For a two day vacation (June 18th and 19th, 2002), I, a coworker, and a couple friends decided to go to Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture. Shirahama is famous for it's beaches and hot springs and we set out to enjoy both. It wasn't as relaxing as I had expected (all the swimming and sun actually wore me out a bit), but it certainly was fun.

And the proof is in the pudding. I mean look, I was buried in sand. If that doesn't just absolutely SCREAM fun then I don't know what does.

I also enjoyed some beach baseball, setting off fireworks, and the World Cup games at night in a local bar.

The Japanese style inn we stayed at was nice as well. It was only a 2 minute walk from the beach and had a nice garden (pictured on left) in the center of the building. The owner was also pretty nice and picked us up from the train station when we first arrived.

However, things suddenly took a turn for the worst once we decided to go to Energy Land in Shirahama (which was located between our inn and the beach) on the second day. Energy Land was advertised as a sort of science museum / amusement park. But that was all just a clever rouse for the house of horrors I was about to enter.

I guess I should have realized something strange was going on as soon as I started to grow at such a rapid pace.

And if the height thing didn't scare me then this terrible tumble down the steps should have. But I broke my fall with such a cool finger-spinning break dance move that I thought things were finally going to start go my way. Silly me.

With my new found agility, height, and break dancing skills I battled my way past ghosts, werewolves, pitfalls, swamps, mountains, beetles, drunks, Slipknot fans, and former WCW Tag Team Champions Kronik. But in the end all of my hard fought wars and intestinal fortitude proved to be for naught as I began to shake walking across the demon's plank and then fell into the murky depths below.

And just my luck I fell right into that bastard demons mouth (instead of standing up and positioning myself in the grip of his fingers to the left of where I crouched in terror. Camera flashes still frighten me after my failure as a bathrobe model for the Sears catalog). Despite my new large size and dope dance moves, he finished me off in one big bite.

The fact that he swallowed me in one bite turned out to be in my favor as it was much easier to escape from his belly without being in two separate halves. The details of how I got out I will spare you. But let's just say I was pushed through a small dark tunnel that didn't smell so great and was surprised to find my self in a large porcelain pool afterwards.

After escaping from the pool (which was even dirty and more difficult to get out of then the Dotonbori River) I noticed a beautiful castle in the clouds down a twisting high-rise platform road. So I thought to myself "If I can just keep my balance this time I should be to the castle...

...and riding a sea-saw with an Elephant in the blink of an eye." And sure enough that's exactly what happened.

At the castle I was appointed the new king of Shirahama after displaying my breakdancing skills. My joyous reign began with a huge banquet, live music, a cake walk, a few rounds of Simon Says, Elephant rides for the children, face painting, a clown who made balloon animals, and... and...

...and it all ended when I caught this little bastard funkin up the royal "throne" room. My rule lasted all of 1 hour and 13 minutes and ended with quite a stink. But at least I can say, if only for a fleeting 73 minutes, that I was king.


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