Thursday, April 27, 2006


Yes, you read that right, and it will make 'sense' if you read on. Somehow it seems that this could only happen in Japan, for reasons so deep I could never touch bottom, but I'm willing to go down a fathom or two.

As elsewhere, television in Japan exerts a disturbing hold on the national mind, but here in the Land of Wa that ominous grip is often augmented by a cuteness that can approach the pathological. Make sense yet?

I earlier posted here on the frequent inscrutability (to my vestigially Western mind) of Japanese tv commercials, as exemplified by a big no-collateral loan company's madly popular hundreds-of-times-a-day spot featuring a big-eyed white chihuahua. That commercial and its many sequels made the white chihuahua the Elvis of pets in this country, the slightly hairy handfuls fetching up to 6000 dollars at the peak of big-loan-company chihuahuamania. Everybody wanted one of the cute little dears.

Well it turns out that the charming little critters' company will do nasty things to get its money back (surprise, surprise!). The endearingly fronted loan firm was caught using quite a bit more than chihuahuas on its deadbeats. Everybody in Japan knows that fast, no-collateral loans have been part of the underworld's flock of golden geese for centuries, if not millennia, but the tiny white dog on the hypnoscreen somehow eclipsed all that history of gore and anguish.

Then to the shock of all white-chihuahua owners the appalling fact re-emerged, right there in the adoring eyes of their pets and the gaze of their neighbors, and the price of aggressive loan-collector chihuahuas is plunging, as is their popularity. How embarrassing now, that formerly dear chihuahua you bought so expensively when the truth was also true.

The tube can be a cruel master. But at least it makes for bizarre headlines.


Chancy said...

Poor little doggies. And all they did was look cute. How about a class action suit by the white chihuahuas against the big mean loan company. Might even be a made for TV movie prospect there also,

"1001 White Chihuahuas"

Robert Brady said...

You're not thinking of borrowing production money with no collateral...