FROM THE DESK OF: Consular Officer Gerard K. Dirkins, Consulate General of the United States, Osaka, Japan
RE: Missing Persons Case #3776RL
Papers have recently been provided to the U.S. Consulate by the Osaka Police Dept. that may have some bearing on Missing Persons Case #3776RL, involving the disappearance of one U.S. citizen, Eddie Trombone. Found in the Osaka home of a woman hospitalized last year for an undisclosed ailment, these papers were recovered when the city of Osaka shortly thereafter declared the home unfit for habitation, and subsequently removed a large amount of material the former inhabitant had collected over an undetermined period of time, much of it apparently from neighbors’ garbage bags. Envelopes bearing Mr. Trombone’s name and address were found among the material, along with several hundred A4 size pages of English text that appear to have been produced on an inexpensive typewriter. It is believed by investigators that these pages may have been written by Mr. Trombone, and they are being published here in the hope that this may lead to someone coming forward with information regarding Mr. Trombone’s disappearance.
Consulate staff are in the process of going through the manuscript (although it should be noted that opinion among staff is divided over whether this is indeed a manuscript, and opinion is divided still further, and somewhat more contentiously, over whether it is one worth saving). The job is not an easy one, as the papers were found scattered among the material removed from the home. The unnumbered pages are out of order, and many have been torn or stained by what appears to have been an infestation of feral cats, and possibly a duck (though here too we find some contention among staff as to whether this was a duck or a water fowl of another sort, and there are even those among us who suspect something more reptilian). Pages will be published here as they are restored and reassembled.
The title page has been identified, and this was initially met with great enthusiasm among the staff, as it seemed to bear the author’s name. Unfortunately, this name was obscured by some foreign white matter, which then led to what I believe was a counterproductive 20-minute conversation among staff members about ducks, other waterfowl, and how snakes nurse their young. When reminded that Mr. Trombone’s very life may depend on the rapid dissemination of this information, and made aware by the incessant ringing of the bell at the passport renewal window that lunch had been over for quite some time, the staff, while not snapping to attention, did at least begin to drift in that direction. Mr. Kikuchi manned the passport renewal counter, and Mrs. Doyle took that opportunity to pluck Mr. Kikuchi’s treasured Tokyo Disneyland souvenir letter opener from his desk and apply it to the foreign matter that was obscuring what we believed to be the author’s name. Unfortunately, Mrs. Doyle’s characteristic enthusiasm and single-mindedness resulted in a furious scraping that in the end rendered that entire area of the page illegible. Perhaps it would not be entirely inappropriate to add here that the staff did not find this so terribly surprising, given other past behavior of Mrs. Doyle’s, including her management of last year’s Christmas party, the resulting fire, and Mrs. Doyle’s cynical attempt to blame this on “the terrorists” rather than her poor placement of a string of lights purchased at a suspiciously low price.
Above the hole where the author’s name likely once was, centered in bold, is the title “Teach Yourself Japanese,” suggesting a helpful guide for newcomers to Japan. The next page, however, has precious little to do with the serious study of the Japanese language, and is instead filled with pretentious, overly self-conscious prose about the author’s relocation from the United States to Japan. Furthermore, a quick scan of other pages overflowing the large box next to Mrs. Doyle’s desk suggest the manuscript devolves into a series of absurd, wholly unbelievable narratives with poorly fleshed out, one-dimensional characters, all for the purpose of making thinly disguised, uninformed grievances about Japanese society. Though of course Mrs. Doyle would have you believe otherwise.
But I digress.
We will begin uploading the manuscript in the weeks to come. People are encouraged to read the pages, difficult as that may be at times, and leave a comment on this site should they have any information they feel may have some bearing on the disappearance of Mr. Trombone. You may subscribe to this blog using the subscription setting in the sidebar on the right. Thank you for your kind attention.
Gerard K. Dirkins, Consular Officer humor, satire, Japan
To be continued . . . humor, satire, Japan