CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Get Rid of ’09 Before ’10



By W.T. Wimpy Hiroto


Because of habit or hope—or both— some of you are in the midst of making a list and checking it twice. But it’s nothing to do with next year’s Christmas gift list, right? You number among those who annually make resolutions, knowing full well you won’t be all that resolute.

Of course there are those (of us) who long ago gave up making false, impossible to keep promises and resos. I can recall making only one: to stop smoking. Since that was achieved 29 years eight months ago, why risk a perfect slate? Become a Tweeter? Doubtful. Turn on my cell phone? Possible.

A more Japanese moment is cleaning the house in order to enter into a new year unencumbered by negative vibes. Elders can remember determined Issei mothers cleaning and dusting everything within reach: floors, walls, curtains; opening every window in the house even though the temperature might be hovering around freezing. Why? To allow all that was bad to depart the premises, allowing ample room for good to ar­rive and stay.

A perfect segue for CR2S to clear the deck of past scribblings and memorandum scattered hither and yon on note pads, envelopes and scratch paper. Unfortunately most of the 2009 reminders, the more intel­ligent and witty ones, are impossible to read because of faulty shorthand and faultier eyesight; the price you pay for attempting to scribble in the dark or trying to remember what was quotable. An example: “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.” Attribution when using the words of others is ob­ligation #1 and I can’t remember who said or wrote the above quotation. I guess I can toss it away, now.

There are many reminders of cur­rent events worthy of commentary which are now being replaced. The recession. Global warming. Steroids. There will now be a jillion references to 2009 being The Year of the Tiger, snicker, snicker, nudge nudge. Just another example of the Chinese being ahead of everyone.

If I were to field a girl’s softball team, I would put Eleanor Yayoe Kushida Komai at shortstop, Yasuko “Ya Ya” Eddow at second base and Ayako Sakamoto Otsu at first. Thus my 6-4-3 double play combination would be “Yayoe to Ya Ya to Aya.”

Just the other day I watched a lonely ant attempting to navigate the bathroom tile. Cold, forlorn and obviously lost [the emmet, not me], I couldn’t help but wonder if the brave insect had family praying for a safe return from his fruitless winter search for food. I carefully lifted him off the floor with a sugar-dabbed Q-stick and took him outside, to sunlit freedom and a hoped for triumphant reunion. Dopey? Guilty.

Ranking high on my all-time list of unused material concerns bears, you know, the animal that hibernates, sleeps in a cave throughout the winter months. Apparently there is some­thing in their physiological makeup that makes it possible for them not to, how to put it palatably?, have to go shi-shi, do #1. Now, think about it. Not only is this piece of unusual information worthy of note, but also a puzzler in regards how and when to insert that treasured fact into a CR2S column. Not to be concerned, now, I guess.

To prove I deserve to breath the same air as thou doest [after the bear fact], allow me to confess to a never ending fear. One that I’ll betcha most Nisei share. Whenever radio or televi­sion or newspaper blares the commis­sion of a crime, I cringe and pray it’s not been committed by someone with a Japanese name. How about you? Doesn’t matter if it’s white collar, pet­ty or heinous. Why did Balloon Boy’s mother have to be named Mayumi? Was that a Heene-ous crime? Prob­ably just another Nisei hang-up left over from our sensitive years.

[In the background plays Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” How apropos. Although not mentioned for several weeks, CR2S remains in the throes of pain with no respite in sight. Will bravely soldier on but expect a column im­ploring sympathy – soon.]

Another point of agreement? Don’t you think this year sped by at an unusually rapid pace? I mean, hey, al­lowing for the expected physical and mental slowdowns, 2009 still flew by. Plus it marks the end of a decade. Was it really 10 years ago everyone was predicting the end of our 2YK world? The past 12 months, I have to admit, weren’t too bad (personally).

As long as there is chocolate caramel candy and a shrinking list of friends remains intact, life will be cool in 2010.


W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not nec­essarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.


Leave A Reply