Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Saw Mommy Kissing a Gaijin Underneath the Mistletoe Last Night

Now that the horror of it all is a couple of days behind, me I guess I can talk about it a bit...

One of the shitty things about living in Japan (or Miyazaki, at any rate) is that the Japanese seem to think that there are some jobs best left to us foreigners. Naturally enough, I guess, this includes stuff like being Santa Claus who, after all, ain't no Japanese. Now, you might be asking yourself, "yeah, but what does this have to do with my buddy Kyklops?" Well, in a perfect world it wouldn't have a fucking thing to do with me, but we all know the world ain't perfect, right? As some of you may know, I happen to have a four-year-old daughter. She attends kindergarten here in Miyazaki. Her kindergarten had a kind of year-end pageant this past Sunday. Each year Santa Claus visits the kids and delivers presents to them. I'm a gaijin. Santa is a gaijin. They asked me to be Santa...

The first few minutes went smoothly enough. I made my grand entrance into the hall ringing a bell and carrying a sack of presents and then made my way to the stage. While I was walking I could feel my "stomach" starting to slide down one leg of this one-piece outfit I was wearing, so I had to pause occasionally and nonchalantly (heh, yeah, right) try to "fix" myself. This perhaps sounds easier to do than it actually was. Anyway, I managed to arrive on-stage with my "stomach" intact and deliver the presents to the headmaster of the kindergarten. So far, so good, I thought. But then things got weird...

I've said here before that my Japanese ability is not very good. It's shit, in fact. Up to this point everything had been going according to script. Suddenly someone gets the bright idea to let a couple of the kids ask Santa some questions. This was definitely not in the script, but I thought maybe I could handle some simple questions in Japanese from the kids. The first kid asked me (Santa) where I was from. Hah! Easy one, I thought, as I answered in perfect Japanese that I was from the North Pole. The next one asked me why I only came at night. I thought at the time that I had done a reasonably good job of saying that I came at night because that's when little kids are sleeping. Later, my wife said that she wasn't really sure what I had said, but that it had sounded something like, "at night I get high so I can read the minds of little children and take their presents away." As you can imagine, "question period" came to an abrupt end, and after a quick farewell jolly old St. Nick was ushered off the stage...

You know, it would be nice to go through an entire day here without making someone think I'm a complete fucking idiot. On the bright side, maybe they won't ask me next year...


  1. An instant classic. I don't often say I laughed out loud (because it rarely happens in front of the computer), but I laughed hard enough that my nose kind of burns from snorting.

    Just think of what you could have done intentionally.

  2. Oh Kyklops...

    Great story, mate, sorry to laugh at your misfortune. Living abroad is full of stuff like that...

    I used to go out with an Italian girl and her parents moved here to England. I remember her mother inviting the born-again Christian neighbours round and offering them her husband's semen.

    "He ah makes it ah himself in the garden".

    Poor thing meant seeds. The look on their faces was priceless. I haven't laughed so much in years.

  3. When you blog your way into a book deal, this story will have to be prominently featured. Sheer hilarity.

  4. Garrett: Glad you had a laugh. Yes, everyone is very fortunate that I'm a pretty good-natured guy or those poor kids would have "Santa" nightmares for years.

    Chez: That's a funny story and exactly the kind of thing I run up against from time to time.

    Emarie: A book deal? Hah, in my fantasies! Thanks, though!

  5. Salamaat,
    hahahah this is too hilarious!

    Sorry mate, maybe by next time you can prove your japanese and salvage your reputation?

    thanks for sharing!

  6. Kylops - absolutely priceless! Once I'd seen the picture, and started reading the text, I was trying to read as quickly as possible, thinking "oh no, that's not him is it... he didn't get roped in did he... AH, he DID....!!!".

    I reckon you'll still be telling this story in 50 years time, brilliant! One of the unexpected and yet unrivalled joys of parenthood....

  7. Priceless, wish I'd been there.

  8. That's the sort of thing I'd say to kids on purpose if someone made me dress as santa. It could have been worse - I don't know if it's an urban legend but I've heard stories of Japanese store displays mixing up Santa & Jesus as well as Christmas and Easter. SO you may well have ended up being crucified.

  9. Maliha, Pal, and David: I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

    Mr. Angry: My "crucifixion" is scheduled for some time around Easter, when I'll no doubt be dazzling 'em with my portrayal of the Easter Bunny.