Ichinensei After Lunch
I had 5th period with the ichinensei. Gulp. This caused a tiny wave of terror in me, because if you know anything about kids, you know that at 12 years old, they are nothing more than little balls of energy. Japanese kids are no exception. I’d swear they’re snorting Pixy Sticks in the hallway. For those of you who don’t know what Pixy Sticks are, it’s a “candy” which is more or less sugar flavored sugar. I’d rather see my kids snorting pure, unprocessed crack than eating Pixy Sticks. I once bought a HUGE Pixy Stick at an amusement park. It was about as wide as a soda can and maybe two feet tall. I’d only gotten through half of it and I was completely out of my mind. At one point I was on a roller coaster, and in my Pixy Stick-tripped out mind, the ride was rolling way too slowly, and if I hadn’t been strapped in I would have gotten out and pushed.
But I digress. That’s what these kids are like, and 5th period is dangerous because it’s right after lunch. We just fed the beasts and now we expected them to sit still for 50 minutes and learn English? Riiiiiight. This class was with the Americanzed teacher, and she expressed her concerns to me, as she was pretty tired today. We got to the base of the steps and heard her class yelling from floors away.
“They are going to eat us alive,” I said. She nodded in quiet horror.
We arrived and already there was a girl sitting on the window sill. I told her to get off, but her only response was “Nuh-uh.” So I went over and lifted her off. “Hey, you’re pretty strong,” she said as I deposited her down.
The teacher was trying her best to calm the class so we can do the greeting and get started, but they are literally bouncing off the walls. She tried yelling a bit, but even that didn’t work. I used an activity I’d learned along the way which is more or less me getting them to scream their hearts out until they tire themselves out and become quiet. My teacher was amazed at the results. “I can’t believe that worked!” she marveled.
The students were watching our conversation in English, and of course didn’t understand a word of it, but one boy picked up on her frustrated tone of voice. With the classroom finally quiet, this boy spoke up, “Teacher, you always seem so frustrated and tired. You should be more warm.”
“No thanks,” she replied in Japanese, “I’m pretty closed off.”
“Well then, I want to open up your heart.” I gotta give it to this boy, he’s determined.
“Only my boyfriend has the key to my heart,” she said. The boy looked discouraged at this point, so I walk over and gave him a hearty “Ganbatte!” (Do your best!) The boy said he won’t give up, and it is NOW that we finally began class.
I was supposed to talk about what I did on Sunday, but I didn’t really do anything on Sunday. So I spiced it up a little with an opening joke. I said that I went to Tokyo and fought with Godzilla. He was a very tough opponent! But then I kanchoed him, and I was the winner! I looked down to see 30 serious Japanese faces, concentrating hard on what I was saying. I finally had to break the tension by announcing it was a joke. Some of them laughed. Some of them had to erase the notes they’d taken on me fighting Godzilla. In their minds I’m not that much smaller than Godzilla, so this was entirely possible.
One boy though had drawn a picture. It was a stick figure representation of me, and a more filled out version of Godzilla. I was preparing to give Godzilla a kancho… but not with my fingers mind you. No, I was holding some sort of penis-shaped rocket, which I gleefully prepared to ram straight up Godzilla’s ass. Godzilla’s face had a strange smile on it, as if he were somehow excited over the prospect of getting this penis-rocket shoved up his ass. It was the most disturbing drawing I’ve ever seen, and I may go back and ask the teacher if she still has it. I’d like to make a copy of that one and hang it on my fridge.
Onto the real story. I said I went shopping for video games. They asked me what kind, so I told them, Gameboy Advance. The students perked up at this, talking about their favorite Gameboy games. One boy said something that cracked the teacher up, but I didn’t quite understand the Japanese, so she translated it, “Oh, he said he loved his Gameboy, but one day he accidentally left it at the horse racing track.” Don’t you just hate it when that happens? I can remember back when I was 12, whittling away the time at the horse racing track, playing my Gameboy. Fun times indeed.
After the story, the teacher asked them questions about what I did, to test their listening comprehension. “What did he do next?” she asked at one point. “He went to a love hotel!” the same boy who wants to “open up” her heart said.
“Hey, my day wasn’t that good.” I said in English. My teacher cracked up. “What? What’d he say?” The kids all asked. The teacher told them not to pay it any mind. She then said to me, “Well, maybe you’ll have better luck next weekend.”
We recovered and moved on. For the next “What did he do then?” question, the same boy responded, “He returned a video!” Oddly enough, I didn’t say I’d done that but, but indeed I had. I asked him how he knew this, and he said he saw me at the video store. “What did you rent?” he asked. Before I can answer though, a boy in the back answered for me, “Porn!”
HELL NO I DID NOT RENT PORN! Not that I have anything against porn. It’s just that I hate Japanese porn with an undying passion. I’m sure you all know about that now.
Besides, that’s what the internet is for.
I told them I didn’t rent porn; I rented Star Wars. “The real Star Wars?” another boy asked. What’d you think I rented, Porn Wars? A New Gangbang? The Dildo Strikes Back? Return of the Money Shot? To reinforce that I actually rented “the real” Star Wars, I did a quick reenactment of a scene, the infamous “Luke….*hoo-hah*….I am your father.” “….no…no….NOOOOOOOO!” This nearly killed them with laughter, and when they recovered they asked me to do Darth Vader again. I didn’t particularly want to, but then my teacher started humming the Imperial March as background music, so I had to bust out a few more Vader lines. The kids were impressed, but not satisfied. “Do Jabba the Hutt next!”
Quick Cultural Footnote: Japanese 12-year olds would not be able to successfully locate Texas on a US map, even if the states were labeled, but they sure do know who Jabba the Hutt is.
I puffed out my cheeks, waddled around and spit out a few Jabba-gibberish lines. It’s nice that my BA is being put to good use here. Unfortunately, they never asked for a Lando Calrissian impersonation, because my Lando is awesome.
At the end of class, we collected their comment sheets. The boy who drew the Gozilla and the penis-rocket made sure to point out his masterpiece to me. “It’s you kanchoing Godzilla,” he said. Sure. I pointed at the penis-rocket and said “But, that’s not my fingers.”
In all seriousness, the boy looked at me and replied, “Of course it’s not. It’s your special kancho machine. ‘Cause you just can’t stick your fingers up Godzilla’s ass. They might break and I’m sure it’d smell awful.”
My Monday, ladies and gentlemen.