The Witless Clunkery of a Third-Rate Mind

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Shrimp Women

I was in the post office this morning (unusually, I have a Thursday off, giving me a chance to do things around town) and I saw a "shrimp woman". This is an elderly woman who has such severe osteoporosis that she can't stand up straight. She walks around with her hands on her knees, bent over at a complete 90 degree angle, as if she were searching for something she had dropped on the ground. Consequently, she has a spinal curvature resembling a shrimp. I use that phrase flippantly, but it's actually extremely sad. These women are quite common in Japan - I suppose it is an unfortunate combination of a long lifespan combined with a life spent planting rice in the fields by hand, and a diet that doesn't traditionally include much calcium. If you go for a walk during the day in a semi-rural area, you will almost definitely see a woman so bent with age that she can barely see where she is going. Sometimes they get around with the assistance of a small shopping cart that they push in front of themselves for support.

Anyway, this particularly woman looked like she was 100 if she was a day old, and she had the worst back I think I've ever seen. She could barely shuffle her way up to the counter, and even then, her head was below the level of the desk, so she had to twist her neck just to look up at the teller. I wanted to help her somehow, but I had no idea what to do for her; I assume that most of the other customers felt the same way because, in true Japanese fashion, they were pointedly ignoring this embarrassing situation. Eventually, she got what she came for and shuffled her way out of the post office. All I could think was "Man, I don't want to get old." That and "Sit up straight."


At 9:46 AM, Blogger Zambo said...

Hey Buddy.

That was a sad one. Lately I'm getting the feeling that if I do get old, I'm gonna be a mess. I'm starting to fall apart already...

I'll probably look back and wonder why I ate so many bacon cheeseburgers...I should be working out, going for walks and visiting interesting places...Oh well. I think I'll lay down and watch TV for a bit first...

I hope you're doing well, my friend.

Take care.

Your Pal,


At 9:18 PM, Blogger BeatDogg said...

Dude, think how easy it would have been to rob her!

AAYYOHHHHHHH! buddump tssst!


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