Friday, 25 March 2016

David Sedaris: Small In Japan

There are three Kapital stores in Ebisu, and their interior design is as off-putting as their merchandise. Most clothing hangs from the ceiling, though there are a few beaten-up racks and horizontal surfaces that items are strewn across. At one of the shops, the window display consisted of three carved penises arranged from small to large. The most modest was on a par with a Coleman thermos, while the king-size one was as long and thick as a wrestler’s forearm. Amy’s eyes popped out of her head, and before I could stop her she hoisted the middle one out of the window, crying, “Oh, my goodness, it’s teak! I thought from out on the sidewalk that it was mahogany!” As if she were a wood expert, and saw nothing beyond the grain.

The salesman blinked as Amy turned the dildo upside down. Then she positioned her right hand at the base of the testicles, and pretended she was a waitress: “Would anyone care for some freshly ground pepper?”

There are three other branches of Kapital in Tokyo, and we visited them all, staying in each one until our fingerprints were on everything. “My God,” Gretchen said, trying on a hat that seemed to have been modelled on a used toilet brush, before adding it to her pile. “This place is amazing. I had no idea!” ...

My sisters and I refuse to feel bad about shopping. And why should we? Obviously we have some hole we’re trying to fill, but doesn’t everyone? And isn’t filling it with berets the size of toilet-seat covers, if not more practical, then at least healthier than filling it with frosting or heroin or unsafe sex with strangers?

The Perfect Fit: Shopping in Tokyo, David Sedaris, The New Yorker.

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