Japan customers enjoy being slimed

Remember back in the 1980s, when we used to be afraid of Japan? Back then, the land of the rising sun was an unstoppable economic force, filled with powerhouse corporations who would casually drop billions buying up all of our iconic American landmarks, such as Pebble Beach Golf Course, the Empire State Building, Pamela Anderson’s breasts, etc.

Those of us who were teens in the ‘80s were constantly warned of the emerging Japanese dominance. Speculation was that by the time we were adults, Japanese culture would take over the United States, their people would overrun the country, and instead of English, everyone here would end up speaking Japanese. Mexico is having a huge laugh at that one.

I don’t know when, exactly, Japan lost its mojo, but it probably started even before they turned weird and started doing things like paying people to put bugs on their face.

According to the London Telegraph, a Tokyo spa has a popular service called the “snail facial.” It works like this: you lie down for 60 minutes while salon workers place a few snails on your face and forehead “to move around as they please.” The theory goes that the snails will secrete mucus containing antioxidants and other age-defying proteins to help your skin.

The service at this particular salon costs $243. It may sound expensive, but as they say: When it comes to hiring someone to have snails blow their nose on your face, cheaper isn’t always better.

To ensure the snails are clean and healthy, the salon says “they are fed organically.” Of course they are. Because if you’re going to spend $243 to have snails crawl on your face, they better not eat processed food. Otherwise that would be weird.

I just want to know how this salon was able to get that first customer.

SALON REP: (to passerby) Excuse me Ma’am? Would you like to come inside and lie down and have slugs secrete stuff on your cheeks for an hour?

CUSTOMER: Sounds disgusting, but hey, I’ve always wanted to be on “Fear Factor.” How much are you going to pay me?

SALON REP: No, no, no. I don’t think you understand. You’re going to pay US….Ma’am? Ma’am? Come back!

The only thing weirder than paying to have snails placed on you is believing that undergoing surgery to manipulate your palm lines will change your future, which is another new trend in Japan.

According to a story on the DailyBeast.com, palm reading is widely accepted in Japan. To improve their fortunes, Japanese are increasingly using cosmetic surgery to change or erase these lines.

People who use Ouija boards love this news. “OK, everyone. You can stop making fun of us now,” they’re saying.

According to a Dr. Matsuoka, who has performed numerous palm surgeries, most of his patients are women wanting “their love/marriage line lengthened” in hopes of obtaining a spouse.

I don’t mean to sound sexist, but if you’re a woman who’s trying to attract a man, the palm is probably the very last part of the body you should have surgically enhanced.

The Japanese have other strange quirks, like their affinity for Pufferfish. You’ve probably heard about it. It’s a rare fish full of toxins served only in a few specialty restaurants. If not prepared carefully the poisons in the fish could cause death. To experience this delicacy, you basically go to a strange place in which there’s a decent chance you’ll die from the cooking. Or as I call it, “dinner at my mother-in-law’s house.”

And yet, despite all of its oddities, Japan may be set for a comeback.

Sure, they may have a slowing economy, an aging population and a complete lack of natural resources, but this is a country full of honest, hard-working, intelligent citizens, and I’m confident they’ll be able to turn this thing around and save face.

Even if it does have snail mucus on it.

Reach Steve at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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