I have a muslin sachet of binchotan charcoal to keep my cat’s toilet area deodorized. I know: that entire first sentence is a crime. But bear with me. The sachet hangs from the nearest logical perch—the toilet paper dispenser. I don’t know if it’s my mental association of toilet paper at its intended destination—anus—and the proximity to the taint region but the next organ that this toilet paper encounters in its journey is sometimes a scrotum and well, that’s what this binchotan sachet looks like. A big ole ball sack. [Sac? I never figured that one out. Please don’t tell me.]
So hey. Here’s a shout out to binchotan. Binchotan binchotan binchotan. Is it just me or does binchotan (bean-cho-tan) not sound exclusively like slang for a ball sac? Curiously, almost appropriately, umami—another Japanese curiosity Americans love to over-pronounce—sounds like the perfume of sweaty puss. Maybe the Japanese language is all randy anatomy because I studied the randy anatomy of the Japanese language for so long. Naaaaah. Binchotan and umami are sensory signifiers of balls and puss juice because of preternatural and pre-modern Japanese conditions of desire. That’s what old white people have told me.
[HEY SPEAKING OF LAFCADIO HEARN. Everyone needs to read Monique Truong’s The Sweetest Fruits now. Hers is the only correct way to write about this man—through the lens of the women in his life who belied and fell for his shtick.]
Anyway, I was saying: binchotan in a muslin sachet hanging from my toilet paper dispenser looks like a giant scrotum. So I leave you with this: I think, that in this holy age of information commerce and memepistomology, there’s got to be some dude driving a brand new F500; rolling on monster tires through this great country, ashen haired girlfriend in the passenger seat, instagramming her “country gypsy chic” selfies (hashtags: fred and ginger, opposites attract, trucker and hippie). The wind is breezing through her hair, the workaday sweat of union labor seeps through his favorite A&M hat and drips onto his wraparound Oakleys. And bouncing from the rear hitch of his vehicle, are binchotan truck nuts.