Part I: Largo, Drunken Beast after "Part XI: Hiawatha's Wedding-Feast"

You shall hear of crazy Largo,
Flaming Largo, fearsome Gamer,
None more skilled (but many saner),
Called "Great Teacher" by his students,
Often drinking, seldom thinking:
How this dipsomanic gaijin
Trashed a garden in the Ginza;
With his gentle buddy Piro,
He, the sweetest of all losers,
He and Largo, stuck in Nihon,
Here in Tokyo all by mishap,
Wracked was he with love and longing
For Kimiko, modest beauty,
Lovely, she, but also haunted,
She, not knowing her own self-worth,
She, the "Voice Behind the Faces";
Brought by Erika, a Tall One,
All who see her lust unto her,
Gladly does she no fools suffer,
Fierce of visage (but a softie)
One tough kuukii, she, don't doubt it
(Or you'll find out to your sorrow);
That they might all get acquainted,
That the night might be remembered,
That the time might pass more gaily,
Cupid's bow to aim more truly.

Came they to a building's rooftop,
High above the Ginza district,
Well above the noise and traffic:
Sumptuous was this lofty rooftop,
Which was made into a garden,
Potted trees festooned with lanterns,
Lanterns bright with many colors,
Like unto a Sea, this brightness;
Like unto Illumination
Was this Sea, and this they named it.

Wand'ring through this rooftop garden
Pretty maidens, bearing beer-mugs
(Honkin' big ones, just like Germans)
Offered up their precious lager,
Offered their Illumination;
Came the thirsty to this garden,
Thirsty folks from downtown Tokyo,
In their fine brand-name apparel,
Splendid in their twills and worsteds,
Well-accessorized, and thirsty.

They were thirsty for the lager,
Precious lager, made from barley,
Malted barley steeped in waters
Sprinkled with the salts of Burton,
"Burtonized" to be less turbid
(So the beer won't look too cloudy --
Like that matters to me, buddy);
To this mash, some hops are added,
Without which it tastes insipid;
Last of all they throw the yeast in,
And in time the brew is bitchin';
Poured in mighty kegs to store it,
Poured from copper taps to serve it,
Thus supplied, the garden's patrons
Sat and sipped from mugs o' plenty.

Not just thirsty, they, but hungry!,
With their beer, they ate sashimi:
Ate the eel, the gold Unagi,
Ate his seagoing kin Anago,
Ate the lobster, Ise-ebi,
Ate the sweet shrimp, Ama-ebi,
Ate the fluke, the pale Hirame,
Ate the tuna, red Maguro
(And his belly, fatty Toro),
Ate the orange salmon Sake,
Ate the yellow-tail Hamachi,
Ate the mack'rel, silv'ry Saba,
Ate the squid, the icky Ika,
Ate the chewy rubb'ry Tako,
Ate the geoduck Mirugai
(Why a "duck"? Could someone tell me?):
If it swims, then Nihon eats it,
Served with ginger and wasabi.

Fêted they not just on fish food:
Too, on "omelettes" they feasted:
Okonomiyaki it's called,
At your first glance you'll be appalled:
More like pizza, or a pancake,
Not the egg dish as we know it,
Stuff and whatnot flung upon it,
"How you like it"'s how you'll get it
(Kinda weird, but you should try it).

In abundance there was natto,
Sticky, slimy, nasty natto,
Dreadful natto -- in abundance
Only 'cos no-one will eat it --
Natto, like some hellish Jell-O,
Made from soybeans, then left just so,
Left to ferment 'til it's too late,
Assaulting eye and nose and palate,
You'll be sorry if you try it.

Washoku in all its glory,
Soba, ramen, yakitori,
Shabushabu -- aren't you hungry?
No? Instead I see you're angry:
I shall get on with the story.

With such spendid fare around them,
Mugs o' lager set before them,
Sat the Nihonjin, suspended
'Twixt the city and the heavens,
In this summer twilight feasting,
From their many labors resting,
In repose beneath the lanterns,
By the lights illuminated,
By the lager animated,
Like a Sea of Pixillation,
Eating, drinking, gaily chatting.

'Midst this happy scene, our heroes
Sat and looked each other over;
But the nervous sweating Piro,
And the silent sad Kimiko,
And tall Erika, all-knowing,
Tasted not the treats before them:
Only sat and stared at Largo,
Only watched with bug-eyed wonder,
Sat and stared with eyes a-bulging:

Largo, skilled in matters boozy,
Lifted up his giant beer-mug
Filled up with the precious lager,
Lifted up his beer-mug swiftly,
Gulped it down like it was Kool-Aid,
Issued forth a mighty belching,
Slammed his mug down on the table,
Frosty still from its cold-storage,
Flecks of foam fresh from its pouring.

Erika, the Tall One
(Who's been round the block a few times,
Seen it all and got the t-shirt):
Then asked Erika, "O Largo,
Did you taste the precious lager?
Did it make your tongue's acquaintance,
Or go straight into your bloodstream?"

Then the feckless, fearless Largo,
E'er the ready gamer, he,
He the merry mischief-maker,
Even by friends called the Tom-Fool,
To his feet he quickly staggered.
Skilled was he in certain pastimes
Which are played on a computer:
In the merry hail of bullets,
In the play of laser weapons,
In the play of rocket launchers,
In the play of naked steel
To defeat the Zombi Legions;
Skilled was he in games of hazard,
In all games of skill and hazard,
Skilled as if he had twelve fingers
In the use of console buttons,
Skilled was he in mortal combat,
Skilled as well in Mortal Kombat;
Skilled he was in Daikatana;
Skilled in Nights of Neverwinter,
Evil Dead and Chrono Trigger,
Skilled as well in ways of Warcraft,
If it moves then he can kill it,
Shoot it, stab it, slice it, dice it;
"Great" he's called and not for nothing.

To his feet did Largo stagger,
"Zombies!" spake he, eyes agoggle;
"I shall tell you of the zombies,
Zombies all about this city,
Many Zombies, all in hiding,
Hid in every nook and cranny!"
But, before he would continue,
Largo ordered further lager:
He must quaff the precious lager,
Ere his tale he continue…

(to be continued)

(Apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

<i>Part XI: Hiawatha's Wedding-Feast

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