The Story Of A Kotaku Editor And His Lollipop Chainsaw Love Pillow

Like a foamy, flaccid force of nature, she came tumbling into my life. No discernable shape, fluffy, mildly offensive. But somehow, some way — like a tapeworm — she burrowed herself deep into my existence. I know she'll be mine forever. She is indispensible, an irreplaceable part of my world. 2012 has been a big year for me, an important year, and I honestly don't know how I could have gotten through it without my Lollipop Chainsaw Juliet Starling Japanese Hug Pillow.

———- I'll never forget the day she arrived, the forced laughter, the disbelief. At the time I worked in the same office as two talented female writers, Tracey Lien and Elly Hart. I remember how weird it felt — the veiled sexism, the pillow in the centre of our pod that was there to be literally objectified. I wanted nothing to do with Juliet back then. She was a reminder, an awkward centrepiece. Tracey scoffed at her presence. I did too.

Juliet: nothing but a silly joke. A promotional tool, direct from Warner Bros. 'Write about my video game,' she said, 'give me your attention', she asked, pleading. But there Juliet sat, ignored. Until that one day, that one fateful day... when I got a really, really sore back.

Thank you Juliet, you were there for me, the whole time — just waiting, weren't you? Waiting for that day to arrive, that day when your true function in life would become apparent. On that day, with my really sore back, you solved my problem. You healed me, physically. And you changed me. You changed me forever.

But that was just the beginning...


Dakimakura: from the Japanese 'Daki', to cling, and 'makura', which means 'pillow'. How did you find your way into my world? You've rescued me from so many tricky situations. Changed me. Helped me evolve. Allowed me to face the challenges of everyday life with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

In June, I needed support. I needed your support. I planned to undergo an insane experiment — the polyphasic sleep experiment. For the month of June I intended to sleep for a total of two hour a day, 20 minutes every four hours. This meant I would have to sleep in the office.

I stumbled in, buggered, clutching a foam mattress and a sleeping bag. In my exhaustion I had forgotten one all important piece of the puzzle — a pillow upon which to rest my tired noggin. Juliet, once again, You were there for me.

For those six days, during office hours, you were my sleepy sanctuary. Twice a day, for 20 minutes at a time, I would rest my head in your flaccid embrace. If it wasn't for you, god knows what I would have done, how I would have slept.

What would I have done without you, my precious Dakimakura. In my time of need I clung to you, my Japanese love pillow.

———- I have many trinkets on my desk — video game t-shirts I will never wear, sad plushies in search of a home. My desk is a wasteland. But, you Juliet, filled a purpose, you plugged a gap in my gaping existence.

Nowadays, I wake up next to you. This is our life. Together.

Being pregnant is hard. I'm not pregnant, but my wife is. There's back pain, the heartburn, the morning sickness. You knew, didn't you Juliet. You knew. One day, I know not how, you appeared on my bed. Ready to comfort, ready and willing to help my wife through this difficult time in her life.

She couldn't sleep, she couldn't get comfortable. She needed something soft, supportive. Something to ease the pain and get her through this traumatic period in her life. She needed something, Juliet. She needed you.

We share a bed now Juliet, you help my wife get to sleep while I doze. You prop her up when turns on her back. You do what needs to be done, no matter what.

I thank you Juliet. My wife thanks you. My unborn son thanks you.


Juliet, you were there for me — you exploded into my life, and it hasn't been the same since. Your soft foam, your comforting embrace, I can't imagine how life would have been without you. My poor back, my weary head resting directly on the carpet. The friction, the slight discomfort — unbearable.

If it wasn't for you, Juliet, I would have had to go to Spotlight. I would have had to actually buy an extra pillow. 15 minutes of my life, lost to history, lost to Westfield, lost to expensive parking and the crowds. Lost forever in the sands of time, dripping away like so many wasted seconds,

You Juliet, are my saviour. My shining scantily clad white knight. You are my armour. You are my sweet embrace.

Thank you Juliet. For everything.


    "In my time of need I clung to you, my Japanese love pillow."


      ok, given that two pillow stories posted on Kotaku, I formally request of you Mark for article titled 'who would be on your Japanese lover pillow

    You weren't in the office the day we rested the 12kg Gummi Bear Of Death on her, were you?

      Where does one get such a thing anyway? I Googled it, to no avail.

        I was talking about the gummi bear btw.

    Where _exactly_ does that disembodied head feature in all of this?

    This is quite possibly the oddest thing you have written mark. It is almost bashcraftian.

      As soon as I saw the title, I thought it was written by Ashcraft.

    What about the dude in the bottom left? Where's his thank you!?

      That's where Mark's soul will be trapped forever when Juliet is done with him. :P

    Congrats on the impending fatherhood thing too!

    "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun."

    Tell me you're an author Mark - this is some fantastic writing! Also a welcome break from all the skepticism of next-gen consoles and pre-holiday excitement. Good luck to you and your wife in the coming months. =]

    Best article I've read all day.

    +1 to pewpew for "bashcraftian" as well, gave me a chuckle!

    oh man this has made my day. This is more relevant then the impending iphone announcement tomorrow morning.

    I would never have gotten through my second pregnancy even slightly intact if I hadn't had one of those long pillows. I'm now jealous that I didn't have a seemingly sentient Juliet one though!

    Oh, by the way...any of those game shirts you want to send my way would be welcome. :P

    If your son has a name that is in anyway a variant of "Juliet" or even has 3 or more of the same letters, I'm taking that pillow away, Mark.

    Love your wor!

    .....can I have the plushies?


      Work, rather.

      Also, I have a plushie farm or something. They'd like it here.

        Hahaha! I actually don't have as many as I used to.

    I've got to ask, can you just take the cover off?

    Then ending was just perfect.
    9/10 Plunketts!

    You are my hero, Mark.

    I hope you're looking forward to retrying the polyphasic sleep thing when your son is born. I'm sleeping in 2-3 hour stints lately =P

    Hahaha, you just made my afternoon Mark.

    "But that was just the beginning…" *insert photo of a concerned Serrels in a sleeping bag*

    that was just priceless, its like your photo is worried about your present state of mind..

      If you look closely you can see the pillow in the bottom right hand corner of the pic!

        If nothing else, I think the polyphasic sleep experiment gave you a great couple of photos that are almost always relevant.

        I loved the article, even if I didn't ask for it. It's worthy of my highest score yet: 99 Crazy Shiggies and half a packet of Penguins out of 10.

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