CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Forget Oh–Bah–Mah, We Have ‘Oh–Bah–Keh’

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WIMPY1By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

#WTHneedshelp. OMG. @elakrh. Wowzus!

Can you imagine CR2S ever being wordless! Speechless, yes, but drawing a blank at the keyboard? I mean, hey, can pigs fly?

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Crossroads to Somewhere (CR2S) introduced an enigmatic “Oh-bah-keh” to Rafu Shimpo readers three years ago. Bursting onto the scene in March of 2012, the inexplicable phenomenon has become a column staple. Its antics are so unbelievable and implausible, I still don’t understand, let alone explain.

There have been so many twists and turns, followers can now be separated into two distinct camps: Avid believers who are disappointed if I don’t make periodic updates, as opposed to Doubting Tamotsus who find the never-ending story rather old hat and have a ho hum attitude. Yet careful to be not quite disbelievers.

Which is understandable. I find myself in a quandary. I have hesitated to report on the phenomenon several times, not so much in doubt as questioning the extent of reader interest. Let’s face it, even “Phantom of the Opera” ran out of gas on Broadway.

So yeah, how many different ways can an apparition’s activities be described? Other than reciting time and date of door raps and a ringing telephone at odd hours, what else is there report and comment on? If truth be told, from my point of view, it’s been a kick in the glute writing about “O’s” presence; great fun, but a trying challenge every time out.

So here we are. And why the extra confusion? I have a suggestion. Why don’t you take hold of my hand and we’ll walk the walk together? While I talk the talk:

The year 2014 ended with a fairly routine number of December visits: Ten separate knock-knocks, but nary a single telephone ring the entire month. In the January report, after early fear and concern that “O” just might be preparing to disappear from the scene, the month ended in a flurry of drop-bys and the return (twice) of the one-ring phone rings.

When February made its bow, there was an air of over-confidence and complacency. Column subjects ran the gamut from Super Bowl to a review of “Fresh Off the Boat,” a new television series. I am aware that nothing can match “O” in the long history of CR2S subjects, but hey, you can’t be writing about a ghostly presence every week. If you’re any good at all, you have to be more versatile than a one-trick pony.

So I failed to take notice the nights were slipping by without an “O” presence. After an eighteen-day absence, whammo! She not only returned, but with a vengeance and attitude!

Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 3:03 a.m., the welcome sound of a firm “knock/knock” pierced the early morning silence. “I’m baaack” was the obvious message. There was no need to turn on the lamp. I didn’t even get up to go the benjo. It was with a satisfied smile I returned to dreamland. Message received — she was baaack and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Then at 5:05, two hours later, the bedside phone once again emits the familiar single ring. “Enuf already” was my immediate reaction. No need to overplay your return, I get the message. [Yeah, I must confess: A near-human relationship has developed, which means conversational exchange are sometimes held; silently, of course.]

And then, as if aware a new twist had to be added to make the visit memorable:

It is 5:07 a.m., exactly two minutes after the phone ring. I’m wide awake when the distinct click of the intercom system being turned on can be heard. Since a variety of announcements are made during the course of the day, Keiro Retirement Home residents are aware of its presence. [All apartments are connected to the communication system. It is also used to privately contact individual units.]

But the click and ever so brief static noise that follows does not come from the speaker located high on the wall near the ceiling; it comes from the cradled telephone, just like the ring two minutes earlier. The instrument is serving as the intercom speaker!

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Baffling comes close. It’s long past simply being mysterious. How about a daily double of confusion and bewilderment?

Put yourself in my situation: You’re sound asleep and awakened by raps on your bedroom door. Again and again. Then in addition to a variety of other weird happenings, your land-line telephone occasionally emits a ring in the early hours of the morning. All this continues for three years. Now tell me: How would you react? Feel? Explain?

By the way, my name is William, not (Brian) Williams.

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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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