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punish the mochi

It may look like an innocent piece of sticky rice waiting to be consumed by an elderly person hoping to see at least one more birthday, but in reality this stuff is more dangerous than a harmless geisha eating a piece of fugu prepared by a blind chef who likes going to prison a lot.

For this sticky rice, better known in Japan as mochi and particularly popular as part of the new year celebrations, happily lodges itself in the throats of ageing diners, blocking their airways and leaving them feeling uncomfortable and/or dead.

Every new year, the newspapers report the number of mochi victims. This year was a good one - only two reported deaths (in Tokyo), although 11 were hospitalised.

Extreme caution must be exercised when eating mochi in the company of the elderly.

Ways to spot an elderly relative in trouble:
1. They stop talking and gesticulate a lot, even though you're not playing chirades.
2. They start turning blue.
3. They seem to be sleeping for longer than usual (like three days).

As a result of these unfortunate incidents, towns and villages across the country hold a Punish the Mochi festival where they beat the living daylights out of it in order to teach it a lesson.

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On Monday, 07 January, 2008, Anonymous kazue said:

Can you guess the symbolism of mochi-tsuki (mochi pounding)?
HINT: Traditionally, the pounder who beats the pestle has to be male and the kneader or the receiver has to be female.  

On Wednesday, 09 January, 2008, Blogger Invader Stu said:

Sounds like they should come with public health warnings like on cigarette packets.  

On Thursday, 10 January, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Love your site: I've laughed till my sides hurt. May I use some excerpts in a play I'm doing with my junior drama group about the internet? One performance, and probably negative numbers on the takings, but it makes the parents happy.  

On Friday, 11 January, 2008, Anonymous Michaels said:

You can tell the kid on the left in the second photo is disgusted by the act. Probably thinking:

"Oh well, hopefully I can lick the mallet"

And is that guy wearing an ID card...some kind of registered mochi masher?  

On Sunday, 13 January, 2008, Anonymous nursemyra said:

where can I get some for the gimcrack?  

On Tuesday, 15 January, 2008, Blogger thud said:

funny insight into japan and the Japanese..i,ll stick around.  

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