June 26, 2008

A Japanese Judyism

I promised a Judyism. It's been a while since we've shared any side-splitting humor at my mother's expense, so here it is.

My mother and I went out to dinner last week. She wanted something fancy but not terribly expensive, and knowing how nuts my mother would go after having lived in Japan for a portion of her 20's, I chose a local Japanese restaurant. I was all prepared to hear her tell me everything I ever wanted to know about Japan. In 1965.

I ordered a shrimp tempura for us to share. She loved it.

She also loved her authentic hot green tea.

I ordered myself a lump of crab and miso soup (not crazy about the soup).

Judy ordered a shitaake mushroom roll. When the plate arrived it had the requisite pickled ginger and wasabi in the corner. She was all set to scoop up the lot of it for a great big bite (or pinch? With chopsticks?) before I stopped her. I showed her how to tear a tiny piece of ginger and add it to her roll. She chewed. And then her face got all red. She swallowed. And then her face got all pale.

"It tastes like soap! Oh my God, it tastes like soap, Rachel! You made me eat soap!"

I have never found pickled ginger to taste like soap but offered her a large glass of water to cleanse her palate anyway. It did not help. One roll in, she was done. She would not eat another bite.

I finished my crab and soup and she continued to turn green. Green tea was not helping but she would not stop drinking it. It was her favorite "green tea" and it was authentic after all!

So we were talking. Enjoying ourselves or trying on her part, anyway. I was midsentence when my mother burped. She said excuse me.

Then she said, "Oh thank God."

"What?" I asked.

"Thank God. I just burped and nothing came out of my mouth."

And then I was done.

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