Like most every other American baseball player who moved to Japan in order to extend their flagging career, P.B. Streets had a hard time acclimating to his new surroundings, and so it was that after one season playing for the Yakult Swallows he still did not feel like he could call the place his home. The pitcher, a native New Yorker, had been told by another gaijin on the team that it could take anywhere from to three to four years to stop feeling like he had landed on an alien planet, so Streets, who, because of his poor performance did not expect that last longer than another season, accepted that he was just going to have to be comfortable with the idea that he was going to be uncomfortable no matter what. Having learned enough of the language and familiarized himself with the interpersonal and behavioral rituals that made up a bulk of the culture, Streets soon found himself proficient at communicating, and, as such, felt that he was ready to indulge in the perks that accompanied the life of a professional athlete, such as sleeping with one of the groupies who waited outside the stadium to greet the team after every game, be they wins or losses. Streets picked a smirking girl with stoned eyes. Her name was Meiko and she took him back to her apartment, which, truth be told, wasn’t that much smaller than the apartment he had rented while having his cup of coffee with the Montreal Expos. He left early in the morning. Sitting in a cab, Streets spied a billboard for something called King Action Man. He tried to decipher the billboard, and came to the conclusion that King Action Man, the product, was either a soda or a deodorant. The sun was coming up and the driver was not braking for red lights, only slowing down slightly until the lights turned green. Streets sat there and thought about what an embarrassment he had just proven to be, as he had failed to perform with the Japanese girl, despite her trying almost every trick in the book to get him aroused. And so it was that Streets, with the creeping dread of déjà vu running up and down his spine, sitting in the back of a cab careening through a still-sleeping city, and having succumbed to yet another bout of impotence, now felt as if he could safely call the place his home.
King Action Man