THE GEISHA GUYS (Or So They Thought) OF OLD JAPAN -- or, How the Boys from Podunk "Went Native"
THE MIKADO -- ACT IV (The Un-Authorized Version).
THE TIME: Way back in 1892-1895.
THE PLACE: T. Enami's fledgling photo studio on Benten Street in Yokohama.
THE MAIN CHARACTERS: Billy-Bob and his cousin, Cleetus.... fresh off the Boat from America.
THE STORY: Their Uncle Jethro from Podunk has just sent them to Japan on an all-expense-paid trip after they saw a performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's MIKADO over at the Bayoo Theater. Billy-Bob has made up his mind to go find and marry the real YUM YUM. Cleetus is still trying to make up his mind between PITTI-SING and PEEP-BO....but has told Billy-Bob that he's willing to settle for NANKI-POO. (Hmmmm).
WHAT HAPPENED IN JAPAN : Due to having extra spending money (thanks to a good year for Uncle Jethro and his moonshine operation) they decide to "Go Native", and have their picture taken to prove it to the clan back home. They have picked out their own Kimonos --- "real shiny bathrobes" as Cleetus calls them --- and some black, outer "Choir Robes" just to make it official.
They also get the same funny little umbrellas that looked like the ones used for the MIKADO production back at the old Bayoo Theater. That way, when the folks back home see the picture, they'll know that Billy-Bob and Cleetus really went to Japan --- and not China, which everyone in Podunk knows is somewhere between India and Africa.
After fighting over who will sit in the "rickety-shaw" (Cleetus won), Enami tells them to hold still while he operates the picture taking equipment. He tells them to come back the next day, when the photograph will be done up right on a very FANCY mount. Cleetus tells Enami a very PLAIN mount will do just fine --- as long as Mr. Enami "sticks his name on it somewhere, so we remember where to come pick it up"....
They change back into overalls and clod-hoppers, and make a bee-line for the first-rate Grand Hotel (thanks to Uncle Jethro's money)....where they can keep their civilized shoes on ("Thank God", says Billy-Bob) and where they can sleep on a real bed --- with their shoes still on. ("Thank God", says Cleetus).
After having a bad experience with some raw fish at a local restaurant --- Cleetus swears that his little piece of tuna was still moving around on the plate --- they ask the Chef at the Hotel to cook everything well done. And just to be sure, Cleetus asks for his to be "burnt to a crisp".
The next day, they follow a lead to where they heard they could meet some nice girls. They go through some kinda big gate in the road, and see a lot of nice buildings with a lot of pretty girls standing around on 2nd Floor balconies. They all have on pretty Kimonos, and Cleetus says he "sure likes the way they tie them big bows up in front".
Billy-Bob wonders why there are so many policemen hanging around the area, and tries to ask one of them where YUM-YUM lives. However, he can't seem to get anywhere with his TWO Japanese phrases --- THANK YOU (Billy-Bob says, "Dumb Old Alligator"), and YOU'RE WELCOME (for this he says, "Don't Touch My Mustache") --- and he keeps telling Cleetus that's exactly how the Japanese language is pronounced, so how come nobody understands him?
While walking around, Cleetus swears he saw a 12 Point Buck back in the bushes of some place called NECTARINE #9, and wishes he'd brought his shot-gun with him. It turns out it was just one of those high-falootin' 2nd-Floor Saloon Girls with her hair full of shoe-horns and back-scratchers. Cleetus was immediately interested in her, but Billy-Bob said she might be some kinda nut-job to go around sticking a bunch of fly-swatters and broken roof-shingles in her hair like that.
So, after a fruitless day of looking around the Yoshiwara for YUM-YUM and the rest of the Mikado Girls (or any other respectable women they can take back to Podunk with them) they give up, and go back to Enami's studio to pick up the picture we see above.
By now, they are totally disgusted with Japan, and have their tickets revised to leave on the next available steamship for home.
BACK IN THE GOOD 'OL US of A : Upon reaching Podunk, they gather all of their friends and Uncle Jethro together at the General Store to tell them that when it comes to knowing anything about the REAL JAPAN, Gilbert & Sullivan are 100% full of Horse Manure. THE MUSIC BUILDS.....AS THE CURTAIN FALLS.
In 2008, Rob Oechsle was permanently banned from the creative writing workshop at Podunk High School after writing the above caption.
For a serious look at the photographer who took the above studio shot, visit www.t-enami.org/
For a picture of the girl Cleetus would have shot (If he'd had a gun with him) look here: www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/2334556386/
Also, here's a nice Japanese FAMILY FESTIVAL that Cleetus and Billy-Bob missed because they went home too early : babibubebo.com/2008/04/07/kanamara-matsuri-festival-of-th...
Make sure you scroll down for all of the nice photos....!!!