6.10.2005

Appearing to be slightly eccentric is an integral part of life these days. Rather than fight against this however, I’ve decided to embrace and nurture it as one might a dog, or a lesser panda.

It is sometimes fun.

This morning I was greeted with stifled giggling and the occasional spastic guffaw from the counter staff at the local Family Mart. I experienced a veritable kaleidoscope of emotion commencing with embarrassment and settling on mild anger. I think the cause for the hysteria was the fact that I buy exactly the same products at exactly the same time, at exactly the same store, everyday. Understandably, this is hilarious. As well as exact.

In the interests of completeness, I here present a list of products purchased in riotously humorous regularity:

One (1) salmon onigiri.
One (1) bottle of fashionable mineral water.
One (1) carton of vegetable and fruit extract, or ‘juice’ if you prefer.
One (1) ‘American’ chocolate chip ‘scone’.
One (1) box of twenty (20) Lucky Strike Lights.

Were I able to form complete, grammatically correct and witty ripostes in Japanese we three should no doubt have had a merry little scene in the convenience store this balmy morn with knee slapping, ribaldry and shrieks of ‘Oh me! Oh my!’

However, I cannot.

I desperately wish I’d had a monocle about my personage or some trinket that lends a fellow an air of polite sophistication.
I particularly wanted to say ‘So that’s how it’s going to be eh? Well then, I shall take my business elsewhere forthwith!’ but was slightly concerned that the meaning would be taken literally, as if I actually had some sort of movable enterprise. Like a tinker. Or the old guy who used to come and sharpen our lawnmower blades for inordinately long periods of time when I was a kid.

Alack. The staff will never know that the reason I buy these same things everyday is because I am invariably late, leaving no time for the ponderously slow reading of product livery, therefore increasing the chances of selecting an item that does not, in my opinion, taste of poo.

More stupidity at school also. Arising from my constant insistence on confusing the verb ‘to drink’ with the verb ‘to read’. It’s for this reason that fellow workers think I am able to read tea, possibly foretelling the arrival of tall dark strangers and such. I have also been known to drink newspapers, books and other forms of literature.

Will the fun ever stop? Not likely. As the Japanese vocabulary increases, so too does the likelihood of saying something unintentionally comedic. To wit:

The English teacher who gave several self-introductions informing attentive staffrooms of her home country’s ‘small penis ‘(‘jinko’ is population, ‘chinko’ is penis).

The English teacher who, smelling mould in the wardrobe, requested a product from the chemist that would put a stop to his ‘smelly bottom’ (‘oshiri’ is bottom, ‘oshiire’ is closet). So it was that a haemorrhoid treatment was later discovered in his cupboard by a friend.

I feel secure knowing I will imminently add my own experiences to the never-ending list of anecdotes. Experiences that, it is to be hoped, will feature a similarly scatological bent. Joy. Sweet joy.

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