Morton Salt once had a clever slogan, “When it rains it pours.” A print ad shows a little girl carrying an umbrella, while the product container is spilling a trail of salt as she walks in the rain; signifying its product did not cake up in wet weather (or in a shaker.)

For whatever convoluted reason, the long-ago advertisement serves as a timely metaphor for recent Crossroads to Somewhere efforts; pouring forth a stream of the good and the bad and maybe sometimes the ugly. With that in mind, the obvious starting point today would be the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Allow me to begin by first acknowledging the outpouring of congratulations and good tidings received after finally overcoming the DMV challenge. In making the private odyssey a public affair, it probably reminded you of your own bureaucratic skirmishes; mine just being a little more prolonged and painful. [Someday I’ll tell you about being in the eye of a storm with the IRS and FBI.]

Anyway, where were we? Oh yeah, thanks and appreciation for the moral support and interest. Pshaw, t’was nothing. And yes, to make it official I did receive the plastic in the mail last week. But therein lies the good-versus-bad thesis. A photograph that looks like someone headed for Sugamo prison wasn’t the most egregious sight. It was the expiration date: 11/25/2013.

I began DMV Story I, November 2010. It took me six visits and a like number of months to finally get a valid driver’s license. The saga achieved folkloric status in the annals of CR2S columns. The downer was having to face the same process again in ’12. I know a number of drivers, older than I, who get automatic renewals every five years via the mail without having to pass a single test! But alas, once red-flagged, I guess you suffer ignominy for life.

Anyway, as sheepishly admitted a while back, I not only forgot the 2012 expiration date, but also failed to pay automobile insurance. So DMV II began in January. And the gambatte spirit prevailed again, with a few hiccups.

But for how long? I face the firing squad again in five short months!


There is no rhyme or reason. There is no mercy or justice. The only good to come from it all will be material for another column of woe if a sympathetic audience remains.

Let’s not forget the original premise of this week’s treatise: There is good as well as bad to even things out.

Every now and again, various banking entities and governmental agencies are required by law to publicly reveal unclaimed properties and make a concerted effort to locate the unknowing beneficiaries. With the advent of mass social media, it’s obviously a whole new ballgame when it comes to tracking down the lucky unknown. But there is a caveat: If the asset is unclaimed within an established deadline, it is goes to the state of original jurisdiction.

Well, folks, in no exact order, I am notified by a professional property claims outfit, a Ph.D. kid brother, my conscientious CPA, a Chinese state controller and a half-hearted Citibank  in New York that there is a pension and profit-sharing account floating around unclaimed. That probably belongs to someone named William Teruji Hiroto.

As might be expected, one has to wade through a laborious paper trail before getting to first base. Continuing the baseball analogy, I’m currently at third base champing at the bit to score. But like the inept Dodgers, I know better than to celebrate before scoring (a check safely in my sweaty palm).

To be sure, it’s not exactly Power Ball, but hey, seven figures ain’t exactly Monopoly money either, Pal and Palette.

[Forever the court jester, my cheek is full of tongue. I must confess counting the two figures after the decimal (.) point, as in 00,000.00. Please forgive if I made your heart go pitta-patter there for a moment. Which is not to make jest of five figures. But a pointed reminder: There is nothing certain as of this date, so let’s wait and see what happens before shooting off fireworks.]

Added Lucky Note: KRH Friends of Keiro held its annual residents’ picnic  Saturday with the customary raffle prize drawings. Some dude named Wimpy had two winning tickets, including the grand prize, an exquisitely crocheted afghan that must have taken months to knit; courtesy of Nancy N, her talented hands and due diligence.

O-bah-keh-sama Update: The lack of updates is because of the continuing falloff in visitations. There were only six in the month of May. But there was a strange twist: On four occasions there were only telephone rings (and for the first time, two in one morning) but no tap tap taps before or after; just a solo jangle of the phone. Very strange. Neighbor SK, a two-month newcomer, says strange knocks have occurred on three occasions since his arrival. We’ll see.

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached via email. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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