There’s something cool about hitting the red power button on my TV remote and coming up a Frank Sinatra* ballad instead of a Dodger double play, although Vin Scully is just as memorable. I complete the serenity of audio by flipping on my computer and hearing an orchestration of “Star Dust” by Artie Shaw*, while staring at a blank page that is anxiously waiting to be filled with words of wisdom, hilarity and enlightenment. [*Both were married to Ava Gardner: The clarinetist couldn’t make her cerebral while F.S. couldn’t tame her.]
Please allow me to mooch some more of your valuable time by telling you something else that happens when I turn on the television set: The humongous flat HD’s first flicker of light shows the initials LG; signifying the company’s name and logo with a message that “Life’s Good.” Lately, being admittedly weird, I’ve found myself mulling over this thought every time it appears and nod in agreement that, yeah, life is.
I mean, hey, the sun rises and sets, ditto the moon (eclipses don’t count). Before you can laugh or cry, today is tomorrow. And next week becomes last month. Life is alternately cool and cruel, don’tchaknow, and all we can hope for is a favorable tilt every now and again. Overall, you must admit, the good outweighs the bad. And before I lose you to meditation or medication . . .
I haven’t mentioned the “Tap Tap Tap” mystery in a while for a very good reason: Just when I thought I had the knotty problem solved, the “answer” was brought into question and challenged. I’m not only back to square one, I have to reach up to touch bottom. A recap:
A while back, a series of early morning knocks on my apartment door went from being an amusement to write about to annoyance and sleep deprivation; the “tap-tap-tap” sequence occurring at odd hours and days between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m. As if dissatisfied to disrupt my sleep with only intermittent raps, unsettling single-ring telephone calls have begun to pierce the early morning stillness; you know, dial a number, listen for a ring and hang up. (There is now a third “nuisance” that I must refrain from delving into publicly until additional investigation; later when we hopefully can have a hearty guffaw over the whole disconcerting affair.)
T. H. poses his theory about the mystery knocks. “I know of houses that have strange sounds occurring at night. Haunted types. One of the things that happens is the cooling of the building at night and the various parts of the house, pipes, wood joints, vent shafts, contract and may pop or slide and make a sound. The temperature is coldest around 5 a.m. and thus may be the time when we hear noises in the house. Metal door is a good example of reacting to temperature changes …”
Two other engineering wizards shared similar thoughts on the matter. The best of suggestions came from D.Y., who believes the taps are secret messages from wife (Margaret) or son (Eric).
Reader R.T.I. proclaims, “I, for one, agree with you that it’s time to talk of many (other) things, (although your) minority view is on the mark.” I am assuming the reference is to the Fred Korematsu debate in which CR2S takes the minority (I just luv that word!) view questioning his hero status. But there were a surprising number who have agreed with me about his stature being “somewhat propped up,” as one reader put it. The recent timely recognition of Gordon Hirabayashi’s diligent efforts also bringing Korematsu’s stature into better focus.
S.N.K. of New York comments: “I know of what you wrote. I met someone who knew him from way back home and there is more to it. But I would like to (mention) a true Nikkei historical hero who does not seem to get much credit or notice. She is the late, great Mitsuye Endo of ex parte Endo. Because of her she freed 120,313 Nikkei from the concentration camps. If one reads what there is about her and what she did for us, one wonders why she is not that well known. [Ed. note: Ms. Endo’s successful Supreme Court challenge preceded Korematsu.]
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.