Protecting The Merchandise
Some people like to say, “Another day, another dollar.” Being in Japan, I’d like to say, “Another day, another yen.” Unfortunately, my version goes something like, “Another day, another game of dodgedick.”
This particular day, it was the same boy who’d once clapped his hands together and said in English, “please!” after I denied him an opportunity. Class ended, and he came up to talk to me about something. When the conversation ended he started lunging for my stuff. Complete with “ching!” sound effects with every attempt.
He was particularly motivated this time, and came at me pretty hard. I had to catch both his arms, and with those restrained he tried to use his knees to get a feel. I mean, I can understand setting a goal and going for it, but this of all things?!
I tried to reason with him. “Why do you want to touch that? Don’t you like girls?” I said in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear. His response? “Let me touch it! It’s big right? I bet you it’s big!” He then turned to the English teacher, a Japanese man in his mid-thirties, for confirmation. “It’s big, isn’t it?” My teacher’s response? “Please don’t compare him to us Japanese guys.”
So my teacher quietly retreated back to the teachers’ room while I had to keep restraining this boy well into the hallway, against his repeated cries, “Lemme touch it! It’s gotta be big!” The teacher did give me permission to drop him in a toilet, and flush it, but the bathrooms were a hallway away and this kid was no runt.
He asked me to give up, but when I made it clear I’d carry him down 3 flights of stairs to the teachers’ room if I had to, he finally gave up, but not before giving me an ominous, “I’ll get it one day.”
I returned to the teachers’ room, and the teacher asked me if the boy had managed to get a grab. I proudly exclaimed, “Hell no!” The teacher laughed and said, “I see,” but I do think I detected a hint of disappointment in his voice as well.
Another day, another game of dodgedick.