In Japan There Are Crows as Big as Bicycles and All the Girls Are Blue-Haired Nymphets in Sailor Skirts Quivering for Tentacle Love: An American’s Brief but Indispensable Guide to the World at Large


by Matthew Burnside

In Japan, there are crows as big as bicycles and all the girls are blue-haired nymphets in sailor skirts quivering for tentacle love. It’s true. And everybody Tokyo-drifts to work. This makes it difficult for the super realistic robots that control traffic. It’s dangerous because Yakuza are everywhere and everyone knows karate. This generally kicks in right after crawling but before you learn to walk. At age five you are given your first samurai sword and told to go murder a dog in the alley, which you are then expected to consume in front of your parents. If you dishonor this sacred rite of passage you know automatically what to do next: 1) drop to your knees 2) slit your belly 3) bleed yellow blood. Or offer yourself to the nearest dragon with centipede legs parading around the corner. All the vending machines dispense soiled panties and there is no such thing as a calculator when everybody is born with an abacus in their brain. All the men have really cool hair and micropenises. All the women are concubines with small feet. Octopus is served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every weekend spent sipping sake bombs in the karaoke bar. It is popular to pray to Raiden the god of thunder because Godzilla is a legitimate threat.

In Iceland, all the girls look like Björk. Everyone lives on a glacier, fishing to the national anthem of Sigur Rós.

In Mexico, everyone rides a donkey to the mission where they live. Farmers tend to their tortilla fields until sundown wearing rainbow ponchos and enormous, flying saucer-sized sombreros, which are in permavogue. Every drink is amber with a worm at the bottom. All trees are strung with piñatas filled with super cheap candy recognizable by the gaudiest wrappers imaginable. Every song on the radio is a variation of the same melody and singer with lyrics that go something like this: AYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!

New Zealand’s gross domestic product is whatever the combined box office earnings of the Lord of the Rings franchise is.

In the Middle East, everyone is hiding a bomb in their beard. Camels come in all shapes and sizes, makes and models. They’re hiding bombs in their humps, too. There is a swimming pool full of oil behind each deluxe cave where people raise their children to blow up soldiers.

Great Britain is a mixed bag. The hideous teeth are hideous but they do have Mr. Bean.

And in America everything is pretty great. You are given your first revolver at the age of three to shoot your neighbor in case he steps one toe in your crib. If you require something with a little more firepower, Congress will work with you. A pop-up Bible and autographed picture of Jesus is made available to all in case you’re feeling lost. Except the gays, who truly are lost. We’re proud to say discrimination is no longer “a thing” because, hey, look at our president! America: for once, a country that isn’t afraid to stand up to teachers while paying professional athletes what they truly deserve. Yes, the pursuit of happiness is alive and well here—an inalienable goddamn right!—but between you and me you should try your very best to be white and male.


Matthew is hard at work on a book. It’s just like Twilight except with centaurs instead of vampires.
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