Silly Grins

Friday, January 25, 2013


Mary Kay, she does skin. Cosmetics. Fixes people up, makes them look good, and gives them confidence.

Captain 'Kandy', Kay Nogami, she did just the opposite. You wouldn't have wanted her near your skin. She wouldn't have been making you look too good. She'd probably have destroyed your confidence while making you beg.

They say she could do pain. Her work was serving up pain for the dreaded kenpeitai.

I do not know what happened to Kay. Her face was one of more than eighty million. It revolved in my consciousness for a while, then gradually receded until finally I saw her no more. She was just one of the people you meet in a business like mine.

When asked if she had tortured any of the prisoners, she denied it.

And even if I were guilty, your American intelligence officers aren't smart enough to prove it.

Keyes said she liked the Americans. And knew who was going to win. So, she passed off 'gifts' to the men. Stuff like soap, cigarettes, chocolate... sweets.

Want some candy? 

But one of those little men did something stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Then, one day, one of the guards found some candy on one of the prisoners. When he refused to tell where he got it the guard beat him up. The he told the guard that I had given him the candy. A stupid man! I was called to the prison for an explanation, of course. I denied everything. When I was confronted by the prisoner I flew into terrific rage and beat him up again.

You see, I had to; otherwise he would have destroyed my usefulness to the other prisoners.

Keyes said she had connections, after the war. And that she knew everybody on both sides of the law, the rule makers, the rule breakers, a well as the muscle in between. Ended up as kind of a nanny, Mary Poppins-like. Began to run the show.

I always knew when he was going to call on his Japanese mistress because he always took along his swagger stick.

 Homer modeling a 'swagger stick'
It made him feel superior.

 At the end of the war, when Hiroshima was the first to get hit,  the government of Japan kind of didn't know what was going on. But she did. She knew exactly what it was.

I was listening to the short-wave radio broadcasts from America.

Keyes thought that was not allowed, but she explained to him:

It was [prohibited]. But I knew an American GI at Camp Omori who had a short-wave set and we heard President Truman's announcement.

Keyes couldn't figure out how the POW had access to a set. If there were any airmen there, maybe a navigator like Bill Dixon, they probably would have known how to build something like this:

He builds boxes.

The material or 'quotes' for this post come from pages 77 and 78, from here.
  Sweet stuff from right here.
Homer's mention/inclusion in the blog is mainly because he's holding a swagger stick. He is not the individual our Kandy Kay refers to. Homer was kind of bad-ass and probably didn't need any kind of prop whatsoever.


  1. That book has no reviews. Loco has 5...that means Loco's is 5 times better...go the internet math ;)

    They should all be referred to as torture squads. It's a universal term. Give them Superman "S's" and the name/brand association will assure even the deepest of jungle tribes will no what is going down on sight.

    1. No. No reviews to be found. Fifty-plus years later. Hear he got his Pulitzer though, that Beech guy. On my third read now.

      Have to say that I've also read Loco's book three times. The first on Kindle, just to read. The second time with a real, honest-to-goodness book. The third time through was in an attempt to write something like a book review that two people actually commented on.

      Torture squads. Now that's a dreaded thought.

    2. That was about the time of my Summer BBQ and truth be told the author didn't even thank you for your time. I have problems with half a story being told with the better half being left out. My comment section is always better than my post....Loco was the same and then some...he forgot that or never really knew it. Not gonna go anywhere without fuel. That site is a fucking dried husk.

      Thanks for the prop idea for next Halloween ;)

    3. Wandering and wondering somewhere in between gold laying waterfowl and "Pâté de Foie Gras". In the latter story, there is an apparent solution.

      In the name of ideas, radical departure, and critical thought - thanks paid in currency of comments is something I am not particularly concerned with regarding that review.

      There is more that will be said at some point in time, but not now. Not here.

      I recall him suggesting you start a blog and I remember you suggesting that I start one. That thread is gold for me.

      Next Halloween... I'm already excited.

  2. I read this post Saturday and didn't comment on it.
    Then I slept and the next day I was thinking of all manners of torture devices/ideas. Not that I would torture anyone but it was in my mind. (Like when I watch a scary movie and then fear the dark bathroom for a day or so.) But not in a sick, twisted excited way. More like I was repulsed at the thoughts and how anyone could possibly ever act on them. I guess it doesn't help that I had watched Men Behind the Sun.

    So after a somber Sunday morning I opted for some light hearted bubble gum for the mind. I needed a mental palate cleanse. I guess I am more sensitive to media than some... or I am just human. Or my brain mills through thoughts far too long than is probably healthy.

    1. Bubblegum, bubblegum, in a dish, how many pieces...

      Men Behind the Sun...oh no.

      Who knows what Kei got up to during that far less than admirable period.

      The Hollywoodified mindset many people grow up with on the west coast (smiles at California) has those 'happy ever after' endings. Optimism, it's good and allows us to try all kinds of things that help move us along a little further. But sometimes, sometimes that optimism has us kind of forget about that important stuff that just happened.

      "I was repulsed at the thoughts and how anyone could possibly ever act on..."

      I wonder if anyone cheered during the screening of Inglourious Basterds. Haven't heard of anything like that here.

      Thank you.