At the School of Peace, near the end of the school year the ichinensei do skits based on random sentences from the textbook. They take something like “How many comic books do you have?” and then write a skit out for it. This is kind of an event, as other teachers from around the area come to take a look at the students’ English abilities.
I gotta say, skits are quite possibly my favorite aspect of the job. For a country that redefines thinking inside of the box, the kids sure are creative. I’d wonder what happens to make them into the Borg-like drones they’ll eventually become, but being a part of the assimilation process myself I can see it clearly.
Anyway, here’s some of what the kids came up with. Roughly one zillion times better than Japanese TV.
* * *
This one started off with a King commissioning a knight called… Meatball. Yes, a Knight named Meatball. Meatball went out into the countryside, doing the things that Knights named Meatball are prone to do. However, somewhere in the process he became drunk off his own power and had to be stopped. So then the King commissioned another Knight (this one did not have a name, although I was kind of hoping for Pastrami or something else along the sandwich meat theme) to stop Meatball. They had a fight… which at first consisted of the Second Knight throwing old dirty socks at Meatball, who dodged them in Matrix Bullet Time by leaning backwards and flailing his arms a bit. Meatball then picked up one of those music recorders, and used it as a baseball bat to knock the dirty socks back to the Second Knight, defeating him. The Second Knight retreated back to the King.
Meatball learned of the King’s treachery, and went after the King. There was another brief fight with the Second Knight, and Meatball absolutely walloped him. Meatball then prepared to assassinate the King by throwing more dirty socks at him, but then a Third Knight jumped in front, taking a dirty sock to the chest and dying. This was literally this boy’s only role in the skit, to take a dirty sock for the King. Man, now that’s devotion. If I ever become King of some country, I hope to find subjects loyal enough to take a dirty sock to the chest for me.
So then Meatball and the King got into a fist fight, and the King eventually beat Meatball, which just goes to show… well… I don’t know what really. If it weren’t for the intense action, I’d have no idea what the hell went on in this skit, despite it being in English.
Oh, and the textbook sentence this performance was based on? “This is Ben. He’s an old friend.” I have no idea.
And the boy who played Meatball, yup… that’s his new nickname. I know his real name, knew it before, but now I look at him and “Meatball” is the first thing that comes to mind. I’m not the only one, as sometimes some of the other kids call him Meatball as well. I’ve decided that ignorance is bliss on this one.
Incidentally, Meatball is Snuzzlebunny’s younger brother.
* * *
In another skit, Ultimate Sweetness played Catherine, a young school girl. Catherine’s father came to wake her up for school, but Catherine blew him off to sleep in. Then as Catherine was catching her Extra Five Minutes, some bad funky shit started to happen (as evidenced by the other two girls closing the windows in the performance hall and making storm noises). Something happened to Catherine, but we can’t see it as Ultimate Sweetness has concealed herself underneath a blanket.
Catherine’s father came to wake her again, saying now her friend Alice (I don’t know where they get the names) had come to see why she’s late for school. Catherine finally got out of bed to realize that in those five minutes of extra sleep, she had turned into a cockroach! Ultimate Sweetness lets out a little “Kyaa!” scream as she looked in the mirror, but since it is Ultimate Sweetness, it was just about the cutest thing you will ever hear.
Ultimate Sweetness could never be an actress in a horror movie; it just wouldn’t work. The killer would be closing in on her, and then she’d scream, then the audience would let out a collective “Awww! That’s so cute!” Any and all potential horror would be effectively obliterated. Even Jason would have to put down the chainsaw. “Aw fuck, I can’t kill you. You’re just too cuddly-wuddly!”
Catherine, now horrified to be a cockroach, told Alice to go onto school without her, as she felt sick. She then fell into a crying heap on the floor, sobbing over how horrible it was to be a cockroach. She cried herself to sleep, and when she woke up, she found her father still yelling at her to get up for school. Catherine leaped out of bed, to find that she’s no longer a cockroach. Turns out it was all a bad nightmare! Relieved, Catherine got dressed and went to school.
The moral of the story? Make sure to go to bed early, so you can get up early for school. Or else you might wake up as a cockroach. No really, that was the actual closing of the story, “Wake up early, or you might wake up as a cockroach.”
Damn, if this was true, I’d be one magnificent cockroach by now.
* * *
This skit started off in a bank, with one boy as a teller and another as a customer. A third boy walked in.
Boy 3: This is a robbery! Put your hands up!
Boy 1, 2: Oh no! (They fall over anime-style, complete with their legs sticking up in the air.)
Boy 3: No, that’s legs! (Takes Boy 2 hostage) Give me all your money! Or he dies!
Boy 1: That’s okay. I don’t really like him.
Boy 2: You’re terrible!
Took the words right outta my mouth.
Boy 1: You can kill him if you want to, I don’t care. But you can’t have the money. I will protect it!
Boy 3: Your funeral.
Boy 1: You can’t kill me! I am Mr. Incredible! (Here, he puts on a “Mr. Incredible” eye mask made out of paper).
Boy 3: Let’s fight.
Boy 1: Okay.
Wow. I like how civil that was. “Shall we battle to the death?” “Why certainly!” You really can’t beat Japanese manners I suppose.
They had a short fight. Boy 1, aka Mr. Incredible got his ass whupped.
Boy 2: Oh no! Now I’m done!
Boy 3: You are not Mr. Incredible. I will kill him now. (Goes to shoot his gun) Oh no! I forgot my bullet!
All three: Oh no!
I’m almost certain I read something just like this on Yahoo’s Odd News page at some point.
* * *
Three girls went to an ice cream shop. The first two girls ordered a single scoop, but the third girl (who is, incidentally, Porn Star’s little sister) ordered a triple scoop.
Girl 2: Triple scoop?! What about your diet?
Girl 3: I skip my diet today.
The girls then got their ice cream. For props, they’d made ice cream cones out of paper. They talked a bit while “eating”, and after a while the first two girls folded down the scoop of ice cream to simulate having eaten it. Girl 3 didn’t say anything during this part, simply smiling while eating her ice cream. After a while, she folded down all three of her scoops.
Girl 1: (noticing Girl 3) Wow! Did you eat your ice cream!
Girl 3: Yes! It was really delicious!
Girl 2: All three scoops?!
Girl 3: I couldn’t stop.
Girl 1: …Be careful. Don’t be a fat pig.
Goddayum. Remind me to never eat a triple-scoop ice cream cone in front of Japanese girls.
* * *
Velma Jr. and her friend went shopping in a ritzy New York designer clothes shop. They were being attended to by two store clerks, who were plenty helpful, recommending all sorts of nice fashions to them. For props, the girls simply removed their uniform blazers to use as the clothes they were looking at.
At some point, I guess one of the store clerks got pissed off with Velma Jr. and her friend’s pickiness. She took one of the uniform blazers and, literally out of nowhere, went, “Well, how about THIS ONE!” and absolutely CHUCKED the blazer at Velma Jr. No, I don’t mean she tossed it to her. I mean Randy Johnson fastball hurled that shit. As you might imagine, Velma Jr. got absolutely owned by this now lethal piece of schoolwear. The other store clerk then said, “Maybe you like it in BLACK!” and hurled another uniform blazer at Velma Jr.’s friend. The friend, though, prepared by seeing Velma Jr. get clocked, caught the blazer. She then got a huffy/pissed off look on her face, stomped her feet really hard, and absolutely FLUNG the blazer across the room, shouting, “Well, I never! I don’t never want to shop here again!” I was trying to make sense of that double-negative, but decided this was something I didn’t really want to get in the middle of, lest I get taken out by flying school uniforms.
I don’t know why, but watching 12-year old Japanese girls flinging their school uniforms at each other was wildly entertaining. And not in that way. Although I’m sure there’s a porn director somewhere drafting up a script of this as we speak, if it doesn’t already exist. Watching the rehearsals was even more fun though, as they more or less forgot about the entire first part of the skit, and spent 30 minutes just screaming and hurling their uniform blazers at each other.
At some point in my life though, I would like to use “I don’t never want to shop here again!” while flinging some article of clothing across a store. That’s officially going on my checklist of “Things I’d Like To Do Before I Die.”