a-Oh NO〜ri あオーノーり

Today was a regular lesson day at Somemaru’s. In the a.m., we made a nice breakfast, Aisome and I cleaned house, got the shamisen and drums ready for lessons, and took care of students as they came in.

On a break I spoke to Somemaru about the so-called “old-men’s gags” (ossan gyagu). Most people in Japan (especially younger people) groan when they hear these pun-based jokes, but  the truth is – I feel – everybody in this country has a place in their hearts’ for them.

I bet if I had 100 yen for every time I heard someone pull an ossan gyagu on me with my own name (e.g. chotto Matto, or “wait a Mattit”), I would be a rich man today. Okay, I’m lying. But I would probably have close to 10,000 yen. And when I hear it, I groan and say, “oh not again,” but the truth is (confession time), I love it too. Every time.

Tonight for dinner we had Somemaru’s famous okonomiyaki (a savory pancake-style food, made with batter, diced cabbage, seafood, pork, and whatever else you want to put into it; a favorite in Osaka). Somemaru was nice to help me flip mine, and even helped me choose the toppings (sauces, seasonings) that would taste best.

Then, all the sudden, dinner was brought to a momentary halt.

Somemaru went to pass the ao nori (seaweed powder) to me, but, as the top of the package wasn’t sealed properly, half of the contents poured out onto Somemaru’s lap and food… I felt so bad, especially since he was being so kind to make my dinner an enjoyable one. Aisome and I jumped up and started cleaning. Fortunately, not all of Somemaru’s okonomiyaki was ruined, and we were soon back to a wonderful dinner.

Following dinner, after the dishes were done and Aisome and I were getting ready to leave for the evening, I couldn’t help recalling the ao nori episode at dinner, and the ossan gyagu conversation I had earlier in the day with Somemaru. Then it came to me…

“a-Oh NO〜ri!”  (ao nori + oh no!)

Hey, is that a groan I just heard?

I made my leave without sharing my new ossan gyagu with Somemaru.

Today was another very enjoyable day.












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