they were all the same. Fuckin'.

I then bought the full 12-car line-up (or whatever number of cars it was) from some guy on E-Bay who could tell what cars were inside by the code of letters and numbers printed in teeny-tiny printing on the base of the black plastic covering the vehicle.
 By the way... how is fuckin' a play on words for fukubukuro?

And why does the lower image indicate that it's "Up to 50% off" but the first sign says 20% off?

I think I am using the word "fuckin'" correctly...

Kanpai,
Andrew Joseph
PS: More importantly, this took 25 minutes to research and write. Thanks Vinnie for  regurgitating this old photo for me!

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