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Friday, July 26, 2013

SPEAKING JAPANESE


SPEAKING JAPANESE

 
My Dad was a chemical engineer, or as he liked to joke, “I are a chemical engineer.  In the late 1950’s his company was building a chemical plant in Japan.  Dad made several trips to Japan, and of course his counterparts from Japan visited the States.

One year around Christmas, Pop called my Mom in the afternoon and informed her that we would be having company for dinner, (yes, it was a male chauvinist world in the 50’s) two Japanese businessmen.

Mom dutifully prepared a roast and set a fancy table for our guests from Japan.  Keep in mind, at the time there were no Japanese cars in the States, “Made in Japan” was synonymous with cheap reproductions, and it was less than 15 years that we were at war with the Japanese…the “inscrutable” Japanese.

When Dad arrived at the front door with his two guests, Mom immediately met them with a deep bow.  The two guests bowed politely and then in the finest English with only a hint of an accent,

“Good evening Mrs. Hagy and thank you for inviting us into your home.”

Mom responded very slowly and loudly in her best Japanese,

“YOU VERY WELCOME.  COME SEE OUR HOME.  SEE TREE?  IT  CHRISTMAS TREE.  WE CELEBRATE HOLIDAY CALLED CHRISTMAS.  TREE PART OF CHRISTMAS DECORATION.”

My Dad quickly took mom by the arm and whispered, “Peg, they speak perfect English, there is no need to shout.”

“I know,” Mom replied, “I’m not an idiot!”

“COME FRIENDS OF MY HUSBAND, WE HAVE DINNER IN ROOM CALLED DINING ROOM.”

My brothers quickly pulled mom into the kitchen.

“Mom, they speak perfect English!”

“I know, why does everyone keep telling me that?”

“Because you are talking to them like the Lone Ranger talks to Tonto!”

“Oh really.”

“Yes, stop shouting, and use your verbs and articles.”

“Oh my…thank you for telling me, I had no idea I was talking like that.”

“Well Mom, you were.”

We all went back to the table for dinner, and Mom came in with a perfectly cooked Roast Beef on a platter.

“THIS MEAT.  I HOPE YOU LIKE!”

It may have been the longest dinner ever.

Strangely, my father’s guests from the other side of the world were quite smitten with my mother.

12 comments:

  1. I live with a man who speaks Spanish that way.....I don't think there is a cure.

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  2. I agree, not using verbs and adjectives is inexcuseable, but it's a well known fact all foreigners are hard of hearing.

    S

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  3. I'm sure she was doing her best! NICE WOMAN! YOU LUCKY BOY HAVE MAMA LIKE THAT!!

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  4. Fun story. And I'M smitten with anyone who serves me perfect pot roast.

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  5. She sounds like an awesome woman!

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  6. If I had to hop to it to get a roast on the table, I'm sure I'd be in the zone afterwards, too. lol

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  7. That's funny. I knew a woman who would speak louder and louder in any argument. The louder she got, the more right she was. At least that was her thinking on things.

    Blessed be your mum that she could whip up a roast on short notice.

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  8. My mom made pot roast every Sunday. I didn't appreciate it at the time.

    My husband has brought home men from China, Germany, and Colombia. When they make a business trip to his plant, he does not want them sitting all lonely in a motel room on the weekend. The Chinese guy wanted to ride a 4-wheeler and shoot a gun. My husband took a German guy with a peanut allergy to a catfish house that fries in peanut oil (so he ate nothing), and we sold a Toyota to the Colombian.

    They all had heavy accents, but spoke and understood English. Good thing.

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  9. THIS VERY FUNNY STORY!

    ((I love your stories of way back, especially those that feature your mom.))

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  10. Yes!!! I would NOT have been able to contain my laughter.

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  11. Oh that's too funny. Your Dad must have been beside himself.

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