Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Taking a good deal....and screwing it up!

Deutschland, Deutschland, uber alles; Uber alles im dem Welt....Two days till I depart for the Fatherland for the S.O.'s birthday trip. That for sure qualifies as one of my more stupid decisions, burning precious vacation time I could be spending on myself in Thailand, just to make her feel better about getting older........Example number one of screwing up a good thing.

Example number 2 is Japan's Princess Sayako's wedding to a commoner yesterday. Under a 1947 law, female royals automatically become commoners when they are married and are barred from assuming the throne. ( Does not work that way for men this a great country or what?) To prepare for this dramatic comedown, Princess Sayako has taken driving lessons and practiced shopping at supermarkets; the couple has studied catalogs to choose furniture and appliances for their new home. Or as Hemlock from Hong Kong described it:

As a result of marrying so far beneath her station, the delicate and coy Nori, as she is affectionately known, will have to leave the emperor’s palace and move into a shabby little public housing unit. While her husband is off performing his municipal duties, she will no doubt attend to her beloved flower arranging, pausing once in a while to gaze wistfully out of the grimy window at the local trains passing by below, perhaps catching a fleeting glimpse of drunk salarymen passing the time on their 3-hour commute by groping schoolgirls or reading depraved manga comics.

Obviously, we all agree, she is in emotional turmoil after being isolated from the real world all these years in the rarified surroundings of the imperial household. Isn’t this street-cleaner taking advantage of her naivety? There is unspoken concern among us as we glide down towards Central. How can this horny-handed son of toil, while no doubt decent and honest in his rough, soap-deprived, working-class way, treat this precious and innocent chrysanthemum with the respect and sensitivity she deserves, especially in the early days of their union, when she is becoming accustomed to connubial life? Fate, for some reason, has required me to introduce a number of 30-something ladies to the long-overdue pleasures of the bed chamber, and I know that it requires patience, tender consideration and perhaps a few glasses of Bailey’s. Seeing their delight as they discover the wonders bestowed by the sacrifice of their purity is its own reward. As a Taiwanese art gallery assistant once wrote to me in an embarrassing fax that amused Ms Fang the hunter-killer secretary so much that she showed it to everyone, “a woman is like a house – the older she is, the faster she catches fire.” Who can restrain a shudder at the thought of this fragile and noble beauty's unsullied womanhood suffering the clumsy, forcible attentions of a brutish city employee?

Man! That guy can write!

She did make a beautiful bride though:

As it should be, the woman walking 4 steps behind her man. Too bad I can't get the S.O. to do that.........

And of course she had reason to smile when the Imperial Household agency told her about her dowry.......(152.5 Million Yen! 1,386,386 dollars!):

As a member of the royal family though....think of the money she had access to.

And in the final and most egregious example of screwing up a good thing and breaking something that was not broken, was talking to a Navy friend who is working on details of the proposed move of the Carrier Air Wing from Atsugi to Iwakuni......This is supposedly one of the things George W and Koizumi san are going to laugh about and toast over sake this week ( well Koizumi might, sadly, Laura won't let George drink anymore....)........wait till the Japanese government gets the bill for all the things they are going to have to build:

Housing, new maintenance support buildings, payoffs to the local governments in Yamaguchi prefecture.......... And what does the US get out of this bold , brave cave in to statistically minor numbers of complaints about noise in Yamato city? Not a damn thing........ No additional training can be done in Iwakuni that is not already done here, hours and hours of waiting for transportation up to Yokosuka for the ships crew, No place for 1,600 strapping examples of American youth to go on liberty.....( Have you ever been to Iwakuni city? Tokyo it ain't....). As my friend pointed out, the US Navy would be better off just deploying a carrier here from the states 365 days a year than doing all the workarounds this move is going to require........

As I said, nothing like taking a really good sweetheat deal and screwing it up........Can't just leave a good thing alone........that would not be the American way!

Now where the hell is my German dictionary...?



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