Sunday, March 13, 2016

K.O. Outtake #3: The Bitter Taste of Defeat

The following is an outtake from You Can't Spell Tokyo Without K.O.: A photo-essay dissecting the Japanese epidemic of passing out in public. This text was ultimately edited out of the final version for one reason or another (redundant, or didn't fit the book's tone, or distracted from the book's main themes, etc.), but I'm including it here because at least one beta reader mentioned that he or she found it worth reading.

The Bitter Taste of Defeat

Capturing raw, fleeting moments of nature often requires a certain degree of fortuitous timing: having the camera aimed and ready precisely when that sea lion leaps from the water, flailing for its life, millimeters away from gruesome laceration by a great white's razor-sharp teeth. A flicker of time that lasts perhaps only a millisecond — gone in the blink of an eye — can be immortalized by a photographer with a lot of luck and lot of patience.

Snapping this particular photo required no such luck or patience, because throughout the entire twenty-minute train ride this gentleman's tongue only protruded farther and farther from his mouth. As if he had accidentally swallowed bathroom cleaner, he continually puckered his face and clenched his closed eyes into a bitter scowl that bore a striking resemblance to the neon-green icky face of Mr. Yuk poison stickers.

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