The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

11 November, 2005

Chapter Three

Mai Yamazaki lived on Forester Avenue. She was the sort of person who would do anything to attract attention to herself. On the day of the terrible accident, she phoned almost everyone she knew telling them how traumatised she was over the whole thing. Deep down inside, she was actually gleeful that such a thing had occurred so close to her home. It gave her another excuse to draw attention to herself. Her husband Naoki usually avoider her now. He had got sick of her. When he had first me her, she had seemed exciting. Always on the go. Always having something to do. Now he realised that most of it was her self publicising marketing machine. She seldom finished anything she set out to do, and he wondered how she had even got into the position she worked in. She was a high paid air traffic controller. Naoki was paid slightly less, and resented the fact that his wife earned more than him. She would often use it as an excuse to try to lord it over him, or would bring it up at dinner parties to shame him. Today, Mai was trying to find another reason for people to notice her. She was in a pet store with her daughter Akane. They were mainly browsing, when she spotted an ugly looking stick insect. 'Minikui!' Mai said to Akane. 'What?' replied Akane. Akane could actually speak Japanese extremely well, but always liked to pretend she could not understand her mother. It was a sort of game they played. Mai would speak in Japanese every chance she could get. She would pretend she did not know the English equivalent. Akane would pretend she could not understand the Japanese. Then, Mai would in turn, pretend she did not understand Akane's English. Between them both, they had a nice game which made them both the centre of attention for a while. People would bemusedly pretend not to notice. Akane and Mai noticed though. Everyone was secretly listening to the stupid Japanese lady who had not learnt English and her stupid daughter who knew English, but could not speak Japanese. The fact it was negative attention did not bother either of them in the slightest. It was all attention, and attention was all that they wanted. 'Minikui. How you say ... ung,' said Mai confidently. 'Ung? What the hell is ung?' replied Akane testily. 'Ung isn't a word. It's a sound. Are you trying to say something?' 'Oh, please. Do not be so rude. It's ung. Not good to look at. You know.' 'No, I don't know. If I bloody knew what the hell you were saying, I wouldn't have to ask would I!' The pet shop owner sensing trouble decided he had to stop this before it got out of hand. The disturbance, as far as he knew, was going to drive away the other customers. Little did he know that they were all hungrily awaiting more from the two ladies. 'Can I help you ladies?' He quickly asked. 'Yes, what is this thing?' Asked Mai. 'It's an exotic stick insect. Called an heteroptryx dilatata,' he said the Latin name slowly, as though he was not sure he knew how to pronounce it correctly. 'It's from Malaysia. They call it, the Malaysian jungle nymph.' 'Malaysian jungle nymph?' Mai asked as though it was the strangest word she had ever heard. 'Yes, it's very exotic in this part of the world. It's worth a fair whack to the bank balance. I've only got this one left.' Akane rolled her eyes as though the stick insect was the stupidest thing she had ever seen. 'How much for this thing?' Mai asked. 'The jungle nymph? Oh, its four thousand dollars!' 'Eh!' Mai exclaimed in shock. 'That is one months salary! Surely ugly insect cannot cost so much?' 'Oh, before you called it "ung". Now that you know the price you suddenly remember the words "ugly". That's so lame,' chided Akane. 'Hey, I only just remember the word. Ung and ugly are so similar.' 'Yeah, right,' Akane turned away as if disgusted by her mother. 'Don't worry about my daughter,' Mai said to the shopkeeper. 'She only thinks about herself.' 'Oh, really,' said Akane, and stormed off in a huff mumbling curses under her breath. 'I will take this ugly creature,' said Mai. 'It looks very omoshiroi, um, interesting.' 'Oh, it certainly is,' said the shop keeper. His eyes lit up as he realised how much he had taken Mai for. Mai of course did not care. She had read the sign and knew it was considerably less than what she was paying. For the attention it would bring her when she announced to everyone how much she had been conned though, it was worth it. In the meantime, Akane had picked up a small expensive bottle at the back of the store. She read the label, and it was a solution used to discourage animals chewing on their own fur. It had a security tag attached and was small enough for her purpose. She knew she could drop it into her mother's handbag without her mother noticing. She walked to the front of the store and stood beside her mother. While her mother and the shop keeper were busy making the transaction, she slipped it into the handbag. 'Mum, I'll meet you in front of the fashion boutique,' Akane said. She walked out the store and went to position herself in a good location to watch the drama play out. As she watched her mother exit the store, the security alarm sounded. Akane watched as her mother was brought back into the store and the pet shop owner made her empty her handbag. The mall security guards raced to the scene. Soon her mother was being lead away to the mall Centre Management office to explain how the solution got into her handbag. Akane knew her mother would know she had stuck it in there, but she simply did not care. It was all fun.