I wasn’t aware that Maggie (who types my column for publication) was absent from The Rafu until I read her column the other day.

Well, I’m glad she’s back.

In her column she wrote that she was having some health problems. I can appreciate that because I’ve been undergoing similar aches and pains.

Well, in my case, it’s probably old age.

(Maggie’s comment:  Me, too, Mr. Y. Sometimes I am so glad my head is attached to me).


I see another visitor to Vegas hit the jackpot on the Wheel of Fortune slot machine. A few weeks ago, another person won $3 million-plus.

Someone else won “only” $300,000-plus.

Man, I’d better jump in my car and get to Vegas.

I called my “contacts” and will be heading there during the first week of September.


While I’m touching on Vegas, I read in the local media that the worst drivers in the U.S. are those behind the wheel in their city.

I can believe that. That’s one reason I don’t like driving around in Vegas.

Once I park my car in the hotel’s parking lot, I leave it there for most of my trip.

Yeah, I still go out to my favorite Japanese restaurants and to the cigar store to pick up my supply of stogies, but other than that, my time is spent in front of the slot machines.

Judging from the lack of parking spaces at the hotel where I stay, I would guess that most of the visitors do the same thing.

The reason why Vegas drivers are so bad? I would guess it’s because many of them have moved to Vegas from other cities in the U.S. and can’t adjust to the traffic there.


I guess I have used the old adage “There goes the neighborhood” in describing the area where I’ve been living for close to 60 years.

There was a time when 85 percent of the neighbors were Japanese Americans, but over the years, that number has been reduced to about 5 percent.

Many moved to Orange County and to the Torrance area. I guess I’ve thought a lot of times that I should join them.

Now, most of the houses are rented out by the JA owners. Those who are renting are not families but individuals, which means that they all own separate vehicles that they park in their driveways and on the streets. So when my sons and friends come to visit me, they have tough time finding a parking space.

Those who are renting aren’t interested in who their neighbors are. Only one of them crossed over the street and introduced himself.

“Glad to meet you, George,” he said when I gave him my name. And he’s the only one who waves to me when he climbs into his car parked on the street.

Oh well, I guess that’s life.


Since so many Nisei are golfers, I like to toss in “laughers” where the sport is mentioned in emails sent to me. Try this one:

A Nisei walked into a dentist’s office with his wife and said, “Doc, I’m in one heck of a hurry. I have two buddies sitting out in my car waiting for us to go play golf. So forget about the anesthetic. I just want you to pull the tooth and be done with it. We have a 10 a.m. tee time at the best golf course in the Los Angeles area and it’s 9:30 already. I don’t have time to wait for the anesthetic to work.”

The dentist thought to himself, “My goodness, this is surely a very brave man asking to have his tooth pulled without using anything to kill the pain.”

So the dentist asked him, “Which tooth is it?”

The man turned to his wife and said, “Open your mouth, Honey, and show him which tooth hurts.”

Heh, heh.


Oh my gosh, I forgot all about it. Back in January, I applied for my press pass from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department

As the time passed, I guess I forgot about it because unlike the old days when I was active in covering events and needed a pass, I’ve slowed down and don’t get around too much as a media person.

Well, here it is becoming September in a few days, and guess what? I got an email telling me my press pass is ready for pick-up, so I guess I’ll have to drive over to the Sheriff’s Office in Monterey Park to pick it up.


Reader Tomi Iwata emailed me a piece that she headlined “Bee Sting, Very Interesting.” It might be helpful for those who spend time outside working in their garden.

“This information may be something to remember, as the bee season will soon be here. It might be wise to carry a penny in your pocket while working in your yard.

“A couple of weeks ago, I was stung by both a bee and a hornet while working in the garden.

“My arm swelled up, so I went to the doctor. The clinic gave me cream and an antihistamine. The next day the swelling was getting progressively worse, so I went to my regular doctor. The arm was infected and needed an antibiotic.

“The doctor told me, ‘The next time you get stung, put a penny on the bite for 15 minutes.’ That night my niece was stung by two bees. I looked at the bite and it had already started to swell. So I taped a penny to her arm for 15 minutes. The next morning, there was no sign of a bite. We decided that she just wasn’t allergic to the bee sting.

“Soon, I was gardening outside. I got stung again twice by a hornet on my left hand. I thought, ‘Here I go again to the doctor for another antibiotic.’

“I promptly got my money out and taped two pennies to my bites, then sat and sulked for 15 minutes. The penny took the sting out of the bite immediately.

“In the meantime, the hornets were attacking and my friend was stung on the thumb. Again the penny. The next morning I could only see the spot where the hornet had stung me. No redness, no swelling. The friend’s sting was the same. Couldn’t even tell where she had been stung.

“She got stung again a few days later upon her back. And the penny worked once again. Wanted to share this marvelous information in case you experienced the same problem. We need to keep a stock of pennies on hand.

“The doctor said that the copper in the penny counteracts the bite and said it definitely works.” 

Well, I don’t know about the accuracy of the foregoing, but when I’m in our backyard from now on, I’m going to carry pennies my pocket. I told my wife to do the same.


Have any of you heard somebody referring to another as “Fatso”?

Well, it might not happen as often in California as in other states.

Our state’s obesity rate is still high, about 25%, but the fattest states are Louisiana and other states in the South and Midwest.

One reason for California’s drop in obesity is that parents are concentrating on their children as far as weight gain is concerned.

With adults, it’s tough to change one’s lifestyle, but with children, it’s another matter.

Prevention methods include keeping one’s children from drinking too much soda and other sugary beverages. The effort seems to be working.

This seems to be the trend in Los Angeles County.

Right, “Fatso”?


Everyone knows that I chew on cigars. But these are real cigars. I just don’t light up.

Well, a lot of young people are beginning to chew on stogies, according to a news story released recently, but these are not real cigars. They are chocolate-flavored cigars.

Young people in the Baltimore, Maryland area are the first to be dropping into a store selling these chocolate cigars, but Congress is passing a law banning imitation candy cigars.

So, let’s see what happens.

Hey, maybe I’ll switch to the chocolate cigars. They are a lot cheaper than the real thing.


Nowadays there are always stories about the cost of real estate.

Well, where do you suppose homes cost the most?

New York? Nope.

California? Nope.

Florida? Nope.

What about Hawaii? Yup, if you guessed the Islands, you hit the nail on the head.

The average price for an island house is $2,995,037.

California’s highest average is $2,325,885.

Hawaiian homes at the above price have four bedrooms and 4½ baths with traditional Hawaiian detailing.

Aloooha. To your money, that is.


George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via email at Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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