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Friday
Oct152010

Throw me a feckin' bone, will ye!

   We’d just had a three-day weekend, so I asked the kid if he had done anything fun.

   “I went out,” he replied.

   “Out?”

   “Yes.”

   “Where to?”

   “The park.”

   “You went out to a park.”

   “Yes.”

   “By yourself?”

   “No. With my friend.”

   “You went to the park with your friend?” I said. “What for? A walk?”

   “No.”

   “Then, what?”

   “Baseball.”

   “Baseball? Were you and your friend playing catch?”

   “No. We played baseball.”

   “The two of you?”

   “No.”

   “No?” The conversation was going nowhere fast. “Who else were playing with?”

   “Pardon me?” he said, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. They were so clouded over with smudges I don’t know how he could possibly have seen through them.

   I asked him how many people he was playing baseball with.

   “Ten,” he answered.

   “Well that makes more sense. So you went to the park with some friends and played baseball.”

   “Yes.”

   “Friends from school here, from this university?”

   “No.”

   “Friends from high school?”

   “No.”

   “Who were you playing with, then?”

   “I don’t know.”

   “What d’ya mean you don’t know?”

   “Do they go to another university?” I asked, wondering if he had taken part in some kind of inter-collegiate game, or something.

   “Maybe.”

   “Maybe?” I gave my head a good shake, and tapped the side of it as trying to dislodge water from my ears. “Who the hell are these people you played with? Are they strangers?”

   “No.”

   “No?” C’mon, throw me a feckin’ bone! “Friends?”

   “Yes, friends.”

   “And they don’t go to school here.”

   “Yes.”

   “Yes, they do?”

   “No.”

   “No, they don’t?”

   “Yes.”

   Argh!

   “Okay, let me get this straight,” I said, taking a deep breath to keep my blood from boiling over. “You went to a park with ten of your friends to play baseball, right?”

   “Yes.”

   Progress!

   “And these friends, where did you meet them?”

   “At the park.”

   “Agh!! I mean, where did you first meet them?”

   “In kindergarten.”

   Let me tell you, teaching English in Japan can sometimes feel like dentistry.

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