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Attack of the Killer Rice Cakes

Yes, it's that time of year again - the annual New Year's rice cake epidemic is with us again. This happens every year - elderly obaachans and ojiisans choke to death on their mochi (sticky rice cakes, traditional New Year's fare).

Which begs the question... why eat them? I mean why? It happens every damn year, for god's sake. Admittedly, one of the victims this time was "only" in his fifties and might have been forgiven for thinking that he had a few years left in him yet, but the other chap was 90, for chrissake - talk about pushing your luck. I really don't have time for a whole anti-traditionalism rant right now, but oooooooh this kind of thing makes me mad.

Mad, I tell you.

Posted by chris at January 3, 2002 12:28 AM | Permalink


I think that you are missing the bigger picture and beauty of this. I mean think about it, honestly speaking, this is simply natural selection. If some crazy old man wishes to eat his rice, then by all mean go ahead and let him. The problem is simply you goddamn hippie liberals who think that we should protect stupid stupid people.

-sincerely yours Emric Phibes

Posted by: Emric Phibes at February 21, 2007 04:49 AM

I'm not sure, Emric, it makes much sense to talk about "natural selection" when the individuals in question are, almost to a man/woman, decades past their breeding prime, but I take your point. The stupid must die.

Anyway, it's not so much a case of "protect[ing] stupid stupid people" as "making sure that you don't give your relatives food which is likely to kill them". Where I come from, that's called "common sense", not "goddam hippie liberalism".

My point is, to me this is one of those prime examples of institutionalised Japanese idiocy. The whole family eat mochi together every new year. Why? Because it's traditional. Never mind that there's a highly significant risk of immediate morbidity for the eldest members of the family - who could well be about to choke their last in a series of painful spasms, right in front of the grandkids - it's traditional! We have to eat it! Good luck, Grandad! Oh, and if you croak in the next thirty seconds, can I have your baseball card collection? Thanks! Bon appetit!

Posted by: chris at February 21, 2007 05:33 AM

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