OCHAZUKE: Down Humor Lane



(First published in The Rafu Shimpo on August 5, 2010.)


On May 5, 2010, an Ochazuke entitled, “More Down Humor Lane, Part 2” was published. A few kind readers requested a copy of the first “Down Humor Lane,” published on Oct. 25, 2008. With appreciation for their kindness and encouragement, I am again sharing “Down Humor Lane” with some amendments.
Laughter is the greatest “medicine.” More people need to laugh. Laugh at their mistakes, laugh with one another, joke and tease one another. To be able to laugh is like having a good night’s sleep. Sleep is also another great “medicine.” I have enjoyed a good laugh on many occasions which I would like to share with you:

My brother had a great sense of humor.

He and I worked in the same office building so he drove me to work. One evening on the way home from work, he said he had to go out of  town for a company meeting so his friend, Tiny, would pick me up and take me to work. At precisely 7 a.m., I answered the doorbell. There stood in the doorway a man who was almost as broad and tall as the screen door. He smiled and said, “Hi, I’m Tiny.” I asked for forgiveness, but laughed right in his face.

That evening I asked my brother, “Why didn’t you tell me Tiny was so big?” He said, “I wanted you to have some fun.”

Children say the “darnest things”:

When my third niece was 4-years-old, I mentioned that when I was a little girl, I played jacks and jumped rope, too. Her eyes grew large and she asked, “Were you a little girl, Auntie Maggie?”

I asked my niece’s second daughter twice in the same day her age. She emphatically told me, “I’m 3-years-old and I already told you that!”

My niece was driving me home in a car with her husband and three children. I have this habit of using the word, “ain’t”. While in the car, I used the word, “ain’t” and my 6-year-old nephew said, “Auntie Maggie, there isn’t such a word as “ain’t.” We all laughed. I assured my nephew that I knew that but used it “in fun.” His reply was, “Oh.”

My friend’s daughter who was 6-years-old told her father, “I can’t believe you told me that three times.”

I asked my 8-year-old niece, who was attending a Sunday school class at a visiting church, if she colored a picture upstairs. She replied, “No, I colored on the table.”

My friend was having a difficult time finding the right key on the computer whereupon her granddaughter, just like that, punched the correct key and said, “Grandma, you’re stupid, but don’t tell Daddy I told you that.”

At Public Places:

I was at Vons standing behind a senior when he presented a check to pay for the food which he purchased. Since he did not have his phone number on the check, the clerk asked him for it. He gave it to her and then he immediately asked, “What’s yours?”

I was on the elevator with a man who was rather tall and large. He looked as if he was going to sneeze. I was sure he would have a loud sneeze and my body movement showed this. He sneezed all right but with a very soft “choo.”

Then he looked at me and laughingly said, “Fooled you, didn’t I?” I laughed down three flights on the elevator.

A handsome Latino lad about 8-years-old or so, stepped in front of me to pick up a quarter he dropped. In so doing, he smilingly said, “Excuse me, madam lady.” I smiled back and thought to myself, I’ve been called many things but never madam lady.” I rather liked that “title.”

A man got on the bus and evidently tried to use an expired transfer. The bus driver was trying to tell him that he would have to pay because his transfer had expired. Still the man was giving the bus driver a bad time. However, by the time I reached the front of the bus, the man was dropping his fare into the box.

The bus driver was Black and said to me in perfect Japanese, “Ano hito wa ki-chi-gai, neh?” (That man is crazy). I was so shocked I had to grab on the bar of the bus from falling.

The bus driver laughed and said, “I was in the army, stationed in Japan and I married a Japanese girl. She taught me how to speak Japanese.”

I was chairing at a Sunday Worship service and informed the congregation that I would be reading the Scriptures from the Good News for Modern FOOD version of the Bible and should have said, Good News for Modern MAN.

Some friends of mine and I were seated at a table at a church function and somehow or other, the subject of age came into the conversation. I asked my friend, “How old were you when your mother was born?” She looked at me and said, “Maggie, what did you just ask me?”

Remember the proverb, “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.”

May you always have laughter in your hearts and peace of mind.



Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. Ochazuke is a staff-written column. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.


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