"working on my faults and cracks..."


you can't save me: epilogue

Thick, tightly neighboring eyebrows, dark blue pinstriped suit, weathered hands and sunken shoulders, salt and pepper hair. A little heavier on the salt.

Mr. Okamoto.

As I waited nervously outside his office for our counseling appointment, I was reassured that I was "in good hands," because the kanji for his first name meant "timely raper of beasts" or something to that extent. Roughly translated, I'm sure.

Apparently he headed up a special division in the Okayama police department back in his professional heyday. Their target? Yakuza crime. He now has the same quiet demeanor of every beleaguered Japanese man I've ever met, but with a little more spark. Pushing 70, while he's settled into the arguably less romantic position of "legal adviser" for our institution, he still packs the expected authoritative swagger from one with years of service busting j-train perps behind the badge. So when my phone recently started ringing with Kobashi san's impatient doctors and insurance agents on the line, his brilliant "legal advice" for all the hot water I ran my front tire into? He told me to Gaijin Smash.**

Gaijin smash the shit out of her.

Ignore the police follow-up, ignore her lawyers, ignore her insurance company, and ignore her busted hip. Pretend you don't understand Japanese, take extra long to call them back, and so on. In short, I was told to act the typical clueless, overbearing foreigner, and make it such a pain in the ass, that the case wouldn't be worth their collective time pursuing.

Well, I guess it's not a foul if you can't understand the ref, right?

In hindsight, I would have reached for the Smash in the first place had I known it was Kryptonite for more than just JR station staff, and the oft-smashed NHK man. But lawyers, insurance agents, and local law enforcement? Almost too powerful to be true. The theory is that me being a foreigner already breaks the clean-cut procedure by which the legal process is supposed to flow. Mr. Okamoto's theory is that me being a foreigner already breaks the clean-cut procedure by which the legal process is supposed to flow. The Japanese legal system (and much of society as a whole) would ultimately find the simple language complication more than enough trouble for them to handle, and they would back off. In my defense, they were making a mountain out of a mogura hill. Not like I completely broke her back or anything. Anyway, they all stopped calling, so I guess we'll never know.
Mr. Okamoto would be glad to hear it worked.
Ashamed to admit, but like a goddamn charm actually.

How could he have known that smashing was the best course of action in this situation? Must have known what it feels like to be on the receiving end. Not unlike getting kicked in the balls by a toddler, I'd imagine.

**A piece paying homage to the venerable "Gaijin Smash" would be replete
without paying proper respect to the original site, and the man that made
it a household name in the Japanenglish lexicon.

3 contributions to this piece:

Valerie said...

Wow. That was kind of anticlimactic.

Dagbert said...

You're telling me.

Jail time would have been the kicker that this story needed:

"Gaijin drops the soap. Hilarity does not ensue."

Anonymous said...

I don't think it was anticlimactic!

I found the "smash" twist fantastic!!!

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