Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Job for Grandpa

My mother-in-law is crazy-superstitious.

The other day she came over and told me about how she went to get her haircut (no mention of hand massages, btw). She was explaining to her beautician how she was worried because her hair was beginning to thin. The beautician says, "We'll that sounds like a job for Grandpa." And then pulled one of these out of her pocket.

This is Grandpa. Well, two Grandpas.

They are good luck charms. These two she bought for my son and husband. They didn't have my birthday in stock....she says. Although she promised to bring mine over when she got it.

This is how they work.

1) The little men have no hair. In Japanese that's "ke ga nai" or if you run it together..."kega nai". The second sentence means "no injuries". So these guys are believed to keep you safe from harm.

2) The old dudes also have short legs. Short legs in Japanese is "ashi ga mijikai". It means that your money will not run away on long, fast legs. They also help you keep your money in your pocket.

3) And lastly, the fellas have a lot of wrinkles. Wrinkle in Japanese is "shiwa". "Shiawase" means happiness. The little Grandpas bring happiness to the holder.

On the back is this mysterious design. My Mother-in-law explained that it was top secret stuff there and for me not to ask.

She sat here for two hours drinking green tea and explaining how if you want anything you just "ask Grandpa" and he'll make sure it gets done. I said that I planned on asking mine to allow me to pick out the winning lottery ticket for this year's big End of the Year Lottery. She smacked me and said that was much to crass to ask the little good luck man. While thinking to myself "but growing more hair is okay?" I said something about how if we all got our Grandpas to focus on me winning the lottery I'd most certainly share the wealth. I think I might have convinced her too. Now I just gotta wait for my Grandpa to show up.


Hilary said...

I see Grandpa likes to play Trivial Pursuit!

Virginia Lee said...

Quick! Send me a grandpa, Terrie! I can always use some extra luck.

Now I want to see a photo of your mother-in-law.

Have you seen those tiny worry dolls? You whisper your worries, one by one, to the dolls and then keep them in a little pouch or something and they keep hold of your worries so you don't have to. Or something to that effect.


Kappa no He said...

Hilary: Very good! So much for top secret magic, huh?

Virginia: I would totally send you a cool charm, not a grandpa. The ones they sell at the temples are much cooler.

And those worry dolls sound like something that would be done here as well.

Bk30 said...

lol, man I can just see you getting popped in the back of the head as a wise woman tries to instruct the dumb american! but hey if nothing else "Grandpa" is cute.

Kappa no He said...

Totally the low man on the totempole, I'll tell ya.

Jamie said...

I need a Grandpa. For certain.

Cousin_Ryumi said...

Hey I really like your blog. I just came across it my accident, used to live in Japan and I'm toying about with the idea of writing a travel book of the country...doesn't everyone. Got all "amattarui" (is that the wrong phrase?) when I came across your blog