HORSE’S MOUTH: Nada vs. Mada

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YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

(Published Oct. 7, 2014)

It’s Sunday, so as usual I’m sitting in front of my computer preparing to compose Tuesday’s “Horse’s Mouth,” and as usual, I’m gazing at my computer screen trying to find the right words to begin my chatter.

My wife brought me a cup of coffee and said, “Here, this might help you.” So I sipped on the java and leaned back in my chair, and as they might say in Spanish, “Nada.” You all know what that means, “Nothing.”

Okay, let me forget “nada” and toss in a Japanese term. That would be “mada,” or nothing yet.

Well, I found a tidbit on my computer that might help me get rolling.

Since I will be married 60 years in another month, a laugher titled “Married 50 Years,” sent to me by a reader who identifies himself as “Retired Mas,” might be a good way to launch today’s chatter:

“After being married for 50 years, I took a careful look at my wife one day and said, ‘Honey, 50 years go we had a cheap house, a junk car, slept on a sofa bed, and watched a 10-inch black-and-white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 23-year-old-girl. Now, I have $1,500,000 home, a $65,000 car, a nice big bed, and a large-screen TV, but I’m sleeping with a 73-year-old woman. It seems to me that you’re not holding up your side of things.’

“My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find a hot 23-year-old girl and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap house, driving a junk car, sleeping on a sofa bed, and watching a 10-inch black-and-white TV.

“Aren’t older women great? They really know how to solve an old guy’s problems.”

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As always, this past Sunday was a busy one.

We don’t usually attend services for friends on Sunday, but this past Sabbath was a service for Alan Yokoyama at the Gardena Buddhist Church.

There was a large gathering for the service. It was followed by a reception at the Sea Empress Restaurant, also in Gardena.

There were no assigned tables for these attending the reception, so we sat at the first available table. Those who sat with my wife and me were strangers and we had to introduce ourselves to each other.

It’s always nice to meet and make new friends even if it is following a funeral service, especially since half of the guests at our table were subscribers to The Rafu and said they followed my column.

Great for my ego.

Meeting and making new friends also provides me with ideas for what I might write about when I get home, since I do write my Tuesday columns on Sunday nights.

Hey, sometimes it’s tough to write two columns a week if I don’t get out and meet new people, and if the new people I meet tell me they follow my chatter, it’s even more interesting.

One thing that always tickles me is when the new people I meet tell me, “If you are going to write about meeting me, please don’t mention my name.”

I just giggle when I hear comments like that, so I toss in my own rib-tickler. “If I do, are you going to sue me?”

That always creates a few chuckles.

I guess I’m kind of curious that when a journalist meets and talks with people, it’s a phrase used often: “Don’t mention my name.”

The curious part is that if I do mention the party’s name, he/she seems to get a kick out of it. They always say, “That was fun.”

Having been a journalist for 70 years (starting with my days with the camp newspaper), I’m pretty used to hearing the “Don’t mention my name” statement.

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Just got a letter the other day by a follower of my column. He wrote:

“Horse, from following your writing, I am aware that you were interned at the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp and that you worked for the camp newspaper.

“The reason I am writing to you is that over the past few years it seems like more and more camp-day stories are being published in newspapers like The Rafu, and Heart Mountain is frequently mentioned.

“The thing I don’t understand is that since you were working for the Heart Mountain publication, why you are never mentioned by those penning the letters.”

Thanks for your letter.

I guess I’m just another forgotten person as far as camp life is concerned, or perhaps those who want to write about the camps want to express their own views. I am sure most of those people know what my view is on camp life.

Don’t mean to boast, but as one who was writing stories about life in camp while we were still in camp, my views are a lot different than those who are expressing their views these days.

Having covered the news front as a reporter for The Sentinel (the Heart Mountain publication), I know I had a better view of events going on than, say, someone working as a truck driver in camp.

Yeah, I mention truck driver because that’s what I did before Bill Hosokawa signed me up as a sports columnist for The Sentinel.

Oh well.

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Another letter: “Hey, Horse, I know you write frequently about ‘Japanese eating places’ in the Gardena area and state that there aren’t too many such places to begin with. Is this true?”

Well, I can’t say whether it’s true or not but in my opinion, I would say that there are not many Japanese eateries for an area with a large Japanese population.

And, I guess it’s more of a question of “What is a Japanese eating place?”

A lot of non-Japanese restaurants do serve food that is attractive to Nisei and Sansei diners, but are not considered Japanese.

I guess if a restaurant has shoyu bottles on the tables, some might consider it as a Japanese place.

Yeah, I don’t mind pouring shoyu on my hamburger steak if there is a bottle on the table.

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There was an interesting story in a recent edition of The Japan Times, an all-English publication printed in Japan, about Japanese women marrying American men.

It seems most Japanese didn’t accept interracial marriages between white men and Japanese women. They felt it wasn’t the “right thing” for the women.

So, the publications are making an issue out of it. How it will turn out is not clear at this time.

Just thought I’d toss this in since it’s getting a lot of newspaper attention in Japan

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My sister, who is a Vegas fan, called me on my cell phone yesterday.

When I asked her why she was using my cell number, she responded, “Aren’t you in Vegas now?”

I said, “No, I had to cancel my trip.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said. “I would never had dialed your cell number if you were still in Gardena.”

I told her my next trip to Vegas will probably be at the end of October.

“Okay,” she said, “I’ll try to arrange my next trip then.”

That was the end of that phone conversation.

Ha, good old cell phone.

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I’ll wind up today’s “Mouth” with some anagrams. Hopefully, readers will know what anagrams are. It’s when you rearrange the letters of a word or phrase to make a new word or phrase. The following were submitted by reader “Stanzakronin.”

• Presbyterian: Best in prayer

• Astronomer: Moon starer

• Desperation: A rope ends it

• The eyes: They see

• Snooze alarms: No more Z’s

• A decimal point: I’m a dot in place

• The earthquake: That queer shaker

• Eleven plus two: Twelve plus one

• Mother-in-law: Woman Hitler

• George Bush: He bugs Gore

• The Morse Code: Here come dots

• Dormitory: Dirty room

• Slot machines: Cash lost in me

• Animosity: Is no amity

• Election results: Lies — let’s recount

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

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