The Profit Chapter 10: “The Gospel According to Masa”

The book of employment of Joshua our saviour.

ECC begat GEOS; and GEOS begat AEON; and AEON begat NOVA and all their bankruptcies. NOVA begat NGE School; and NGE School begat EZY English; and EZY English begat American Language School and their brethren. American Language School begat Berlitz; and Berlitz begat The English Bug and The English Bug begat Koyama Eikaiwa, the king, by whom was brought to us Joshua, who is called Christ.

So all the employments from ECC to Josh are eleven generations, which Josh-san once told me was only right and holy as eleven is the same number as those players on a team of the beautiful game. If you exclude substitutes.

But it is clear to see from his rather chequered employment past (though he only likes to speak of a single failed position, humble as he is in not wishing to embellish his life story with too great a detail for fear that it would distract from his message, I am sure he won’t mind me shedding a little further light on his true inadequacies. As an apostle and chronicler of the lord I feel that I have a responsibility to hold an enlightening torch to the lesser-known aspects of his blessed life, and I strongly feel that, just as we know that Jesus failed his first four semesters at Jerusalem Carpentry College and never even managed to get his 50m swimming badge – making the miracle of the Sea of Galilee all the more impressive – proving the pre-divinity fallibility of the of the Lord brings him closer to all of us wretched, imperfect souls) that it took him some time to get settled into a position in which he was appreciated.

It seemed to me that Koyama was the ideal place from which Josh-san could preach his message as well as educating those of us who had failed to grasp the considerable importance of the English language. For I have to admit that I was initially blind to how great and glorious the words of the Angles, Saxons (and to a lesser extent Jutes), truly are. However, through the enigmatic Josh-san’s coaching and preaching, I soon became a deep and devout convert.

It was immediately apparent from the go-get that he was something special, which is why I was not at all surprised when Jun, after a night of izakayas and karaoke, disclosed to me his unshakable belief that Josh-san was the second coming of Christ. It was no surprise at all and, though admittedly a little worse for wear and emotionally drained due to the recent bereavement of my beloved cat Nyanchan (later to be posthumously renamed Simon the Cataanite), I too was very ready to believe.

Over the next few months I devoted my time to him and following his teachings, and in that time I was a blessed witness to many of his miraculous doings. I was there when he turned the 10,000 points on his Hub membership card into ten portions of bite sized fish and chips and offered them all around the bar. I was there when he befriended the lone Chinese man in the OXO and brought him into our group, curing him of his outcast status. And I was also there the night in Shooters when he met a man, lying on the floor paralytic with the drink, ordered him to ‘get up and walk’, and lo and behold the man could walk.

But throughout much of this time I could not shake the idea that much of the infatuation that Jun, Makoto, Ruka and I held for him was that we, as devoted fanatics of foreign culture, just wanted to believe in all the things he told us, because it made us feel important and somehow cool by association. Which is why, when Jude joined our following, we tasted something akin to vindication. It was not just our gaijin-loving group that were in thrall of this little God, but a good looking American seemed to feel the same way. This was not the worship of a false, British idol. What we were following was the real thing.

At first we enjoyed Jude joining our discipleing gang. As a manager at the famous Legion Eikaiwa, he was not without money and would often treat us to wild nights out at kabakura clubs, meeting women, eating expensive platters and drinking bottle after bottle of Australian champagne. We had many great nights out, and though Josh-san was often plagued by the guilt of ignoring Mari-chan’s frequent, imploring messages, as Barry thrust yet another beautiful woman on his lap his spirits soon rose from the dead.

It was Ruka who first questioned Jude’s intentions, though we were at first inclined to dismiss her concerns as mere jealousy at not being able to join us at the hostess bars. Soon, however, Jun and Makoto too began raising concerns when yet again Josh-san missed a lesson due to ‘sickness’ that Jude was leading him astray.

However I was faithful. I refused to believe that Josh-san was straying from his calling, and time and time again I stood up for him when yet again the others complained bitterly of his last minute cancellations.

Which is why, when I turned up for my regular Saturday lesson with him at Koyama Eikaiwa, I was destroyed to hear that Josh-san had quit the school to take up another position, for a greatly inflated salary. With Jude at the Sakae branch of Legion.

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