Next time on Rocky and Bullwinkle, “Special Delivery”, or “My Mom is a Saint”.
(Note – much like The Octopus, this is an especially lewd story. Unlike The Octopus, I give this a PG-13 rating. Proceed at your own discretion).
I was trying to think of some witty or clever way to start this one, but fuck it, I’ll get to the point – condoms in Japan are small.
I’m not trying to make some staggering and broad generalization about the penis size of Japanese men. Nor am I trying to make any boastful claims about the size of my own. All I’m saying is that, for me at least, the condoms they sell here are too small for me.
A few months after dating my ex, I found myself running out of the “just in case…” condoms I’d brought with me from America. I’d tried a few Japanese brands with no luck, and given how expensive one pack is, I didn’t really want to keep buying something that would ultimately become a $3 water balloon. It was clear that I’d need some condoms sent from back home.
The request to send more condoms ultimately fell on my mother. I know, your immediate reaction is “why didn’t you just ask one of your friends?” I had my reasons, which I won’t go into. But I thought long and hard about it (absolutely no pun intended), and no matter how I cut it Mom always remained the best choice. She just happened to be putting together a care package for me she was going to send in the next day or so. The simplest course of action would be to just have her throw in a box or two along with the other stuff. I figured we were both adults and could handle the situation maturely enough. …I’m surprised that after only a few months in the country, I’d already lost that much of my handle of reality.
Y’see, while some of you might be able to get away with this with *your* parents, I certainly could never get away with it with *my* parents.
Drums please! *drum beat* Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah!
Think back if you will to your school days. Which, for some of you youngsters, you’re still in. It’s that last day before summer vacation. Your very last class. The teachers words melt into nothing as you stare at the clock. Just fifteen more minutes! The kid in front of you farts and blames it on you. Ordinarily, you would extract revenge, but not today! Today is special! Ten more minutes! You and your buddies exhange looks. No one’s said a word but you’ve all just arranged where and when you are going to meet later today. Five more minutes! The girl besides you hands you a note – “Wanna make out in the bathrooms afterschool?” Fuck you trick, ask me later….IT’S SUMMERTIME! You leave school for a whole 2 months!
“No more homework, no more books, no more teachers dirty looks” – I believe that’s how it went. Everyday is nothing but sleeping in late, meeting your friends by the pool, or the beach, or by Cletus’s front porch to do some good whittlin’, whatever floats your boat. Sure, there’s summer homework or whatever nonsense, but *everybody* knows you’re going to blow it off until the absolute last week/day/hour/pay the honor students to do it before summer vacation ends. Now is your time. Now is…summertime. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? The way summer should be, right?
Nuh-uh sucker, not in Japan. Why do those loafish activities when you can continue to work!
I entered the ichinensei classes at the School of Peace for the first time since summer vacation. I didn’t have a chance to have class with Penis Boy, which was actually somewhat of a relief. I did however have class with the boy who’d asked me before “Is it okay to kancho you?”
He sits at the front and I just happened to be standing in front of his desk. He looked up at me, and gave me a thumbs-up. I returned it. Then, he put his hands together in the classic kancho strike, and said “Okay?” I shook my head and said, “No, not okay.” He said “I’ll do it to you later, okay?” Well, there’s an interesting idea. Here’s another one – no. I told him he might “accidentally” end up getting tossed out a window. The ichinensei classes are on the third floor, so this threat had some weight to it. He’s a runt of a kid, but the winds weren’t strong enough that day to deliver a possible Mary Poppins-esque ass-saving, so he dropped the issue.
But still, I’m amazed. “I’ll do it to you later, okay?” The kid’s politeness is off the charts. If nothing else, I have to give him credit for going through the proper channels first before attempting to ram his fingers up someone’s ass. If only all the 12-year olds of Japan could be so considerate. I’m giving serious thought to saying he can, but only if he files the proper paperwork first. Then giving him a series of applications that would make our IRS tax forms look like connect-the-dots. If he ever finished, I’d be long gone. Still, this shit just absolutely floors me.
Later in the class, he turned around in his chair to talk to his friend behind him. He sat on his knees in the chair, and bent over his friend’s desk behind him. For those of you unable to visualize this, basically it meant that he was bent over in front of me, ass all up in the air.
Oh, now he’s just asking for it.
Wait-a-minute, did I seriously just have that thought?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO![/Vader] What is this country doing to me?!
One of the downsides of being a gaijin in a small Japanese town is that you stand out. A lot. And Japanese people love to gossip. It’s actually one of the only fun things they can do (the suckosity of Japanese TV has been covered in-depth). So anytime you leave the house, you bet your bottom dollar there’s at least one pair of eyes on you at all times, and the mouth connected to those eyes will relay the things you did to no less than two other people.
And especially for me, being black and so much bigger than all of them, it’s a lot like playing “spot the whale” in a goldfish tank. Or, it’s like “Where’s Waldo?” if Waldo were a Pakistani Elephant sitting in a field full of sheep. Plus, as an English teacher I’ve been in the town newspaper several times (as well as the Kyoto Shimbun twice now), so everyone just knows who I am, and my daily events have become an integral part of the town chatter. As you can imagine, this makes having a private life somewhat difficult, to say the least.
Anyway, what all this leads up to is that I brought a girl home one Saturday night. No, I’m not gonna get into it. Let’s just say Az Did Not Fail At Dating, the end. Sunday afternoon, we decided to take a walk in the town park, which is actually quite nice. However it’s far from my apartment, so we had to go by bus. As we walked to the bus station, I warned her that from time to time I run into some of my students, and if that happened today it could become sort of embarrassing. She laughed and said if we did, she’d do her best.
Poor girl just had no idea.
Upon approaching the station, I saw what I believed to be two sannensei girls sitting near the bus terminal. Deciding it best to lay low, I stopped well before the terminal, and took a seat to wait for the bus. The two girls eventually did notice me and my companion, and waved, but that was the extent of it. I figured we would probably be riding the same bus, but these two girls are pretty reserved. So while I’d have a firestorm of rumors to deal with at school, at least my date would be spared from potential harassment. The bus came, and we boarded, me leading my date towards the back. The two girls also got on, but stayed near the front. For a moment, I almost, very nearly believed I’d get off easy this time.
Before the bus pulled away, a gang of girls, mostly sannensei but with some ninensei and ichinensei thrown in for good measure, boarded the bus. And not just any girls either. The gossip queens. The girls you talk to if you want EVERYONE to know something, because it would be faster than grabbing a megaphone and doing it yourself. It took them approximately 0.000639 seconds to spot me, and *gasp* a girl! From there the shit was on.
Japan occasionally gets hit by typhoons. Some areas can get hit pretty badly, which sucks. The thing about typhoons though is that if one is coming, or even looks like it’s coming, to the area a typhoon warning is issued. If the warning comes out then school is CANCELLED for that day. Even if you’re already in the middle of the day, school is done, everybody go home. So, while typhoons are usually a bad thing, the prospect of school getting cancelled is a VERY GOOD THING.
Remember that Japan employs a near-suicidal workforce, one that prompted Ms. Americanized to wish for her country to be bombed back to the stone age, as it just might get her a day off. In that context, Japanese people won’t sweat a little wind and rain if it gets them an early day off work.
Unfortunately, the typhoons almost never reach Kyoto. They end up dying before they get here, passing through in the middle of the night, or hitting a different part of Japan entirely. Amazingly enough, this is actually pretty disappointing. Since I’ve been here, school has only been cancelled once because of the typhoon. I was at the Ghetto School when it happened. As the warning was expected to come, the TV was on in the teacher’s room and tuned in to the news channel. By the start of classes at 8:55 however, the warning had not been issued and everybody was forced to proceed as normally until it did.
After EVERY CLASS, the teachers would come back to the teacher’s room and ask “Did the warning come out yet?” They’d hear no, and you could just spot the look of dejection on their faces. Finally, sometime during third period, the warning was issued. “It came!” the teachers who were in the teachers room exclaimed. No one said it, but instantly everybody’s countenance did a 180-degree turn as they smiled to themselves – yes! We get a day off for once!
After third period ended, I swear the chime had *barely* just finished and one of the teachers was already on the PA system – “The typhoon warning has been issued. Get the fuck outta here! Go home!” In that very instant, the whole school roared as I’m sure each and every student let out a scream of jubilation. The other teachers returned from class, exclaiming, “The warning came out!” The students poured out of the school, with the teachers not too far behind (I went home, closed my storm shutters, and went to sleep). With the exception of drinking parties and the heavy influence of alcohol, I have never seen the teachers at the Ghetto School so happy, especially within the school’s confines. It looked like someone had told them they were entitled to an all-expenses paid fancy sushi dinner, not that a dangerous storm of violent winds and heavy rain was heading their way.
One weekend, as the weather looked to be quite bad, I decided to stay at home on Saturday night and rent a movie with my date. However, since the majority of my video collection is in English, and she doesn’t really understand English, a trip to the video store would be necessary. Not that she would have liked any of what I already own anyway. What is it with women and their aversion to movies with explosions in them? And who can’t appreciate the comedic genius of the 1966 Batman TV series movie? I mean, exploding prosthetic sharks, heroic suicidal dolphins, Adam West’s Batman running down a pier with a giant Bob-omb over his head …you seriously can’t make this shit up folks. If you can, I recommend picking up this gem in the bargain DVD bin at Wal-Mart. It’ll be the best $4.99 you ever spent.
*Ahem* Anyway. As for video stores, we had two options. The one I wanted to go to was a little ways away, but the benefit was that the chances of running into students were slim to none. She however favored convenience, so we opted to go to the one in the neighborhood. I warned her of the possible student threat, but she said she’d be ready/prepared for whatever they slung at her. She grabbed her biggest hat and off we went.
Upon arriving, amazingly, it looked like there were *NO* students there! Young people, sure, kids, sure, but none of my students! We both marveled at the odds of going to the local video/music/book store on a Saturday afternoon and finding no jr. high school kids. And again, for a brief, shining moment, I thought I just might get off scot-free.
I did a penpal exchange project with the School of Peace. While my website’s budding popularity was somewhat new, I got an offer for an exchange with American students, and it seemed interesting enough. I picked the School of Peace as the school that would have the best chance of actually making it work. (Possible Ghetto School letter: “Hi. I like sex. Do you play sex? I like hip-hop. How many guns do you have?”) Still, the head English teacher and I had some reservations about the project. Would the students be motivated enough to want to understand the letters, and write/send one of their own? A package of letters from American students came, and despite our anxieties, we distributed them to the ninensei.
I went through the letters beforehand, and separated them according to sex, as well as difficulty. We tried to match up students to an appropriate letter, both figuring it would be best to match students up with kids of the same gender, and letters appropriate to their English ability. I explained to the class what we would be doing for the next two days, and much as usual they listened without showing much in the way of outward emotion. We are Borg. Resistance is futile.
As the students received their letters, the atmosphere was still kind of quiet, and I wondered if they had taken any interest in the project. A few minutes in, the English teacher realized that maybe English-Japanese dictionaries would be a good idea. She left the class and came back a minute later with a basket full of dictionaries.
What happened next, I can only describe as a pack of hungry, ferocious tigers ravaging a freshly killed deer carcass.
The students leapt out of their desks, and within seconds, had dash-teleported to the front of the classroom, snatched the dictionaries, and bounded back to their seats and their letters. The poor English teacher, she’d gotten to the front of the class, said “Hey everyone, I’ve got dict-” and then simply disappeared in a sea of Japanese schoolkids. I’ve seen less clamor over the newest Harry Potter book. When the hyenas backed off, she was left standing there holding an empty basket and looking utterly disheveled. The look on her face ranks in the Top 3 of the Greatest WTF!? Expressions* of all time. (For the record, #2 is Elian Gonzalez staring down the barrel of an American semi-automatic rifle. #1 is Ms. Americanized face as Ms. Forehead told her about Michael Jackson Juice.)
So yeah, Mikey I think they like it.