It’s tough to believe in about 10 more days, the year 2013 will be history and we will be entering 2014, which will be the Year of the Horse.

So, since I’m a “Horse” to a lot of people, will 2014 be a special year for me? If so, maybe I should jump in my car on Jan. 1 and head for Las Vegas.

Oh well, I’ve been a “Horse” since we were tossed into internment camp during World War II and I acquired the nickname while we were at the Santa Anita Race Track, which was labeled an assembly center.

Since I was an 18-year-old when we arrived at Santa Anita and I had run the mile race while at the “outside” high school, I began running around the race track at Santa Anita.

One of those watching me running around the track for exercise yelled at me, “Hey, you think you’re a horse?” Thus, I became a “Horse” and my column, “Horse’s Mouth,” was born.

So I enter 2014 as a “Horse” in the year designated as the Year of the Horse.



Too bad my new neighbors (they bought the house about six months ago) don’t know about The Rafu Shimpo. If they did, they would know about my irritation at their barking dog. Their dog barks day and night, and I am almost prompted to call the city pound to lodge a complaint.

However, my wife is opposed to the idea. “After all,” she said, “they are our neighbors and we shouldn’t offend them by calling the city pound.”

Well, if they want to be good neighbors, maybe they should realize how annoying their barking dog is to rest of the neighborhood and keep their dog inside to shut him/her up.


As I mention every now and then, there was a time when I received invitations to a lot of Japanese community events. In recent times, however, all I do is read about the events in The Rafu because I rarely receive invitations. Maybe it’s my old age.

Well, at any rate, the string of no invitations has been broken, starting in the first month of the new year. The Japanese American Korean War Veterans invited me to their New Year’s celebration and officer installation luncheon in Gardena.

Old Heart Mountain friend Bacon Sakatani is being installed as the new president. He takes over for Min Tonai, whose term as president ends this year.

I want to thank Min, who sent me the invitation. It will be a pleasure for me to attend the luncheon, which will be held at the Sea Empress Restaurant.

It’s a good way to start the new year.

Maybe it’s a sign that I might be receiving a few more invitations in 2014 than I have in 2013. Well, 13 isn’t a lucky number, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected too much.


This is a really short bit, but I thought many may find it interesting.

That is, Frito Lay potato chips is coming out with a new product under its name.

How about potato chips covered with chocolate? Ugh!

At any rate, buyers will be able to get the new product at Target stores.

Me? I’ll stick with the salty chips.


Let me hear some people laugh before I continue with today’s chatter:

My wife had been after me for several weeks to paint the seat on our toilet. Finally, I got around to it while she was out.

After finishing, I left to take care of another matter, before she returned. She came in and undressed to take a shower. Before getting in the shower, she sat on the toilet. As she tried to get up, she realized that the not-quite-dry epoxy paint had glued her to the toilet seat.

About that time I got home and realized her predicament. We both pushed and pulled without any success whatsoever. Finally, in desperation, I undid the toilet seat bolts. She wrapped a sheet around herself and I drove her to the hospital emergency room.

The ER doctor got her into a position where he could see how to free her.

She tried to lighten the embarrassment of it all by saying, “Well, doctor, I’ll bet you’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The doctor replied, “Actually, I’ve seen lots of them. I just never saw one mounted and framed.”

Heh, heh.


I wasn’t going to use the following, but I thought it would bring at least a smile to the readers’ faces:

The other day I drove to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. It was about a six-block drive.

When I got back to the car, I realized I had forgotten to take the key out of the ignition and had slammed the locked door shut.

Thank goodness for the cell phone.

I called my wife and told her to bring me her key.

“How do I get to where you’re at?” she asked. “The battery on our other car is dead.”

So, I told her to ask our neighbor.

He brought her to the pharmacy about 20 minutes later.

Needless to say, he wasn’t too happy with me, but laughed anyway.

After this incident, the first thing I did was go to the local key maker and get an extra key made, which I vowed to keep in my pocket no matter what.

Can you imagine the same thing happening if I had driven to Little Tokyo and locked my key in the car? Or what about in Las Vegas?

Yeah, I guess I could always call a locksmith, but we’re talking big bucks if I did that.

What did my wife say about this incident? “Boy, your old age is catching up with you.”

My response? “It’s not catching up with me. It passed me by.”

(Maggie’s comment: Mr. Y. If you are a member of AAA insurance, they would have unlocked your car door at no cost. Another thing, they will make you a duplicate key to open the car door. I have taken advantage of this privilege a few times already.)


Oh yeah, I mentioned earlier about a new product. Potato chips covered in chocolate.

Well, let me add this one: A British inventor created an ice cream cone that glows in the dark. The shining cones get their green sheen from a synthetic version of the protein that makes jellyfish glow.

It reacts with the temperature in your mouth, so the more you lick, the brighter it gets.

But, there’s a catch. Each cone costs more than $200 a scoop.

You read that right.


Since the national lottery hit over $600 million, I found it interesting that one of the two winning tickets was purchased in San Jose. Could the winner possibly be a Japanese American?

Since there were two winners, the San Jose winner will get $300 million.

I’m looking forward to the announcement of the winner’s name, which will be released in two days.

No, I didn’t play the national lottery. I’ll be satisfied if I win the California lottery, which hit $50 million for this week.

Heck, I wouldn’t know what to do with $50 million, if I’m lucky enough to win.

Hey, even going to Vegas will lose its flavor.

Who would want to play 25-cent slot machines with $50 million in the bank?

Yeah, I would still like to write my column for The Rafu.


Well, as of today, Wednesday, Dec. 18, I haven’t received a single Christmas card.

Yeah, I mailed my usual number of cards to friends, but I can understand why people may have given up mailing cards to their friends.

Maybe it’s not proper to talk about expenses when it comes to sending Christmas cards, but today it costs 46 cents in postage.

Heck, there was a time when the cards themselves didn’t come close to 46 cents.

Just a thought, I guess.


So if I did fail in mailing all the cards I usually do and my friends read my chatter, Merry Christmas to you all.

Maybe I should have won the California lottery. I sure wouldn’t worry about the 46-cent postage fee if I had $50 million.


Well, I’ll have to write three more columns before we flip the pages on our calendar to 2014.

Hope I can keep entertaining all of you Rafu readers during 2014.

Thanks a million for your support, especially to Publisher Mike Komai, Editor Gwen Muranaka and Executive Assistant Yoko-san.

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via email at horsesmouth2000@hotmail.com. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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