Making a Stink


Went to a birthday party on Saturday night. Had a few drinks and had my clothes and hair saturated with smoke. Sunday, we had our ground-shaking experience. Unfortunately the earthquake came before I had bathed.

Japanese people are very concerned about safety, so our gas lines have various features for disconnecting supply. I don’t know how the system works (probably measuring pressure drops or something), but it kicked in after the earthquake. This meant that I headed to the children’s birthday party without showering.

At the party I got turned into a jungle gym for the kids; lots of throwing, spinning, pushing, etc. This energetic activity undoubtedly helped push any remaining aldehydes from Saturday’s drinks out through my pores. At some point a girl was using my loose, outer, wool shirt as a place to hide. It is very long and I wear it open, making it a great hiding place. She didn’t stay hidden long as she came out exclaiming kusai (臭い), which means ‘stinky’, but in this case maybe ‘pew!’ fits the bill.

Children’s honesty is refreshing and … well, embarrassing. We continued playing various games like tag and such, generating a lot more sweat. When I returned home, I was still unable to reset the meter. Much to my relief, Monday morning I was able to get the gas flowing again and took a long shower, scrubbing thoroughly.

I don’t want to know what the junior high students would say if I showed up smelling so ripe.


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