I was in the area today, so I decided to have another poke around Foy's
. I sorted through 80s novelty over-the-hill gifts, sparklers in the shape of letters (so you could spell out a name and shoot iron filings into a cake), cap guns, rubber olives, fart spray, Napoleon Dynamite promotional buttons, and a bunch of those old kids' storybooks that come with cassette tapes. The place is a freakin' time capsule.
I was on the hunt. Foy's had been good to me before, with the WTF bus
, and I thought there was a chance there could be more. Sure enough, I looked up on a very high shelf and juuust saw the corner of a familiar looking box.
With the shitty ragged cardboard and the blurry print, I knew instantly that this was by the same manufacturer as the WTF bus, but it was twice the size. My mind raced with possibility and the Foy's people couldn't get it down for me fast enough. When it was finally in my hands, I gazed down at the lid and made myself wait a delicious moment, anticipating.
The WTF had initiated me into the world of poorly constructed and rather confounding tin bus toys from India. Sure, the lid says "Tokyo Tower Coach." That's what they want you to believe
. I thought, I'm gonna open this up and there's going to be something really fucked-up inside. The delight came in wondering what it would be, and how fucked-up it would be. Would I see a pile of day-glo roadkill and a beer can hat? What about a ferret with rockets strapped to its feet, and a picture of Henry Kissinger in a tube top? Maybe Krishna in snowshoes, with cotton candy in each hand, and Larry Bird feeding a lamb a bottle.
The more I wondered, the better the possibilities got. I put off opening it, and looked at the side. 28 rupees, hm. Pricey compared to the WTF bus, about 65 cents maybe.
Finally, I could stand it no longer. I lifted the lid, to reveal...
...meet the WTF Bus's brother, the Completely Unremarkable in Every Way Bus.
Immediately I knew something was terribly wrong. The Tokyo Tower, a temple, and a plane? But these are all things that you might actually find in Japan! No! Unacceptable!
I wrenched the bus out of the box, wanting desperately to find something amiss with the passengers. They stared up at me benignly. Not a single one of them was strange or funny in any way. They were on their way to go see the Tokyo Tower.
Stupid smiling babies.
The adults even gave the kids the window seats.
All aboard the Express Bus to Mediocrity! Toot toot!
Of course, this does raise a few questions. I'm just too sullen to enjoy pondering them at the moment.
1) Why would it occur to a small Indian toy company to make a replica of a tourist bus that was full of Japanese people, headed to a Japanese landmark?
2) Why does this bus look like it's already rolled down Mount Fuji?
and most importantly:
3) Why the HELL is this bus so normal and the WTF bus so completely, mind-bogglingly weird? If it wasn't designed by the same guy, surely it was in the same "tin bus toy" department? The WTF bus had a normal bus like this one on the lid, but inside it was like something you might come up with after a night of curry and acid.
Where, how and why did this deviation occur?
I welcome your input.