HORSE’S MOUTH: Car Problems!

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YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

(Published Nov. 18, 2014)

I put some gas in my car the other day and as I was driving away, I remembered that I didn’t put the gas cap back on, so I made a U-turn and went back to the station.

I looked around the pump I used but couldn’t find it, so I went inside and asked the attendant if someone had turned in my gas cap. He said, “No, nobody turned one in.”

I concluded that the person who found the cap took off with it.

I decided I’d better go to the Toyota dealership, which is located only a few blocks from the station, and pick up a cap. I checked my pocket and found that I had 24 bucks in my pocket, which should have been enough to buy a new gas cap.

I pulled into the dealer’s lot and went inside. The clerk greeted me with a smile and said, “How can I help you?”

I told him that I lost my gas cap and wanted to buy a new one. He said, “Okay, wait here.”

He went back to the supply room and returned with a new cap. “That will be $28.27,” he told me.

My reaction: “What! $28?”

He responded, “Yeah.”

I told him I only had $24 and I turned to leave.

“Ah, what the heck,” he said. “Give me the 24 bucks and I’ll give you the cap.”

I didn’t want to tell him I thought even $24 was too much for me. I needed the cap, so I handed him the money and left.

Was I wrong? Is the price he quoted really right?

Oh well, maybe some readers can straighten me out on this matter.

Since it costs about $40 when I fill my tank, maybe 28 bucks for a gas cap isn’t that bad.

(MAGGIE’S COMMENT: Just had to say this, Mr. Y., but it’s too bad you did not look in the trash bin, which most stations have, and you MIGHT have found your gas cap.)

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Another incident involving my car:

As I was driving down Western Avenue the other day, my front right tire went flat.

A few years ago it would be nothing to jump out of the car, park it at the curb and change the flat. However, in this incident, I learned how old I was getting.

I couldn’t even get the spare out of my trunk.

Since it was Saturday, I figured my son would be at home, so I called him on my cell phone. He said, “Okay, don’t worry. I’ll be there in about 30 minutes.” He arrived and changed the tire.

Some of you may wonder, “Why didn’t you contact a repair service?”

Since it was Sunday, nobody responded to my cell phone call. If it weren’t for my son, I guess I would have been stranded with the flat tire.

Yeah, even my son asked, “Don’t you have insurance?”

When I told him I couldn’t make contact, he understood.

I guess it’s just a sign of old age, not being able to do something as simple as changing a tire.

At any rate, it’s the first time in a long while that I’ve been confronted with a flat tire.

Well, I guess old age is old age.

My wife agreed with me on that last sentence.

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Yeah, it’s not often my wife agrees with me, especially around Christmas and New Year’s.

She was born and raised on the island of Maui, so things that take place in and around Los Angeles don’t grab her attention. But it might be a little different this year.

The reason?

Well, Maui will be participating in our New Year’s in 2015.

About 400 students from Maui High School will participate in Pasadena’s New Year’s celebration, including the school band, which will join the Rose Parade.

With that many kids from Maui High participating, at least a few of them might be relatives of my wife. Of course, that means she will want to go to Pasadena to watch the parade.

The last time we went to the Rose Parade was about five years ago. Fighting the crowd is a bit much for me, but if she has relatives in the parade, I know I’ll have to drive her there.

Well, maybe I can get one of our sons to take her to Pasadena. I’ll just watch on television.

Yeah, I do watch the Rose Bowl football game on TV every year, especially if one of the teams is UCLA or USC.

Heck, when you get to my age, it’s tough to fight the New Year’s crowd in Pasadena.

Man, who would have ever thought I’d be using age as an excuse for anything?

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If I sound a bit goofy it’s because after I started doing today’s column, my danged computer broke down.

I waited for my computer expert son to get to my place to repair the problem, but he didn’t get here until late Sunday evening. I’m looking at the clock on the wall over my computer and thought I might miss filling my column space. But one of my sons did show up, so I’m banging away, trying to catch up.

Writing to me isn’t that tough except when the keyboard goes belly up, which was the case today.

I put in a phone call to Editor Gwen to tell her my problems and as usual she said in her cool manner, “Keep trying, George.”

Yeah, she calls me George, not Horse.

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I wasn’t aware of it, but those who live in San Fernando Valley are familiar with sushi restaurants. Although there are a lot of sushi places in the Valley, when a new one opens up, it gets media attention.

At least that is what I assumed when I read the story about the opening of a new place called Sushi Iki. It’s located at 18663 Ventura Blvd. in Tarzana.

It’s open for lunch Tuesday to Friday and dinner Tuesday to Sunday. While sushi restaurants are on the expensive side, Sushi Iki is a bit more in the evening, running about $75 per person.

Sushi Iki would be like other sushi bars except for the presence of Eddie Okamoto, a wildly entertaining sushi chef.

Just consider the number of times the word “live” appears on his sushi list. There are live octopus, live jumbo shrimp, live Pacific lobster, live king crab and live sea urchin.

Sushi aficionados say that if you love fish, you have to sit at the counter of Sushi Iki and ask the chef what he suggests.

Gee, sounds like a great place to visit.

I don’t ever go out to places like Tarzana, but after getting the news release on this place, maybe I’ll jump in my car and give it a try.

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Another “old-timer” from J-Town dropped by my place to visit. He opened our conversation with, “What the heck you doing, Horse? We don’t see you in Little Tokyo anymore.”

He may be right.

I guess I’d better get rolling to First and San Pedro a little more.

If I’m going to keep writing for The Rafu, I might be falling behind the times if I don’t walk around Little Tokyo at least once a week.

Of course, since I do get my Rafu in the mail, I do keep up with what’s going on by reading the articles written by the other columnists for the publication. The ages of today’s Rafu staff are a lot younger than this old man, so maybe our views are a bit different.

Who would have ever thought that one day I would be considered an “old Nisei,” especially since I began my career in J-Town a few years beyond the age 20?

Heck, some of today’s well-known journalists weren’t even born when I began pounding away on my typewriter keyboard.

Yeah, that’s typewriter keyboard. Today it’s the computer keyboard.

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Well, I just glanced t the clock on the wall above my computer and the hands show that it’s 9:30 p.m. Usually by that time, I’m sound asleep in bed.

Perhaps some of you readers may think, “Maybe you should be sound asleep in bed if you can’t do better writing.”

Snore, snore…

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Things will get better because I’m scheduling an out-of-town trip in a few days, which means I’ll be doing my writing on the road.

This might give me a better point of view in my chatter.

I learned over the years that being on the road gives me a lot better angle on what kind of things I can write about. Yeah, even if it’s from Las Vegas.

So, hang in there with me, folks.

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

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