Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Suspecting the Locals.

There was a woman in Ashbourne today with long, black, unkempt hair, and I realised just how much such hair is now indelibly associated in my mind with Japanese ghosts.

The story I watched last night before the internet failed was about a ghostly woman called The Bear Lady. She’s an old lady with the appropriate hairstyle who skulks about in an alleyway carrying a teddy bear. (You wouldn’t think they’d have teddy bears in Japan, would you? You’d think they’d have akira bears, or something.) She rises from a dark doorway and accosts young women, relieving them of certain body parts in order to acquire trinkets. So, if she wants a ring, she cuts off a finger. If it’s a necklace that takes her fancy, she cuts off a head. And so on.

I didn’t laugh at that one. Not only were the poor benighted girls uncommonly pretty, they also looked genuinely terrified – a fatal combination which evokes a certain masculine instinct to which men of my generation are prey. Besides, it broke with tradition. The two girls must have been desperately in need of a pee, but there wasn’t a ladies’ lavatory in sight.

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