HORSE’S MOUTH: I Watched Golf Instead of Baseball



(First published in The Rafu Shimpo on April 12, 2011.)


Like all Rafu subscribers, I get my copy of the newspaper via the post office. However, lately (at least for a month now), my paper is always a day late. So I asked our delivery man if he knew the reason. He said, “You’d better ask your newspaper.” I guess I’ll have to ask Editor Gwen.

My Tuesday issue, which is put together on Monday by the Rafu staff, doesn’t reach me until Wednesday. So I can’t see my Tuesday column until one day later.

My Wednesday issue comes on Thursday and the Thursday issue on Friday. So I don’t get my Saturday issue until Monday. Again, I have to wait three days to see what my column looks like.

Gosh, I remember the days the local vernaculars (Rafu, Shin Nichi Bei, Kashu) were delivered the same day they was printed with boys on bicycle hand-delivering them to areas where there were heavy Japanese American communities like Gardena, Boyle Heights, West Los Angeles and Downtown L.A.

We would see the copies on our front porch.

I know one of my jobs at the Kashu was to deliver bundles of papers to West Los Angeles. where the boys would roll them up and deliver them to the subscribers.

I guess in this day and age that’s hard to believe.

Later, I took the Kashu to Gardena and let someone else deliver to West L.A.

Once in a while when one of the delivery boys couldn’t work for one reason or another, I’d take the route in my car to toss the paper on each subscriber’s porch.

I have home delivery of the L.A. Times and I notice that it’s delivered by car.

Since the Times is delivered in the morning, usually before 5 a.m., I doubt if youngsters on bikes could deliver the paper.

Besides, since there are so many subscribers to the Times, it would be almost impossible for boys on bikes to service the wide areas that the newspaper services.

Well, at any rate, I guess I’ll have to contact Gwen, as I mentioned earlier, to find out how come the Rafu is a few days late in being delivered.

I hope they don’t tell me, “Did you pay your bill?” Heh, heh.

(Hi George, thanks for letting us know. We’ve been hearing this from a few of the readers in Gardena, and we’re trying to get to the bottom of it. Thanks! Gwen)

I don’t normally watch golf on TV, especially if the telecast collides with the Dodgers broadcast as it did this past Sunday. However, the Masters Tournament came on earlier than the Dodgers telecast, so I did tune in, especially since there were two golfers from Japan who made “the cut.”

However, the TV coverage usually is centered around the leaders, so they didn’t show the two Japanese except for one shot of Ryo Ishikawa making a great putt.

Ishikawa earlier announced that he was donating all his winnings this year on the PGA tourney circuit to the Japanese quake victims. Well, he finished tied for the 20th spot, so he’ll be able to donate a few bucks.

The other Japanese was Hideki Matsuyama, the lone amateur to make the cut. He finished at one under par, tying him with Phil Mickelson. That isn’t bad for an amateur.

Mickelson, the defending Masters’ champion, didn’t have such a great tournament.

Of course, one can’t watch any golf tournament without seeing Tiger Woods, who made the Masters interesting with his late-round comeback, but he wasn’t the Tiger of old and although he finished tied for third, he missed some putts I could have made. And I don’t even play golf.

Oh yeah, I guess I’m glad I missed the Dodgers game with San Diego. I found out they got trounced 9-2.

By the way, on the same day Russell Martin hit two home runs to lead the New York Yankees to another win. Martin is batting .332.

And the Dodgers got rid of him.

Oh well, I won’t be going to any Dodgers games his year.

My “connection” didn’t come up with my usual tickets, so I guess I won’t have to worry about getting mugged in the parking lot.

I’ll just watch them on TV. Listening to Vin Scully announce the games will be lot more pleasant than listening to rowdy fans sitting around me at the stadium.

Most of them from drinking too much beer.

One day last season, I watched one fellow who was guzzling beer from the concession stand. I think he spent more time walking up and down the aisle to go to the concession stand than he did watching the game.

I took a mental count of how many beers he consumed during the nine innings and he downed six cups of beer. Man, I don’t drink, but if I downed six cups of beer, they’d have to carry me out of the stadium.

I don’t think the Dodgers are going anywhere this year with the line-up they’re putting on the field.

No wonder when I watch the Dodgers on TV, my wife always asks me if I want natto for dinner (or lunch).

She always kids me, “If you can watch the Dodgers, it’s obvious you can stand the stench, like natto.”

Well, maybe the Dodgers can rename themselves as the Los Angeles Nattos.

While touching on baseball, it wasn’t publicized at all but a team of Little Leaguers from the South Bay was to go to Japan to compete in a tournament there.

The players and their parents were all set to go when the earthquake altered their plans and they had to cancel.

Since they had raised the money for the trip, the parents decided that they would invite a team from Japan to Southern California to play here.

The Japanese team is scheduled to arrive this week.

Isn’t that a great gesture on the part of the parents of the local youth team?

And what a great thing for the Japanese kids. They can get away from all the negative aspects of life in Japan and enjoy a few weeks in the U.S.

It was kind of interesting to hear about ramen providing meals for those Japanese victims of the earthquake disaster.

Truckloads of instant ramen are being shipped to the disaster area to help feed the victims of the quake and tsunami. Many may think, “Ramen for meals?”

Well, I’m sure a lot of Nisei do have ramen for lunch when they are rushing through their day’s busy schedule.

I never gave it much thought when I would have ramen for lunch because all it takes is boiling water and pouring it into the instant ramen cup. Wait 3 minutes and it’s ready to eat.

The first instant ramen company in the U.S. was established in Gardena on Rosecrans Avenue. When they first opened their doors, I wasn’t sure what instant ramen was, but I soon found out when I saw them being sold in Gardena’s Japanese markets.

Never thought it would be the source of food for starving Japanese.

Instant ramen is now entrenched in popular culture. There are books like “Chicken-Flavored Ramen for the Soul” and thousands of recipes dedicated to dressing it up. One company sells a little silicone figurine that holds down the lid of the ramen cup, changing color when the ramen is cooked.

But instant ramen’s essential appeal, beyond cost, is convenience and kitsch, and that the noodle soup is soulful and soothing.

Rah for ramen.

I’m sure most of you have heard or read that all the stuff that was washed into the sea by the tsunami in Japan will reach the West Coast in about a year. And it will reach the Hawaiian Islands even sooner.

What we can expect to see washing ashore in, say, Santa Monica? We can be sure a lot of it won’t be pleasant, especially if those humans who were declared “missing” are among the debris washed ashore.

No need to say that I’m sure a lot of beachcombers will be looking for valuables that might be among the waste and other junk.

At any rate, it won’t be pleasant.

For those who may be wondering why they have not received a response from me to the emails they have sent, it’s because my PC isn’t functioning like it should.

I know that many of you have requested a response to your query, and I’m sorry if you haven’t heard from me. I just want to let those folks know I am not ignoring them.

My PC is functioning like my left arm, on which I had surgery.

When my son comes in and fixes the problem, you’ll hear from me.

Thanks for your patience.

Isn’t it often said that the Republican Party is for the wealthy?

Well, I don’t know if this story, which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, is accurate, but this is how it read:

“President Obama’s supporters are being asked to really put their money where their mouths are. Tickets for a fundraising dinner this month in San Francisco are going to $35,800. And that’s per person, not per couple.

“ ‘That’s a little bit of sticker shock,’ one Democrat conceded in the Chronicle’s political blog.

“The San Francisco Obama Victory Fund dinner on April 20 is part of the President’s 2012 reelection campaign kickoff. Obama will also visit Los Angeles and Reno, Nevada, as well as the Bay Area, where his schedule includes a job event on the day of the pricey fundraiser.

“The executive dinner is set for the home of Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of, and is limited to 60 high-end donors. Prospective guests are being told that Obama will visit each table and speak individually to each person and a photographer will take photos.

“Those who can’t pony up the $35,800 for the San Francisco dinner can take heart. Tickets for a fundraising breakfast the next morning at Los Angeles’ St. Regis Hotel will go for $500 and $10,000. The higher-priced ticket gets you a photo with Obama.”

The Chronicle also said that a “low dollar” event at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco on April 20 has tickets for $25, $250, $1,000 and $2,500.

My reaction to the story?


Just curious what kind of dinner is being served for $35,800.

Or for that matter, what kind of breakfast is being served at the L.A. event going at $500 and $10,000.

Fried golden eggs, maybe?

My wife should get a chuckle out of this rib-ticker:

Hiroshi feared his wife wasn’t hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid.

Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family doctor to discuss the problem.

The doctor told him there is a simple informal test he could perform to give the doctor a better idea about her hearing loss.

“Here’s what you do,” said the doctor. “Stand about 40 feet away from her and in a normal conversational tone, see if she can hear you.”

“If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet and so on until you get a response.”

That evening, the wife was in the kitchen cooking dinner and he was in the den. He said to himself, “I’m about 40 feet away. Let’s see what happens.”

Then in a normal voice he asked, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”

No response.

So the husband moved closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife, and repeated, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”

Still no response.

Next he moved into the dining room, about 20 feet from his wife, and asked, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”

Again, no response.

So, he walked up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away, and asked, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”

Again, no response.

So, he walked up behind her and asked, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”

The wife glared at her husband and barked, “For the fifth time, I said we’re having meat loaf.”

Yeah, I need a hearing aid, too.

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via e-mail at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.



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