What Big Eyes You Have
I was at the School of Peace, at my desk translating something, when the Principal came by. This usually results in the entire teacher’s room being in stitches within the next five minutes, as he’s pretty good at giving me shit. But it’s all in good fun, and I guess pretty funny. When I’m done with JET, and he retires from the schools, we both have a career in Japanese comedy just waiting for us.
Anyway he comes over to my desk. “What are you looking at with those big eyes of yours?” he asks. I told him I was translating. “It must be pretty easy, with your big-ass eyes you can see everything at once.”
Japanese people have a serious hang-up about their eye-size. They think they’re small, especially compared to Westerners. Big eyes are considered to be very attractive. This is why anime features such big-eyed people. Some female Japanese TV/Music stars have had surgery to make their eyes bigger. The biggest/most notable being Ayumi Hamasaki, who’s had a surgery or ten. The result of all this is that she no longer looks like a Japanese person, but like some creepy, bug-eyed elf. And not the good elves either, not the ones who bake cookies in trees. The ones who drop from trees and claw your eyes out while sucking your soul away.
Anyway, today Principal Peace was ragging on me about my eye size. He holds up his hands behind my head. “I bet you can see what I’m doing back here, can’t you?” I told him I knew he was waving his fingers back and forth. “Aha!” He says. “Must be your big eyes.” I explained that it wasn’t my Super Gaijin Peripheral Vision (another superpower?) but that I had sensed what he was doing back there. “Working in a junior high school, you NEED to know what’s going on behind you.” I explain.
Principal Peace is intrigued. So I explain to him the dangers of Kancho, and how I’ve developed my senses to be very acutely aware of what is going on behind me. Earlier that same day, I’d had a kid try to get the jump on me, only to be thwarted by my ascended senses as I turned around and caught him walking behind me, bent over, just extending his arms.
“Ah yes,” Principal Peace admits, “it is true that us Japanese are sneaky back-biters.” He points to the teacher sitting to my left, who happens to be an English teacher. “The students are one thing, but you especially need to watch out for this guy. He’s one of those kinds who’ll attack you from behind. Don’t turn your back on him.”
“Hey!” The teacher shouts out, as the other teachers crack up. “Be careful with that, if someone overheard you and didn’t know better they might actually believe some of what you say.”
“Know better? What? You are a back-biter. There’s no mistaking that.” Principal Peace turns to me again. “I hope those senses of yours work for adults too. Cause this guy really likes to play around in the back, if you catch my drift.”
“Hey!” The poor English teacher shouts out, but that was really about all he could do. I mean, what can you do if your boss basically calls you an ass-pirate in front of all your co-workers? There is no comeback for that.
You know, when I was a kid going through school, I used to wonder what kind of stuff went on in the teachers lounge. Now, I’m not so curious anymore.