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This is why no one should actually be “reading” their pornography mags.

Convenience stores and the Internet are different, right? You’d think that’d be common knowledge. For example, one key difference is that convenience stores generally expect you to pay for the pornography they offer.

So it’s not surprising that the clerk working the register at a Japanese convenience store, which Twitter user @ekodaotoko happened to be in at the time, got extremely upset when one elderly gentleman walked over to the rack of skin mags, picked one up, and tried to saunter off without paying for it.

Ordinarily, this would be an open-and-shut case of shoplifting. As the clerk was berating the man for his actions, though, @ekodaotoko took a look at the rack to see what exact “reading” material the man had chosen, and came to the conclusion that maybe what had happened wasn’t a blatant attempted theft.

You could even say that the magazine itself deserves some of the blame, because of its cover. And no, the rationale isn’t that the featured models’ shapely breasts and flashy dyed hairstyles are too alluring to resist, or that the bundled five-hour DVD makes the entire package beyond the bounds of human willpower.

No, the problem is the text splashed across the scant space not showing smooth, supple skin.

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That section, which reads “Gojiyuu ni omochikaeri kudasai,” translates to:

“Please feel free to take us home.”

That’s a pretty fitting bit of marketing for a porno mag. The word omochikaeri (“take home”) is usually used with inanimate objects, but when it’s used in talking about a woman, the implication is that the guy is going to sleep with her.

However, Gojiyuu ni omochikaeri kudasai, also has another meaning, which is:

“Please take this. It’s free.”

Making things even more complicated is the fact that “Gojiyuu ni omochikaeri kudasai” is often written next to stacks of complimentary pamphlets at museums and exhibitions. As a matter of fact, it’s such a common phrase that the cover designers were likely trying for a bit of wordplay, though they probably didn’t expect anyone to take it so literally.

And that’s not the only salacious overture on the cover that’s open to interpretation. There’s also the part, written in white and pink, that assures “Oji-san ga yaritai you ni hamete ii yo.”

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That means “You can put it wherever you like, Big Guy,” with oji-san literally meaning “Uncle,” but also being a general term used to describe an older man.

In light of all this, a number of Internet commenters expressed their support and sympathy for the accused “shoplifter.”

“What a sad turn of events for that old man.”
“He didn’t do anything bad. It’s [the cover] that’s in the wrong.”
“If the magazine isn’t really free, the least they could do is put a seal around it.”
“I’d totally think I could just take it too.”

Of course, none of the vague phrasing negates the fact that the magazine’s price, 752 yen (US$7), is clearly printed on the cover, and it doesn’t seem at all exorbitant when you remember it comes with a five-hour DVD.

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Still, the price’s print is far smaller than that used for “Gojiyuu ni omochikaeri kudasai.” Maybe the senior citizen’s eyesight is failing in his old age and he didn’t notice it. Or maybe like most men, young or old, once an attractive women asks him to take her home, he doesn’t think he needs to know anything more.

Follow Casey on Twitter, for more words and phrases they don’t teach you in Japanese 101.

Source: Hachima Kiko
Images: Twitter/@ekodaotoko (edited by RocketNews24)