Some of you will recall the last time I invaded this space to discuss the great sense of loss I had at fine art from my swinging bachelor times coming to unfortunate ends in the course of daily life in marriage.
Life, my dear readers, as they say, has happened again. This time, alas, I have nowhere to lay the blame but squarely on my own shoulders. Behold, this glorious artifact from my youth, now quite literally cut off at the knees. I give you あしたジョー, or "Tomorrow Joe" for those of you without Japanese language translation software.
This particular glorious piece of Japanese sculpture requires a bit of digression into my life back in the gloriously early 2000s, circa July 2001. I, being an up and coming summer missionary wannabe and imagining myself to be a bit of a Japanese scholar, signed up for a 2 month stint in Tokyo with SEND International, an organization that my family had had some positive relationships with going back before my time. That summer, beyond being the time of my adopting hair-dos not seen since the era of Billy Idol and Joey Ramone, also proved to be a time for learning about all things Japanese high school, as seen through the eyes of an uncomprehending white guy who's language ability extended about as far as "Domo arigato..." etc. You, no doubt, are familiar with the song. But I digress. Towards the end of the summer, I, along with a smattering of counselors and other staff, descended on a camp for 3 weeks of high school camps. For me, this amounted to sleeping in a cabin with about 10 Japanese high school guys, pretending I knew what they were saying, and repeatedly muttering my catch phrase of the time "しばくぞ、ボケ!" (roughly translated, I'm going to beat you down), though in this case it was a rough term of affection between myself and the aforementioned high school guys. Fast forward about 1 month to the big send-off party for me and my fellow summer missionary. One of the high school guys from my cabin that summer found me in the crowd (admittedly, not very hard, being the only white guy with a blond mohawk there), and gave me the late Tomorrow Joe as a parting gift.
That dearly beloved bobble head has stayed by side these 10 years, most often residing on the night stand next to me. His devil-may-care grin has watched over my sleeping form ever so faithfully, never allowing Bison, Tyson, or any other real or imaginary boxer to interrupt my Zzzzs. It was this loyal companion who I so ill-treated this morning, as you can see above. In a moment of grogginess, reaching blearily for my phone cum alarm at 6 am, I severed Joe from his feet. Shed a tear, or three, and then take a moment of silence for this poor piece of statuary, so slighted by his master.
Joe, I'll miss you. We'll see if superglue can make you good as new.