More Darndest Things
Aside from Doris, I sit across from another Chinese lady. She’s one of those women who is just blissfully ignorant of anything and everything even remotely perverted or not 100% pure of thought. It sort of amazes me – in the case of, say, Ultimate Sweetness*, it’s believable because she’s so young, so you figure she hasn’t been on this Earth long enough to be exposed to the grimy, dirty stuff. This woman though is in her 40’s/50’s though, so I have to wonder how she managed to live so long and be totally ignorant of these things. Does China lock their women up in basements, only to let them out for marriage and the occasional plastic surgery?
*Speaking of Ultimate Sweetness and perversion, among the ads that rotate on Empornium, one features a girl who, facially, looks very similar to Ultimate Sweetness. Needless to say, every time this ad comes up its more than a bit jarring. Its made especially worse by the fact that said girl is taking a large cock up her ass. …I realize the potential for gut-busting kancho-related humor here, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s wrong on every conceivable level, and every time I see that ad my dick retreats like the French, and I’m forced to click away to a website featuring the results from the latest Catholic Nun bowling tournament or something.
How innocent is this woman? Well, once around my desk, me and the guys were talking about drink toasts in the different languages. The Korean guy I sit next to, well known as the established pervert (which is an impressive feat to do in a Japanese workplace, let me tell you…) points out that in English, we “ching” our glasses together. Loyal and astute readers may remember my mistake during my schoolteacher days, when I said “ching” to a group of schoolgirls. “Chin” is the shorthand of “chin-chin” or “chinko” in Japan, which means penis. Or, cock. Or dick. Or, meat sausage. Or, tube steak. Take your pick, there’s literally hundreds of words to choose from. Anyway, most of the Japanese people in the office kind of chuckle, as the whole “toast in English is penis!” joke is kinda sorta common in Japan.
But our Chinese Small Wonder, she looks up at befuddlement at our mirth and asks to Doris next to her, “So, what is “chin”?” Doris is taken by surprise by the absurdity and suddenness of the question, so she breaks out in giggles. Seeing that Doris was going to be of no help, she looks up at us guys and repeats the question – “What is “chin”?” And we all just froze there, in one of those moments where you have no idea what to do. We all exchange glances at each other that have one solitary meaning – I’m not gonna be the one to explain to this Chinese lady what “penis” means in Japanese.
Sure, she’s not a native speaker, but it boggles my mind how anyone can live here for more than, oh, one month and not know what “chin” means. Hell, they even say it on TV! I cannot imagine living in Japan for more than a year and not being exposed to Japanese penis in some way, shape, or form. I feel that this should be the new travel disclaimer for Japan. “Japan: Enjoy our historic temples and beautiful landscapes. If you spend more than one month here, you will be exposed to Japanese penis in one way or another.” I can only assume that her husband has kept her locked up in one impressive basement.
So, all of that backstory was to get to this – we’re an online shopping website. As such, our customer service emails are publicly listed on-site. As you can imagine, this is a spam nightmare. Everyday we get hundreds of emails, mostly about how “She will always be hungry for your new big sausage!” (that’s a copy and paste spam title folks). Yes, penis enlargement emails are probably 95% of our junk email, with the other 5% being rounded out by meds, and software. It’s annoying, especially because my sausage is already big enough, thank you very much. Stop trying to sell ice to Russians.
Spam doesn’t discriminate, and these creatively-titled pork emails end up in the Chinese mailboxes as well. I was giving Doris some tips on how to quickly identify and delete them. The biggest red flag, of course, are mails with an English title in a Chinese mailbox. Doris explains that this can’t be the only parameter though. “Sometimes, we do get actual mails titled in English, so we do have to check. Although, all the junk mail has been invaluable in learning naughty English. Thanks to spam, now Small Wonder knows what “cock” means.” Doris, of course, says cock in English. Upon hearing her name next to her, Small Wonder turns to look at us, and Doris explains what she just explained to me – “You learned the meaning of cock thanks to spam email.”
Small Wonder nods, with sort of a pained look on her face. “Yeah, we really do get too much spam…” What she said next, just absolutely killed me. She turned back to her computer screen, and without even batting an eye, she said “I don’t even need a big cock.” And she said this in English! Now, I’m not entirely sure at what point I regained consciousness, but I just know that I hit the floor at some point in time after this, probably from laughing way too hard. Doris knows some basic English, but for whatever reason wasn’t quite able to get the meaning of “I don’t even need a big cock”, so she asks me, “What did Small Wonder say?” And again, I’m hit with a scenario that not even the best writers could script – I have to explain to a Chinese lady in Japanese that another Chinese lady just casually said, in English, “I don’t even need a big cock.” As you can imagine, I was on the verge of laughing myself to tears, so Small Wonder ends up explaining what she said to Doris in Chinese, who then says to me in Japanese, “Well, that is what it is, right?”
You hear that, spam-fuckers? China doesn’t need your engorged fucksticks either. If you’re going to clog up our email boxes at least do it with something useful. Include some pictures of bare breasts or something. I still won’t buy your shit but at least I’ll have fun deleting it.
Speaking of Doris, I believe I mentioned before that we no longer sit next to each other. I sit on the other side of the desk cluster now, opposite Small Wonder, with Doris on Small Wonder’s left. We can still see each other if we crane our necks above the computer hard drives and magazine stacks. This sometimes leads to a funny-face contest, in which I usually win. I can contort my face into all sorts of wonderful positions. Doris, however, contributes this to my big eyes. She attributes a lot to my eyes actually…
Doris: I wonder how differently you see the world. What with those big eyes of yours. How much wider must everything be? How many more lights and colors can you see? Look at these little sewer-drainage slits I have to call eyes. I bet you the world I see is ten times less darker and full of light.
After losing the funny-face contest, Doris responds by giving me the finger and saying “shit!” I don’t have the heart to tell her that this is the wrong combination. Apparently, Doris could speak English…but this was years ago and she’s since forgotten it. Sometimes, she’ll try to have a conversation in English with me, which usually goes something like “Hey man! What’s up? Are you sleepy? Are you hungry? Yes good! Ijou.” “Ijou” being Japanese for “that’s enough.” I asked how she could forget English and yet still know “shit”. “I watch the American movies on TV sometimes” she explains. And there you go – Hollywood’s foul mouth is corrupting not only the Japanese, but the Chinese as well.
One day, she asked me if I’d seen the American movie on TV the previous night starring “that really cool, really handsome actor who does action movies.” She couldn’t remember the guy’s name though, which forced me into a guessing game.
Me: Brad Pitt?
Me: Matt Damon?
Me: Bruce Willis?
Me: Arnold Schwarzenegger?
After a while (and I do mean *A WHILE*), I started to run out of “cool” action movie actors.
Me: Harrison Ford 10 years ago?
Me: Chris Tucker standing next to Jackie Chan?
Me: Erik Estrada?
Finally, Doris looked up the TV listing for the previous night, got a name of the movie, and in turn got a name of the actor.
Doris: Him! That’s the guy!
Me: (killing a chortle) …Steven Seagal?
Doris: Yeah, Steven Seagal! Isn’t he cool?
Me: What, Mr. I’ll-Snap-Your-Neck-Take-A-Shit-And-Have-Sex-With-You-With-The-Exact-Same-Facial-Expression? Hardly.
Doris: C’mon, he’s cool! You remind me of him a little bit.
Me: …Never say that to my face again.
Doris: What, you mean Americans don’t like him?
Me: Let me put it like this. There was a movie a few years back where he was in it for all of 10 minutes and then died. …We think that’s a great movie.
Doris: (gives me the middle finger) Shit.
Again, I just don’t have the heart to tell her that this is the wrong combination.
One day my girlfriend and I were heading out somewhere. We were standing in the doorway, and as it was a cold day I figured I should go get some lotion. I’d been swimming at the gym before that, and combined with the cold, I didn’t want to end up being so ashy that the Japanese mistook me for Gwyneth Paltrow. I put a little lotion in my hand and went back to the door where my girlfriend was waiting for me. “What’s that?” she says, noticing I’ve got something in my hand. “Jizz”, I say without even thinking about it. Yeah yeah, There’s Something About Mary joke. The weird thing though, is that I said “jizz” in English, and my girlfriend doesn’t actually speak English.*
*I know, I should be teaching her English. I’ll get to that one day. Thanks to the wonderful world of porn, she knows all the dirty English. So she may not be able to ask for directions to the supermarket, but she can say “fuck me harder with your big black cock!” …I’m content with that.
My girlfriend’s non-English-understanding ears don’t quite pick up “jizz” however, so she asks me for confirmation on what she did hear: “Jesus?” …I have NO idea how you could possibly get “Jesus” out of “jizz”. Literally as well, if the Bible is to be believed.** Okay, whatever, I say it again: “jizz”. Again, my girlfriend’s ears don’t quite pick up on it. “Huh? Gel? Jesus Gel?”
Amazingly enough, I’d managed to keep my composure at my girlfriend’s suggestion that the gooey blob in my hand was the Son of God, but at her suggestion that it was the baby batter of the Son of God…well, that’s where I completely lost it.**
**I have long since accepted that I’m going to hell. Now, I’m just enjoying the ride.
I laughed right there in the apartment, and it didn’t stop as we went downstairs, got our bikes, and even a good 5 minutes down the road. My girlfriend, naturally, didn’t understand what was so funny, and even if I wanted to explain it to her, I was having enough trouble breathing at the moment. Speaking anything other than incoherent gibberish would have been an impossible task.
You know, if there’s one thing I’ve learned while in Japan, its that even if you think you’re facing the most extreme, bizarre situation you could possibly dream of: there will ALWAYS be a way to up the ante. While I’m trying to calm down, my girlfriend has an additional question for me…
Her: By the way, what’s “Jesus”?
You know that scene in one of the Aliens movies, where the big Alien opens its mouth, and a smaller Alien comes out? That’s approximately how my gut felt at that precise moment.
A bit of an explanation, for all those thinking “The Japanese are heathens!” at the moment. While Jesus is somewhat well-known in Japan (I’d say somewhere between Hard Gay and Hello Kitty), the pronunciation is completely different. Where we say it as “Gee-zus”, they say it as “Ii-eh-su”. This sounds remarkably similar to Ieyasu Tokugawa, the ancient ruler of Japan. Conspiracy? You make the call. …Also, this doesn’t necessarily get the Japanese off the Heathen Hook, I just wanted to clean this one point up.
Anyway, I’m absolutely flabbergasted that my girlfriend came up with “Jesus”…without even knowing what she was talking about!
Me: (almost in tears at this point) How could you possibly have come up with “Jesus” then?
Her: I dunno. That’s just what I heard.
Me: I said “jizz”, not “Jesus”! Completely different!
Her: Sorry, that’s just what I heard. So, what does “Jesus” mean?
Her: C’mon! What’s so funny? If you don’t fess up I’m going to keep saying it. “What is Jesus?” “What is Jesus?” “Jesus Gel!”
Me: Okay…I give up…just please stop…I’m going to perish…
I finally am able to explain, and she finds it pretty funny too.
Her: Ah, I see. Jesus’s sperm. But, I guess that would be some pretty potent sauce, wouldn’t it?
And to think, what could have been a harmless conversation about lotion has now turned into the virility of Jesus’s manjuice. Is it not…beautiful?