Tokyo Stories from Curious Outsiders

005 : Guttersnipe Das at Mister Donut in Senzoku, Ota-ku
Born a 20th century man in India/America, Guttersnipe Das currently works as a guttersnipe. He came to Japan on a Professor visa. Why Japan? Because being a gentle misfit is permitted here. He digs the following Tokyo bits: the many opportunities to eat fish for breakfast, being labeled “absent-minded” while in America he was just a “dumb-ass,” and sento culture. He, however, is a touch miffed by the quiet strangers, the fact that most foreigners have to be college educated and without felonious backgrounds (hence he worries that all the really interesting people are being left out), and the abject lack of tight pants, which he thinks would bolster social morale. For more info on Guttersnipe Das you should send an email or visit his blog.

image: A. Shinohara

“The Bad Girl strutted off and I was left with a ham egg pie.”

In Tokyo I have heroes to whom I can say hardly a word. First among these is the Bad Girl of Mister Donut [1] in Senzoku. At fifty, she’s thin as a reed and wears sleeveless camouflage half-shirts which showcase her navel. Whenever we meet at Mister Donut we grin and wave to each other like cellmates in the same exuberant asylum.

Today the illustrious Bad Girl bought me a ham egg pie, which she slid onto the table as she stopped by to pick up my point cards. I always save them for her, and she exchanges them at the register for promotional gifts—plastic lunchboxes, day planners and rice bowls.

This exchange of pie and point cards [2] was great fun, of course, because the people around us looked shocked and appalled. I live for these moments of cultural levitation, when things that could never, ever happen in Tokyoland go ahead and happen anyhow.

The Bad Girl strutted off and I was left with a ham egg pie. But I loathe ham egg pie. The egg is soft-boiled, see, so that the yolk bubbles out as you chew. And it’s cold.

If only I could love those near to me as well as I love certain adored strangers. Because I would sooner die than hurt the feelings of the divine Bad Girl of Mister Donut in Senzoku.

I ate the hideous ham egg pie; the cold egg dribbled into my beard [3].

referenced works

  1. Mister Donut in Japan. Free refills on their American Coffee.
  2. Point cards are everywhere in Japan. Seriously. Bic Camera must make millions of dollars a day off people losing, and thus not redeeming point cards. The coffee shop down the street has a point card, your dry cleaner has a point card, your sexy massage parlor has a point card, your video store .. strangely, no point card.
  3. Food dribbling photos.

location information

  • Name: Mister Donut in Senzoku
  • Address: 1-4-1 Kitasenzoku, Ota-ku
  • Time of story: afternoon
  • Latitude: 35.609533
  • Longitude: 139.692957
  • Map: Google Maps


019She laughed at my effort and responded in English, ‘Long time, no seduction.’ — Qi Rari

018In my dreamy state, oblivious to signs and announcements I often boarded the wrong train.— Momus (aka Nick Currie)

017I was fifteen years old and it was one of those nights.— Yuko Enomoto

016That ear of corn just wanted to go home— Guttersnipe Das

015With his painstakingly coiffured mane blowing in the wind— Digits Wolfowitz

014Her voice, even across languages, betraying her worry.— Olly Denton

013I saw them drawing bamboo sticks from a silver rectangular box.— Daphné Haour

012A simulacrum of someone else's home, equal parts comfort and loss.— Adam Greenfield

011Jumbled Escheresque insanity where geo­graphy in any traditional sense ceases to exist.— Joseph Badtke-Berkow

010I could hardly make out anything apart from his glowing eyes...— Uleshka

009Shibuya was like a stroke.— Alice.d

008I cried for a while and wiped the dead bracken off my karate pants.— David Cady

007Both my tie and my disposition hang limp as I calculate the remaining distance to the station.— Chris Tobber

006I once read about a Chinese maiden whose feet were unbound by a cruel man …— Claire Tanaka

005The Bad Girl strutted off and I was left with a ham egg pie.— Guttersnipe Das

004I arrived expecting an irritated Japanese person to step out of the crowd and identify himself as Hideki.— Ashley Rawlings

003The woman at the ticket window seemed surprised to see another human being. I was the only visitor.— Andrew Douglas

002Flanked on either side by adult manga shops and the like, the smell of yakitori in the air.— Jean Snow

001For two weeks the day began with this morning walk, our shared routine.— Joseph Squier


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