Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Monday, May 26, 2008

Listening But Not Seeing

Sometimes reality trickles by like a creek in a culvert. At other times it hits you in the face like a door you forgot to open before walking through it.

As has been becoming too usual for comfort, this weekend had wound up getting wiped out by sudden obligations (read "me and my big mouth"). Things started out innocently enough. Saturday the 24th was the first full rehearsal of the mass choir they've been putting together for the upcoming Kashima Music Fest (glorious fanfare, instrumentation uncertain at this point...). It took place at Ye Olde Academy, with the illustrious Mssr. Maestro Ogawa tearing his hair out taking charge of it all. Naturally, I offered to help. Naturally, I was obligated to do so.

As it turned out, I really didn't have to do all that much. I basically had to strap on a "STAFF" armband and stand at a strategic location somewhere between the guest parking lot (located somewhere out in the boonies)(wherever the hell a "boony" is...) and the cul-de-sac at the school's main entrance so I could guide the masses to the right place and, hopefully, keep them out of trouble.

May Academy 1

The guiding part was easy. The crowds found their way to the main gate (just out of sight in the above photo), went past the tiny and immediately-filled "main guest parking lot" (visible to the right), and entered my sphere of influence, or circle of influence, actually, so I could point them toward the main stairway. There was nothing to it, and I mainly just had fun greeting people, some of whom were familiar faces I hadn't seen in years.

Keeping them out of trouble was another story. For the most part it was no problem, but at one point the giant charter buses that we use as school buses pulled into the cul-de-sac, loaded up, and started to leave. Unfortunately, when one of those things pulls out, coming from the middle lane (the right side of the cul-de-sac) in the above photo, it requires the full width of the lane to make the turn.

May Academy 2

I mean, the front bumper of one of those monsters literally brushes right up against the hedge on the outer rim of the turn. There is NO ROOM in between. Anyway, when the buses fired up their engines and started to roll, a crowd was just coming toward the cul-de-sac, so I called over to them and asked them to wait. Most of them got the message and stopped. One trio of arrogant-looking, gray-haired men, however, paid me no heed and kept walking forward. I hollered at them more urgently, telling them the buses were pulling out and they were in danger. They replied by sneering at me and pressing forward...right into the path of the bus. The driver slammed on his brakes, stopping with less than a foot (30cm) to spare between his bumper and the hedge...and even less space before the crotchety trio. Giving the bus nothing more than a cursory glare, the old men squeezed their way through the space, waved me off irritably, and continued on their way.

Some people have serious attitude problems. Frankly, I almost wished the bus's brakes had been out of adjustment...but I knew I'd have to accept some responsibility if they had been squashed like a trio of cockroaches.

May Academy 3

At least it was just comfortably warm outside, if a bit on the muggy side. It was still a nice respite from the March weather we'd been having. I also enjoyed being surrounded by all that green for a change.

The real fun...and the revelation...came later. That will be in the next post.

13 Comments:

  • Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!

    By Anonymous Dave, at 6:03 AM  

  • Weren't you relegated to directing traffic last year?

    Slightly muggy weather is alright, it makes me feel sort of protected and cocooned.

    By Blogger Olivia, at 10:16 AM  

  • You say that, but you would have been horrified if the bus would have slipped that cog of comfortable reality and changed everything.

    Nonetheless, stupid is stupid.

    Glad the weather held out.

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 2:49 PM  

  • L.O.L. You have another option to be a traffic cop if you wanna changing your present career.

    By Anonymous Popcorn_Queen, at 11:21 AM  

  • Dave
    Even if they're gray-haired torpedoes, eh?

    Olivia
    I have to do safety patrol duty two or three times a year, m'lady. This was different.

    Snabudon
    Yes, you're right. The paperwork alone would have been a bother.

    Popcorn Queen
    I doubt it. With my temper, if I were a real cop, I probably would have either arrested those three men on some trumped-up charge or had a nightstick party.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 8:43 PM  

  • There are gray haired men who are wise, even holy. And then there are those who are stupid, and um ...holes.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 10:19 AM  

  • Nice contradiction in the cool calm photos and the story.
    Here it is huge Big Doubles that cause fear on the road.
    w.
    Must get out of here quick or my computer jams up!

    By Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog, at 4:16 PM  

  • Over here, most times it's the young ones who are "holey".

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 5:40 PM  

  • Hi MM,

    Yesterday, I received a parcel from you, thank you so much!!! Is it for my b'day present? Hehehe... I'll blog about it in My Days blog soon.

    Thanks,
    Selba

    By Blogger Selba, at 9:10 PM  

  • I got a giant charter bus brushing up against the hedges.... RIIIGGGHHTTT HEEEERRRREEE!!

    By Anonymous Some Guy, at 2:39 AM  

  • Yes, kill the humans, but do it in a "green" way: with Mass Transit!

    By Blogger Corn Cob Bob, at 2:42 AM  

  • Will NOT!!

    By Anonymous Some Romanian Gymnist, at 2:42 AM  

  • Your spelling of "gymnast" is incorrect!

    INCONSEQUENTIAL!!!!

    By Anonymous Philrod Piddlewaif, at 3:10 AM  

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