Fun_People Archive
26 Jan
Asia Offers Unique Fire Protection Challenges

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 99 13:33:28 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Asia Offers Unique Fire Protection Challenges

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
Forwarded-by: Faried Nawaz
Forwarded-by: Mike Nelson

TOKYO (AP) The recent craze for hydrogen beer is at the heart of a three
way lawsuit between unemployed stockbroker Toshira Otoma, the Tike-Take
karaoke bar and the Asaka Beer Corporation.  Mr. Otoma is suing the bar and
the brewery for selling toxic substances and is claiming damages for
grievous bodily harm leading to the loss of his job.  The bar is
countersuing for defamation and loss of customers.

The Asaka Beer corporation brews "Suiso" brand beer, where the carbon
dioxide normally used to add fizz has been replaced by the more
environmentally friendly hydrogen gas.  A side effect of this has made the
beer extremely popular at karaoke sing-along bars and discotheques.

Hydrogen, like helium, is a gas lighter than air.  Because hydrogen
molecules are lighter than air, sound waves are transmitted more rapidly;
individuals whose lungs are filled with the nontoxic gas can speak with an
uncharacteristically high voice.  Exploiting this quirk of physics, chic
urbanites can now sing soprano parts on karaoke sing-along machines after
consuming a big gulp of Suiso beer.

The flammable nature of hydrogen has also become another selling point, even
though Asaka has not acknowledged that this was a deliberate marketing ploy.

It has inspired a new fashion of blowing flames from one's mouth using a
cigarette as an ignition source.  Many new karaoke videos feature singers
shooting blue flames in slow motion, while flame contests take place in pubs
everywhere.  "Mr. Otoma has no-one to blame but himself.  If he had not
become drunk and disorderly, none of this would have happened.  Our security
guards undergo the most careful screening and training before they are
allowed to deal with customers," said Mr. Takashi Nomura, manager of the
Tike-Take bar.

"Mr. Otoma drank fifteen bottles of hydrogen beer in order to maximize the
size of the flames he could belch during the contest.  He catapulted balls
of fire across the room that Gojira would be proud of, but this was not
enough to win him first prize since the judgement is made on the quality of
the flames and that of the singing, and after fifteen bottles of lager he
was badly out of tune."

"He took exception to the result and hurled blue fireballs at the judge,
singeing the front of Mrs. Mifune's hair, entirely removing her eyebrows
and lashes, and ruining the clothes of two nearby customers. None of these
people have returned to my bar.  When our security staff approached he
turned his attentions to them, making it almost impossible to approach him.
Our head bouncer had no choice but to hurl himself at Mr. Otoma's knees,
knocking his legs from under him."

"The laws of physics are not to be disobeyed, and the force that propelled
Mr. Otoma's legs backwards also pivoted around his center of gravity and
moved his upper body forward with equal velocity.  It was his own fault he
had his mouth open for the next belch, his own fault he held a lighted
cigarette in front of it and it is own fault he swallowed that cigarette."

"The Tike-Take bar takes no responsibility for the subsequent internal
combustion, rupture of his stomach lining, nor the third degree burns to
his esophagus, larynx and sinuses as the exploding gases forced their way
out of his body.  His consequential muteness and loss of employment are his
own fault."

Mr. Otoma was unavailable for comment.

Asia offers unique fire protection challenges.

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