Japanese Vending Machines

Japanese Vending Machines 3

This. This is the one that started it all. Study that name well, in case you ever visit Japan. “Love Body”—it sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it? And it’s “from Coca Cola”—it even has the Coke swoosh down the side. But this isn’t Coke... not even Cherry Coke, Lemon Coke or Coca Cola Blāk.

From the colour, we guessed it was some kind of tea; the green leaf seemed to be a clue. And with a subtitle like “Beauty Queen”, how bad could it be?

Let’s just say that seconds after taking her first sip, Jane thrust it at me with the fateful words: “I bloody dare ya.”

(In Melbourne the week before we’d watched a Micallef DVD, the series with the spoof gameshow segments where Shaun “bloody dares” his contestants to do insanely dangerous things.)

I took a swig. It tasted like... leaves. Not freshly brewed leaves wafting their gentle aroma up your nostrils, but leaves lying dejectedly in a puddle. On the plus side, it was without any doubt sugar-free. (I would post the “after” shot of me drinking the stuff, but fear the photoshopping implications for my future self. “Would you buy a used car from this grimace?”)

I may not Love my Body—we’re just good friends—but at least know better than to feed it miscellaneous foliage steeped in essence of pond. We left the bottle unfinished but carried it around for the rest of the day, because there was one other person who had to try it.

When Kim arrived in Tokyo to meet up with his sister and brother-in-law, the last thing he must have expected by way of greeting was a blue and brown bottle of LOVE BODY BEAUTY QUEEN and the words “I bloody dare ya”. He must have had his doubts as soon as he saw that only an inch had been drunk out of it. But he gamely tried it, and delivered his verdict on glorious low-res digital video: “It’s terrible.” And from that moment, plotted his terrible revenge...

May 2006

←Previous · Next→