CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: The Mystery Continues: Are There Two O’s?

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

So, you really want more?

Silly question. Everyone wants more of a good thing: Good fortune, good taste, good food and fine wine. Of course you do. But I’m not so sure your joint interest in the saga of O-bah-keh-san can be included in such elite company. Shoot, what the hey, what are friends for if not to share a good thing?

Space limitations and not wanting to overload you with too many examples of questionable coincidences kept me from citing too many weird incidents last week. Here are three additional puzzlers, two that certainly challenge the difference between the commonplace and thought-provoking:

A couple of weeks ago there was an inspection of my kitchen plumbing. One of the tenants (directly above) had a clogged sink and wanted to make sure it hadn’t affected mine. Nope, #215 was clean and clear. A week later mine suddenly backs up and it takes maintenance the whole morning to snake and unclog. No big deal and so what, you say?

Well firstly, a layman’s question: How can my unit plumbing get clogged up and no one else’s? Nor that of my bathroom basin or tub/shower?  The fact that I very rarely use the sink (never cook or use garbage disposal) adds to reasons why there’s no solid waste getting past the strainer. And a question for all you plumbers, architects and handy guys: How is it possible for me to have a major backup problem and no one else does? [KRH is five stories and 24 units per floor.]

A much less quizzical “Coincidence or Something Else?” happenstance wouldn’t deserve mention if not for the presence of “O.” The living room of my apartment has two banks of overhead lights; I guess that’s what you would call indirect lighting. Well, one side just went out. Obviously the bulbs or tubes or whatever is up there don’t work anymore. Or is it that simple when we include “O” in the equation?

I haven’t asked for replacement lighting and for a laughable reason: I don’t want to be known as a problem tenant who is always in need of help. Maintenance, in addition to the sink woes, has already replaced a lamp, been called to check out two television sets, relined the refrigerator door. They’ve also cleaned a portion of new carpeting and adjusted the hydraulic that closes the hall door, all within the time period “O” has been hanging around.

I figure going without some lighting is no big deal, for now. Besides, I’ll be calling again after deciding where to put up selected pictures and art pieces they will be asked to hang. It’s bad enough being known as the “O-bah-keh Man.” I’d rather not add the title of second-floor “monku-tare” to my laurels.

Today’s third thought provoker is a doozey, one I’m sure will have you shaking your head. [Anyone coming up with a plausible answer will get, I dunno, I’ll think of something.]

We all perspire, right? It’s a human trait. We’re not dogs. Of course there’s the old saw about those with class perspire while the rest of us just sweat. No matter the category you belong to, perspiration is found on the brow, upper lip, under arm and sometimes palms of the hand. Okay and agreed. But now, all of a sudden, I find that my neck sweats!

My current daily routine includes from 1½ to 2 hours peddling on a stationary board. Nothing vigorous, just real steady. Besides getting leg weary and seat sore, I perspire a bit from the exercise. But in the neck area instead of where everybody else does! And it isn’t really sweat sweat; it’s kinda like an uncomfortable dampness, if you know what I’m trying to say. This kind of exertion for that period of time will obviously result in some perspiration, I grant you. But why do I now sweat around the neck and nowhere else?

Adding to the lunacy: Twice a day I rub an ointment on face and arms. Before I’m through the neck again begins to perspire; to where I now always have a towel handy. [At some point I’ll explain the reason for the ointment routine; right now the focus is on the sweating!] I’m not kidding you, all of a sudden I’ve become a neck sweater! So do we call this another example of BO (Bad “O”) or more importantly, are there others out there who suffer this strange malady?

In response to the many (tongue-in-cheek) inquiries regarding the sex and gender of ghosts, I had to give the challenging question much thought. It’s a certainty “O” reads these Rafu Shimpo accounts, just like the rest of you, so I finally decided a first name is in order, especially since we came up with a surname last week.

I now believe there are probably two “Os,” not just a single neutered entity. So the process called for both a male and female moniker. Japanese, of course. So I now have the pleasure of introducing the O-bah-kehs, Haruo and Haruko O. To be known as H2O, of course.

I will regard them with esteem and courtesy and expect you all to do the same. CR2s has not yet determined whether H & H are man and wife or siblings. If the later . . . hmmmmm . . .

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

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