Thank God(zilla) for the Japanese. They can bring the #creepy like nobody else.

HOT GINGER AND DYNAMITE: THE JOYS of JAPANESE CULTURE and CREATIVITY by JONATHAN KIERAN

How could I have missed this? Well, in all fairness, I have been so fascinated by the spectacularly warped eyeball-licking trend sweeping Japan (now sadly revealed to be a hoax) that some of my favorite island-nation’s most sublime foolery escaped my Weird Radar in recent months. Leave it to a dear friend in Germany to alert my insatiable, twist-sensitive curiosity to the Hizamakura Lap Pillow!

A travel expert recently informed the Huffington Post that the Hizamakura Pillow was pretty much launched in 2004 as a means for lonely males to banish the pangs of homesickness while away on business … or whatever else might drag a Japanese man away from the familiar sights and sensations of everyday domestic bliss. Since we all know that nothing exemplifies “HOME” and “COMFORT” like a kneeling woman chopped-off at the waist, the Hizamakura Pillow remains popular with overworked sales associates and corporate-types stuck in dreary hotel rooms–men in dire need of something (anything!) to capture the essence of truly meaningful female companionship!

The Hizakamura Pillow is clearly the answer to a prayer for millions of stressed-out modern souls no doubt hurtling on a collision course with nervous collapse and possibly even seppuku. She’s lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and perpetually eager to please. Best of all, Japanese men don’t have to be traumatized by pesky symbolic reminders that ladies sometimes require things like, oh, say, food, for example, since the Hizamakura Pillow betrays no hint of the need for any digestive system, much less a mouth through which expensive dinners (¥¥¥!) might be masticated and swallowed without any guarantee whatsoever of lap-lounging privileges at the end of a long, backbreaking day at the office or out-of-town business conference.

The Hizamakura Pillow offers nothing but unconditional acceptance, cranial pampering and blessed, incredible silence. With her bisected body draped tastefully in either a miniskirt or a maid’s outfit, “Miss Hizamakura Pillow-san” further satisfies the emotional needs of Japanese men by affirming traditional notions that an ideal woman is one who will dress like a slut and have the shinshitsu clean before you get home to flop your greasy skull on her thighs for the evening.

But wait … there’s MORE!

pillers

Place your Hizamakura Pillow on the grimy floor of an airport terminal as you loiter to catch your next flight. Curl up for a few hours! Hizamakura Pillow-san won’t mind a bit. Shove her in the trunk of your car for those inevitable weekend business conventions in Osaka. You won’t hear a word of protest and she’ll always fit like a charm. Bring her home to meet your parents. They’ll be thrilled to know you’ve finally found a girl who wouldn’t dream of being with any other man except you … mainly because she can’t dream. Take her camping in a tent on the slopes of Mt. Fuji. There’ll be no griping about the lack of adequate toilet facilities or running water. Watch as other male campers look at Hizamakura Pillow-san and then glower with disdain and regret at their own grouchy wives, who are not kneeling in miniskirts and who are gesturing frantically with arms attached to actual torsos as they whine about the unacceptable conditions.

You will be the envy of all who see you, thanks to Hizakamura Pillow-san, and there’s nothing like being envied to prove that a Japanese man is truly living in the lap of luxury.

(Special thanks to The Empress for getting this news-flash to me …)
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While Jonathan works to complete his new novel (slated for release in Spring 2014) blogging will be swift, light, fun and generally of the “drive-by captioning” variety. Meanwhile, if you’re bored and don’t have any Japanese eyeballs to lick, hop on over to Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a Like!

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, Friends, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

Opinions vary on the value of Japanese “snail facials.” #Dowager unimpressed.

POP HAZMAT “CAPTURED MOMENTS” presents EAVESDROPPING at the OUTSKIRTS of EXCESS by JONATHAN KIERAN

snail fac

Reports have recently surfaced that a spa in Japan has introduced a new treatment wherein living snails are applied to the human face for purposes of moisturizing and beautification. Many are thrilled to explore the restorative benefits of “snail mucous” in the battle against aging and all-around ugliness, but we at Pop HazMat thought it might be prudent to seek the opinion of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, concerning the viability of such esoteric and unusual methods. The Dowager, well-known for her willingness to proffer opinions (solicited and otherwise), did not disappoint:

"What in heaven's name do you expect me to say? Have you ever seen what just a few can do to a perfectly innocent little rose garden? Ghastly! It's bad enough that the French insist upon eating the horrible creatures, once they've been sautéed in a bit of butter and garlic. Now you tell me that the Japanese are letting slugs loiter about their faces in the pursuit of beauty? Good heavens. I can only conclude that they are all quite mad. Aren't these are the same people licking each other's eyeballs to get a jolly, these days? I certainly hope the English don't take up such a repugnant trend. The first woman foolish enough to approach me with a herd of snails across her gob is going to get dowsed with a bucket of salt for her trouble, I can assure you. People might even pay to see an exfoliation like that. By the way, young man, if you ever utter the word 'mucous' in my presence again I shall find a way to have you castrated. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for sandwiches of cucumber and cress."

“What in heaven’s name do you expect me to say? Have you ever seen what just a few of them can do to a perfectly innocent little rose garden? Ghastly! It’s bad enough that the French insist upon eating the horrible creatures, once they’ve been sautéed in a bit of butter and garlic. Now you tell me that the Japanese are letting slugs loiter about their faces in the pursuit of beauty? Good heavens. I can only conclude that they are all quite mad. Aren’t these the same people licking each other’s eyeballs to get a jolly, these days? Well, I certainly hope the English don’t take up such a repugnant trend. The first woman foolish enough to approach me with a herd of snails attached to her gob is going to get dowsed with a bucket of salt for her trouble, I can assure you. People might even pay to see an exfoliation like that. By the way, young man, if you ever utter the word ‘mucous’ in my presence again I shall find a way to have you castrated. Now, if you’ll excuse us, it’s time for kidney pie.”

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If you’re bored and don’t have any Japanese eyeballs to lick, hop on over to Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a Like!

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, Friends, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads