A good friend of mine who I met in Korea now lives in Aomori in Japan, which is in the north of Honshu – the biggest of Japan’s islands. I sent him an email today to find out if he had been affected by the tragic earthquake and tsunami that has devastated the coast of Japan. As of now (March 12 at 7pm) over 1,300 people are either dead or missing. The damage to coastal property is probably going to number in billions of every currency.
Jim is a great person. One of the best things about Jim is that he has more personal anecdotes that would make the normal punter shudder than he has gold teeth. He has a lot but I’m not sure whether he has more real or gold teeth. I’ll have to ask him next time I see him. Anyway, Jim is a bit of an optimist regardless of the obstacles thrown in front of him he is usually quite up for a laugh and doesn’t let much get him down – at least that’s my experience with the bugger.
“so I was shovelling horseshit from a stable when Azusa, my boss yelled JI_SHIN (earthquake) which in japan is like saying MOSQUITO or something about as dramatic. it felt like surfing, or standing on a um…moving floor. Quite fun at first. Then the tempo increased to the point of “ahh….better check the roof to see if its falling” but no it didnt and it subsided. I checked the horses. They were staring into middle distance. One of them flicked a nostril. Japanese horses dont predict earthquakes.
Then I went to dump the horseshit on the horseshit pile. It was a lot of horseshit. While standing the number 2 happened. The overhead power lines swayed rhythmically. Then the horses in the lower paddock jumped. Then there was a low, omniscient (good word that) rumble to my left, where the volcano is.
“ahh….horse shit!” I thought. But it stopped, and all was quiet. PHEW!
So I fineshed shovelling the horseshit (I love my job) and said goodbyes and went down the mountain back to town. The traffic lights were down, so using my taxi driver skills I pushed through and made it back.
Yoko and the boys were huddled in the middle room under a still swaying lightbulb. I think they were waiting for the final blow. All power was down but luckily Yoko had a tranny (transistor radio, not transvestite) to keep up to date with the stories of immense destruction and other great stuff to keep the spirits up. Japanese love DOOM. As it was -2 and snowing outside we got the kero heater going. Years back I bought two, in case of an emergency. Gas and water were ok so we cooked up a curry soup, and as it was Friday night I bought out the scotch and guitar. We sat under the light from my emergency survival torches which Yoko said we would never need. HA!
After I took Mutuski out for a walk around, to suss out the situation. The radio said power was off indefinitely. A few hotels and government buildings had generators but aside from that it was BLACK. People were in a hotel cafe staring into their coffees. The hostess barlights were off for the first time in the history of Aomori. I think they even survived the US bombing of WW2. So it felt like THE END OF DAYS.
So we got home and after a few more scotches and earthquakes we all went to sleep.
This morning I woke and THE TV WAS BACK ON! showing non stop footage of the destruction and carnage. A friend of mine left Tokyo to live up here because he said it was going to be a safe place after Nostradamus’ predictions. He was RIGHT!
Thank you for all your concern. We are all good.”
That is the kind of story you won’t read in any newspaper. I imagine Jim is still working on that bottle of scotch.