Gaijin Smash

Rico Suave Meets Velma

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on November 24, 2004

I often use nicknames for my kids. I have around 900-1000 students in total, so learning everyone’s names is quite hard. It’s easy to nickname them though, and at one school in particular there were certain attributes that just jumped out.
These are my personal nicknames. I don’t actually call the kids these, and soon you’ll see why. Some aren’t particularly nice, but I never claimed to be a saint.
Bessie – Her face, her body, everything just droops down, like a cow. Hey, I warned you not all of these were nice. She’s a nice girl, but apparently gravity has already kicked her ass.
Ah-buuh – She got this nickname because her lips ARE NEVER CLOSED. She’s a quiet girl so it’s not that she’s talking. It’s just she always leaves her bottom lip hanging down, and “Ah-buuh” is the sound you’d imagine coming from that face.
One day, I was in class, and I saw a girl I’d never seen before. I spent a few minutes trying to figure out who she was. A new student? A transfer? Did I just never notice her before? Eventually, I came to the shocking realization that it was Ah-buuh with her lips closed. I didn’t even recognize her.

Gill – She has a face like a fish. Really, really nice girl. Just… aquatic.
Velma – This girl looks exactly like the Japanese version of Velma from Scooby-Doo. Exactly. Case in point: one day I was out with a friend and spotted her in a store. “Hey, it’s Velma!” I mistakenly said aloud to myself. My friend had never seen her before or heard the nickname, so he turned to me and said, “Velma? Like Scooby-Doo? Who are you calling-” just then he looked up, “HOLY SHIT THAT IS VELMA!”
Same kind of face, same hairstyle, same glasses, and it doesn’t help that her uniform is a baggy polo shirt, a skirt, and knee high socks.
I’m still looking for the Japanese Shaggy.
Porn Star – I don’t know why I gave her this nickname. She’s really spunky and has a cute smile and is always energetic. Porn Star was the first thing that came to mind. I’m a terrible person.
Rico Suave – Oh boy, this guy. He works so hard at being cool, it’s funny. He’s always posing in his chair, and then he’s always slow to respond to questions because he’s trying to think up something witty. He wants to be cool so bad but it all just comes off as cheesy.
Giggles – She never stops laughing. Ever. Apparently everything is funny. So, Giggles.
Mousey – This kid’s the smallest in the ichinensei class, which basically means he’s a runt. It also doesn’t help his case that his ears stick out. He’s actually kind of a brat, so I don’t feel too bad about this nickname.
Little Evil – This boy’s face just always looks like he’s pissed off. Even when he’s smiling, but that happens rarely. So it makes him look kind of evil.
For the record, I had to call him Little Evil because I already use Big Evil to refer to a Japanese actor with an evil-looking face. I consider him the Christopher Walken of Japan.
Glenda – Much like Little Evil, Glenda just looks like a villain. Actually, she looks a lot like a witch. This girl is super nice, though (she gave me chocolate on Valentine’s Day). So I felt mean giving her a bad nickname, and instead used Glenda, the good witch in the Wizard of Oz. It works for her.
Little Evil and Glenda are in the same class, and I always think “If they mated, their children would be pure evil.” Those kids couldn’t come out any other way.
I’ll end this entry on a redeeming note. All the kids I nicknamed? I know their real names. Giving them nicknames creates an association that helps me remember their proper names. So I’m not all bad, or at least I like to think.


16 Responses

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  1. Anonymous said, on June 2, 2006 at 10:07 am

    I must say, i am really enjoying your writing. It’s very easy to read and very entertaining.
    I always wondered how life was in Asia and you make me think i’m already there.
    On another note: Why are all these people whining? What is the url of your old website? (where i’m guessing the full archives are posted).

  2. kcmorris said, on June 2, 2006 at 10:32 am

    I’d forgotten how much these things make me laugh. Looking forward to the “lost” editorials, too.

  3. Michael Bailey said, on June 2, 2006 at 11:58 am

    I like these little stories of an American in Japanese culture. It is too bad that I only found out about it when I noticed GaijinSmash on It sucks that you apparently had a lot of old stories that you now have to repost one-at-a-time. I can see how some of your old readers are getting pissed because you have to finish all of the old stuff before we get anything new. I just want to let you know that there are those of us who are reading this for the first time and enjoying it immensely (sp?). I hope to be able to live in Japan for a year or two someday. Keep the old updates coming!

  4. Anonymous said, on June 2, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    It’s nice to read through these golden oldies again, though it’d be nice if they came out slightly faster.

  5. Anonymous said, on June 2, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    It’s nice to read through these golden oldies again, though it’d be nice if they came out slightly faster.

  6. Ae said, on June 2, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    I wonder if they actually know what your calling them lol

  7. Kat said, on June 3, 2006 at 2:25 am

    No more new ones? I think a part of me just died… Eh, well at least the old ones are good.

  8. Nia said, on June 3, 2006 at 2:28 am

    This is my first time ever reading these and I must admit…they’re cracking me up! I can’t stop laughing at all the hilarity and sadness in this! I’ll have to remember this when I one day visit Japan to stalk a jrock celebrity. ^^

  9. mamba said, on June 3, 2006 at 9:33 am

    ok for those that havet bothered to check. read the bottom sections.
    it clearly states that there will be new material being inserted between old editorials. so sit back and enjoy, and stop whining.

  10. Phylicia said, on June 4, 2006 at 1:08 pm

    I’m loving the new site. I hope you can get all the old editorials up soon too.

  11. Ken said, on June 4, 2006 at 4:10 pm

    I’ve read a few of these before as friends referred me to them so for someone new to these like me I sppose this is a good point to “jump on” and start reading.

  12. Michael said, on June 6, 2006 at 5:08 pm

    Sometimes it’s fun when they nickname themselves. At Mizusawa Daiichi, two sannensei introduced themselves as “UFO” and “Dragon,” the latter appropriately having bad teeth and worse breath. Also, one wiry ichinensei tried to shake off the clearly visable nerves of talking in English with a gaijin by introducing himself as “Boss.”
    I’m looking forward to the new material and re-reading the oldies.

  13. Ashe said, on June 13, 2006 at 9:25 pm

    “I have around 900-1000 students in total”
    I stumbled onto this page, and being that one fo ym best friends is about to sign himself away to teach english over there I was interested.
    it that usual, 900-1000 students? that’s insane. and Detroit teacher think classes are too big!

  14. SH said, on July 23, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    I student taught for a couple months at a Japanese school and I used nicknames, too. Nothing as good though: Droopy, Kleenex, Toshio (the kid in The Grudge). Thanks again for memorable reading!

  15. Anonymous said, on October 17, 2006 at 9:16 pm

    I’ve just come across this very recently. I love reading what you have to say though. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan myself and now I might think twice. There are just so many things that I didn’t know! Well keep it up, you have a lot of interesting things to say.

  16. cindel said, on April 11, 2007 at 6:13 am

    Glinda is the name of the good witch in Wizard of Oz, not Glenda. It’s good to read all of these again, I was in stitches the first time around.

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