97,000 Toothpick Flu!!

Well, I’ve entered the world of Youtube. After months of being pushed by my friend Kurt, known as softypapa on YouTube, I finally decided to take the first step. And, man, what a step it was. I kept telling Kurt that I was just waiting for a cool idea to come up. I didn’t want to do something that people would watch once and decide it was a waste of time. It had to be interesting. Well, believe it or not, my first step was actually a video that I was just wanting to show my mom back home in the States.

You see, I teach high school in Japan. My students worked on a project a few months ago where they were taking colored toothpicks and putting them into styrofoam to build a picture. They worked on that thing over the course of about 3 weeks. In the end they really did a fantastic job on it. They made a huge picture of Francis Di Sale, a 16th century saint of the Roman Catholic church. Long story short the school I work for has a historical relationship to him so that was the reason for that particular photo. I swear, I desperately tried to get them to do Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar on stage at Monterey, but to no avail. My requests fell on dead ears.

Anywho, back to the main point of the story, I originally shot a video of the finished toothpick project so I could send it to my mom. I asked the principal of the school if I could put it up on my YouTube channel and he said as long as there is no mention of the school itself that it wasn’t a problem. Well, I started my YouTube channel that same day and proceeded to upload the video. By early evening there were over 300 hits on that video. I thought that was really strange, it had only been up less than 6 hours. Well, I got up the next morning and the count was over 6,000. I couldn’t believe it. So, I decided to keep an eye on it to see what was happening. By Monday morning there were 13,000+ hits. I was really excited about that and was really looking forward to getting to school to report the good news. Well, while I was driving to school I got a text message on my phone from my mom. In all caps, I guess she was freaking out, she said she had just seen my toothpick video on CNN. “WHAAAAAT??!?!?!?!?!” I began to freak out. I rode the rest of the way to school just saying “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!”

Today is Tuesday. The video has been up just about 72 hours now and the current hit count is over 40,000. My channel was listed in the top 20 channels in all of Japan and it is also listed as #63 in all of Japan of people subbing to it. All of this over a video that I wanted to show to my mom.

By the way, you can see the video up above here, but in the event you don’t feel like sitting through it, 500 students worked over 3 weeks on this piece. There is a total of 96,690 toothpicks. You know, even if you don’t feel like watching it you probably should. It’s an impressive piece of art.

Y’all come back now, I’ll leave the light on for you.




ex-pat American living in Japan since 1991. Love to play guitar and billiards. Love my Cincinnati Bengals too. Who-Dey!!
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