In case you were wondering, the Thomas Ryan, LLC office is located in NE Florida, so when a Japanese Tourist group entered our office by mistake, it should have gone largely unnoticed. Quite frankly, it did, with one exception…Thomas…
You may remember that there was a time when Thomas felt compelled to save the extinct, Japanese River Otter after watching a documentary about them on YouTube. This animal rights endeavor included, but was not limited to a massive letter writing campaign to the leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
According to Thomas, LDS members closely resemble otters, and thus, they should be able to communicate with the Japanese River Otters to see what’s making them sick enough to be dying. It was Seth, our then Junior Editor, who questioned whether or not the LDS members spoke Japanese or not, and commented that that may create a language barrier.
Seth was young, vibrant, and didn’t really know Thomas all that well yet, so he had no idea how bad adding to Thomas’ strife would be. Nothing good ever comes from this, and young Seth learned this the hard way. Thomas immediately ordered young Seth to learn Japanese to a level where he could go to Japan and teach the River Otters English before it was too late.
I had to take the young man aside and guide him on how to react to one of Thomas’ asinine orders. “Go to Barnes & Noble, have a coffee or something, and don’t come back until you’ve learned at least five Japanese words. By then, ADHD Thomas will be on another, unrelated mission, and may have complete forgotten what he told you to do.”
“Why do I have to learn five Japanese words, then?” Seth asked.
“There is a chance – albeit a slight one – that Thomas will be on the same kick, and he may quiz you to see if you complied.” I replied. “Better safe than sorry.”
Back to the present. When Thomas saw the Japanese Tourist Group, he was immediately reminded of his failed attempt to save the extinct Japanese River Otters, and this just didn’t have favorable results.
Thomas always blamed the Japanese populace for the loss of the otters. In his mind, they didn’t do enough to try to save them. Nor did they seem to care that an entire species of mammal, Japanese Nationals at that, were dying off. To make matters worse, no one in Japan would return any of Thomas’ calls about the matter. Language barrier or timezone differences be damned, according to Thomas, they should have at least called and left a voice mail.
Thomas approached the stunned group, and began a rapid fire barrage of a very noble attempt at the Japanese language. I myself don’t speak a word of Japanese, but judging from the looks on the Japanese tourists’ faces, Thomas wasn’t doing that great of job with their Mother-tongue.
Moments later, the interpreter [also Japanese] leaned in and asked in broken English, “Why he talk about giraffes, ducks, potatoes, mountains, and pantyhose?”
“It’s been a while since the last time he’s spoken any Japanese.” I replied.
Unmoved by my response, the interpreter then asked,”Why he wear only very small gym shorts?”
Not wanting to add to the chaos of translation, I kept my response as minimal as possible. I mimicked the motions of someone doing bicep curls with weights, and responded with, “He was exercising…”
The interpreter watched me for a moment, and then turned his attention to our scantly-clad CEO who was by now silent, and appeared to be wondering why none of our impromptu guests were responding to him. I think it’s safe to say that judging from the condition of parts of Thomas’ body that were fully exposed, exercise was not a frequent activity for Thomas, and that clearly made my response unbelievable.
Thankfully, the tourist group was able to depart the office without the assistance of our local police, and I don’t expect to hear from the Japanese Consulate any time soon…well, that’s the hope anyway.
Still haven’t found a new job, but believe me, I’m looking.