Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Lunch With Hiro

One result of this blog has been to get in touch with a friend I hadn't seen in a while. He had googled my name, came up with a link to this blog and then he left a comment for me.

Hiro and I go way back to Mrs. Capp's 6th grade class. You can see him in our class picture in the post I did about our beloved teacher. We were good buddies in that class. One memory I have is of us getting in big trouble one day. At least I think he was part of it - my brain cells keep decomposing so forgive me if I have the wrong person. Back then we all referred to him as "Roach."

The other sixth grade class had the meanest teacher I have ever encountered. Mr. Martin was on duty during lunch time and he imposed a no-talking rule in the outdoor lunch area. Can you believe that? Kids not allowed to talk during their lunch period? He also had members of his class patrolling the area, ratting out anyone they found violating this idiotic rule. I always likened them to those flying monkeys on the Wizard of Oz.

Three of us decided this was too unjust to expect people not to talk during their break from class. Lunch was supposed to be a social thing, wasn't it? Roach, another person that I think was Keith Honda, and myself went to the principal's office to complain about that treatment.

The principal was cordial to us sixth graders - little in absolute terms, but the senior students in the school - and listened patiently to what we said. We thought we made an excellent argument, and at the end she thanked us and said she would investigate the matter.

We happily left our office thinking that was the end of Mr. Martin's despotic rule over us. The bell signifying the end of lunch rang, we went back to our class and sat down. Mrs. Capps walked in, shot an angry glare at each of us and then told us to stand up and go to the corner of the room. Astonished, we all looked at each other and gulped.

She proceeded to tell us that she had never been so embarrassed in her life and that she had just returned from being chewed out by the principal for what we had done. We couldn't believe what we were hearing. We had never heard Mrs. Capps so upset.

Being polite Asian kids, we stood there with our heads down and didn't protest. But this was wrong. To this day I still get upset every time I think about what happened because we did nothing wrong.

By the end of the day everything was back to normal but as you can see since I am writing about it here, I've never forgotten that moment.

Anyway, that's a memory that came to me after our lunch so we didn't discuss it. What did we talk about? We caught up with what we had been up to since the last time we saw each other, and then talked about the old days. I am not a very social person but I really had an enjoyable time. So Roach, er, Hiro, if you are reading this, thanks! That was one fine lunch.

Later that evening I told Julie we had a very nice lunch at Hanabi. She asked me what we talked about. "Oh, catching up on what we've been doing, and talking about old times." Then she asked if I mentioned this or mentioned that, to which I responded nope, nope, nope, and then she said, well then what did you talk about? And I told her, "guys don't talk about the kind of stuff you mentioned! You know, guys just kind of grunt and eat."

During lunch, Hiro told me something. This isn't what he told me, but for those of you who saw the excellent movie L.A. Confidential (the movie that should have won the oscar for best picture that year instead of that lame Titanic), think back to the scene in which Kevin Spacey (Sgt. Jack Vincennes) is sitting in James Cromwell's kitchen (Captain Dudley Smith). And when Smith shoots Vincennes (sorry if I gave away part of the plot but by this time you should have watched the movie), Vincennes utters a name: Rollo Tamasi. That's a key part of the movie. Getting back to our lunch, if I ever got into such a situation as in that movie, my last utterance would be: Isaroku Yamamoto. That would be a key part.

If you're scratching your head about that one, classmates can help figure it out.

To wrap up this lengthy post, it was good to see Hiro again. And interesting the way we got back in touch. If you happened across this blog because you googled either my name or your name or someone else's name that appears in here, drop me a comment or an e-mail, why don't you! And stay tuned, there's more on the way..


Anonymous said...

Thanks...grunt...pass good.

I've been "outed".

Anonymous said...

After the incident Mrs. Caps would allow us to eat lunch in the classroom. Maybe I am getting confused and it was a only for a work party or something but I remember looking out the window to see Mr. Martin with his back to the wall directly below me. It would have been so easy to drop something on Mr. YOU - SIT DOWN NOW as he rotated his head like a Dodger bobblehead doll. I hated Mr. Martin, his shoes, his suits, ties, Ray Charles shades and his attitude. I could have taken my Thermos of milk and emptied it on his head. I did not, not because I would get caught. I was ready to pay the consequences. I didn't do it not because it was a chicken thing to do. I was angry. Not because there would have been collateral damage as The Flying Monkeys surrounded him. The only reason was that Mrs. Capps trusted us to not do something like that.

Rickie Miyake said...

I don't remember the eating in the classroom part, but that was a good solution. Of all the teachers I have known throughout my entire education, Mr. Martin was the only one I truly hated. I have absolutely no respect for him. I agree regarding the reason not to take advantage of the opportunity: only because of our respect for Mrs. Capps. I wonder if the other teachers hated him as well? The other thing is that I felt totally betrayed by our two-faced principal. I always thought she was nice but after that, she was not one to be trusted. What a snake! If she had any decency, she would have told us right off the bat that she felt we were out of line instead of taking it out on Mrs. Capps.