The Seoul Train bravoing my life...

The Australian Pear


I have been gradually making the transition from Hotmail to Gmail. This involves a great deal of unexpected busy work such as, but not limited to, going through drafts and saved emails, reading old unread emails, copy-pasting contacts, deleting contacts, forwarding my address, writing people had I temporarily forgotten about, etc.
The other day I came across the following.
I thought the anecdote was worth sharing.

From: soandso
Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2004 7:33 PM
To: theseoultrain
Re: the Australian pear

the real question is...did the hot girl then taste YOUR pear?? speaking of which I need some blonde hair out here, so if you see any put it in a bag and ship it over and I can glue it onto some girl's head.

----- Original Message -----
From: mcdonoum
Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 18:30:25 -0700
To: wintersd and sutherjo
Subject: the Australian pear

so yeah, ...(boring part omitted)... anyway, i have a funny story for you guys. so i have been living in Chase's basement, spending my time hanging out with chase and his girl friend Miranda. well Miranda's hot friend comes into town- this girl named Elle who played D1 soccer at Wisconsin. anyway, Miranda and chase would go off and do their thing and i would have to keep this girl entertained, which wasn't a big deal since she was hot but it was still quite weird because i didn't know this girl at all. so one evening we decide to make dinner for people coming over to the house. on the way out the door Chase's mom stops us and tells us of this new specialty grocery store that has opened up on the north side of town- i usually go to the store half a block away because i don't quite know my way around the city but this Elle girl insists on going all the way to the north side of town for the grand opening of this store. we get there after i get us lost, but anyway- this part of the story doesn't really matter. so, we walk into this market and it is huge, but it is huge in an organic hippy specialty sort of way. their Asian food section was monstrous, they must have had 40 different brands of instant cook noodles. anyway, we make it to the produce section because we are planning on making a fruit salad and this guy stocking the fruit comes up and starts talking to me and Elle about all the great fruit they have- (he was being overly nice and polite because it was the opening day and all, trying way too hard) he informed us that the best fruit available at this point in the season was such and such a Mellon and this weird maroon pear from Australian. he directs us over to the pear section and stops i n front of the Australian sort and i notice the price sign. $5.36 a pound. in my head i am like- dear god no. i don't have a job and i am not about to pay two bucks a pear but this guy insists that both of us try a pear. i try to be polite and say that we are just going to stick with such and such a fruit but he cuts me off in mid sentence and starts ripping through the mound of maroon pears. the first one he finds is not soft enough so he sets it back on the stack and as he continues to search the original pear rolls off onto the floor. i feel kind of bad because we really have no intention of buying these pears and he just dropped one on the floor. so the second one he finds is ripe and he starts going through his pockets for a knife. cant find one, goes back to his stocking cart and digs though his stuff until he finds one. he walks back over to us. starts cutting this pear but it had a brown spot in it. he decides it is no good. chucks it in the garbage. grabs another one. same thing, he cuts into it, keeps cutting trying to get a piece that has no skin on it and he finds another brown spot he chucks it into the garbage. he starts looking for pear number 4. Elle and i look at each other- trying not to laugh. luckily the fourth pear meets his criteria. he cuts most of the skin off and then slices a piece part of the way off and holds the pear out for Elle. she picks it up, tastes it and says it is quite good. the produce man turns to me and asks me if i would like a try and i say (thinking that he would just cut off another slice of the same pear) "sure". he chucks the good pear he just cut for Elle into the trash can. he is back in the maroon pile of fruit. pear number 5 doesn't meet the criteria and gets tossed into the trash. the next is in great shape. he cuts a piece part of the way off and holds the pear out for me, i reach out to pick the slice off the pear and it slips out of my hands onto the floor. i feel like an idiot. before i can say anything the guy chucks the rest of the pear into the trash and grabs for another. he tells me not to worry as he is cutting into pear 7. i watch him cut hoping that this pear meets his criteria- i restrain a chuckle because of the absurd nature of this interaction, but luckily this pear is of quality. he slices most of the skin off and slices a piece and extends the pear out to me. i reach for it and it slips out of my fingers again. no fucken joke. the piece falls onto the floor again just like the previous and he throws the rest of the pear away. i am definitely blushing now trying to apologize but he insists on finding another pear. pear 8 into the trash- to o soft to the touch. finally pear 9 is fine he cuts into it, slices a piece and i use both hands to ensure the piece makes it to my mouth. i say, "that's a good pear". what else am i going to say? he walks back to his cart to stock more fruit. Elle and i hang around looking at the maroon pears acting like we are going to buy some but we don't of course. i couldn't believe it. 9 pears wasted for a taste test. amazing

anyway, anything new with either of you?


Fruit of the DOOM


Potlatch 2004. Fruit of the DOOM team member, right, "D"ing up some old, slow California chump. Notice that the Fruit of the DOOM team members did not have numbers on the back of their home-made uniforms (which were Fruit of the Loom T-shirts and boxers by the way) but instead we had "Evil" fruit. Look closely by clicking on the photo. I, my readership, was "Evil Pear." Sometimes I miss my friends back in Seattle.

100% Additive-free Natural Tobacco


Bane of my existence. Fire of my loins. Love of my life.
Wait. What am I talking about. I'm not a smoker.
Yet, flying in the face of previous lung purity, I have been smoking these cigarettes for the past week or so since my return from Hawaii.
Why? Well, they taste good and the high is interesting. Sometimes too interesting though as it makes me dizzy and sick.
Foiled again: pleasure revealed as pain.
But, wait 100% additive-free natural tobacco sounds like a pretty good deal, no?
When was the last time you heard anything positive about cigarettes? 100% naturally baby, yeah!!
ahhh...I see through you peace pipe smoke screen, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (coincidentally established the year I was born- I can hear their PR rep loud and clear:"we've been killing people since you were born, Mcdonough!")..."Naturally" killing me too.
Though, to their credit, they don't even let you enter their website unless you admit you are already a smoker.
I stared at the screen for a good two minutes before I agreed to play their little game.
They also have a footer (nearly as big as their logo) declaring, "If you don't smoke, don't start." To support this highly suspect position they list 58 different websites to help you, their customer, quit the habit.
Something tells me that, in spite of all their hypocritical -yet, potentially honest- efforts, they aren't losing too much business.
In conclusion, I will site my membership to the inherently flawed human race as I admit that I too could possibly be victimized by nicotine.
Thank god they don't sell Natural American Spirits in South Korea (Santa Fe Co. won't even export them to Korea... I checked their website) and I refuse to be a dirty Marlboro man and/or smoke thin, silly-named Korean cigarettes.

Fuck FIFA, we've got God!


The following Fatwa (a legal opinion of a proclaimed Islamic scholar) was recently published in an article by a semiofficial Saudi Arabian newspaper, Al Watan. According to the report a young athlete had joined the jihad in Iraq under the influence of this Fatwa.

In the name of God the merciful and benevolent:
1. Play soccer without four lines, because this is a fabrication of the heretic's international rules that stipulate using them.
2. International terminology that heretics and polytheists use , like "foul," "penalty," "corner," "goal," "out" and others, should be abandoned and not said. Whoever says them should be punished, reprimanded and ejected from the game. He should be publicly told, "You have imitated the heretics and polytheists and this is forbidden."
3. Do not call "foul" and stop the game if someone falls and sprains a hand or foot or the ball touches his hand, and do not give a yellow or red card to whoever was responsible for the injury or tackle. Instead, it should be adjudicated according to Shariah rulings concerning broken bones and injuries.
4. Do not follow the heretics, the Jews, the Christians and especially the evil America regarding the number of players. Do not play with 11 people. Instead, add to this number or decrease it.
5. Play in your regular clothes or pajamas or something like that, but not colored shorts and numbered T-shirts, because shorts and T-shirts are not Muslim clothing. Rather they are heretical and Western clothing, so beware of imitating their fashion.
6. If you have fulfilled these conditions and intend to play soccer, play to strengthen the body in order to better struggle in the way of God on high and to prepare the body for when it is called to jihad. Soccer is not for passing time or the thrill of so-called victory.
7. Do not set the time of play at 45 minutes, which is the official time of the Jews, Christians and all the heretical and atheist countries. This is the time used by teams that have strayed from the righteous path.
8. Do not play in two halves. Rather play in one half or three halves in order to completely differentiate yourselves from the heretics, the polytheists, the corrupted and the disobedient.
9. If neither of you beats the other, or "wins" as it is called, and neither puts the leather between the posts, do not add extra time or penalties until someone wins. No, instead leave the field, because winning with overtime and penalty kicks is the pinnacle of imitating heretics.
10. If you play soccer, do not appoint someone to follow you called a "referee," since there is no need for him after doing away with international rules like "foul," "penalty," "corner" and others. His presence would be in imitation of the heretics, Jews and Christians and would follow international rules.
11. Young crowds should not gather to watch when you play because if you are there for the sake of sports and strengthening your bodies as you claimed, why would people watch you? You should make them join your physical fitness and jihad preparation, or you should say: "Go proselytize and seek out morally reprehensible acts in the markets and the press and leave us to our physical fitness."
12. I you finish playing soccer, do not talk about your game and say, "We were better than the opponent," or "So-and-so plays well" and so on. Instead be concerned with your bodies and their strength and muscles, and say, "We played only to drill in running, attacking and retreating, and to prepare for jihad in the name of God on high."
13. You should spit in the face of whoever puts the ball between the posts or upright and then runs in order to get his friends to follow him and hug him like players in America or France do, and you should punish and reprimand him, for what is the relationship between celebrating, hugging and kissing and the sport that your are practicing?

I just don't know what to say about this. It would have made for a great MonthyPython skit.
Then again, is becomes less funny when you realize this man is serious.
And then again, even less funny, when you realize that people believe in it and act according to its demands.

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