Ben Dean-Titterrell

Man turns 22 in Tokyo

A view of the man’s home office on his birthday

A man has celebrated his 22nd birthday in Tokyo, whilst teleworking from home.

The man has been living in Tokyo for over eight months now, and had reportedly been curious for some time about what his first birthday abroad would entail. It is believed that the last thing the man expected to be doing was wishing to be at his actual place of work, and no longer hunched over a borrowed iPad in his tiny room in a sharehouse.

The newly turned 22-year-old had been greatly anticipating returning to work, coincidentally on his birthday, following the Japanese government’s decision to lift the nationwide state of emergency in relation to the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the week.

When asked for his thoughts on being asked to continue teleworking for another week, the man declined to make any comment, pointing to his desire for, quote, “continued employment.” Unconfirmed reports suggest that the man’s initial reaction to being one of the few at his company to continue teleworking, whilst most of his colleagues return to their schools, was [REDACTED].

The man has had some genuinely enjoyable experiences working from home, according to sources familiar with the situation. It has been challenging and difficult but he believes he’s added to his skillset and become a lot closer with many of his colleagues.

21 was a singifcant and transformative year in the man’s life. Notable events included, but reportedly were not limited to, graduating from university and moving to Tokyo to start his first proper job as an English teacher (something he hasn’t shut up about for the entire year).

The man is said to have a lot planned for his 22nd year, including continuing to live in Japan (and never shutting up about it), getting even more into his pretentious film photography hobby, and being almost totally unable to write about himself without making it into a somewhat worn out joke.

April was a lot

I bought a houseplant last month.

I don’t like writing about myself. I never have. But for a while I’ve been trying to write more, especially about the things I do in Tokyo. For the past seven months now I’ve written attempts at being funny to bridge this gap. Most of my time in Japan has been incredible. It’s often been life-changing. As a result I’ve always felt I’ve had good things to write about. Things I can make light of and enjoy putting into words. April was different.

With the world the way it is right now, it’s probably safe to say no one had the April they were expecting. Japan had the virus before a lot of other countries, but I watched the UK go into lockdown a fortnight before Japan declared it’s state of emergency. I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone who’s satisfied with how the Japanese government have handled this situation.

The emergency state is meant to end on May 4th, but it’s probably going to be extended by about a month. For me that will mean more teleworking. I’ve been working from my tiny room in my awful sharehouse on an iPad borrowed from my school for about three weeks now. It’s been…challenging. I shouldn’t complain though, I know people who’ve been away from work longer than me and can’t do anything but stay home. Other people have just straight up lost their jobs, so I count myself genuinely lucky to still be earning my full salary.

There was a time where I had to weigh up whether I should stay in Japan or just pack it all in and head back home. I’m almost certain I made the right decision to stay, but that inkling of doubt is hard to shake off.

I realised recently that I’m now over half way through my time in Japan. It’s been seven months, and with my work contract lasting 12 I’m over the peak and on the downward slope. I don’t feel remotely ready to leave, and I don’t think I will in five months time. I haven’t done half of what I wanted to do when I got here, and my bucket list has only grown.

I can’t blame it all on the current situation, I definitely got a little complacent about going out and doing the things I want to do here. But I haven’t really gone anywhere other than work or a convenience store since about mid-March. So, to cut a long winded point short, I’m planning to stay here past September – probably for another year.

There have been some genuinely good things about the last month. I bought a houseplant, for example. It’s turned my drab, boring room with nothing interesting in it, into a drab, boring room with a houseplant in it. I’ve also started the process of finding an apartment to move into, so I can leave sharehouse life behind. These are pretty small highlights, but now more than ever I feel the need to make the most of them.

Last month was a lot. A lot to adapt to and a lot to think about. There were some highs and some lows, but I could have things a lot worse than I currently do. May’s going to be a big month. I hope it ends up better than April.

Man makes it through February and March in Tokyo

The man in question who, inexplicably, doesn’t have a single photo of himself from the past two months so is using a photo from January

A man, who has lived in Tokyo for six months now, recently made it through the months of February and March.

There were several challenging incidents during the past two months which made this period reportedly the man’s most challenging in Japan. The most significant and unavoidable of these was the Covid-19 pandemic.

The man has reportedly faced relatively little disruption to his personal or professional life, the most significant change so far being that he has to wear a mask at work all day. There are multiples reports that he still finds this extremely uncomfortable.

Sources can confirm that the man is thinking often of his friends and family in other parts of the world where the virus has spread more rapidly and with worse effects. It is believed he is sending his best wishes to anyone stuck currently in a lockdown or other adverse situation.

In somewhat more upbeat reports about the man’s past two months, it is believed he has had a challenging but overall productive and fulfilling time at work. As more children have been confirmed to have started attending his school, the man has faced a stressful period. Yet he is believed to be generally happy with how things are going at work.

At the midpoint of his originally planned stay in Japan, the man has noted a running theme in regards to his monetary income. Secretive sources have told this publication that the man is poor at managing his money and by the end of each pay month is regularly “totally skint”. The man refused to comment on his alleged financial foolishness when contacted.

Finally there are reports surfacing that at one point during the past two months the man purchased a Budweiser branded one of those baseball caps that is just a visor and doesn’t have a top bit to it. It’s believed he is extremely proud of finding it, but well aware of how stupid he looks wearing it.

Tokyo-based man does stuff in January

A man who lives in Tokyo did some things in January. Details of the man’s exploits, obtained exclusively by this publication, have now emerged.

The month started as he celebrated the turn of the new decade in Tokyo’s busiest area Shibuya. The man joined the large crowds at Shibuya’s famous Scramble Crossing for the new year countdown. He is understood to have found it an enjoyable but also somewhat intense experience.

Mere hours after the start of 2020 the man flew to Sapporo, in Japan’s northern-most island of Hakiado with his best friend for a few days. The man reportedly had an incredible time and did a variety of things, including visiting a chocolate factory, the Sapporo beer museum, going up a mountain on a cable car, visiting a new year festival at a local Temple, enjoying some incredible local food, and on the last day of his stay going skiing. It is, however, believed that men spent more time on his arse than his skis during his visit to the ski resort. His friend, who has a history of snowboarding, was, while remaining supportive, less than complimentary about his skiing ‘abilities’.

On his visit to the Temple in Sapporo, the man participated in the traditional Shinto practice of 絵馬 (Ema). This involved writing a prayer or wish for the coming year on a wooden plaque. As far as the man understands the practice, these prayers are then visited by spirits or gods. Later the plaques are burned. The man wished for 幸福 (happiness).

The man, of course, had the majority of his January taken up by working at his job as an English teacher. The work is said to have been difficult over the last month. He has had a great deal to do and far more responsibility than he expected at this time. He is still enjoying his job, but is routinely exhausted by the end of each week. The man is trying his utmost to make the best of his valuable weekends when possible.

The man also attended the January sumo tournament in Tokyo, describing it as “one of the best things I’ve ever attended.” The atmosphere was incredible and the sumo fights themselves an incredible spectacle. The man arrived at the venue around midday and only saw the latter bouts, as each day over the fortnightly event starts at around 8 in morning and goes on until about 6 in the evening. The man will undoubtedly be attending the next tournament in Tokyo in May.

Towards the end of January the man in question attended a showing of Death Note: The Musical. Death Note, an extremely popular manga and anime, and less popular Netflix adaption, was one of the first, and till date the best, animes the man has seen. The show, obviously entirely in Japanese, featured about three words the man actually understood. Nonetheless the man enjoyed his venture into Japanese theatrical production.

Despite technically occuring during February 1st for the man, he watched the UK officialy leave the European Union. The man was on his way to work at 8am on Saturday as Brexit happened. He was extremely saddened to see his country commit such a foolish mistake. Watching from afar, almost as far he could possibly be, the man despaired as his country decided to throw away a raft of the rights and freedoms with which he had always lived. He hoped, however tenuously, that he would one day see the UK rejoin the EU.

Man continues to live in Japan

A man, who a couple of months ago began living in Japan, has continued to live there. The man in question has lived in Tokyo for around three months, and has been thinking a lot about just how long that and just how much he’s done in that time.

He is said to have learnt very little Japanese in his time there and feels somewhat ashamed at the lack of effort he has put into it. Reports say he has enough key words and phrases to just about get by but there have been many humiliating occasions where, when asked something in Japanese by a native speaker, he has stuttered out one or two of the words he knows in a vague hope that they will suffice.

One notable example occurred in a supermarket when the shop assistant asked the individual if he wanted to pay by cash (genkin) or card (kurejittokādo). Witnesses say the man thought he was being asked if he needed a plastic bag and, as he didn’t need one, confidently used a phrase that translates literally to “I do not need it” (irimasen). He is still said to be embarressed by the memory of telling a very polite Japanese woman that he did not need to pay for his lunch.

The man is preparing to celebrate Christmas in Japan, his first ever Christmas away from home. He will also be working everyday up until the 28th- as a result sourves say the man is not feeling especially festive. It is believed he will be eating KFC on Christmas, following through on a commitment he made to do so after he learnt about the unconventional Japanese tradition.

The individual in question is also said to be looking forward to the new year where, with his best friend, he will be visiting Sapporo in Japan’s most northerly island. It is said he will attempt to go skiing. Many believe he will in fact end up sliding down a mountain on his arse looking like an idiot.

Generally, the man is believed to be doing well. It’s thought his job is challenging and tiring, but he is still enjoying his time in Tokyo. He wishes his friends and loved ones back home a very happy Christmas.

Man keeps getting the wrong train to work

A man, who commutes on Tokyo’s famously excellent rail system, repeatedly gets the wrong train to work like a complete idiot.

Sources say that the man, who alternates between travelling to two workplaces on opposite sides of the city every few days, has on more than occasion started going to one location before suddenly realising he is going in the wrong direction.

Witnesses to the man’s routine mistake say it all starts when he gets on the wrong platform at his first station, despite the clearly obvious signs marking out which platform is which.

The man’s mistake is made even more embarrassing by the fact the signs at the station even have English on them.

The man is said to only notice his error when the train he is on terminates at its final station and every other passenger disembarks.

Those familiar with the situation say the man could avoid the inconvenience of having to ride the train all the way back if he just looked up from his phone for once.

It is believed that the man has thus far managed to avoid being late for work, however a source, who insisted on anonymity, said, “Running into work a minute before you’re due in isn’t a good look here. It’s not that hard to get the right bloody train. Fucking idiot.”

Man lives in Tokyo for a month

A man, 21, has lived in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, for an entire month. Sources close to the man say he is enjoying life in a new city and is settling in well.

The individual in question is believed to be working as an English teacher for a year, having recently graduated from University. It is believed that the man moved to Tokyo with his best friend and he is reportedly glad to have had someone to share the last month with exploring the city.

Living in a sharehouse with ten strangers has, according to those familiar with the situation, been a mixed experience so far. However, given the location and relative cost of the man’s accommodation, most analysts say he has little to complain about.

The man’s new job, reportedly his first experience of long term full time employment, is said to be going well. Still in the training phase of his new job, the man is believed to be enjoying working with children despite his lack of previous experience in a teaching role.

A source, speaking exclusively to this publication, said “He’s getting used to navigating the city. He can use the public transport system fairly well now, and there’s only a fifty percent chance he’s going to get lost when he goes somewhere now – that’s a big improvement from a few weeks ago.”

The man reportedly had one quite significant incident while trying to pay his rent for the first time at a Japanese ATM. Some witnesses say the man, who struggled for some 45 minutes, swore at the machine. Different witnesses described the man shouting. Others say he was nearly brought to tears out of frustration. Some have stated that the man did all three of these things, but such statements cannot be verified at this time.

The recent typhoon Hagibis, one of the strongest typhoons to hit Japan for several decades, passed over the man without incident.

Giving a rare comment to this publication, the man said, “I’m having a great time out here. I’ve learnt and discovered so much already. It’s everything I hoped for and more. The past month has been life-changing, and I can’t wait to see what happens over the next one.”

Soon-to-be Graduate thinking of restarting abandoned blog

A SOON-TO-BE GRADUATE is mulling over the complexities of restarting his old blog, nearly a year after last posting anything on the site.

Sources close to the individual in question revealed that the long and drawn out summer is pushing the 21-year-old to restart his small, largely ignored passion project.

The blog has remained untouched for almost a full twelve months, and there has been little indication as to what led to the extended absence.

Speculation about why the graduate-in-waiting abandoned the blog has been rife, with some pinning the blame on a lack of motivation and ideas, others pointing to a decision to devote more time to university studies, and more outspoken theorists claiming the individual’s personal laziness was to blame.

The hiatus has reportedly left the blog in a dire state, with multiple regular series coming to abrupt and unexplained ends.

Questions remain about the future direction of the blog, with claims surfacing that unexpected changes in the graduate’s future plans are likely to push content to focus on the country of Japan.

University student having crisis of confidence

A UNIVERSITY STUDENT is going through a crisis of confidence about their entire future, according to reports.

The student, whose identity could not be confirmed at this time, has recently begun to doubt whether their life will pan out the way they want.

The complete breakdown in confidence about their life’s course is said to have started only a few months ago at the end of the student’s second year of university.

A source close to the unnamed 20-year-old said, “They realised suddenly that they were over 60 per cent through their degree and had only a rough plan about what they were going to do once they graduated.

“They just started whining to everyone around them about how they didn’t see an obvious path into their chosen industry. It was really annoying, honestly.”

An expert in the field of whiny students, Dr Ex Pert, said that this kind of meltdown about future career prospects is common.

Dr Pert said, “We often see the approach of third-year accompanied by feelings of dread and hopelessness towards the future.

“With opportunities often low paid and insecure, graduate job markets saturated, and all the rich kids having guaranteed jobs at their parents’ firms, many students see their only option to be throwing their hands in the air and cursing about the injustice of it all.”

Reports are also circulating that the student recently quit their part-time job in order to devote more of their time to studying and doing extracurricular activities.

It’s believed they want to be able to present themselves as the best candidate possible for a job that will often have dozens if not hundreds of applicants for a single role.

This publication has obtained an anonymised photo of the student in question.


IN CRISIS – a student who has no idea what they’re doing

It remains to be seen whether the student will be able to get a hold of themselves and figure out a realistic path to personal and professional fulfilment.

If you’re a student struggling to see a future for your life after graduation and have been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, join the club.

Parliamentary Roasts of the Week: W/C 16/07/18

Head image

Chamber of the House of Commons” by UK Parliament / CC BY 3.0 / Fire are 100 emojis placed upon original image

In an attempt to prove that the least appreciated of the UK’s age-old parliamentary conventions is MPs and Peers roasting each other, I’ve started a new project for this blog. Every week I’ll aim to bring you the best quips, one-liners, and straight fire roasts dished out in the Palace of Westminster.

W/C 16/07/18

We’re kicking off this week with a look at PMQs, one of the most reliable sources of Parliamentary roasts. This week, however, was a significant dissapointment. There wasn’t a single good joke in the exchanges between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. The only passably decent jab from anyone in the whole session was from the SNP’s Ian Blackford.

“[…]a Prime Minister who is in office but not in power[…]”

This isn’t even good to be honest. In a regular week we wouldn’t even feature it, but this session was so devoid of good banter that this is the highlight.



It’s now Thursday and the new Brexit Secratary Dominic Raab is anwering questions from MPs. All fairly run of the mill until Conservative MP Chris Green unleashes what I’m sure he thought was a truly savage roast.

“Does my right hon. Friend agree that to have a second referendum would undermine the democratic process and that anyone calling in this place for a second referendum should perhaps step down, have a by-election and ask for a second opinion on themselves?”

‘Got em! You like second referendums, huh? Well how do you like second elections? Huh?! How do you like them apples?’ – Chris Green’s internal monologue, probably


Bonus House of Lords Roast

The Commons was so devoid of roasts this week that we’re forced to turn to the House of Lords to see if there’s anyone spitting fire in the Palace of Westminster. I was only able to have a quick look through, but I found one quip worthy of inclusion from Labour’s Lord Touhig on Monday on the NATO summit.

“However, to date transatlantic unity is undermined by the President of the United States. We never know what Mr Trump will say next—and, frankly, I suspect that nor does Mr Trump.”

It’s not imaginative; yeah we get it Trump’s stupid. But the delivery was good and, frankly, I’m clutching at straws this week. Lord Touhig’s our first Peer roaster, and until we have another he holds the honourary title of Lord of Roasts.



Roaster of the week

The last thing to do is crown our Roaster of the Week. He seemed so damn pleased with his effort that it would unfair to give it to anyone but Chris Green.

My time may not be particularly valuable, but it certainly is limited. If you’ve spotted a roast in Parliament that you think is worthy of being included in Roast of the Week, let me know by contacting me.