That’s the great thing about living in Tokyo: just when you think you’ve seen it all, just when you think they can’t take things any farther, you stumble across something that upends your complacent little worldview.
Zooplankton gashapon. I rub my eyes. This has to be a dream. My long, long wait for toys of microorganisms, each carefully suspended in a vile-looking fluid that appears to be mint jelly cut with turpentine, is over at last.
And it’s all thanks to Epoch. Man, I love Japanese toy-makers. Even if they’re only making gashapon. With a trembling hand, I put my hundred-yen coin in the slot and spin the wheel, placing my fate in the hands of the toy-gods.
My heart’s in my throat as I reach for the jolly, candy-like capsule that drops into the machine’s cold yet welcoming orifice.
Branchiopoda. The “chase microbe.” Clutching the vial in my hand, I can sense the minty, translucent love of the Lord of Gashapon radiating down upon me from his throne on hallowed Mount Polyvinylchloride. This is a message. I can feel it in my bones.
It’s time to get back on the crack.
I dig another hundred yen out of my pocket, spin the dial again, and pray for a paramecium.