I’ve been working out of Open Door Oral Communication for a long time now, using it for my 2nd grade class and some of the 3rd grade. All things considered it’s a good book. The sample texts are long, relatively free from errors and unnatural English and the raise decent enough grammatical points for study. Of course as with any Japanese English textbook there are the obligatory multiple choice answers which waste time and teach nobody anything, but there you go.
The thing I like best about it is that the chapters form a linear narrative, telling the story of Shirai Mayumi, a Japanese high school student and her one-year stay in San Francisco. The other primary characters are the family she is staying with, the Stones, and a couple of other minor characters, including her friends Kris and Maria. One character however appears in a number of scenes, which lead me to become suspicious that his relationship with Mayumi was less than innocent. His name is “Dick”.
In the pictures, Dick looks a little older. He has light brown hair and sleazy sideburns. He wears flash clothes, expensive-looking sneakers and checked shirts. Mayumi, who is somewhat awkward and slightly boyish in appearance (she has the look of a young girl who is hot, but hasn’t quite realized it yet) would surely be flattered by his advances. But something makes me not trust this boy. It’s no secret that Dick took Mayumi to the prom (see Chapter 3 “Going to the Prom”) but one has to question how quickly he took to the new kid in school, after all, she had only been in school for one chapter (see Chapter 2 “Mayumi’s First Day of School”). That’s like a week. Could it be love at first sight? Or has sexual predator Dick spotted his next mark and quickly moved to defile her before anybody else gets the chance?
Well, did he or didn’t he? After the prom, the next time Mayumi and Dick meet is at a volleyball game (see Chapter 5 “At a Volleyball game”) where Dick seems aloof and detached. He more or less ignores Mayumi to watch the game with her friend Kris. Could it be that having had Mayumi, he moved on to her best friend like a cad? Very possibly. One thing is certain, after this Mayumi never talks to Kris again. She is notably absent from any of the other dialogues. The plot thickens.
However in the next chapter (Chapter 6 “At an Amusement Park”), Dick and Mayumi appear to be on an actual date, and their dialogue is loaded with innuendo. This suggests to me that Mayumi, so to defeat her dirty friend Kris in the battle for Dick’s affections, would have to get dirtier, just like Christina Aguillera defended against Britney’s “sexy” new image by wearing assless chaps and spraying herself with a hose. See what I mean:
Dick: Do you like roller coasters?
(Is this some kind of metaphor?)
Mayumi: Yeah. I love them. I’ve ridden on some really big ones in Japan.
(I bet you have, you saucy mare.)
Dick: Great, let’s ride the rollercoaster first.
(Dick is playing coy.)
Mayumi: OK. Then let’s try the log ride.
(Log ride? Could she be more overtly brazen?)
Dick: We should save that for last because we’ll get all wet.
(Smooth. Dick has caught on and is now dirty-talking to Mayumi. What this means is she is getting it the second they get home.)
Mayumi: Oh yeah. So, after the roller coaster, we can try the Ferris wheel.
(Now Mayumi is playing coy.)
Dick: That’s a good idea. And after that, we can go and get something to eat.
(They’re both just pretending that it never happened, but the can read each other’s signals. Some naughty sex will be had.)
Mayumi: I saw a pizza restaurant near the merry-go-round.
(Pizza. The food of fornication. Cheap, beloved by everyone, and a man will bring it to your door and then leave.)
Dick: Sounds good!
(Damn right it sounds good.)
Well, I think the results of my investigation speak for themselves. Mayumi is now Dick’s full on, sexually active girlfriend. And she’s only seventeen. While this is legal and in fact preferred in Japan, in the U.S. this would be considered paedophilia. Dick, who I stated previously is probably a little older and should be more responsible. But as I have said he is a predator and a degenerate and therefore cares not for the laws of society.
What is worst about this is how much Mayumi has been corrupted by this sick deviant. Look at how she gets more and more provocative. In Chapter 9 “Eating at a Mexican Restaurant” she once again resorts to innuendo to keep Dick interested. Look at this:
Mayumi: What’s do you usually have here?
Dick: A burrito.
Mayumi: What’s that?
Dick; It’s a tortilla with beans and cheese.
Mayumi: Oh, I like beans and cheese.
(That’s right: Your beans and cheese)
Truly awful. After that, Mayumi and Dick don’t meet up again for a while. Mayumi gets sick, then is very busy volunteering in the community and taking a camping trip with the Stones. Very possibly this means that Dick has had his fill of her and given her the heave-ho. If this is the case it’s possible Mayumi’s flu was psychosomatic, or she just wanted time off school to mourn. Then perhaps she flung herself into her charity work and spent some time outdoors to take her mind off it. Well anyway, the next time she and Dick meet is at a party (see Chapter 15 “A Party Held by the Cosmopolitan Club”) which is also Mayumi’s leaving party. Dick comes across as very cold – seems to be there with Maria, yet another of Mayumi’s friends he appears to be rooting. Maria and Mayumi carry on a staid conversation, while Dick ignores both of them. Look:
Maria: Have you tried any of the Italian food yet?
(Very polite, Maria is obviously less of a bitch than Kris was, and still tries to be civil to Mayumi even though she is screwing the man she once loved. Apparently she’s also Italian. Nice winch, Dick.)
Mayumi: No, not yet, but I’ve had some Vietnamese food. It was delicious.
(Very polite. But one false move and this could be Springer)
Dick: Oh, look! the Spanish dancing is starting.
(Dick doesn’t give a shit. He just wants them to stop talking.)
Mayumi: Wow! I wish I could dance like that.
(Maybe if you could, he would have stayed)
Dick: When does your taiko performance begin?
(This is the only time Dick directly addresses Mayumi after their breakup. It’s cad-speak for “When the hell are you leaving?”)
Mayumi: In an hour, right after the Scottish bagpipes.
(I can hear the hurt in this resigned statement. Mayumi is now a ruined girl. Nay, woman.)
Maria: Dick, let’s be sure to see Mayumi’s performance.
(Too little, too late, you boyfriend-stealing harpie.)
So you see, their relationship has come full circle. Dick can’t wait to get rid of her. He can’t wait for her to be out of his life so he can resume letching on those Spanish dancers or piling Maria like the whore she is. What a shame. Mayumi was too good for him anyway. If anything, this solemn tale should prove a warning to other young girls to be careful who you trust, because there are men out there are only after one thing – your flower. They seek to steal your feminine virtue and corrupt your soul. Oh, poor wayward Mayumi, it is a sorrowful journey back to Japan for you.
Fuck you, Dick, fuck you.