Mark Guthrie tells you how to say goodbye
“Adios.” “Farewell.” “Get lost.” “If I ever see you near my daughter again, I’m gonna rip off your arms, shove one through the top of your skull, the other up your arse, and play you like an extraordinary cello.”
It is said by many that goodbye is the hardest word. However, from our painful, graphic and emotionally scarred experience, it would seem that simply stopping at goodbye should be easy enough.
But sometimes we must all say goodbye… In all likelihood, despite your far-flung plans and best laid efforts, you are a lifer here; destined to wander the straights and furrows of Nippon’s underbelly for all eternity. Of course, it’s possible that this is a result of your coming to the realization that the western economy is a Matryoshka doll of shite, and that your hopes of going home and becoming a world renowned novelist are as likely as Oscar Pistorius was to be happy with his Valentine’s gift of socks.
However, in all actuality, it is safe to assume that you are merely reluctant to leave a country in which, by simple value of your ethnicity, you are knobbing the sort of high quality blart that wouldn’t look twice at your pasty, flabby arse back home (especially as you use phrases such as ‘knobbing high quality blart’). Yet, for many gaijin, as winter shakes the snow from its frosty forelocks and spring teeters invitingly into view, it is time to pack up the futon and return to the lands of knives and forks. This is because the baffling-in-oh-so-many-ways Japanese educational system deems it correct to end the school year mid-spring, and many an ‘English teacher’/’dancing monkey for hire’ will take this opportunity to go home, back to reality, student loans and mum’s home cooking.
And so, a great proportion of our tens of readers – your best friends – will be readying themselves for the big push, the grande adieu. As such, you will want to send them off in style, with a bang, and you will want them to remember you with great affection; as a pinochle figure in their life in Japan -as opposed to being that creepy guy who had a faint scent of ostrich and a face like a dung beetle chewing a pine cone. Yes, they will want to have a Sayonara party. And not just any Sayonara party, but the Sayonara Party to end all Sayonara parties. And that is just what they will have. And, naturally, you will go! But beware… For there are dos and don’ts.
DO suggest going to an izakaya, a karaoke bar or for sushi. In all likelihood your departing friend will want to do something particularly Japanesey before they return to the western world.
DON’T suggest sitting on the floor of your 19m2 Leo Palace apartment drinking Strong Zero chu-hi. Yes, this may be a peculiarly Japanese thing to do, but probably not one that your friend will remember with much fondness.
DO make a short speech. It’s a sad thought, but this may be your last opportunity to let your friend know how you feel about them. And while emotions will be running high, try not to be overly soppy. Tell a short amusing tale about a night out you once had, or a shared experience which will send them off with a warm glow in their belly.
DON’T make a speech about the time your friend got fired from his job at the Catholic girls’ school for falling asleep in the toilet with a meth pipe between his lips, his cock in one hand and the school’s year book in the other. The only warm belly-glow likely to be experienced then will be yours moments after receiving a well deserved right hook to the gut.
DO reminisce together about the good times. Talk about fun adventures you had, trips you went on, and the like.
DON’T, after several pints of loudmouth soup, bring up the time the pair of you woke up together, naked except for a pair of socks between the both of you. Ignore this tip and the unsavory moment will become their abiding memory of you. Your denuded ungainliness and a solitary black sock.
DO try and get on with everyone at the party. Yes, over their time in Japan, your friend has likely picked up many an acquaintance, and there is a good possibility that, for whatever the reason, you do not see eye to eye with all of them. But this is not a time for raising petty grievances. For the moment, let bygones be bygones, and bear those you find distasteful with the patience of a saint. (It behooves you. Remember, you’re a lifer, now!)
DON’T start bringing up niggley arguments and making arsey comments before stripping to the waist shouting “Come on! Me and you outside now. You ain’t shit. You’re as hard as a mochi dildo!” A classy situation this is not.
DO assure your departing friend that you will look after their significant other. While long distance relationships are rarely successful, your friend may have decided that they will continue their romance after they have left the country, perhaps even planning on sending for their beau at some point in the future. Yes, it’s likely a futile endeavor, but you should reassure your friend that you will act with the greatest of propriety on their behalf.
DON’T wait until your friend has nipped to the loo before putting the moves on their loved one. Yes, we all know that your friend will likely be shacked-up within weeks of getting home, but now is not the time to mention it – especially whilst pawing at the object of their affections like a kitten would a freshly shaven ball-sack.
DO say goodbye properly. Shake hands, maybe hug, and wish them all the best on their future endeavors. And while a few tears may be impossible to avoid, and a lump in the throat is to be expected, do try to keep it dignified.
DON’T lie on the floor, grasping them by the ankles screaming, “Don’t leave me, please don’t leave me! Why is everyone always leaving me? WHAT’S FUCKING WRONG WITH ME?” In doing so, you have sufficiently answered your own question.
And so, without further adieu, “Sayonara bitches!”