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JAPs

posted 4/12/2013 2:04:01 PM |
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  Wordsofwit

It is an interesting set of homonyms comprising of two abbreviations and one acronym denoting three different things: jalapeno peppers, Japanese and Jewish American princesses.

My six year-old grandson is highly intelligent. He will remember related things and combine them to widen his knowledge base. But, sometimes his reasoning is faulty resulting in false assumptions.

I watch him weekdays in the summer. We will play board games, cards and, of course, watch TV. Beyond the cartoons and nature related shows, we will watch things of interest to me such as baseball games and documentaries that he also enjoys. I particularly like military history and am a World War II aficionado.

We had watched some World War II documentaries and two things were imprinted into his mind. One involved the Japanese atrocities in China, particularly what came to be known as the rape of Nanking where up to 300,000 men, women and children were slaughtered. The sight of dead children lying in the street was very powerful to him.

About a week later we watched a show about the Australians fighting the Japanese in New Guinea. The Japanese soldiers were cut off from their supplies and resorted to cannibalism. A former Australian soldier, referring to them as Japs, recounted finding his mates who had been filleted from the waist down. He asked me if that meant that they had eaten people and I said that it did.

On a Saturday a couple of weeks later he, his mother and I went on a shopping excursion in Columbia, a very upscale affluent city of 110,000 people. It was just one of those days of on going misbehaving. His mom was constantly having to say: “Get over here.”, “Leave that alone.”, “No, we are not buying it.”, “Watch where you’re going.”, etc. all combined with his back talk. She was becoming quite agitated to the point of threatening to take him to the restroom to nonverbally drive home her point.

One of my favorite restaurants to dine at when I lived in Dallas/Fort Worth was Kobe Japanese Steak House. It is similar to Benihana but much better. It was one of my primary choices for taking a date as the Improv comedy club was within walking distance. It is a dinner and a show. About a dozen diners are seated in a horseshoe around a grill and treated to a meal of between nine and a dozen courses. The chef, usually Japanese, will show off entertaining showmanship like flicking shrimp up into his chef’s hat. They also serve a dark Japanese beer that is not served anywhere else in the states. I had taken my daughter there once and she was in awe.

As we were driving on the freeway during our shopping excursion, I was stunned and delighted to see a sign for Kobe Japanese Steak House, next exit. I explained the unique qualities of Kobe beef and my grandson heard part of it, “The Japanese eat a lot of weird things that we wouldn’t eat, but they pay top dollar. They like to get them young, pamper and fatten them up for about a year before they are ready to eat.”

It was a hot day and she asked if I wanted to stop in for a beer because she knew I loved that dark Japanese beer. I, of course, thought it was a great idea.

As we got ready to turn into the parking lot he asked, “Mommy, where are we going?”

“We’re going to a Japanese restaurant.”

He began to whimper, “I don’t want to go!”

“I don’t care if you want to go or not, we’re going!! I am sick and tired of putting up with this and I am not going to put up it any more!!!”

He began to scream and howl, “No mommy!! (WAAA), No mommy!!! (WAAA), please don’t sell me to the Japs!!!!! (WAAA)”

This took us both aback. So we stopped the car as he was beside himself, freaked out, crying and traumatized. We finally figured out what was going on with him and blew off going in. He was well behaved the rest of the day.

He still clearly remembers this. If he has been good and I have to go into Columbia shopping, I will take him with me and treat him to Cici’s pizza buffet, which is only about a hundred yards from Kobe.

Last Friday there was no school due to a teachers’ in service day so I took him to Cici’s. He pointed at Kobe and said, “They’re Japs. They kill and eat little kids.” I explained that they don’t and after some questioning explained the cannibalism. He understood but steadfastly said, “I am still not going there!”

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Comments:

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sawduster

Apr 12 @ 3:54PM  
sounds like it will be awhile before you get to enjoy the Kobi beef again, or the brew.
dr3arms

Apr 12 @ 3:54PM  
Very well written!
sugarnspice005

Apr 12 @ 3:57PM  
Oh boy....isn't it amazing what the young will retain?
TwistAndShout

Apr 12 @ 5:34PM  
It's easy to forget what it's like being a little kid. Their minds work all the time and to them the world is full of possibilities, both good and bad, that would never occur to the adults around thm.

In this case, it was a terrifying possibility supported by all the evidence he had at his disposal.
RJ53

Apr 12 @ 6:42PM  
I can see where he got that, Perhaps that is why some shows are best left to kids a little older who will not jump to the wrong conclusions,

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JAPs