Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No Karate Class Day!

When you go back to pick up little Susan and Jesse from Karate class, you'll find all the kids sitting still on the mats, just as you left them. Except they'll all be looking down into their laps, the expressions on their faces far too morose for children so young.

"Where's Sensei?" you'll ask.

Susan will look up at you, her eyes puffy, and she'll shake her head slowly.

"Jesse?" you'll ask.

Jesse will get up and stand by you. "We told him not to go and confront them," he'll say. "We told him it was a fool's errand. But he refused to back down."

"You're a damn mule!" one of the other kids will shout at the sky.

"What did you have to prove? Why couldn't you have just let it go?" another little girl will shout, pounding her fist into the mat beneath her.

After some seconds of silence, Jesse will try and explain.

"It's a battle that's lasted centuries, spanning back to a cow stolen from Sensei's great great great grandfather's land in Okinawa. Two families, pitted together for life. Apparently, the descendant of one of those families opened an Arby's over in Eastville. Sensei said he had to honor the blood flowing through his veins and settle this once and for all."

"And he didn't come back," Susan said.

You take both your kids' hands and say, "I'm sure he's okay." Then you lead them out to the car, mentally calculating the number of classes you've already paid for and the refund you should be due if the Sensei died for his ancestral feud. At least around $170 for Pete's sake.

As you pull out of the parking lot you see smoke on the horizon.

"The Arbys," Susan and Jesse will sing in unison. They'll have hope in their voices. Perhaps their Sensei was triumphant after all.

Happy No Karate Class Day!