Ojakkyo Brothers

Imagine waking up every morning with a song in your heart even if the sky is overcast and there’s a chill in the air. Imagine walking out to an orchard where the trees you have painstakingly planted years ago are now bearing fruit. Yes, branch after branch laden with pears for the picking. Imagine watching as the ducklings you have raised by hand dive headlong into their feed, their boisterous squeaks music to your ears.

Now imagine having all that taken away from you.

Continue reading

Smile: Episode 2

Act Two opens, and confirms what we had suspected earlier about Jilted Bride: The woman is a grandfather enslaver.

Observe how she bawls the moment she sees Grandpa running into the police station, his face clouded with concern, his eyes barely registering his own grandson. She knows exactly which buttons to push to turn him into putty in her hands, and why not? As The Chairman’s youngest grandchild and the center of her parents’ gilded universe, she has always been precious and precocious. Imagine Grandpa’s dismay, therefore, at the sight of her now, handcuffed and frowzled.

“Haraboji… HARABOJI!!”

Covering their ears at the caterwauling, the five lizards in the station choke on their unsalted flies and scramble for cover. Their appetite for dinner similarly ruined, the cops hurry to free Crazy Woman at Grandpa’s request. As they leave, she clinging triumphantly to the old man’s arm, he is racked with guilt. At his next cemetery visit, how will he explain to The Departed One the ignominy that had befallen Dearest Granddaughter?

Continue reading

Smile: Episode 1

Let me tell you about the latest offering at the Theater of the Absurd.

A 70-year-old grandpa used to be the personal driver for a man whom he fondly calls “The Chairman.” Said chairman is dead and gone, but memories of his benevolence continue to drive (pun unintended) the behavior of his former employee. If not for the chairman’s generosity, what would the grandpa have become? A hobo? But because the chairman provided for the grandpa and his family, the grandpa has sworn permanent servitude upon himself. Just look at his thrall-like behavior around the chairman’s descendants.

The chairman’s son (let’s call him Chairman Junior) treats the driver with as much disdain as he would a faulty golf club, tossing him away one day for the flimsiest of reasons. Why Chairman Junior hates Mr. Chauffeur is unclear and may never be known. In the Theater of the Absurd, there’s no need to explain anything.

Continue reading