Another day of boredom at my desk at the Ghetto School drove me outside to take a walk. I eventually ended up in the gym, where I found the then ichinensei playing dodgeball. In Japan, they play the organized dodgeball, with two teams and a divided court– the dodgeball you see in the Ben Stiller movie. This is quite different from the dodgeball I played when I was a kid, which was just half of us standing in a circle, with half standing within. The people on the outside would lob balls at the people on the inside. Should one of the insiders get pegged, he’d become an outsider. This continued until there was only one kid left. Believe it or not, I was actually a really small kid, so I was an ace at dodgeball.
In the absence of enough people to make a circle, we played against a wall. The only problem was that the particular wall we choose to play against was really old and wooden. It was cracking and splintering, and even had nails sticking out of it. No less than two boys (because only us boys were stupid enough to play dodgeball against a wall with nails sticking out of it) would go down every recess period, a point that drove our school nurse absolutely fucking nuts.
Us: Nurse! Nurse! You gotta help Bobby, he cut up his back against the wall!
Nurse: The fuck? Again? Wouldn’t you think by now NOT to play dodgeball against an old wooden wall with splinters and nails and shit sticking out of it?
Us: I don’t understand. What are you getting at?
The ichinensei’s dodgeball game looked interesting enough, so I decided to stay and watch. Ms. Americanized was there helping to supervise, so I joined her. Much as you might expect, the boys were going crazy at the sanctioned opportunity to beat each other senseless with dodgeballs. With the bad boys in particular, it was like they’d found their second calling. They were jumping up, spinning around, doing backflip throws… OK, maybe they weren’t doing backflip throws, but they were going all out with the Wachowski Bros Matrix-Dodgeball shit.
The girls on the other hand, well, what might you expect from 12-year-old Japanese girls? A girl would catch the ball, timidly run up to the line, and give the ball a pathetic little toss. If the ball came close to hitting someone, she’d gasp, apologize profusely, and then shuffle back to her side of the court. A girl on the other team would repeat the process. *stepstepstep* *pitiful toss* “Oooh! Sorry!” *stepstepstep*
Ms. Americanized and I were on the girls’ side of the court, as we felt it to be safer than the boys’ side. Breasts Girl walked by and greeted me with a hearty “Hey Nigga!” Now, I was content to just bury my face in my hands and softly lament to myself the gradual decline of the world’s youth. Ms. Americanized, however, being one of a very small percentage of Japanese people to actually know what had just happened, was taken by surprise. “…What the fuck?!” She exclaimed.
It was only later that I realized what a truly unique position I was in. At one point, I had a 12-year-old Japanese girl walk by me and say, “Hey Nigga!” and then the very next second, have a 27-year-old Japanese woman react by saying “…What the fuck?!” All in English. This is something I’m pretty sure has never occurred in the history of the universe, ever, and may never occur again. I feel kind of honored to have been witness to such a once in a lifetime event.
Ms. Americanized pulled Breasts Girl aside and gives her a serious lecture about that word. I didn’t get to hear what she said, but it must have worked because I never heard Breasts Girl use it again. She probably said something about how, if she were to use that word in certain parts of America, she’d get shot dead 50 times before she even hit the ground.
With Breasts Girl set straight, Ms. Americanized and I continued to have our conversation, not really paying attention to either game. We were suddenly interrupted by a loud *WHUMP* as a stray dodgeball hit the wall directly between our heads. This was no ordinary flying dodgeball either. This was the Dodgeball From Hell. A little bit more to the right or left, and either I or Ms. Americanized would no longer have a head. We both looked down towards the boys’ court, assuming one of them had gotten really wild and let one fly. Nope, that game was proceeding normally. Huh. Well, then, if it wasn’t the boys… surely… it couldn’t have been…?
We both looked at the nearby girls’ court. Standing in the center of the court was the smallest ichinensei girl, and let me emphasize this in case you missed it, THE SMALLEST ICHINENSEI GIRL, standing meekly with her hands above her head. “Oops! Sorry!” she called out. The ball was returned and the game continued. Another small ichinensei girl got the ball. But it was no longer the *stepstepstep* *pitiful toss* “Oooh! Sorry!” *stepstepstep* it once was. No. She ran forward and chucked that Dodgeball like Moses hurling the Ten Commandments off the mountain. Complete with a Zena Warrior Princess war-cry that could bring any man to his knees. Suddenly, the cutesy ichinensei girls dodgeball game had become *run* “AI-YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA!” *dodgeball chuck with all the Unleashed Furies of Hell behind it*.
Ms. Americanized and I looked at each other. Without one word between us, we quickly moved over to the boys’ court, where it was much, much safer.
Let me tell you, there is nothing, NOTHING scarier than a Japanese girl with the Unleashed Furies of Hell behind her. And I say this as a large black man. If I somehow found myself in a house, and upstairs was Freddy Krueger, Jason, the masked guy from the Scream movies, Predators, Aliens, and Celine Dion singing the Titanic song, and downstairs were a group of Japanese girls in K-Groove Jack Bauer berserker mode, I’d go upstairs and take my chances. I’d actually have a remote chance of coming out of it alive.
In class, we sometimes play a game called Fruits Basket. Everyone sits in a circle, with one person standing in the center. The person in the center says “People who…” and fills in some kind of trait, like “People who wear glasses” or “People who come to school by bike.” Everyone to whom that sentence applies must change their seat, while the person in the center tries to get a seat. As you can imagine, this game gets pretty heated, and while a lot of the boys behavior is to be expected (pulling away chairs and restraining each other), it’s the girls who get downright vicious. We played in one sannensei class, and as these two girls were going for the same chair, one girl took the other by the shoulders, and threw that bitch down to the ground like a rag doll. I’ve seen gentler takedowns in the WWE. It was pure instinct, she didn’t bow or respectfully give up for the good of the game, she just took her out and sat in the chair. 50 years from now, she’ll be an old lady obasan who’ll have no qualms about Mortal Kombat Scorpion teleport-punching some random Gaijin out of the way for a seat as she boards a local train.
Hell hath no fury like a Japanese woman scorned, I guess.