Once again, to feel the true thrill of the gamble of a New Year’s fukubukuro (lucky bag) Mr. Sato doubles down and grabs a bag of junk… or is it?
As with every New Year’s holiday, shops everywhere in Japan offer lucky bags with limited edition goods and other bargains. They are called “lucky bags” because the contents are meant to be hidden. However, quite often the store will announce what is inside, sometimes even well in advance, because who wants to risk the bad PR of disappointing holiday shoppers?
But where does that leave those who want to experience the true thrill of buying a bag full of mystery? Mr. Sato believes that you can’t truly experience the joy of a great lucky bag without putting your money on the line and risk getting something crappy. Fortunately there is one such place willing to offer such a gambler’s high.
This is an Akihabara junk shop. It might have a name but we don’t know for sure. These are places you go when you need an accessory for your first generation iPhone or a cable for your Neo Geo console, but it’s hardly the first place you think of when you suddenly have a fist full of cash. This is a fact they know all too well and are not at all afraid of hurting anyone’s feelings with a crummy lucky bag.
Mr. Sato headed over, slapped down 3,000 yen, and spun the wheel of fate for a fairly large bag of god-knows-what. Let’s tally it up!
Junk Shop Lucky Bag 2017
As we learned last year, the theory behind junk shop lucky bags is that they compensate for the uselessness of something by giving you a whole lot of it. For example, a single CD-ROM of car navigation software from 2007 is pretty useless on its own, but if you get 10 of them, then you’re a roll of scotch tape away from a nifty piece of conceptual art regarding the lack of direction in the information age.
We all know Mr. Sato is a rugged man who is always on top of the latest iPhone models, so he doesn’t have much use for a pastel pink portable charger compatible with iPhone4S and under.
But if he has three of them, well, it looks like some lucky lady is going to get a spiffy necklace once they’re all tied together.
And why have a charger for just one outdated device when you can have one that supports three: iPhone4S and under, Nintendo DS Lite, and the PSP!
Wait, did I say “one” I meant “four.” You get four of these things.
And here is some sketchy looking software that promises to instantly make your internet speeds super “mega-class” fast simply by installing it. And now that Mr. Sato possesses two, he can get super-duper giga-class speeds.
And then there are two game controllers… Well, actually these ones kind of make sense.
Here are four motion detecting night lights which Mr. Sato can use in every available outlet in his apartment.
Three five-meter (16-foot) LAN cables for a total of 15 meters of ethernet access. Ordinarily Mr. Sato would be concerned with a loss in speed over such lengths, but his two discs of iAccele Xtra Mega-Class Internet Speed puts those fears to rest.
And of course, 11 monitor cables. Perfect for the aspiring Zeke Hawkins…. Look it up.
And then we have a random audio cable and empty plastic baggy, because why the hell not?
Any seasoned Lucky Bag shopper will tell you that you get a bunch of little things only to accentuate the main prize or prizes. The Akihabara junk shop bags are no different, so without further ado, here are the centerpiece items!
A USB fan that resembles a flower – at least as much as any fan resembles a flower.
And a hands free microphone/speaker that clips onto the car seat’s headrest.
Mr. Sato would probably suffer several panic attacks per car trip thinking that mic was someone reaching out from the back seat to kill him.
But these items do have a use which is saying a lot for this haul of lucky junk.
Mick Jagger said it best: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.” Mr. Sato didn’t get that either this year, but he was still happy. He walked the line and lost, but he never felt more alive, except for maybe when he attached a chemical heating pad to his crotch.
Still, Mr. Sato still felt satisfied – for he knew that with this bag he had finished his birthday shopping for the entire staff of RocketNews24 for the rest of 2017.
[ Read in Japanese ]