HORSE’S MOUTH: I Have Interesting Neighbors

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YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

(Published May 17, 2014)

If you are reading this, it’s probably Monday.

Usually when I go to Vegas, I write at least one column while I am there and have it emailed to The Rafu.

Since my trip is only two days, I don’t think I would like to be sitting in my room at The Cal writing a column, so I’m pounding the keyboard before I leave and Gwen will pick it up at my house in Gardena.

As you are reading this, I’m probably “donating” to the slot machine in the casino at The Cal. I guess I’m lucky I’m going to be in Vegas for two days.

As I mentioned, I needed a driver and the one who agreed to wheel my car had to back out due to some personal business. However, my youngest son said he would volunteer since we are staying for just two days. Probably most of you will think, “Who in the heck would go to Vegas for just two days?”

Well, you’re right. It’s me. After thinking about it, two days might be just right. After all, most of my time will be spent sitting in front of a slot machine and two days would seem like more than enough time. And I won’t have to ask the usual question — “Anyone want to loan me a buck?” — after I get back.

Maybe I might ask to borrow 50 cents. Heh, heh.

It’s a good thing I know some people at The Cal. After I canceled my original trip, then found my son as a driver, I contacted them and they said, “No worries, we’ll have your original reservation working again.”

So, as I said, I’ll be in Vegas as you read this. I’ll chat more about my trip when I get back.

I hope to bump into some friends whom I can write about. Usually, I meet about five or six friends in Vegas.

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It was blazing hot when we began our trip, so I expected that it would be the same as we cruise through the desert en route to Vegas. The heat is only an issue when traveling.

Once we check into the hotel, we never go outside until we are ready to return home.

Of course, we might drive out to our favorite restaurant for a meal, but it’s at night so heat isn’t that much of an issue.

Oh well, I hope my luck is as hot as the weather.

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 One good thing about our drive from Gardena to Vegas. The price of gas has dropped about 30 cents from last week, so when I filled up, it cost me about 5 bucks less, and we know that gas in Vegas is always a lot cheaper than in SoCal.

I guess if my luck in the casino is hot, I won’t have to think about the price of gasoline for my Toyota.

On the highway my car usually gives me about 30 miles to a gallon, so it’s a lot cheaper than if I had to drive around the Los Angeles area.

Gosh, I’m going to Vegas and I’m writing about the price of gas?

Maybe I should have stayed home.

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 As I mention from time to time, when I’m thinking about what to write in my column, I always sit on the front porch of our house and kick around ideas in my head.

Because I’m deep in thought, I don’t always keep up with what’s going on around me.

So I know that when the neighbors across the street come out of their houses to get into their cars to drive off, they look across the street and wave to me.

Since I’m deep in thought, I don’t often see their wave and so they must think I’m not a too friendly type of guy.

Perhaps that’s why the neighbor directly across from my house put up a sign on his front lawn the other day.

It’s printed on a red board with white letters. The message reads: “Trust Jesus …Carry On.”

Yeah, I’m trying to define what the words mean.

Since it’s aimed at my front porch, I assume that the words are meant for me.

Oh well. Maybe the next time I catch his eye, I’ll wave to him. No, not with my middle finger. Heh, heh.

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I know that I frequently complain about my computer not working and that I have to call my engineer son to drop by our house to see what the problem might be.

Well, I was thinking, maybe I’d better get my electric typewriter to the repair shop and switch to it when it is fixed.

My pre-computer age brain just can’t seem to adjust to the new equipment.

Oh well.

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Yes, my wife has a driver’s license and she can drive pretty well. However, I never let her handle the steering wheel of our vehicle when we go out shopping or to an event out of town.

Needless to say, she always says, “You don’t trust my driving.”

I always tell her, “It’s not that. It’s just that as long as I can drive, I want you to just ride along.”

The other day, I got an interesting email on my computer about women drivers, so I showed i to my wife, but she didn’t think too much about the article.

The heading alone must have soured her: “Women forget their parking space.”

According to the article, 2,000 drivers, half men and half women, were asked about their most embarrassing driving mistakes.

The top fear that frequently occurs is locking the car keys in the vehicle. The other is driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

More than half the drivers forget where they parked the car, making it the No. 1 embarrassment; 59 percent of women forget where they parked.

Among other “women woes” is driving away with something left on top of the car’s roof.

Also, a woman will try to open a car door and then realize it isn’t her car.

As far as “moving” problems are concerned, women drivers can’t back out of a parking space because the other cars are too close.

Of course, when I showed the above to my wife, she just laughed and said, “You’ll never find out if I’m guilty of all those things if you don’t let me drive.”

So, the next time we go shopping or anywhere else, she will be at the wheel of our Toyota.

And if I sound like a nervous wreck in my next column, you’ll know the reason.

(MAGGIE’S COMMENT: Hey, Mr. Y, I can’t resist writing this. My brother used to tell me that when a woman sticks out her hand from the car window, it just proves one thing — the window is open. Heh, heh).

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I guess I mentioned it a few times, but old friend Ed Fukumoto purchased a house just across the street from my place. So I assumed that we’d get together to discuss what’s gong on in J-Town and elsewhere.

I guess he must be too tied up because since he moved in, we’ve only chatted once. Well, maybe he doesn’t want to exchange words with a newspaper columnist.

If he reads this, which I doubt, I hope he drops by so we can chatter about what’s happening around town because I know he gets around more than most other Nisei.

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Speaking of J-Town and Japanese Americans, many in our community are mentioned in newspapers around L.A. County.

Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems like when a Japanese American is mentioned in a news article, rarely do I see any reference to the individual’s racial background.

On the other hand, when a Korean or Chinese American is in the article, it is frequently touched on that the individual is of Korean or Chinese ancestry.

Or is it just my overworked imagination?

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Well, a few more paragraphs and I can jump in my car and head for you-know-where.

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Speaking of names in publications, with the June election right around the corner, we voters get tons of material from various candidates for office.

If non-Japanese Americans think Japanese names are tough to pronounce, I wonder what their thoughts are on just the Republican candidates for governor, state controller and secretary of state might be.

Among those seeking the governor’s seat is Neel Kashkari, which I guess isn’t that difficult.

But what about one of the candidates for state controller? Her name is Ashley Swearengin. Can anyone tell me how to pronounce her name?

Then there’s a person seeking the secretary of state post. His name is Dan Schnur.

I like to see some hands from people who might want to call out the names of the three foregoing candidates.

Heck, if this keeps up, I may go back to the Democratic Party.

No, only kidding. I used to be a Democrat many years ago but for one reason or another, I switched to the GOP.

Yeah, the only name I’m comfortable with is that of a candidate for sheriff, Paul Tanaka.

I hope all the voters feel the same way about Paul as I do.

A Sansei sheriff? What else can I say but “Hooray”!

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Today’s closer is as follows:

Avocados

A wife asks her husband, “Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk? And if they have avocados, get six.”

A short time later, the husband comes back with six cartons of milk.

The wife asks, “Why did you buy six cartons of milk?”

He replied, “They had avocados.”

If you’re a woman, I am sure you’re going back to read it again. Men will get it the first time.

Water in the Carburetor

Wife: “There is trouble with the car. It has water in the carburetor.”

Husband: “Water in the carburetor? That’s ridiculous.”

Wife: “I tell you, the car has water in the carburetor.

Husband: “You don’t even know what a carburetor is. I’ll check it out. Where is the car?”

Wife: “In the swimming pool.”

The Phone

A young man wanted to get his beautiful blonde wife something nice for their first wedding anniversary, so he decided o buy her a cell phone. He showed her the phone and explained all its features.

Meg was excited to receive the gift and simply adored the new phone.

The next day Meg went shopping. Her phone rang and to her astonishment, it was her husband on the other end.

“Hi, Meg,” he said. “How do you like your new phone?”

Meg replied, “I just love it. It’s so small and your voice is clear as a bell, but there is one thing I don’t understand though.”

“What’s that, sweetie?” asked her husband.

“How did you know I was at Wal Mart?”

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via email at horsesmouth2000@hotmail.com. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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