A cafe waitress offered some poor girl a giant stuffed animal to sit with her, since dining alone means you are lonely and sad.
Haru sat down solo in Tokyo’s Moomin Cafe and was soon approached by one of the staff, who told her someone would like to sit with her. She accepted for some reason and the waitress returned with a giant stuffed hippo. “The waitress had such a big smile on her face, I couldn’t say no,” Haru told RocketNews24. “But it was also so cute!”
The chain of cafes is inspired by an old Finnish book series and cartoon, “Moomin,” which you’ve probably never heard of but is weirdly super popular in Japan. The hippo was The Snork Maiden, girlfriend of “Moomin’s” main character, Moomintroll.
She reported the incident in this tweet:
— はる (@haruo99) March 21, 2014
For what it’s worth, Google’s attempt to translate: “It is the rice in the morning in the Moomin cafe, clerk allowed us to come with or be Mikane me one, but it hurts completely! ! Gentleness be cruel sometimes! But cute!”
Since then other patrons have reported similar experiences, and it’s apparently part of company policy. “Guests to Moominhouse are welcomed by the Moomin family,” said a spokesperson from the company’s PR department.
Stuffed versions of Moomintroll, Moominpappa, Moominmamma and Snork Maiden are waiting to shame lone visitors at all three locations, but at Tokyo Dome City Sniff and Stinky are also available!
This kid’s reaction to meeting one of these hippos is appropriate: