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.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Makes me Happy

I've never had a fondness for pro wrestling. When I was a kid I'd have to leave if it was on. Only reruns of Hee Haw could get me out of the room faster. But the other day I caught something on TV that made me rethink my snobby ways.

And that was an eye opening show that contained this lovely fellow here, Tea Fighting Kateking. Notice the tea leaf on his forehead with the characters for tea written on it.

He was with his buddy, Orange Fighter Jutaro.

They were going around to local elementary schools and making sure the children ate their mikan oranges and drank their green tea. Oh, and at one point their good pal Fish Figher Hiraking showed up.

He often struck this pose.

Here they are all together.

(I'm a little worried about Orange Fighter. It looks like he's about to heave.)

So, when the three of them (and their buddies) aren't helping promote Numazu City's signature products, tea, mikan oranges and dried fish respectively, they are beating the living crap out of their neighbors in Fujimiya City.

On that team we have the always dazzling El Trout the Rainbow. I couldn't find a real picture of him anywhere so you'll have to settle for this one.

It makes me happy.