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The official site of sniveling writer Josh Muggins

I wrote me these suckers, too.

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What's new? Some of our old posts have been cobbled together into a nifty free ebook! (All right, it's not that "new" any more, but that's all we've got.)

The Tao of Durl (January 3, 2014)

A Brief Aside on the Rules of Courtship in a Japanese University (April 28, 2014)

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May 26, 2014

Why, oh Why, 2K??

Someone else who found the year 2000 a bit of a letdown

Welcome to another heapin’ helpin’ of leftover vittles judged unfit for human consumption and thus excised from my upcoming memoir. But before that, some breathtakingly tedious insights into my writing process.

Setting out to write about my entire teaching career at Yokohama’s N. University, which ran from 1990 to 2007, I faced the dilemma of just how to deal with the year 2000, when I was dumped by Princess Michiko, my teenage sidekick, after which I fell into a depression punctuated by weird and reprehensible behavior. (In short, hilarity ensued.)

The dilemma I speak of is that I had covered all that nonsense in detail in my first memoir, How To Pick Up Japanese Chicks and Lose Your Immortal Soul. So what to do with it this time? Do I rehash all of that and risk boring faithful readers of the earlier book, or just ignore it and risk baffling first-timers? Those days remain, for me, fraught with the most momentous events of my middle age, so merely glossing over them struck me as a thoroughly inadequate approach—rather like writing a long account of the mundane processes of whaling in the 19th century and casually embedding the sentence “And then an enormous white monster rose from the sea and killed our insane captain” smack in the middle. That simply wouldn’t do, would it?

At this point, I still haven’t quite worked out what to do about what I’m cleverly naming the “Y2K Problem.” But as things stand now, the following Year-2000 tidbits remain on the Cut List.

As noted in earlier posts, the whole book is cobbled together from excerpts of my journals, comments on those excerpts, and occasional reminders to the reader as to just what Bill Clinton was up to around the same time, just for snorts. Oh, and giggles.

The first segment finds me in fine fettle, pre-breakup mode.

I also had students to entertain. A group of eight, featuring Takamine Ueda, Eiko Kawakami and a very drunk Keita Maruyama, crashed my apartment late Tuesday night after they had finished a drinking party at Watami (and after I had finished my ill-fated visit from the Princess*). They were too many, too late at night and too noisy, but I was delighted to see them.

January 2000

Keita emerged as the star of that spontaneous late-night gathering at my apartment. In class, he was pale, silent, and odd; liquored up, the only way to keep him relatively quiet was to put a bag on his head, which is what his friends did, repurposing Keita’s own book bag. Among his muffled pearls of wisdom on that occasion:

Deecha’s apaato beegu. (“Teacher’s apartment is big.”)

Hwai deecha donto kamu paatee? (“Why didn’t Teacher come to the party?”)

Ai raiku deecha. (“I like Teacher.”)

The others were telling me of their plans for the spring vacation when we heard, softly:

Deecha eezu guudo deecha (“Teacher is a good teacher”)

…just before asphyxiation claimed him.


Here we segue into the post-breakup period, during which I devoted myself to extracting from NU chicks their sympathy, which I always hoped would take the form of epistaxis-inducing tagteam blowjobs. I wasn’t that sick, after all.

Email buddy Yoko Hashimoto inadvertently hurt me with the news that she is ditching her much older boyfriend so that she can look for someone her own age. I told her about my pain in vague terms, and sent moony emails to her friends Mami Oshiro and Chiho Yasuno as well.

May 2000

If you were an IR major at NU in the spring and summer of 2000 and you had ovaries, you probably received at least one lovesick email from me seeking a shoulder to cry on. And if you were kind, or just naïve, or some combination thereof, you probably lent me that shoulder.

After a good deal of trial and error, I outsourced most of my spiritual maintenance to a future flight attendant named Nozomi, whom I called Bat Girl for her willingness to race to my apartment by motor scooter on short notice. It was Nozomi who fed me, listened to my tales of woe, took me to Disneyland, and all that sort of Make-a-Wish Foundation crap.


This item harkens back to a night in late July when I accepted an invitation to go drinking with freshmen after having a polyp sliced out of my colon the same afternoon. I was also on three medications for my mental illness at the time, so not surprisingly I devoted most of my free time that evening to making rude propositions and then passing out.

She was a dark, sphinx-like creature, this Kazuyo. Invitations to overseas scuba-diving vacations from disturbed foreign teachers rolled right off her. If you were a freshman girl and found yourself in a girlfriend’s apartment at two in the morning next to the passed-out carcass of your teacher, whom you had had to help drag there because, you know, there simply wasn’t anywhere else to put him—no night depository where you can anonymously slide in your drunken English teachers and then toddle on your way—what would your reaction be when he finally woke up? If you’re Kazuyo, you take a picture with him, giving the peace sign with a lurid grin, as if the dazed teacher were a deer you had just bagged or a dead jihadi that you had just peed on.

If our race ever does encounter intelligent aliens, I want her out front. The girl has poise.


Mina-chan and four other [sophomore] chicks came here last night for an overnight drinking bash. It was fun. I really ought to apologize to the neighbors. I drank heavily, but behaved well. I was one of the first to go to sleep, and vaguely recall fondling my own groin in my sleep and hearing some tittering. But that really was an involuntary reflex. I actually behaved myself quite admirably, for once.

November 2000

I don’t remember the year 2000 at all fondly, but I suppose a year can’t be considered a total washout when you wake up at home and find five pretty sophomores scattered around the premises.

Their leader, Mina-chan, had proposed this event—ostensibly for the purpose of cheering me up, but more likely because they couldn’t find any other space large enough for a slumber party. When she pitched the idea to me, I reacted typically:

Me: Five girls! Staying all night! Hold on, I’m afraid I’m going to have to order more Viagra!


Me: More Viagra… Get it?


Me: Because, like, there are five of you…


They listened patiently to the tale of how my heart was broken, tucked me in, and then went on to yak at each other until four in the morning.


November 2000: Although President Clinton was not himself a candidate, his sex scandal and impeachment impacted both parties throughout the long presidential campaign. The Democratic candidate, Vice President Al Gore, avoided appearing with Clinton, thus costing himself the votes of many who still supported the President. Republican challenger George W. Bush based his campaign largely on a repeated promise to restore “honor and dignity” to the White House.

* Pet name for teenage sidekick. Yes, yes, I know: "Never date a girl whose father calls her Princess." Where were you when I needed you?

May 7, 2014

Oh, Akiko, We Hardly Knew Ye

The combatants

In this week’s installment of “Feed the Blog Beast,” I once again toss readers a bucket of slop deemed unsuitable for inclusion in the upcoming memoir about my years at Yokohama’s N University, where, for the better part of two decades, I successfully went through the motions of teaching English to the most beautiful women in the solar system.*

Today’s tidbits are small, so go ahead and have two of them. The first finds more-or-less present-day me going through boxes of old stuff in the process of what passes around here for “researching” a memoir.

Found in a large envelope labeled “2003 Mail”: A handwritten note, carefully folded up in origami fashion to a four-inch square. My name is rendered on the cover in pink, red, and green markers, to the left of which is a sticker of Sylvester the Cat and to the right of which are two red heart stickers.

Upon unfolding it, I discover that the note was written about two months after I began the new phase of my NU career, teaching required English courses for non-International Relations majors. It was a nerve-wracking time, marked by much anxiety over whether or not my ineffable charm would work on this new and different demographic.

Here is what the memo said. Inserted notations substitute for illustrations that cannot be expressed by keyboard.

Dear Muggins

Hi, I was so glad the other day; May 22, that you remembered my birthday
[drawing of cake with candles]. Thank you, love! I have my PC. But I don’t have a printer. [drawing of teardrops] So, I write this letter by hand. As such I want to convey how glad I was without delay ◊◊. I was celebrated my birthday with a party by my friends in high school. VERY VERY Happy!! ^^ [Sticker of Tasmanian Devil happily clutching a wrapped gift]

I think I can get off to a very good start by grace of them. ♪♪ I bless them for their kindness. They have taken good care of me. ♡ ♡ and I love them, too ^^. By the way, I went to the movies today. What do you think I watched?


Well, I declare the answer…→ The answer is 8 MILE ☺ Do you know it? It’s like an EMINEM’S autobiography. He is a musician, no, rapper. I respect and love him ♡ not only his flow but his lyric and rhyme. That reminds me
[smiling face drawing]!! You are a musician, aren’t you? I heard it by Suzuki Mayumi teacher. Really?? If it is truth, I want to listen your singing voice and your song. [Drawing of microphone, or possibly stubby penis, gripped in fist] ♪♪ OK now, It’s almost time to go bed (It’s twelve five) [drawing of clock]

Good night Muggins. Zzzzz ☆[Crescent moon]

Love from Akiko

[Drawing of girl’s head with hearts emerging from it]

[Drawing of Minnie Mouse]

[Drawing of waving hand]


Here’s the thing. I have no idea who this Akiko is. My database yields up a number of Akikos who were taking one class or another from me that year. At best, I can narrow it down to a freshman business major or a poli sci sophomore. I retain only cursory data on both (not including birthdays) and no photos.

How many hours did it take Akiko to write and elaborately illustrate this English memo? At least one, probably closer to two. Two hours of intensive labor just to thank me for a “Happy Birthday” shout-out that probably took me all of ten seconds to deliver at the end of class on, say, a Thursday morning in the spring of 2003. She gave me that note and I took it home and tucked it away with the other “keeper” mail, and then promptly got back to my masturbating, most likely.

Ten years later, I have no recollection of her.

I suck.

* * *

The selection below harkens back to a night in October 2001 when some pretty International Relations freshmen dropped by my off-campus apartment. Due to a bureaucratic blunder, the admission of one girl had been delayed a whole semester, so that she had joined my class from September rather than April, as is customary. The others invited this new classmate in hopes of facilitating her acclimation to NU.

…Some female classmates brought Asaki, the gorgeous newcomer, to my home, and she in turn brought her boyfriend, who in turn brought a quantity of crab that in my own college days we would have termed a “shitload.” Then we ate the shitload of crab while Misaki’s boyfriend got drunk, and then Misaki and one of the other girls and I invented a game called “Death Match” by making Boo-chan and Mr. Horny fight. Boo-chan was a foot-tall stuffed pig and Mr. Horny a grinning, Satan-headed hand-puppet with arms that jabbed when the wearer manipulated hidden levers. Boo-chan’s substantial size was largely nullified by stubby, immobile limbs; Mr. Horny had the reach advantage.

“Hurry up and die, Boo-chan!”

“Huh? Fuck you!”

Punch! Punch! Punch!

“I’ll kick you in the nuts!”

Thus did two college girls with heart-stopping bodies and luxurious curtains of long black hair and I tirelessly stage round after round of a brutal, trash-talking brawl between two toys that were, for whatever reason, found in my apartment. In other news, I had recently turned forty-six years old.

NU Chicks: Wheresoever they went, there was Eden.

* I'm taking it on faith that the Gas Giant trim isn't worth going to check out.