So the fam laughs at most of my jokes, most of the time mostly out of courtesy and surprise at my ability to string together a full idea in Japanese, but the other night I pulled off perhaps the greatest Japanese joke in the entire 6 years I’ve been studying the language. To be fair, it was only about 3 words and the host dad set it up pretty well, but with those few words Katsumi was in tears and my host mom was laughing pretty hard for about a solid 2 minutes.
So I’m sitting at the dinner table after everyone’s finished (it seems I’m a slow eater by Japanese standards too), and the parents and I are watching baseball. I ask about the chant their doing, the dad runs off to grab some of his Fighters fan gear, we eventually get to talking about American cheerleaders who Katsumi apparently has much admiration for, and to profess this affirmation he gestures to his chest, waist, and posterior, saying “Bon,” “Kyu,” “Bon” respectively with each gesture. It’s difficult to explain without actually showing, and if I was tech savy enough/had the time I’d get to putting together a gif file, but essentially “Bon” effectively translates to “bodacious,” “Kyu” translating to a tight waist.
So after dying for a little bit at this new revelation, I suggest that after I get back, it might be good on the first day of class to say my sensei’s looking quite “bon kyu bon” today, and Katsumi literally loses it at that point, like I’m talking struggling not to spit out his food, while the Okaasan who I assume is used to faking laughter at all my jokes, ACTUALLY has a reason to laugh now. We finally calmed down, but then my Okaasan, this super mild-mannered, quiet Japanese woman, went and said I’d never have to study again, and I absolutely lost it. I doubt my rhetoric in telling this story did it much justice, but if any of you Japanese students find that you’ve exhausted your limited vocabulary when spitting game with a foreign dame, Bon Kyu Bon!