Can’t make this stuff up


This is an actual conversation from the adult English conversation class I visit twice a month. There were 5 or 6 people there, but only about 4 were involved in the conversation. Each line is a separate speaker. I didn’t bother putting who is speaking because it was kind of hard for me to tell sometimes. Fun times.


A Chinese fishing boat attacked a Japanese boat. So Japan needs to put robots with lasers on the moon to attack China. It’s retaliation for peace.
Retaliation for peace? But retaliation isn’t peaceful.
If you want to retaliate, why not just attack one of their boats?
Because then China will drop an atomic bomb on Tokyo.
I don’t think China has atomic bombs.
What happens when the moon is on the other side of the world and the lasers can’t shoot, won’t China attack?
No, because Japanese skill is too great.
So we’ll wipe out China before the moon turns?
Yes, for peace.
Mr. N, we need lasers on the moon?
Yes.
How many times have you been to the moon? 5 or 6 times?
What?
How many times have you been to the moon? 5 or 6 times? 5 or 6? Times? 5 times?

But what happens if China isn’t wiped out before the moon moves? Won’t China attack?
No, Japan has great skill.
But I think China has skills, too.
But Japanese skill is greater. We can wipe out China for peace before the moon turns.
So how does wiping out China create peace?
Well, if we put the robot on the moon, they’ll be scared of our power, so they won’t attack us again.
So we won’t kill them.
No, they’ll be too scared to attack.
Didn’t they already attack?
Yes, so we need robots on the moon to protect ourselves.
Claire, you’re from San Diego, right? Is that near Chicago?
We’re talking about the moon right now.
Oh, right sorry.
So Japan never attacks anyone. But we must defend ourselves when attacked.
But you said we should attack China.
Yes, but that’s defense.
True, but is lasers from the moon really a good defense to an attacked fishing boat?
It’s to scare the Chinese.
How far is San Diego from Chicago? I mean in a car, could I go there, or in a train or in an airplane –
We’re talking about the moon now, please stop.
Oh, right, sorry.
Russia announced today that they will not return the islands north of Japan.
The islands north of Japan? You mean the Kurill Islands?
The what?
The Kurill Islands? The 4 islands near Hokkaido that Japan and Russia both claim?
Right.
Sorry, I only know the Russian name.
Russia robbed them from Japan, and now they say they won’t be returned.
That’s true. I don’t know much about them, only that they’re disputed, sorry.
Well, they are Japanese and the Russians robbed them and lied. Now they will not return them. But if we have lasers on the moon, Russia will be afraid.
But you won’t attack them.
No, we never attack. People attack us. For example, in WWII America attacked us. We did nothing, and they attacked us.
Wait wait wait, Japan attacked the US.
No, we did no such thing.
… Pearl Harbor? I’m pretty sure we didn’t do that to ourselves.
That was retaliation for American aggression.
What aggression?
Your attack.
Attack? You mean cutting off oil?
Yes, that’s a direct attack. If we don’t have oil, what will we eat?
… You mean for running machinery, right? Well, I don’t know how much oil Japanese food production was using then, but I think most of the oil was for military operations. So yes, cutting off the oil was a military act, but it was not a direct attack.
Yes, it was that’s why we had to defend ourselves at Pearl Harbor.

Claire, please draw a map of the US.
Ok.
So to fly from Fukui to Chicago is about 3 or 4 hours, right?
No, 13.
And to San Diego?
10.
How about San Diego to Chicago?
Maybe, 3?
And on the train? 4-5 hours?
No, probably like 5 days.
Ah I see, 4-5 hours.
No, 5 days.
So you drive to Chicago? When you go to Chicago, how do you usually go?
Well, I’ve never been, but I would go by plane.
Ah so on the train?
No, in an airplane.
So 4-5 hours on a train?
No, 5 days.
5 days? Why?
Because there aren’t good trains.
I see, your tracks are in poor condition.
No, we just don’t have a lot of them.
Ah, because they’re in poor condition, they fall apart.
No, we just didn’t build them.
Ah, I see, because they fell apart and you don’t want to make them.
No. (In Japanese) We don’t have many train tracks. America is very big. We can’t just take a train to Chicago. The trains are slow and we have to make many stops. There’s no direct train. So it takes a long time.
I see I see, thank you very much!
We’re talking about lasers on the moon right now, not about American trains.

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2 Responses

  1. How did you ever keep track of this and write it all down?

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