This post was bound to happen. If you follow me on twitter at all, you’ve probably already seen some of the stuff that comes from the mouths of both my students and the Japanese people I work with.
The adults I work around have surprisingly excellent senses of humor, especially considering they’re Japanese. Usually, the wacky stuff my students come up with is on accident, but I do have a few witty kids as well. Whenever something absolutely destroys me with laughter, I write it down in my lesson planning notebook – mostly because when I’m flipping through it I occasionally see them and they make me laugh all over again.
I’m sure this is only the first in a series of ridiculous posts – to be honest, I could probably keep weekly records of the bizarre stuff people say in my lessons and at my office. I start every day at school chatting with my manager and the receptionist while I plan my lessons, and the level of awesome quotes that my manager expels seems to be never ending.
“This is kind of a bad joke, but…uh…last night, I watched a…how do you say…rap battle? It was between Adolf Hitler and Darth Vader. There were a lot of bad words.”
Manager: “Hey, Alisha, you look sleepy. Do you have insomnia?”
Manager: “…don’t start a fight club.”
One day, I walked into the office, and my manager looked up at me seriously from his desk. He asked solemnly:
“Have you heard the news?”
Me (worried): “No…?”
Manager (very seriously): “It’s about Ricky Martin. He’s gay. My wife is very upset.”
We both started laughing immediately.
Later that day, while setting up for an ALK class, my coworker was moving a hula hoop into his classroom to use during his lesson. My manager grabbed it and started hula hooping frantically in the middle of the empty classroom while singing “UP SIDE, IN SIDE OUT, LIVIN’ LA VIDA LOCA! PLAY THE SONG! PLAY THE SONG!” It is an image that has been forever burned into my memory.
Coworker: “A couple times I’ve been walking in Kokubunji and a woman has approached me and tried to get me to go with her…”
Manager: “So…where is that place? Could you draw me a map?”
Coworker and I nearly die of laughter.
Manager: “Was it good?! DID MY JOKE WORK?!”
Before class started one day, my manager walked out of the bathroom with a mop in hand. He occasionally sings to himself when he’s doing things, and today, he shut the door dramatically behind him. I then heard him mutter emphatically: “Who’s bad!?”
I lost it in a fit of giggles from my desk, and he asked me to explain what was funny. When I told him he was holding a mop and leaving the bathroom while asking “Who’s Bad?”, he saw the humor in the situation too. He went away to do some cleaning, but came back a few minutes later, doubled over in laughter and barely able to spit out words to explain to me what was so funny.
Manager: “I…oh, my imagination! HAHA!”
Manager: “I was thinking about what just happened, and I thought…when I walk into the bathroom and I see someone has made a mess, I can say ‘Who’s Bad?!’ and point at all the children! And when someone has drawn something on the table, I can say ‘Who’s Bad?!’ then too! HAHA!”
The whole concept isn’t really that funny, but coming from a Japanese man holding a mop laughing so hard at himself he was crying, I couldn’t help but giggle too.
My manager also teaches grammar lessons at the school, and I overhear some pretty bizarre example sentences said very loudly from time to time:
“I want him to COME!”
“Those are YOUR pants!”
“Those are THEIR balls!”
I think you get the idea. The man makes lightsaber sounds when using a flyswatter and his Darth Vader impression is pretty good. One night when it was raining he brought our sign in from the street and belted out Purple Rain at the top of his lungs. His knowledge of Prince’s body of work is surprising and hilarious. For our office Christmas party, the staff are supposed to come in a costume. Apparently, a Christmas costume is not a requirement. He is coming in a full body pink bunny suit.
I’ve had good luck with the people I’ve worked with in Japan. Having a laid back manager is supremely fun, and it’s one of many reasons I like working where I do.
My students have an amazing record going in terms of wacky quotes too, but we’ll save those for another time!