The Lying Counselor’s Eloquent Reasoning - Chapter 15
Episode 2 – Innocent Noise
There is an expression called, “Ishibe Kinkichi,” and Ishikawa Tetsuo was not only akin to that four-letter kanji in name but in nature as well. His age was 78 years old. Although his body was as frail as a withered tree, his eyes were keen and he had rugged features that created the image of an opinionated father.
Each morning of his life typically involved having breakfast in his living room while watching television. On the breakfast menu were rice, miso soup, chum salmon, and pickles. It was a traditional Japanese meal.
And the programs he viewed were invariably the morning broadcasts. Recently, due to presbyopia, he rarely read newspapers, thus his information gathering depended solely on television.
However, the contents of that day’s wide show caused his blood pressure to rise significantly.
“What Will Happen to Japan’s Aging Society with Low Birthrate! Childcare Refugees Now Seen from the Problem of Waiting Children!”
Ordinarily, the program would focus on inconsequential topics such as the health benefits of a certain food or the scandal of a certain celebrity, but today, the program dealt with a highly social, serious, and political subject. The content of the program would not only raise the blood pressure of ordinary people but also lead them to contemplate the future of Japan in a serious manner.
Nevertheless, Tetsuo couldn’t suppress a great deal of anger.
“What are you calling a childcare refugee! Don’t make up words like that!”
Hurling the chopsticks at the screen, he finally unplugged the television and disconnected it. Tetsuo was not the type to use the remote control to navigate the television in a sophisticated way. Naturally, the channels were almost always fixed.
“Honey, why are you yelling at the TV again? Hurry up and finish your breakfast.”
From the kitchen, his wife’s voice called out to him. They had been married for over forty years, and she was two years older than Tetsuo.
“Oh, you don’t think anything of it! The problem of an aging society with a declining birthrate is like saying that we old people are the burden of society! Do you really think it is okay to mention such a thing on TV!”
“What? I don’t mind. In fact, it’s true. Isn’t there the issue of medical expenses? Even you go to the hospital, don’t you? I heard those things cost a lot of taxpayers’ fees.”
“This is not only my problem!”
“You’re right. I’m on medication for diabetes too――”
“That’s not what I’m talking about, you idiot!”
Just at the moment Tetsuo shouted. From outside the living room window, he could hear the cheerful voices of children singing.
“There you go, there you go, the tulip flowers…”
It was an innocent and cute song, probably sung by five-year-old children.
“‘Oh, they are in high spirits today, too.” Tetsuo’s wife seemed to be heartened by their singing. Tetsuo, however, was in a different mood.
“Those damn kids! Are they making noise again!” Frustrated, he pounded on the living room table with his fist. The dishes and chopsticks clinked together.
“Enough, honey, you should get used to it. It’s not so noisy from here at all. It’s simply a bunch of little kids singing happily.”
“Shut up! Today is the day I’m going to protest to the bitter end!”
Tetsuo promptly picked up the phone on the wall of his living room and pressed down the number with his well-versed manner. The number to call was, of course, the kindergarten next to his house, which produced a racket every day.
Yet, the phone remained unreachable for a long time. Only the ringing of the phone could be heard in vain from the receiver.
“Hey, why aren’t they picking up the phone!”
“Of course, they won’t. Even the other side can tell who’s calling. How would they answer the phone if it was from you? Every time you call them, all you do is complain. You’re way too nervous.”
“Shut up! You make it seem like I’m the one who’s acting weird!”
Tetsuo couldn’t help but be irked by his wife’s word, nervousness. Yes, Tetsuo was behaving in this manner on a daily basis, and at one point his wife suspected that there was something amiss with his ears and sent him to the hospital for a hearing test. The results proved that there were no abnormalities at all. The doctor asked Tetsuo curiously as to why he was suddenly having his ears checked, but since it was a test he was unwilling to take, he left without offering any answer. If there was no disorder in his ears, he would simply be labeled as a nervous person anyway.
“Anyway, I didn’t do anything wrong! Those kids are just being way too loud!”
The only thing to do now was to directly confront them! Tetsuo left his half-eaten breakfast on the table and headed for the door. He was still in his pajamas, and his hair was a mess from his sleeping habit. From behind, he heard his wife’s voice, “Are you sure you don’t want to finish your breakfast?”.
But then, as he put his hand on the knob of the front door to step outside, a flyer that was apparently stuck in the mailbox landed at his feet.
On there, “Your concerns will be solved. Please feel free to contact us. Uroma Counseling Room” was written on it.
“What the hell is this? An ad for a psychiatrist?” Tetsuo was dubious for a moment, but then an inspiration dawned on him. “Yes, I can use… for this!”
Picking up the flyer, he quickly checked out the place where the psychiatrist was located.
Ishibe Kinkichi – Man of incorruptible character
Wide show – Name of the Japanese TV program
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