Secondary Income

Sagremor was walkin’  the ol’ dusty trail back to his home with a sushi-filled tummy. For the past 6 months or so, he had been eating at a marginally palatable 100yen sushi place called Uoemon. It’s near his train station, so the convenience factor made up for the post-meal nausea. However, he had recently discovered another 100 yen sushi place, Kurobei, (of the Genki Sushi Group) near the station’s opposite entrance. Much better. Tres delicious offerings at just as affordable prices; basically, a win-win. Back to the matter at hand, after 22 plates of sushi and 2 orders of black sesame ice cream, Sagremor was hauling his bloated frame back to his walk-in-closet sized apartment, when a car hit him.

Here’s how it went down. Our knight errant got to a fairly large intersection and stopped, since the crossing light was red, which means stop even in the orient. It was about 9pm at night, and there was very little traffic, both human and mechanical, out and about. Sunamachi isn’t known for it’s lively night-life. As he waited patiently for the light to change, his leg and fingers twitching in an antsy and childish nervous habit he’d never been able to shake, Sagremor started thinking about what kind of guitar to buy. The cheapest he’d found was sort of a reddish color, but the store also had a cooler-looking light blue one he preferred. It was a bit more expensive though…Ooh! The light turned blue! (In Japan lights turn blue, linguistically. In reality they still turn green, but for some reason the Japanese refer to blue lights…must have something to do with Bushido, I’m sure.)

Sagremor burst forth onto the pedestrian crossing lane, anxious to get home and the hell out of the cold. About 3 steps into the street, he noticed bright lights, originating from his right, shifting about behind him. A curious creature by nature, he turned to his right, and saw a car turning left into…well…him. Most human beings’ natural reaction would have been to jump the hell back and out of the car’s path. However, Sagremor had 2 things working against him. First and foremost, though a battle-hardened knight of the Round Table, he’d been gifted with historically awful reflexes. You know how doctors knock on your knee with a plastic hammer and measure the response? Well, Sagremor’s knees have never moved, to the bafflement of many pediatricians. Secondly, whereas most living creatures tend to prioritize self preservation, our good knight places much higher value on not wanting to be blamed for anything. A quintessential Italian trait. You know why the Parthenon is all in shambles? Hint: It’s not old age. Notice how no one seems to remember Italians invented Fascism? Everyone still knows Germans and Japanese were the bad guys in WWII, and blames them for everything, yet Italians have somehow tricked the world into thinking they just sort of weren’t there from 1938-1945. This may partly be due to the fact that the very minute an American boot stepped onto Sicily, Italy crumbled and surrendered. Regardless, shifting blame is as Italian as tax dodging and badgering foreign women.

As the car continued to edge closer to our heroic knight, exhibiting no signs of slowing down, Sagremor looked up at the traffic light to make sure the pedestrian crossing marker was blue(green). It was. The relief of knowing he wasn’t accountable for any kind of monetary penalty comforted Sagremor just as the car’s front bumper hit his right knee. Now, the car was turning, and was thus moving at a comically slow pace. The first impact sort of nudged Sagremor to the side, but the car kept moving, and pushed his right knee into his left, causing him to lose his balance and topple over onto the hood of the car. He then rolled over onto the windshield, at which point the driver decided it was a good time to start applying pressure to the break pedal, but with max force, immediately halting the car in its tracks. Our ambushed knight errant then rolled back off the hood and fell to the ground on his butt. That’s the part that hurt the most, by the way. In fact, as he’s typing up this very report, Sagremor is actually lying on his tummy eating apple slices, since sitting down kind of hurts. And apple slices just taste good, way better than the whole fruit, for some reason.  Right, so the whole event took about 5 minutes, since the car was moving so slowly. Let’s hope no video will find it’s way onto Youtube…

Sagremor was sitting on the ground, and hadn’t quite finished freaking out from the near-death experience. He heard a car door open and a middle-aged woman stepped out to A. check if he was OK and B. confirm all negative stereotypes regarding Asian women driving cars. (Now, don’t freak out and call your humble narrator racist. Personally, the author has nothing against Asian women driving cars. They’re just as dangerous behind the wheel as women of any other ethnicity) She did the usual Japanese “Oh my God, it’s a foreigner in a situation in which you do not usually find foreigners. How do I survive this?” face, and then helped Sagremor stand up. Surprisingly, he seemed to be fine. Not a scratch on him, and his butt pain was really the only inconvenience the event seemed to have caused. Maybe he’s an X-Man superhero or something? Could Sagremor really be Wolverine?! Honestly, he was pretty excited about the prospect of using his super human powers to fight crime. He would need to run more tests to verify the hypothesis, but the initial returns seemed promisin–Oh no! He noticed a tear in his suit pants. Bummer.

The lady driver apologized profusely, and kept asking if Sagremor was hurt. He told her he felt fine, really. No worries. However, he did mention his suit was torn. He then asked her for her name and contact info, just in case. Seemed sensible. A look of horror flashed across her face. She glanced around, but nobody was in the vicinity. A few people had walked by, but after flashing the usual Japanese “Oh my God, it’s a foreigner in a situation in which you do not usually find foreigners. How do I survive this?” face, they just kind of sped up their walk and moved on. She leaned back into her car and re-emerged holding a large wallet with the letters LV gaudily plastered over every square-inch of faux-leather surface. How did the French ever trick anyone into thinking they had fashion sense? Anyway, she pulled out two 10,000yen bills (about $243 using today’s exchange rate), and handed them to our confused knight errant. She then went on to assure Sagremor he looked fine, and was almost certainly injured in no major way. The lady driver also seemed quite confident that 20,000 yen would be more than enough to repair a suit, or even buy an entire new, reasonably-priced, one. At the end of frantic monologue, she let it drop that it would be better to just leave the police and insurance out of everything, as the bureaucracy and process  involved would ultimately prove to be a big hassle and much ado about nothing.

Sagremor stared at her, dumbstruck. Was he being bought off? First, he had discovered he was an invulnerable super hero, and now he was thrust into the middle of legal, and perhaps political, intrigue. Where were the cameras?! He was a bit suspicious though, a tad bit worried. However, above all else, Ser Sagremor is a greedy creature. He thanked the lady driver for the money, and agreed it would probably be enough for the suit repairs, but that he thought it prudent to take down her info anyway. She dumped out the last 2 bills in her wallet, and handed Sagremor another 15,000yen, for a total of 35,000 (about $426). She said that was all she had. Sagremor smiled, and admitted the authorities and insurances companies should be left out of such a trivial incident. The lady driver jumped back into her car, and drove off into the night, but not before Sagremor noted her license plate number and wrote it down in his daily planner. Just in case.

And so our hero pranced back to his home carrying an injured ass and a heavier wallet. His mind danced with thoughts of spending his hard-earned money. His brain romanticized over the possibilities, but where to start? perhaps a light-blue electric guitar?

Later days,

Sagremor

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