Saturday, December 25, 2010

Now Get Busy

This is a Suzuki - just not one mentioned below.
Welcome back! I hope everyone had a happy Christmas (if you celebrate it), and a great Saturday if you don't.

For your edification, here now is a story written by one Matthew Hall, a fellow AET (Assistant English Teacher) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme originally from the State of New York, U.S.A. and now living in the great State of Vermont. Matthew continues to be one of my best friends. He was a lifesaver for me in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan where we both lived. I taught at the seven junior high school (chu gakko) in the city, and Matthew taught at a bunch of chu gakko in the smaller villages and hamlets surrounding Ohtawara. Perhaps Matthew--a regular reader of this blog--would consent to tell us what schools he taught at and maybe even offer up a guest column about HIS teaching experiences (or his wedding ceremony).

In the meantime, let's check out the story he submitted to ye editor of the Tatami Times AET newsletter for Tochigi-ken back in April of 1991. It was my first issue as editor of the thing... which means I was responsible for photocopying it and mailing it out to all dues-paying JET members in our Prefecture (State/Province) of Tochigi. (Bracketed material is ME being helpful to you loyal readers.)

Not A Care In The World
by Matthew J. Hall

One winter day, the Suzuki's woke up all genki (feeling fine) for the vacation that was going to start. Not a care in the world.
Mama-Suzuki was up first and threw open the blinds.
"Bikurishita (Wow - as in a surprise)!" she screamed. All the kids scrambled around her to see what was the matter.
"Hora! (Look!) Look at all the snow! A mother-of-a-storm has hit!"
Their eyes, wide open, absorbed the horrendous weather.
Baby-Suzuki asked, "Doshiokana? (Now what do we do?) Our tiny car will never get through the roads now! We were depending on clear roads!"
"Hmmm...," the mother thought.
Papa-Suzuki said, "We should do something."
"Hai (Yes), we should," retorted Sister-Suzuki.
"So desu ne (I agree)," agreed Brother-Suzuki.
".............. We should do something," Papa-Suzuki said.
"Hai, so desu ne (Yes, I agree)," Mama-Suzuki muttered.
".............. Hora! Gaijin-duh (Look! A foreigner/outsider!... though the correct spelling is 'da'... Matthew chose the 'duh' version implying stupidity)!" screamed Baby-Suzuki, pointing his finger madly at a blonde-haired, blue-eyed foreigner shoveling his way down the street.
"Maybe if we pay him, he can shovel the road clear so we can get to the airport and enjoy our vacation," said Papa-Suzuki.
"Yeah, let's ask him. I'm bored from sitting at home playing Famicom (Nintendo's videogame system circa 1985)," whined Brother-Suzuki.
"What do you think?" asked mama-Suzuki. "Do you think $4 will make him happy?"
"No. Better make it $9," yawned Papa-Suzuki, rubbing the sleep away from his eyes.
Needless to say, Mr. Gaijin agreed - after a little haggling - to do the job. Mr. 'G' was making good distance when suddenly everything cleared up. The sun came out, the snow melted away. The Suzuki's jumped for joy! All their problems went away!
Papa-Suzuki belted out, "Let's get to Narita (Airport). Don't want to miss our flight."
And the Suzuki's went to Narita, with all the other Suzuki's. Off to enjoy their vacations without a care in the world.

Somewhere at home on vacation,
Andrew Joseph & wherever the heck Matthew is - probably doing something fun!
Today's blog title is performed by The Beastie Boys: AMERICANIDLE 
Photo of Matthew taken at his apartment. It's not small, Matthew is just tall.
PS: Suzuki is a surname in Japan that is as common as Smith and/or Jones in western society. Suzuki actually translates into 'bell-tree = suzu-ki'. Suzuki-san in the photo above was the extremely funny and charming boss of Matthew. He was/is so friggin' great! In the photo to the right, it's Matthew panting on the telephone to one of his Japanese women, asking "Wass 'sup????!!!" like in the beer commercials. 
PPS: I'm guessing Matthew's story relates to the average Japanese person's ability to be indecisive when things need to be done. And remember... this was written after we had only been in Japan for about six months. Of course... if the story means something else, I'm sure Matthew will tell us!
PPPS: In the topmost photo,  Suzuki-san is actually trying to figure out the Ninetendo Gameboy Matthew bought me.

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