Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Colonel's Curse

In 1985 the Osaka baseball team the Hanshin Tigers won the Central League Championship after a 21-year losing streak. The fans went wild, the city went wild. And in their wildness a group of people stole a life-sized statue of Colonel Sanders from a KFC storefront, carried it over their heads and chucked it into the Dotonburi River-- a kind of scum filled canal.

At the time Randy Bass (an Oklahoma-born baseball player and an exceptional hitter) was on the Hanshin team. It was widely thought that his playing was what led the team to win.

When the Hanshin Tigers win a game their fans tend to jump into the Dotonburi. It's the happy thing to do. On this auspicious night someone must have recognized that Colonel Sanders looked a whole lot like Randy Bass and thus the statue's fate was sealed.

Here is the Colonel.

Here is Randy Bass.






The workers at the KFC that night say that the mob was chanting "Bass! Bass!" as they ripped the Colonel out of the ground and carried him away.


Afterwards, despite the many attempts to search for the effigy, it was never recovered. Rumors began to spread -- some say it dissolved, others that it was sighted in the Philipines. The most popular rumor, though, was of Colonel's Curse. This started when after the tossing the Tigers suffered an 18-year losing streak.



But all that ended yesterday.


A scuba diver found the missing Colonel and he was pulled to safety. Yes, he was minus a couple hands, and his glasses, oh, and his lower torso. But found nonetheless. And after 24 years in the mucky river he's still smiling!





Edited to add:

They found his bottom half and a hand! The city of Osaka is elated. Their baseball team -- now realizing the curse is broken and they have to start winning games -- not so happy.

19 comments:

Girl Japan said...

Oh my gosh.. I just laughed so hard I think coffee went up my nose!!!

Tigermama said...

LMAO! Where do you get this stuff? I LOVE it. You really should think about turning your blog into a book. :)

Kappa no He said...

Girl Japan, me, too!

Tigermama, you're too sweet. But the thought of making money off the random craziness around me makes me swoon...wait a minute, That's what a writer does!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing and funny story. You have a great talent, and I always look forward to your blogs.

Kappa no He said...

Thank you anon...is this who I think it is?

Jim Melvin said...

This one has left me speechless!

laughingwolf said...

lol... don't throw you chickens into that river :O

Kappa no He said...

Jim, I know, I know!

Laughing Wolf, exactly!

Pat said...

Do we know if the diver was looking specifically for Colonel Chickie, or was it a pleasure dive - in the mucky river??? Either way - ewww!

Can always count on you for a chuckle, Terrie...

Ello said...

That's awesome that they found it! Ha! What a great story!

Kappa no He said...

Pat, I believe they were doing some work on something. I don't think the diver wanted to be there. Probably lost a game of paper/stones/scissors.

Ello, isn't it funny? It must be one mucky river if they hadn't found it all these years.

Woman in a Window said...

That's hilarious! I'm not so sure about the likeness though.

Mary Witzl said...

I have to say that I DO see a likeness between these two! Same build, same little goatee, same gaijin nose -- even the same smile. In Japan, I used to get mistaken for another foreigner half a foot shorter, 30 lbs heavier, with dark, curly hair (mine was light brown). The colonel and Randy Bass could be brothers compared to us...

Kappa no He said...

Woman and Mary, you are both right. I remember once when someone said I looked like Brooke Shields. (Okay, those of you who know me can stop laughing now.) Still, I ate it up. I still remind my husband...Hey, I look like Brooke Shields. Oh, how he roars.

Gina said...

My husband is going to be so happy!!! He is from Osaka. He is a huge Hanshin Tigers fan! When they lost last year to Chiba, he was so silent! Ha ha ha! And when they win and the people go jump in the canal, he cheers and screams at the TV.

Hmm, I think I should bring up this missing Colonel Sanders being found thing to him. See what he thinks. Ha ha ha. : )

Kappa no He said...

Oh, if he's from Osaka I'm sure he knows. Those people have extra special powers. I love Osakaers. Osakaens? Osakaites? Osakajins?

Frank Baron said...

18 years...21 years...those are the kind of losing streaks the Chicago Cubs would kill for! (101 years and counting.)

Kappa no He said...

Do you think their might be some sort of effigy floating at the bottom of the Chicago River they don't know about?

Gina said...

Good morning, you're right, when I asked him, he said he already knew.: (

Yes, Osakajin's, wow, they're funny! Very direct. : )

He's always watching TV shows on the differences between Osakajins versus Tokyo people. He laughs and laughs himself silly. Meanwhile I just sit here and I just don't get it.:D

Here in Chiba, on a weekly basis, people will ask him..."are you from Osaka???" Does he have an accent or what? Osaka-ben right. But everyone always hears him speak and they just know.

My girlfriend Noriko. Yochien mom friend. She brought me a gift and I wasn't there so she gave it to my husband. She told him in a very polite Tokyo people type of way......"it's just a small gift not even really worthy of being a gift"...he jokes and says...."well if it's nothing, then we don't need it!" he thought he was being funny. He says most Osakajins woulda got his joke and cracked up hysterically. But she was shocked, gasped and a little offended! This happened last month. I had to give him the stink eye for that one!!!

And he comes from a very well off family and everything. He's just very very Osakan. Sighs!

But bartering for stuff. Like buying from flea markets or vendors off the street. He always gets the price down. He'll debate over the price for eternity with them.