It has come to my attention that my recent absence has resulted in the spread of wild rumors regarding my whereabouts. Let me assure you that I have neither joined the Vast Soursop Conspiracy nor defected to East Mangoustan. In reality, I’ve returned from a trip to the Taiwan Mochi Museum. Normally this would have only taken a few days, but continued budget cuts meant that I had to float there on a makeshift raft composed of garbage bags and foam peanuts with only a Boxum Notebook Fan for propulsion. Since I couldn’t risk dropping my computer into the ocean, the fan provided very little propulsion, indeed.
Now I’m not actually saying that my harrowing eight-week experience was in any way related to the fact that you guys aren’t buying t-shirts from the t-shirt shop. I’d never accuse you fine readers of such a terrible thing. I’m just saying that I had to float to Taiwan on a garbage bag because stowing away in a cargo container would have been too expensive. That’s all I’m saying.
When I first arrived, I was very hungry, since it’s not really possible to take much food along when one’s only means of floatation is half a bag of foam peanuts. I’m not saying this was anyone’s fault in particular. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for it. After eating all of the free sample mochi in the gift shop, I proceeded to explore the artwork.
Of all the exhibits in the Taiwan Mochi Museum, there are three that stand out in my mind even after my more-harrowing return home:
The first was a piece by well-known abstract artist Jefferson Catfish entitled 69,105, in which he appeared to have randomly tossed 69,105 pieces of mochi at a canvas. Everyone else who saw it seemed to think it looked vaguely like a butterfly, but I’m pretty sure it was an elephant.
The next one was by an artist using the pseudonym Angry Narwhal and was a colossal 200-foot by 85-foot wooden replica of a mochi box bearing the likeness of the Marquise of Mochi herself (see above).
The final exhibit was marked with several warning signs, but I foolishly assumed that it couldn’t have been that bad. I should have known better. This work of mochi madness, by none other than Robert Ellmthorpe himself, proved to be unspeakably disturbing. I wish I’d heeded the warnings. I used to really enjoy mochi.
I know you think I’m making all of this up, but I’m really not. There is a Taiwan Mochi Museum. Go look it up. Maybe you can even visit it someday. Of course, you won’t have to cross shark-infested waters armed only with a cheap plastic USB fan to get there. I’m not placing blame for that, by the way. These things happen.