I was sitting in my favorite lunch spot in Nakano the other day, a Japanese version of a greasy spoon that as far as I can tell doesn’t have a name.
It’s down a wide alley, up a flight of stairs, and its clientele is usually male, blue-collar workers who live nearby, in Nakano or the other towns on the Chuo corridor between Shinjuku and Mitaka.
The TV is always on at The Big Feed, so-named by my predecessors at Nakano Nova for the low-priced huge portions that get served there. Yesterday, I saw the news on a Japanese lawmaker who claimed in the electoral races of last November that he graduated from UCLA.
Nothing wrong with that, except that his degree seems to not exist and the school up until now didn’t know he existed, either. I did some Japan news site surfing and came across this article, where we learn that the poor politican claims to have attended most of the universities, colleges and other facilities of higher learning in Southern California.
Now, some people find this kind of behavior deceitful. Misleading, some say. Lying, others shout.
Me, I think this Mr. Junichiro Koga, representing beautiful Fukuoka – or at least a part thereof – has the right idea. Who wants to be tied to one past? If you’re going to ask silly questions about where I was and what I was doing 25 years ago, I’d probably say that I was pooping in a diaper somewhere.
Or maybe I was the youngest expedition leader on Mt. Everest. Ten years ago, in fact, I dropped the test tube that contained within the only viable cure for cancer while I was working as an assistant at UCSF. Millions of deaths since then are the fault of my quaking, butter-fingered hands.
Six years ago I suffered a crippling injury, the legs in my bones shattered by an oncoming Mack truck. I had jumped in front of it to push to safety a crying five-year-old girl looking for her lost puppy.
The doctors told my that the damage to my bones was repairable, but the muscles had been ripped apart. I would be confined to a wheelchair until death. Fortunately, Dr. Lisa Dhanvantari of New Dehli had been experimenting with a physical therapy regimen involving kaballah, shiatsu and large doses of Hydroxy-chloroquine sulfate. I was able to walk again, only seven weeks after the accident.
See how much fun this is? If I’m going to have a past, it’ll be multiple choice or none at all. Just ask the estimable Junichiro Koga.