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A Korean Joke, With Modifications

Okay, don’t ask for more details on how I got into this conversation, but I learned a funny Korean joke today. I only know it in English, but unlike many jokes, it translates extremely well. I’m embellishing it below.

One day, a man went out to the mountains, with wishes in his heart, and climbed to the peak. Sanshin-ryeong, the mountain god, was impressed with the man’s vigour and spirited climbing, and could feel the man moved by his hopes and dreams.

So the mountain god showed himself to the man, in all his massive, imposing splendour, and declared, “Hey, buddy. This is your lucky day… I’m gonna give you three wishes.”

The man was moved, shocked, and yet he had the presence of mind to doubt his own sanity. “Wait, is this for real? Are you really the mountain god?”

“Yes, I am. Look, you wanna make those wishes or what? There’s an ajumma making her way up the mountain right now and she’s gonna be here in two minutes. So time’s short.”

The man suddenly knew what he had to do.

First, he said to the mountain god, “Hey, I wanna be white.” He’d had a hard life in Korea and figured if he was white, things might go more easily for him.

The mountain god nodded. “Anything else?”

“Okay, wish number two,” he said, growing a little bold. “I wanna always be with women.”

The mountain god nodded, thinking it over. “Anything else?” he asked, a little leery of what might come next.

The man thought it over. This wish was a freebie… he’d only really wanted the first two. But the manga comics of his youth flashed through his mind, and he imagined himself flying like an angel through the sky. “Right, I got it: wish number three. I want to have wings.”

“O—kay,” the mountain god said, and smiled. The man began to feel a little funny, and felt his shape changing, though in a way he didn’t expect.

And what do you think he became? Click the link to find out…

That’s right. He became a nice clean new maxi-pad, still in the packet, promptly scooped up by the old ajumma who shoved it into her pocket, gladly reflecting that it was her lucky day.

I heard a lot today about Korean feminine hygiene products culture, and it sounds like the advertisements back home and here have been roughly similar. Specifically, the “Does it have wings?” ad campaign was carried out here as well as in North America (and, I imagine, everywhere else maxi-pads are sold).

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