Silly Grins

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Part IV

Part IV: 

Life’s Rewards 

What we spend so much time working so hard to acquire can disappear in a way that is summed up quite nicely: a receipt.


Somehow they managed to get to where they were going despite their Dear Navigator 'quitting'.

They unpacked, got the kids and family fed with what had been scored from the deli at C0stco, and then relaxed in the hot spring (part of the hotel package).  When they got back to their rooms, the futons had been laid out.  

At one point, Will tried to apologize for the blowout they'd had on the way in a little earlier that evening. Grandma responded with something that could be translated as “No. Thank you…” – then she kindly suggested that Grandpa and Will go find a little 'extra dinner' somewhere. 

So they, the men, took off.
There happened to have been a nice place within a few minute's walk from where they were staying.

They went in, sat down at the counter and looked at the Ameglian inspired menu. 

Meet the Meat
"No, not having the beef tonight is fine by me... what else would you suggest?"  

So Grandpa Old School ordered something. 

First, a few drinks. 

In no way related to the cow...

And then a platter (featured below). 

Fresh fish is the best fish...

They purposefully took their sweet time.  Savoring each piece over the course of their evening’s decompression. 

Admittedly, the bath hadn’t done much for Will's mental state. Like hell Wifey was going to apologize for anything. Ever. That fucking...

Grandpa laughed.

Though Old School may not usually express his emotions – sort of that poker face default typical of the tougher generation here – it was obvious that he wanted to say something or a few things to his son-in-law.

Those things that were said included another ‘thank you’ for being so patient with their daughter, who they’d given up on at one point and are consequently well versed in ignoring.  In this case, the practice of ignoring had been hard to do since she, Old School's daughter, was the one who Team Family had been relying on to navigate to their destination, at least before the fits and tantrum…  Grandpa said ‘thank you’... thank you for the effort, grandkids, and for being a decent person.

Grandpa cried.

Will put his head down at one point. And he said, “I don’t know if I’m decent… tired, yes. Angry… now a lot of the time. Decent? I guess I’m still here, if that's what you mean.”

They continued to talk and both of them felt better as the alcohol started to take off the edges. Grandpa Old School is a good person. He might be ornery sometimes, like we all can be, but he’s not mean.

Near the end of their meal, when they were just about to finish, Will was starting to slide into that feeling of all too good. Actually able to relax maybe, let his armor slide off. Release. Feeling guuuuud.

Oh yeah.

Then it started.
Caught him by surprise. 

Oh no. 

It had taken them the better part of what seemed like an hour to work their way through the dish.  

No. No, no, no...

Will now thought he might be getting sick as he witnessed Grandpa take the last bit on the green leaf (what's left of the shrimp) which is was the lower portion of their unexpected dinner companion. 

Fresh fish is best fish, best not messed with...

Had Will had too much to drink? Was it from stress? What the fuck was going on? Maybe his eyes had grown tired at the end of what had really been a long, arduous day. Christ! He thought he saw something moving.  

He looked.

He looked again.  And then brought the plate in for closer observation. Lights, camera...

Followed by slow and coordinated action...

He really looked closely. And realized. They’d dined on everything there while that thing had still been alive. He’d had no idea. And now he was surprised that this may be what was bothering him, because he's eaten just about everything.

He mentioned this to Old School... what he thought he was seeing. 

 Grandpa smiled.

He turned, looked over in Will's direction with his red face and cracked a big smile. Then, leaning in toward him,  in his best English he said with a loud voice:

 “It’s fresh!” 

And before anything else was allowed to happen, its escape or Will's, the gurney was whisked away.

Will needed another beer. 

And what do you know… the timing way just right... 'cause a minute later...

they brought him back fried.

Gotta love this place.


  1. Please tell me that dinner with Old School was the highlight of the trip. Made me smile thinking of a similar experience I had...

    1. Yeah, it was the highlight. One of the only times anyone was able to begin to feel relaxed. Traveling anywhere with the family herd is not exactly the most exciting thing for the pilot. Once the destination is reached, the 'olds' resume their grazing. That's just what they do.

      Next time we do anything like taking a trip, technology will be put to use in planning how to get around once we get to where we are going. Ugh.

  2. I had an odd view of Japan before I came most. Where the fuck is the Godzilla love? Geisha? (never seen either one)

    Somehow missed that most Asian countries eat every part of every fucking thing.

    Their are no large land mammals or anything edible in Europe I believe but the West's image of harmony with nature is a fucking load of crap. I loved sashimi more back in Hawaii cuz it was fresher and much cheaper and I had no idea that raw fish...that's just the tip of the berg..

    I get along with mean old men much MUCH fucking better than the 30 and under J men. They old folks got backbone...they built went to War and rebuilt this country and know their sons are fucking it up...and their former peers now in Tokyo driving this country into the dirt they once built upon so finely.

    1. "Somehow missed that most Asian countries eat every part of every fucking thing."

      I guess when starvation has been the norm, anything and everything becomes a delicacy - endangered or not. What 'harmony with nature' might have really meant was teaching your meal to sing and dance before eating it.

      Backbone... Old School knew what I was going through which in the big picture is not big deal, but in the middle of traffic, the universe can be really small. Yeah, he knew wash I was going through and poured me a drink. He also explained that, love her or hate her (sometimes both), our Dear Navigator is his daughter.

      About what's happening to the country, I see an ugly attitude of maintaining the old hierarchy at all costs. Which means that those older folks in the big city are more than willing to have those below sacrifice themselves for the short-sighted greed of those on top. This country may have been 'modernized' here and there, but in terms of Westernization, that's like trying to say all futons are equal. We in the 'West' had what turned out to be some odd views.

      We're definitely not in Kansas anymore. And it looks like you've been doing a hell of a job helping people find their courage while stimulating their minds 'cause you got heart.

      Anyway... yeah... thanks.

  3. Speaking of eating almost everything made me think of a kiddo I have recently stumbled upon Remy. Live shrimp eating

    Anyhow, the talk with the pop in-law reminds me of my unwind session with mine. I thought he didn't like me. Turns out he is just a serious kinda guy but over a few drinks he warmed up and I found he thinks quite highly of me. Guess maybe he thought his kiddo would never be married off... I guess better late than never?

    1. Adventure, dedication, excitement... so that's what everyone is talking about. So much for the 'anonymous' sponsor.

      The shrimp, that's basically what it was; I'll take crustacean over mammal any day of the week. Not much difference between Korea and Japan in that respect.

      Unwind sessions... this was definitely one of the more memorable ones.