It’s funny to me (and perhaps less funny to some), how the EA/Gracie staff interjects little political barbs based on bits of reality. They are usually just lines in the dialogue, which most people bash through (I’d say Tap through…but, when you are in a hurry to get to the next task, bashing is more accurate).
In the “Around the World” event, there were a few items that could have riled the masses, including bits on immigration, municipal funding, and a couple of less minor topics that really got to me on a personal basis.
I get it. There is a lot to laugh at or lampoon in the world today. The whole bit with trying to woo the tourists, who didn’t speak our language was clever (they were French after all). The bit about funding schools with the lottery was wincingly accurate, at least in Oregon…where we don’t have a sales tax. So here in the Land ‘O Green, they fund schools with “sin taxes” including state run lotteries, and heavy taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and now, the burgeoning growth industry of recreational Cannabis.
But then they went too far. They cut a little too close to home…it got PERSONAL.
They rolled out (not literally, but perhaps figuratively, as in this figure could roll like a boulder) the Sumo Wrestler, Sakatumi…with a bit of dialogue about obesity. The old “Laugh In” reference to “Sock It To Me” is clever…but watching this proud warrior be reduced to a slam poet, was just too much.
Sakatumi: I am here to train the proudly obese men of Springfield in the noble art of sumo. I see we have many enthusiastic trainees.
Wiggum: Actually, I’m only here for the giant diapers. Ralphie’s a heavy wetter.
Sakatumi: Just Ralphie?
Wiggum: There is another, Sakatumi-san.
Sakatumi: There is one thing people love even more than the slam of giant bodies onto the floor of a ring. The slam of poetry into their hearts.
Lisa: You’re putting on a Poetry Slam in the Sumo Stadium? I hate to break it to you, but this town does not love high culture.
Sakatumi: That’s because they’ve never seen it performed by a naked man in a diaper.
So…I already hear some of you firing up your fingers to post, “WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL!!! HE’S FAT!!”
But, people don’t realize that when you are my age, and have suffered decades of ritual abuse by pants manufacturers for having huge thighs, made larger by college football and years of rugby in my younger years, that seeing a fat man in a diaper can trigger traumatic memories.
And the sight of Sakatumi did just that…
The year was 1972…at least for a couple of hours. It was New Year’s Eve, and I was at a college party that featured more alcohol per square foot than most micro-breweries. And after a bit of time, a goodly portion of the aforementioned alcohol was inside of my large, chiseled (I really was a mountain of lean muscle back then) body.
There were two factors fueling my drive to drink that evening… I had just broken up with my long-time, first love (long distance relationships are hard…) after a tempestuous 2 1/2 years. And it was my birthday in just a few hours (I’m a New Year’s Baby), and I had nobody in tow for the midnight kiss. 1973 was not starting out well.
Add to that, a handful of the idiot-factor at the party knew I was a New Year’s Baby…and kept chiding me to play the part. Literally.
It’s amazing what a bit of induction and peer pressure can do, when the number of plastic beer cups stacked as an edifice to my consumption had grown to a height that defied gravity (as did the consumer being edified). I soon found myself giddily going into an upstairs bedroom (the party was at an apartment), disrobing, and then swaddling my man-parts in the sheet of one of my antagonists. (Double revenge).
As I came down the stairs in my new outfit, ready to bring in the New Year, one of the guys yelled out…”Holy Crap! He looks like a Sumo Wrestler! His thighs are huge!”
Yes. 28″ thighs stand out. Yes. 28″ thighs, even though rock solid, are larger than most women’s (and a few men’s) waist. But, they were the force that gave me thrust when destroying opponents on the football field…during games at which these same “fans” cheered every tackle. HYPOCRITES!
I wish I could say it was a sobering moment. Too late for that. The evening did not go well…although I did at least hold the attention of most of the girls in the room…from a distance…a wide distance.
I had blocked that memory out of my head. Until EA/Gracie went deep into “fat shaming” for a man that is undoubtedly revered for his athletic stomp-i-tude in his homeland of Japan.
Pick on tourists? Sure. Make fun of federal and municipal funding? OK. Shame the nerds? What’s new? But fat shaming? You have reached a new low EA!!
PS–for all of you “literalists” out there…I am kidding. I don’t really feel “fat shamed.” But the rest of this is true. Really. Sad. But. True.
And as always… you can find my “real rants” on my other blog…