HORSE’S MOUTH: Moshi-Moshi

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YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

(Published Oct. 4, 2014)

It’s about 2:30 as I sit at my desk preparing to put together my column for Saturday’s Rafu.

Since 8:30 this morning, my phone rang ten times. Each time I pick it up, a voice on the other end says, “Hi, is this George?” If someone has to ask me if I’m George, I know what kind of phone call it is, so I just hang up. Anyone who knows me and calls me doesn’t have to ask, “Is this George?”

I wonder how many of you out there in readerland get the same kind of commercial calls on the phone. It’s curious how they got my phone number and my name.

So now I have made it a habit not to answer my home phone and only take calls on my cell phone, because only a few friends have my cell. A great invention, the cell.

I’m thinking of canceling my home phone and getting a new number, but my wife tells me, “Forget that idea.” She says she would have to call her relatives in the Islands if I do cancel our home phone and get a new number. Since she’s from Maui, she has a lot of relatives in the Islands.

Oh well, I guess I’ll have to come up with a new idea.

Maybe I’ll tape a Japanese message and put it on my answering machine. You know, “Moshi-moshi” instead of “Hello.”

Never thought I would be touching on phone calls in my column. I guess that’s just the modern age.

“Moshi-moshi.”

(MAGGIE’S COMMENT: Mr. Y, I have been answering my phone now for several months with “Moshi-moshi.” The caller hangs up immediately, so I know it was a commercial or telemarketing call. If it is one of my friends, she laughs and says, “Hi, Maggie, this is so and so.” I am writing this because I don’t want you or the readers to think, I stole the idea of “Moshi-moshi.”)

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No, I’m not that desperate for column material by opening today’s chatter with the above.

When my fingers begin pounding on the keyboard, it’s hard to determine just what will appear. Heh, heh.

Just read an article in one of the publications on the 20 worst foods eaten by Americans.

Would you believe that of the top ten “worst foods,” I consume eight of them almost every day? No wonder nobody mistakes my body for a “Mr. America.”

No, I won’t list the eight that I consume.

The reason?

Perhaps most of my readers also consume the same “no-no” foods.

No, none of the foods on the list are Japanese. You know, sushi, tempura, sashimi, etc.

At any rate, the 20 worst foods seem to contain the same ingredients.

Hey, fatso, did you enjoy your sushi today? Heh, heh.

(MAGGIE’S COMMENT: Mr. Y, I’m really surprised you did not list the 20 worst foods. I am sure the readers are wondering, too).

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As I might have mentioned a few times, I haven’t been to Vegas for over a year.

Well, one of my friends is going to Vegas this coming weekend and asked if I would like to join him.

Needless to say, I said, “That sounds great.”

But I told him that I tried to get a room and was told my favorite place was sold out.

Well, he tried, too, and was told the same thing.

I’m not sure why, but for the first time since I’ve become a patron at the California Hotel in Downtown Vegas, I was denied my request because the site was “oversold.”

I’m not sure what the occasion might be, but maybe a story I read in one of the Vegas newspapers was correct.

It reported that there’s been a huge increase in the number of patrons visiting the city, especially on weekends.

The Cal has arranged for me to stay at another hotel, but not Downtown. Since I’m a “Downtown guy,” I don’t know if I want to stay somewhere else, especially at a place I’ve never heard of.

Vegas is my favorite place to visit, but only if I can stay at The Cal because of its central location.

So I guess I’ll be sitting on the front porch of my house, waving to people as they drive by.

Well, at least I won’t be losing my coins in the slot machines.

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A short note from a reader: “Horse, you frequently chat about going to Las Vegas, but I don’t recall you writing why you enjoy the place.”

Well, I don’t know if I “enjoy” Vegas, depending on how you define the word “enjoy.”

For me, going to Vegas just gives me a chance to engage in events not available anywhere else.

You know, slot machines, table gaming, etc. Yeah, if I win, I guess I enjoy it more than if I lose a few bucks.

I’m not a table game gambler, so winning and losing isn’t such a big factor. I enjoy just being in a hotel/casino, especially if I bump into Nisei friends, and we often sit down and dine together.

This is especially true when I get together with friends who now live in Vegas. That would be folks like Rose Kakuuchi, with whom we always have breakfast at The Cal.

Well, I guess this response is a little longer than the reader’s note.

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Most of my friends ask me, “Why do you seem to have problems where Vegas is concerned?”

That’s because when we decide to go to Vegas, it’s more than just driving up there, checking into a hotel and spending the rest of the time on a slot machine.

Usually, we plan our trip when our relatives from Hawaii are visiting Vegas or my sister from the San Jose area is there. In this case, it’s my sister.

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In this day and age, finding parking at any public event isn’t a major problem, or so I thought.

Last weekend, Gardena City Hall hosted an event. My wife said, “Let’s drop by.”

Only one thing about events at this site. That’s parking.

When it’s just a normal event, it doesn’t attract a lot of out-of-towners, so finding a parking spot isn’t that much of a problem.

But last weekend was different. It drew a huge audience, so when we arrived, it was as I expected — no parking.

All the street spaces were taken and the one parking lot across from the street from City Hall was being reserved for special guests.

We had no place to park, so we left. This wasn’t so bad because we live about eight blocks from City Hall.

I guess those who sponsor events should consider parking as one of the things that confront visitors.

Many JA community events are held at facilities that do offer parking, so looking for a space on the street isn’t necessary.

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Wow! Here I am pounding out my column on Page 7, which means I’ve hit my goal of filling the space Editor Gwen provides for me.

Speaking of Gwen, a reader asked in a letter, “Horse, you frequently mention your editor, Gwen, but do you socialize with her any way?”

Well, we occasionally get together for breakfast when her schedule isn’t too full.

As far as my schedule is concerned, I have nothing but time, especially since they closed Hollywood Park Race Track and I have no place to go to go to see the horses run.

Yeah, Santa Anita is a bit far for me to drive.

If my wife were a horse racing fan, she might be interested in driving, but she’s not a fan.

“On top of that,” she chuckles, “I’m married to a guy named Horse.”

Hey, being married to a Horse isn’t as bad as losing money betting on one.

Oh well.

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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