was stuck. He knew that he had made it as far
as he ever would in his company in Japan. But
debt and family obligations kept him from returning
home to his native Omaha, Nebraska. He couldn’t
see any light at the end of the tunnel and he
was frustrated. And that’s just when he
developed his health problem.
went to the Japanese doctor for tests. The thought
of coming down with such an illness had never
occurred to him before. It’s the kind
of thing he had heard about but had always happened
to someone else, not him. “Not me!”
he thought. But he had the diagnosis and there
was no denying it. He was battling constipation.
wife was there with him when the doctor explained
about the gas and the blockage. She comforted
him when his initial shock turned to denial
then anger and finally defeat. She gave him
strength. She gave him strength to push on.
he was at the office and he had just finished
the paperwork on a formidable number two. He exited
the toilet stall and found himself alone with
his boss in the office restroom. Mr. Sato’s
voice came muffled through the sleeves of his
business suit which he held against his eyeballs
in a vain attempt at relieving the stinging. “John-san.
Choushi wa dou..?”(John, how is your physical
functioning?) “Uh… I’m fine
thank you. Uh… I haven’t caught a
cold,” John submitted, trying to escape
from the cloud of suspicion that now hung over
him. The cloud hung thickly over Mr. Sato too,
and the restroom and possibly the entire 6th floor
for that matter.
his diagnosis, John had begun consuming fiendish
amounts of bran. He knew that if he didn’t
do anything about it, his was the kind of problem
that would build up inside of him and explode.
The effect of the bran was powerful. It wasn’t
uncommon for him to storm the office facilities
twice or even three times a day. Indeed, there
were few members of staff old enough to remember
Japan being bombed so badly.
evening at dinner, John explained his predicament
to his wife. He told her that Mr. Sato was certainly
cross with him over his exploits in the office
restroom. John wondered if she might speak to
Mr. Sato in Japanese and explain the situation
smoothly. John wanted to clear the air. She could
tell John’s boss about the bloating and
the frustration and, of course, the bran, the
wonderful, lovely bran. But his wife refused.
“It’s not Japanese way,” she
told him. Apparently she didn’t want to
make a big stink about it.
then the telephone rang. It was Mr. Sato. He
and John spoke at length. Eventually, John hung
up the phone and was flushed with happiness.
“Mr. Sato says he’s moving me out
of the office!” John told his wife. “The
company has opened a new warehouse in Nebraska
and they chose me to oversee distribution. We
don’t have to move but they will be sending
me out to Omaha whenever I need to go! Mr. Sato
is very excited about my new position. He’s
sending me a turbo-washlette for a present.
He told me to install it on our toilet at home
and use it every morning ‘For good health’.”
John couldn’t remember when he had felt
so relieved. “You just watch me honey!”
He told his wife, “You just watch me at
my new job. I’m going to make a big splash!”