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the running walker

There was something highly entertaining on the television last night. It's not often I can say that about Japanese TV.

It went like this: Fly in speed-walking world record holder Jefferson Perez from Ecuador and set about scaring the living daylights out of him.

It started innocently enough with him walking about a Japanese town at top speed. He was being lulled into a false sense of security by the programme makers. And yes, Jefferson is a very fast walker. The cameraman was sprinting to keep up.

Then the fun began. We discover that the programme makers want to find out if Jefferson, who seems like a gentle and unassuming chap, will walk or run when faced with life threatening danger. I would've thought the answer was pretty obvious. But thankfully the programme makers wanted to go ahead with their experiment nonetheless. So they set him up big time.........

In a room filled with hidden cameras, they told Jefferson they wanted him to try to beat a walking record on an athletics track. As all this was being translated to him, there suddenly appeared, on a TV in the corner of the room, a mock news story about some samurai warriors who had escaped from jail and were now terrorising the neighbourhood....THEIR neighbourhood. The news story was absurd in the extreme, but poor Jefferson, not being from around these parts, didn’t know any better. The translator translated. Jefferson looked worried.

Cut to Jefferson beginning his record-breaking attempt later that day. At the same time the samurais were preparing to storm the athletics track. After Jefferson had completed one lap, the samurais were given their cue to go after Jefferson.

As they appeared on the athletics track and noisily took out the security guards, Jefferson looked anxiously over his shoulder. A look of blind terror flashed across his face. Admirably, he kept on walking, however, his speed understandably increased somewhat. Had the track not been brown, I think we would've seen a trail of something in his wake.

The samurais raised their swords, screamed manically, and started legging it after Jefferson. And so the big question was about to be answered: Would he walk or would he run? Of course, he ran. He ran like the wind.

The plan...

Jefferson taking his task seriously. Little does he know what terror is about to befall him.

The samurais arrive at the athletics track.

Jefferson realises for the first time that there is more to life than walking.

Dictionary definition of walking: "to move along by putting one foot in front of the other, allowing each foot to touch the ground before lifting the next" Yep, he's still walking, though a little faster than before.

Jefferson screams for his mother.

Now he's running!

Dictionary definition of running: "to move along, faster than walking, by taking quick steps in which each foot is lifted before the next foot touches the ground" Yep, he's definitely running.

Run, Jefferson! Run!
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On Thursday, 10 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said:

My God, that is ****ing funny!!! I wish I'd watched that one :)  

On Friday, 11 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said:

I actually watched this one! Funny thing was, when he did run, he wasn't all that fast. And so much commitment that he waited until those samurais were really on his @$$ to start running!  

On Friday, 11 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said:

They've really taken that whole candid camera concept by the balls. Perhaps Noel Edmonds has a future there. I can't help thinking it's a bit mean. But it WAS ****ing funny too.  

On Friday, 11 November, 2005, Blogger Overboard said:

He he he he!
I loved the candid time when a gorilla jumped into an onsen.  

On Friday, 11 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said:

*laughs* The Japanese sure do love making fun of foreign celebrities. ^^ ...and anything that makes fun of celebrities is good in my book.  

On Friday, 11 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said:

That was indeed very funny!

Besides, you have narrated it so nicely.

I always wonder, why almost all the Japanese TV channels show the transcript (partially) on the screen! Perhaps showing the words or sentences alongwith appropriate music makes more impact on the viewers!

I like your blog!! Keep it up!  

On Saturday, 12 November, 2005, Blogger Kyla said:

Haha, those silly Japanese and their TV shows... I think the whole idea was a little obvious, but the fact that poor Jefferson didn't see through the joke makes it that much funnier.

Keep up the work on this marvelous blog of yours!  

On Tuesday, 15 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is great! What a riot! www.evan7.com  

On Tuesday, 15 November, 2005, Blogger Sumiyoshi Pilgrim said:

Haha. Poor dude must have been traumatized for a few nights afterward. Would've loved to seen the look on his face when he caught sight of those dudes racing across the field. Cool blog by the way.  

On Tuesday, 22 November, 2005, Blogger Lewis said:

Absolute genius. Japanese TV does have its moments in-between the endless food tasting shows and celebrity camera-mugging.  

On Sunday, 27 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where did you get that Shinsengumi! screencap??  

On Friday, 17 November, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said:

hi does anyone know where i can watch this trivia in the internet?
i searched for the video clip but i can not find it.
i hope someone can help me =)

On Tuesday, 28 August, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Show some respect dudes!
This is a Three times in a row Champion of the world in one of the most hard styles of sport.  

On Saturday, 22 September, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

I know that all the candid camera shows are sometimes quite funny; however, they should be ashamed of themselves for playig such a prank on a three time world champion. Shame on you!  

On Sunday, 29 November, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jefferson deserves respect. He is a champion in his own right. Playing such a joke on him reflects bad on you guys! you are pathetic loosers!  

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