So my kids are having sex. My 12-15 year old junior high schoolers are sexually active. I suppose this is true for any country, not just Japan. But I don’t want to think about my kids having sex! Who does? (don’t answer that)
I’m not just referring to the FBI shakedown that Cherry Boy did over a year ago. I was talking to my Hot Nurse friend once, and she was telling me about some of the concerns that students come to her with. You see, at my three schools at least, the school nurse also doubles as the guidance counselor. There actually is a guidance counselor, but she only comes once a week, Thursday afternoons. I guess matters of the heart are supposed to patiently wait until then. Where do I sign up for this job? Shit, let me come in one afternoon a week and listen to jr. high schoolers problems. Pay me for that shit.
Ahem. Anyway, for the 99% of the time that the guidance counselor isn’t there, the responsibility of listening to the students’ problems falls on the school nurse. Sometimes Hot Nurse talks to me about it, and on one occasion, she told me she quite frequently gets problems dealing with sex/sexual issues. Even from the ichinensei. My God, they’re only twelve years old!
The other problem here is that Hot Nurse used to work at the School of Peace and I can’t picture any of those kids being sexually active. Again, not that I want to, but sometimes your brain just runs away from you and you end up thinking about something like that. Especially if I’m in a class and have nothing better to do. I start scanning the classroom and thinking “Hmm, which one of you fuckers is fucking?” That girl with her shirt buttons undone and her skirt hiked up … most definitely her.
The week of Christmas at the School of Peace, I was to give a talk about Christmas to the ninensei. I’d tried this last year, and talked about the birth of Jesus Christ and the three wisemen and what not (and I’m not even that religious!), and I was greeted by thirty blank faces. Maybe it would have gone over better if I’d said that later Jesus becomes a zombie? Anyway, learning from my mistakes, this year I decided to just talk about Santa Claus. Although the Santa image exists in Japan, it isn’t really prevalent, nor do they really know the dynamics of how it all works.
The English teacher had never heard the full story about Santa either. She found it interesting, and relayed it to her two kids, two elementary school girls, back at her home. The next day, she got a letter from her eldest daughter, to be passed along to Santa. The teacher found it interesting enough to share with her classes. It went a little something like this.
I would like a tamagotchi (virtual pet). Many of the kids in my school have one, so I think I’d like one too. I guess you have to take care of it all the time, so a neck strap would also be pretty convenient. It would also be great if you could include the instruction manual, since I’ve never owned one before. They come in many different colors. I don’t have a particular preference, so I’ll leave that up to you. Well, that’s about it, but I do have one concern.”
And this was written on the back of the letter.
“In our house, we have a security system. So when you come, if you could please push ********* (she’d actually written the security code on the letter). This will let you come to our house without getting arrested. When you leave, if you could please push the “Going Out” button to reactivate the system, we would appreciate that.”
At the Ghetto School, my desk sits across from Ms. Americanized’s desk. I really couldn’t have asked for anything better. It’s like sitting through your craziest class alongside your best friend, who knows exactly how to crack you up. Except in this case, it’s a swearing Japanese woman.
One Friday after classes had gotten out, we were both grading papers. She handed me a class roster, and asked if I’d be okay with the Kanji (Chinese characters) used for the students’ names. I told her I’d gotten to know most name Kanji after 2 and a half years of living here. But I also took the Japanese Proficiency Exam, Level 2 recently. To give her an idea, I showed her a printout I’d made with the 1000 Kanji I needed to know for the test. Ms. Americanized flipped through it for a few moments, then handed it back to me along with a curt “Yeah, fuck that shit.”
I really ought to expect it by now, I really should. Her English doesn’t even have a Japanese accent to it. It’s amazing how naturally “Yeah, fuck that shit” just rolls off her tongue. It floored me, and again I could tell she was pleased with having floored me. I told her I can never get used to how naturally she can swear. “You can’t imagine that me of all people is a teacher, right?” she says half-jokingly. I told her it wasn’t that hard at all to imagine her as a teacher. Besides, the kids already know English swears. Seriously. I’ve taken to ignoring the bastard sannensei boys now, so to get my attention one day the worst boy (the same boy who once told me I “couldn’t just fuck” my girlfriend) called out to me, “Fuck you motherfucker!” This from a punk of a 15-year old Japanese kid.
Thank you MTV/rap music.
I told Ms. Americanized about the “Fuck you motherfucker!” thing. She laughed, and said “Better mother fucker than uncle fucker, right? I mean, that South Park.”
I guess that movie had a profound impact on her.
Before the weight of hearing a Japanese woman actually say what she’d said fully sunk in, she, as she is so good at doing, upped the ante. She sang, and here, let me emphasize that for you, she sang, “shut your fucking mouth, uncle fucker!” She then said “that’s got to be the worst, right?” It took everything in my power not to laugh my intestines out onto the floor. We then had a mini debate about which was worse – mother fucker or uncle fucker. We eventually just settled on both are pretty bad.
I feel that I have to stress here that not only is this all in English, I’m really not making this up. I’ve said this before, and it’s always been true, but I feel I have to say it again here. Part of me refuses to believe it unless I’d actually been a member of the conversation myself.
The ninensei at the School of Peace did English Skits again. I swear, you could just make DVD’s out of these performances and you’d have a blockbuster hit on your hands. When I learned that they would be performing again, I instantly dropped to my knees and thanked all the important Gods I believe in – The (Burger) King, Jack Bauer, and Nintendo. As usual, neither they nor the kids disappointed me.
Ultimate Sweetness starts off in a vendor skit with her best friend and two other girls. The two other girls introduce themselves before the skit as “Man 1” and “Man 2”. Ultimate Sweetness’ best friend is a popcorn vendor. Ultimate Sweetness steps forward, smiles, tilts her head, and does a Mary Poppins-esque bow as she says “I’m a beautiful woman.” And somewhere in the world, a terrorist drops his gun as he realizes he can’t possibly carry out violence on the same planet that Ultimate Sweetness inhabits.
Anyway, the vendor is minding his store when he gets called away. The two “men” come by and remark that they’re pretty hungry and want some popcorn. They wait for the vendor to return, who is taking a long time. After a moment, they go off to look for him. The beautiful woman walks by and also notices the popcorn. With no one around, she simply starts to scoop it up into her purse. As she’s finishing up, the two men come back…
Man 1: Hey! Don’t steal the popcorn!
Woman: But, I want it!
Man 2: You should pay for the popcorn.
Woman: Oh, but I don’t have to.
Man 1: Why is that?
Woman: Because I’m beautiful.
All the while Ultimate Sweetness is smiling and tilting her head, and I’m thinking about the triple bypass surgery I’m gonna need to clear my arteries of all the sugary cuteness. But I guess the message here is clear – beautiful people “find” popcorn while ugly people “steal” it. I wonder if my kids read Yahoo! News?
Just as the woman finishes up, the vendor returns to find his popcorn stolen. Angered, he turns to the two men. “We didn’t do it, it was that beautiful woman!” Man 1 points out Ultimate Sweetness who is walking by. She stops – “Who, me? I didn’t steal your popcorn! I could never do such a thing.” The vendor thinks about it for a second then decides that someone that beautiful can’t possibly be lying, or a thief. She takes the two men by the arm and goes off to have them arrested. The woman walks away with a bag full of free popcorn and a grin on her face. Moral of the story? Beautiful people win at life, I guess.