Old and/or Clueless

My students have discovered that I – old and therefore clueless – might know something worth knowing from time to time. In between learning games, they love to find out exactly what knowledge is rattling around in this aged brain o’ mine.

“Mario to Luigi shitteru?” they demand.

“Yeah, I know Mario and Luigi.”


“Pokemon shitteru?”



“Snoopy shitteru?”

“Uh, yeah I know Snoopy.”


Cue the same routine for Doraemon, An Pan Man, Donkey Kong, Nintendo, Nintendo Wii, PSP, karate, karaoke, and, most amusingly, McDonald’s. Obviously, being American and born after 1960 I would naturally have never heard of McDonald’s which, as everybody knows, was invented in Japan. The children’s fresh-faced belief that Japan is the world moves me, and reminds me of the wonderful day I informed my Guatemalan cousins’ children that Inuyasha and Sponge Bob were not, in fact, Guatemalan. I wonder how I would even begin to pantomime the birth of McDonald’s in America to these inquisitive children. Then I start to think of Chicken McNuggets, delicious chicken McNuggets, so crispy and enriched by heart-healthy grease, and then I’m all hungry, and then, before I know it, I’ve lost the will.

0 Replies to “Old and/or Clueless”

  1. My kids are always most surprised when I recognise the gestures of whichever comedian is most popular at the moment. I don’t have the heart to tell them that I can’t stand the TV here and never watch it – I only know the catchphrases from other kids I teach. They think I’m cool, poor things.

    I have a junior high girl who is obsessed with the little cartoon Rilakkuma bears – I went up very highly in her esteem when I not only recognised them but correctly identified the “cutest” one. She asked me if Rilakkuma was popular in the UK. When I said no, she explained very seriously that when I next visit home, I should tell everyone about them “because they are so cute! They are important!” Aww.

  2. Good stuff, Liv. Very funny that Japanese kids think McDonald’s is Japanese.

  3. Oh, you also mentioned in an earlier blog about reading Natsuo Kirino’s OUT. I’m almost done her GROTESQUE. Man, it really is grotesque, but I can’t put it down. What did you think of OUT? (I haven’t read it yet.)

  4. ieatmypigeon says: Reply

    Laura – they do love the comedians, don’t they? My students are still obsessed with Kojima Yoshio. I’ve taken a “can’t beat ’em, join ’em” attitude with that idiot, to their delight. I’m not familiar with the Rilakkuma bears (at least by name)! I will have to check them out and spring my new knowledge on my kids. Thank you for the heads up!

    Hi, Stan – I actually never got to read OUT because I couldn’t find it at any of the bookstores here in time for the book group. I’ll have to check it out one of these days; it sounded pretty cool. I should check out Grotesque, too!

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