1. An appeal from U.S. Consular Officer Gerard K. Dirkins

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

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15 Responses to 1. An appeal from U.S. Consular Officer Gerard K. Dirkins

  1. Mark Renusch says:

    I wonder where Trombone disappeared to? Maybe he’s biking across the country?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rick Broadaway says:

    I wonder if Mr. Trombone was tooting his own horn in this dubious manuscript, or perhaps just snorting some toot. And what does this suspicious Mr. Cherry have to do with the whole affair? What we need is a “quack” detective on the case!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gordon Bateson says:

    Thanks Don, I enjoyed reading the first installment. I hope you can keep up the high quality, ’cause I’m looking forward to part II already.

    BTW, I think I found out what Eddy was up to last year:

    Liked by 1 person

    • staff says:

      Thank you very much, Mr. Bateson. This is a promising lead that we are already looking into. Mrs. Doyle is especially grateful, and has been watching the video almost non-stop since receiving your reply. Consequently, when she finally does get around to processing a passport application or a travel visa, she does so in a very distracted manner, often failing to check the paperwork carefully and sometimes not even bothering to request required identification. I’m afraid Mrs. Doyle, bobbing her head and singing along softly with the video, has made the world a more dangerous place.

      -Gerard K. Dirkins, Consular Officer

      PS: I do not know of any “Don” in our office, but Mr. Kikuchi says there may be someone by that name on the 6th Floor. If I find him, I’ll pass on your thanks.


  4. Toby Dederick says:

    Mr Dirkins,

    As a Japanese Language teacher, I look forward to reading the manuscript. My students often ask me for resources that might help them learn the language & culture, as well as what it might be like to live in Japan. In your opinion, do you think the contents of the manuscript would be suitable for American high school students? Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • staff says:

      Mr. Dederick, your concern for your students is admirable. From what I have seen of the manuscript, there appears to be nothing particularly off-color or otherwise inappropriate for high school students. While the writing is in my opinion not particularly good, I must admit it does offer a unique glimpse into Japanese culture, though this is sometimes colored by the writer’s juvenile ramblings and what I believe to be thinly disguised jabs at the local culture.

      -Gerard K. Dirkins, Consular Officer


  5. Bruno Peyron says:

    Mr Dirkins,
    I am quite “choqué” that the Eddie Trombone Case is a matter for the US Consulate. It’s a fact that the name “Trombone” is a French name which means in Molière’s language not only trumpet or horn as one of your expatriated citizen put it through an outstanding but off the point short video, but above all “paper clip”. Therefore, find the man and you will find the whole story attached to him.
    I beg you then to return the stolen case of my fellow citizen to the right Consulate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • staff says:

      Dear M. Peyron,

      We are all extremely “choqué” over here at the Consulate over this revelation concerning “paper clip.” In fact, I have never seen Mrs. Doyle or Mr. Kikuchi quite this “choqué.”

      It would seem that we were indeed led astray by this Gordon Bateson fellow, and we have dispatched agents to his home to question him more . . . enthusiastically. We cannot at this time involve the French Embassy in this investigation as we find their slavish adherence to international law somewhat inhibiting to a thorough waterboarding investigation.

      -Gerard K. Dirkins, Consular Officer


  6. Sandee says:

    The trombone story is an example of the funny bone of it’s author. I find the author much more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pally says:

    Those of us to whom Japan is Mars look forward eagerly to further postings about Mr. Trombone’s writings. And we are desperately worried about his well-being. It’s scary out there (even with a STAFF.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Savage Bean says:

    There was an alleged sighting of the mysterious Monsieur Trombone at the wholesale market in Guangzhou, China where he was thought to be trying on a pair of knock-off SpongeBob SquarePants underwear. However, when confronted the rather obese white male immediately denied any involvement in an Interpol investigation of pedophilia.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bruno Peyron says:

    Taking M. Trombone’s matter seriously, I went to the French ambassy to see if there were (I put the last mark/remains of the English subjonctive here, but I am not sure if it’s still right) a picture of him. They handed me one and it’s quite obvious that Monsieur Trombone has nothing to do with this obese white male. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. How I should put it ? If Cratylus was still alive, he would take Monsieur Trombone as the living proof of his theory — Cratylus was an advocate of the idea that language is natural rather than conventional. In other words, Monsieur Trombone looks more like his name than this unlikely white male crossed in the wholesale market in Guangzhou.
    I am not “étonné” that this obese white male immediately denied any involment in this Interpol investigation of pedophilia. The need of our modern societies for transparency is such that if a human being is white, obese and American, it’s likely that he is perverse, perverted and depraved. Although I am French, I am big myself and I am confronted every day with this problem. One should’nt judge by appearences.
    No need to say that “le cas Tombone” doesn’t come within Mr Dirkins’ remit but under the authority of the French Ambassy. Sorry to insist on this point again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Babsie says:

    As she pulled into the darkened parking lot she saw a car parked in the distance. A burning cigarette glowed inside. Slowly, she climbed out of her vehicle and moved slowly toward the other car. The smoke was pungent…it wasn’t an American brand he was smoking…perhaps French? Galloise? No…she recognized it…maybe Asian…Mild Sevens. The last time she smoked a pack of Mild Sevens was that weekend in Tokyo with….Heat lightening flashed in the distance…”Trombone?” she whispered, “My God! Is that you Trombone?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lise says:

    Can we assume that Mr. Trombone is the victim of fowl play? I think we cannot rule out the possibility that Mr. Trombone was in fact putting his ducks in a row when they decided to fly the coop. (Contrary to popular belief, it is rare to find sitting ducks, especially when those ducks are seated in a row for extended periods of time. Furthermore, attempting to enforce this type of linear behavior in ducks is as futile as attempting to herd cats.)

    Let’s leave it to the experts at the consulate to quack the case.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ken Seeroi says:

    Somehow the idea of living in an apartment filled with cats and possibly a duck does not seem that far out. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to life in Japan though. (A friend of mine lives in a freezing, small apartment with stray cats–have to check on the duck situation though) The idea of disappearing, however, seems far harder to do. Maybe a facelift? Thanks for checking out http://www.japaneseruleof7.com/, and I’ll keep coming back here to see how this story turns out.

    Liked by 1 person

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