Gaijin Smash

I Say the Darndest Things

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on April 30, 2005

Sometimes, the horse gets you.
No afternoon classes, nice weather, and complete and total boredom drove me outdoors one day, to interact with the kids during their sports clubs. This is usually a pretty enjoyable activity, as I can talk freely with them outside of class lessons, and even play along with them from time to time.
I ran into a group of about 10 girls from the badminton club. We exchanged some of our typical banter, ending with the usual.
Them: “English is very difficult!” (said in English)
Me: “Maybe. But if you keep studying hard, you can do it!” I gave them with my “nice guy” pose of a toothy-grin and an exaggerated thumbs-up motion. This is usually enough to get the kids to smile at least, but today these girls weren’t phased in the least.
“You do that way too often,” one of them said. “You really need a new thing.”
Huh. Tough crowd.

I have been here for almost 2 years; I can see where the novelty is wearing off. I admitted defeat, and asked them if they had any ideas for my next pose. They had none. “Isn’t that your job?” one of them asked. Yikes. I already feel bad for her future house-broken husband; that bastard just doesn’t have a chance. I considered using “Gets!” but decided I had way too much dignity left to sink to that level.
Anyone who’s been in Japan in the last few years already knows what “Gets!” is, but for those of you who haven’t, it’s basically a cheesy grin, both hands displaying the universal gun finger positions, while saying “Gets!” I don’t understand it either, but it was wildly popular a while back. Oh, and the “pioneer” of this move, a comedian named “Dandy,” looks like the ungodly result of Michael Jackson and Carrot Top’s mating. Yes, it is every bit as horrible as you imagine.
I tried the overused peace sign along with a cheesy “Yayy!” (think of Ken’s win pose from Street Fighter), but this was also met with blank stares. OK, moving on, I tried the peace sign again, with a modified sound effect. I was thinking something along the lines of a sparkling effect, new and exciting. So I boldly thrust out my peace sign and said “Ching!” Here is where the girls badminton club nearly died that day from too much laughing.
Another quick Japanese lesson. I said “Ching!” thinking of a ching-type sound effect. You know, like “Mr. Clean! *ching* Sparkle!” However, you don’t really hear the “g” at the end…so to Japanese ears, I said “chin,” which is slang for “penis.” So, in effect, I thrust out my peace sign, and with a big toothy grin, excitedly said “penis!” to a group of 15 year old girls.
If this were America, I’d probably be writing this from jail right now. Luckily it’s Japan, where declaring “penis!” to underage girls is A-OK.
It took me a minute to realize what I’d said and the staggering implications of it all. After the girls (and subsequently, I) recovered, I begged, I pleaded them to forget I ever said it. “I didn’t mean that! That never happened! Cultural misunderstanding! PLEASE FORGET THAT!” and “Don’t tell your parents.” They nodded OK, but I kind of knew an everlasting impression had been made.
I went back on my rounds, and as I circled back around and encountered the girls badminton club once more, they greeted me by thrusting out their peace signs, grinning heartily, and exclaiming “Chin!”
Dear Lord, what have I done?
I took a minute to repent in silence, but before I could say anything one girl took the forefront, gave me the peace sign again, and said, in English, “I love chin! Oh, you love chin too!”
For the entire week, the girls from badminton club would, while grinning madly, give me the peace sign when they saw me and, if they could get away with it, excitedly exclaim “chin!”
Somewhere, Lucifer is busy creating the 10th Circle of Hell, specifically for me. Given that I am now a man who has somehow encouraged 15-year old Japanese girls to thrust out the peace sign and proclaim “penis!” I don’t blame him.


27 Responses

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  1. norselol said, on August 25, 2006 at 11:39 am

    great job!

  2. David said, on August 25, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    So, I study international business and go to some different parties thrown by international students. This one I went to was thrown by a mix of European students. The host made sure everyone had a drink, then proposed a toast. At the end, as, apparently, is custom in many European countries, concluded his speech with “Ching Ching!”. It took a full 10 minutes for the Japanese students to stop laughing long enough to tell us what it meant. How I love culture.

  3. snake said, on August 26, 2006 at 12:20 am

    hahaha, that’s a nice one. “chin”

  4. BudD said, on August 26, 2006 at 6:29 am

    I love you… I’m in thailand right now as an exchange student. I can relate. Messing up one word and offending every girl around you is interesting…

  5. Pom said, on August 26, 2006 at 8:06 am

    Ah, this is a great entry. Short and to the point, and very, very funny.

  6. Jeffrey Friedl said, on August 26, 2006 at 1:00 pm

    In response to the “English is Hard” thing, I say “No, it’s really easy. Heck, in America, even *children* can speak English” (amerika de ha kodomo demo dekimasu yo!)
    Invariably, they have a quizzical, pensive face for about five seconds before they smile.

  7. James A. Calwell III said, on August 26, 2006 at 4:54 pm

    You give yourself too much credit.

  8. MiamiCane said, on August 26, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    All things considered, I doubt they needed much encouragement.

  9. Crazy Jane said, on August 27, 2006 at 2:52 am

    Heheheh. Chin. So awesome. XD
    I love reading these. You made me die laughing at two AM and wake people up, but it was worth it. Cultural misunderstanding, indeed.
    ^_^ \/m Chin!

  10. Enris said, on August 27, 2006 at 4:58 am

    Man you are gonna have a situation there for a few months. Good luck with that, hope your KanchoSense is working.

  11. khuram said, on August 28, 2006 at 4:30 am

    Hey I been reading this site for almost more than a year now and I liked the old black and white format more. This is too modernistic for my taste. Change it back, Az.
    I Love what you’r doing there. Keep it up. Chin…!!

  12. Rune said, on August 28, 2006 at 6:34 am

    Dude, youre so gonna burn, might as well enjoy until then… šŸ˜›

  13. Alan said, on August 29, 2006 at 11:21 am

    Oh my word.. I have a couple of friends called Chin Mei chan and Chin Mei Fong… Granted they are Chinese but should they ever visit Japan I’ll mention that to them.

  14. Anonymous said, on August 30, 2006 at 7:45 am

    OMG!!!!!!!!! BRILLLIANT!!!!!!!

  15. Anonymous said, on August 30, 2006 at 7:45 am

    OMG!!!!!!!!! BRILLLIANT!!!!!!!

  16. Jay said, on August 31, 2006 at 9:33 pm

    I stumbled on your site. This is a great story. Funny as hell. I hope you do get a book deal.

  17. Xin said, on September 1, 2006 at 8:59 pm

    Mr Spah-kel would be proud of you.

  18. jay said, on September 6, 2006 at 11:41 pm

    lol…… pwned agian!

  19. Kerii-chan said, on September 17, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    The nice-guy pose! Love it! *falls down laughing* Gai-sensei! *glomps*

  20. evil_tennyo said, on December 15, 2006 at 12:26 am

    lol aww i can only imagine how u felt after u said it and realized it!

  21. Corey said, on February 14, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Thats a pretty hilarious-at-your-expense coincidence

  22. Ian Suttle said, on May 17, 2008 at 4:30 am

    I have seven words (or so) for you: ć‚ˆćƒ¼ćčžć‘ļ¼äæŗę§˜ć®åå‰ćÆć€ę–‰å¤©å¤§č–äŗœå…¹ę‹‰å°”ļ¼ˆć›ć„ć¦ć‚“ćŸć„ć›ć„ć‚ć˜ć‚‰ć¤ć˜ļ¼‰ę§˜ć ļ¼(“Ajiratsuji” being the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese name for the angel Azrael, apparently. It’s Katori Shingo’s catchphrase from č„æ遊čؘ.)
    And you have to say it the way he does.

  23. Anonymous said, on August 25, 2008 at 6:41 am

    You’re going to burn in a very special level of Hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.

  24. Anonymous said, on August 25, 2008 at 6:41 am

    You’re going to burn in a very special level of Hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.

  25. Roger Monticello said, on May 5, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    In Korean, “dongsa” is “noun”, and “ddong ssa” is “take a dump”
    Man, that was a fun accidental discovery

  26. Henman said, on June 27, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Your stories are great stuff for anime or manga! I laughed so hard, I think my leg is injured, because I hit the table next to me with it while laughing.
    Greetings from germany šŸ™‚

  27. Louis Cypher said, on August 15, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I’m going to make you feel real pretty.

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