Mr. Sato’s sausage party has a tragic surprise.

Senbero refers to the Japanese art of getting buzzed and full from a selection of drinks and snacks for 1,000 yen (US$9.10) or less. Traditionally, if you want to get your senbero fix, you hit up a casual neighborhood izakaya pub, but with many people avoiding dining/drinking out during the pandemic, our crack reporter Mr. Sato has taken it upon himself to become a home senbero master.

As proven by the above photos from his previous projects, Mr. Sato’s senbero skills are growing at an exponential rate, so much so that he’s now able to see bands of the senbero spectrum outside the range visible to neophytes. That’s why for his latest booze-and-munchies run he skipped the supermarkets and convenience stores and instead headed to Ikea.

Yes, Ikea, the Swedish furniture and housewares chain. While most people think of it as a place to look for a sofa or desk, Mr. Sato theorized that Ikea is also a potential provider of sweet senbero bliss, thanks to the fact that the chain’s stores also have a food-and-drink corner, which includes some alcoholic beverages. For his liquid refreshment, Mr. Sato picked out a can of Omnipollo Regular, a Belgian-brewed craft beer pale ale.

Next he needed food, and his choice here was heavily influenced by what had happened with his last senbero project, when he splurged on a full bottle of wine at Costco, but then had so little left over for food that he wound up eating a whole head of raw cabbage. Yes, it was healthy, but his protein cravings since then have been savage, so he grabbed not one, but two packs of Ikea sausages, plus a bag of buns to turn them into hot dogs with.

However, this presented a problem. Because you can never predict what sort of shenanigans Mr. Sato will get up to if left unattended, we often have another staff member tail him when he leaves the office. Doing some quick math, Mr. Sato’s handler calculated that his 290-yen beer, two 400-yen packs of sausages, and 200-yen bag of buns came out to 1,290 yen, putting him over the 1,000-yen limit for a legitimate senbero (the “sen” part of the word is Japanese for “one thousand,” after all).

Before the handler could confront Mr. Sato with this information, though, the senbero master sagely pointed to a sticker showing that there’s a discount for customers who buy two packs of sausages and a bag of buns at the same time which knocks the price for the bundle down to just 699 yen, meaning that his total came to only 989 yen, just under the senbero line.

Because the discount bundle gives you enough ingredients to make 10 hot dogs, it works out to 69.9 yen each, even cheaper than the 100 yen Ikea charges for individual hot dogs in its on-site food court.

Arriving back at the office before lunchtime, Mr. Sato started cooking, with his goal being to get buzzed, full, and sleepy enough to claim taking a nap through the entire second half of the workday was “necessary research” for his article.

Looking at the sausage packaging, though, he was a little disappointed that they didn’t have a unique European-sounding name, like so many of Ikea’s furniture pieces do. Even his beer, Omnipollo, sounded playful and inviting. But the sausages were just “sausages,” and so Mr. Sato was forced to take matters into his own hands and at least create some JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures-style onomatopoeia.

“Uhyohyohyohyo~!” – The sound of anticipating gorging yourself on sausages while the rest of your officemates are still working.

▼ “Dobo~n!!” – The sound of dropping a sausage into a frying pan of boiling water that’s just barely large enough to fit it.

“Dondondobo~~n!” – The sound of dropping a second sausage into a frying pan of boiling water that’s just barely large enough to fit it.

“Gufufufufu” – The sound of giggling while inhaling sumptuous sausage stem as you mentally will them to cook faster so you can start eating them.

“In!” – The magical incantation you need to shout as you insert a cooked sausage into its bun.

▼ Make sure to shout “In!” for each individual sausage. Skipping even one will make it harder for your coworkers to know that you’re getting paid to eat pork products and drink beer.

▼ If, for some reason, you get tired of shouting “In,” you can switch to “Gattai,” like you’re an old school anime hero in a combining mecha, but psychologists have yet to determine if this is truly as effective a gloating method as “In.”

Now with an entire mound of hot dogs to himself, it was time for the senbero to begin.

The indulgence in day-drinking decadence, combined with the protein-packed thrills being sent to his taste receptors, instantly filled Mr. Sato with joy. It was like summer had begun all over again inside his heart, and he didn’t have a care in the world. Swallowing a mouthful of hot dog, he took an extra-long pull from his beer…

but was surprised by how little kick it had.

This was odd, because while Mr. Sato’s capacity for massive food servings is legendary, he’s actually not such a heavy drinker. Have his continued senbero projects gradually raised his alcohol tolerance?

Wait a second…what’s this?!?

▼ アルコール分: 0.3% = Alcohol content: 0.3%

It turns out that Mr. Sato mistakenly grabbed a can of near-beer by mistake. While Ikea does sell actual beer too, the colorful can that had caught Mr. Sato’s eye contains hardly any alcohol. Ordinarily this would ruin a senbero session, but luckily, Mr. Sato had so much meat on hand that he could still eat himself into a state of transcendent happiness.

Not being drunk, though, he did have to work for the rest of the afternoon, so next time he’ll make sure to check the fine print on the senbero beer he’s choosing a little more carefully.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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