From: Peter Rivard
Subject: American brainpower
Well, I'm sure you're all sleeping soundly at night knowing your man in Japan is keeping on top of it all. Yes, the Japan situation is well in hand while I'm on the job. Most recently with a solitary meal that, for starters, I thought was going to be soup and ended up being fried rice with broth on the side; in the end, the proprietor ambled over to tell me very politely that the broth, which had tasted terrible over my rice but which I'd continued to mix with it to avoid seeming unappreciative, was actually barley tea and I was supposed to have drunk it, not poured it over my meal. Yes, another fine evening of doing credit to the good ole U. S. of A. Be proud, America.
Next I'll find out that those rubbery things I'm always given with beer are not squid snacks but free inner tube repair seals, which are traditionally distributed at bars and parties, and that the locals have been laughing at me about that the whole time, too.
p.s.: The truly sad part is that I've been served barley tea in identical little bowls at least a hundred times and it had never even occurred to me to do anything inappropriate with it before.