Saturday, November 27, 2004
THE BLIND GAIJIN MONK: A PARABLE
Two blind monks came one evening to Roppongi crossing. One was American, the other Japanese. After first listening carefully in both directions for oncoming cars, the blind gaijin monk, completely ignoring the green light (which he couldn't see anyway), miraculously began to cross the road at a brisk pace. Suddenly becoming aware of his friend's traffic dodging follies - which were beginning to veer well outside the 'pedestrian zone' - the sightless Japanese monk became downright flustered and frantically called for him to come back at once. He did so with no great trouble, other than being honked at by a few irate, lead-footed salarymen. "What's the matter," the American said, a little out of breath. The Japanese monk said, "THAT'S not the way to cross the road. Follow me!" As if he were scolding a child, he took his friend firmly by the sleeve and led him back to their previous spot on the sidewalk. They waited there in silence, canes in hand, amidst the din of rush-hour Tokyo traffic, for the traffic signal to change. It did so presently. Upon hearing the opening bar of the ever-familiar 'WALK' melody, the Japanese monk, still making an effort to hide his embarrassment at his companion's foolhardiness, stepped tranquilly out onto the road under the glowing red light. It was the last step he would ever take. The immortal soul of the Japanese monk hovered but fleetingly over his now broken body, which had unfortunately been struck head-on by a speeding Calpis truck and kersplatted as far as Roppongi Hills. Suddenly left standing there all by his lonesome, the American monk mouthed a silent proverb-cum-prayer.
Which of the following proverbs did the blind American monk offer up to the soul of the blind Japanese monk that was soon to be reborn in the Western Paradise?
A) In the country of the blind, the one-eyed is king.
B) There's none so blind as those that will not see.
C) A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.
D) If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the glitch.
E) None of the above. (If you wish, you can email you very own answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and it will appear here in these very pages as if by magic.)