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Japan DiaryMinnesota Musings

Meerkats and Ambulances

By February 25, 2021March 5th, 2021No Comments

I wonder if meerkats make good pets? They remind me of ferrets so I assume they would. But I have never seen anyone walking a meerkat on a leash in public like those ferret owners like to do. In fact, I have never seen an actual meerkat in a zoo. The only time was on nature television shows. And every time I saw an episode featuring meerkats it was the same scenario, a mob (this is what they call a group of meerkats) standing on their haunches craning their necks in unison listening for the approaching enemy.

If memory serves, the narrator, always British, follows up the mob scene shot with a funny quip, “These aren’t merely cats, they’re meerkats.” I know reading this doesn’t do it justice but try and imagine haunch standing meerkats and a British narrator’s voice–Think John Cleese or Sean Connery.

Truth be told I think the image of a meerkat mob is funny enough. I didn’t laugh at the quip, rather just as they craned their necks in a well-choreographed visual performance of instinctual fear.

What is it with all this meerkat stuff and how does this connect to the other word in the title “Ambulances?” Trust me this is leading somewhere.

The other day while waiting for the stoplight to turn green I noticed a mob of old men standing on the opposite corner. Now let me first preface after the fact that if you didn’t know, Japan is home to a large population of elderly. In fact, facts clearly state the elderly far outnumber the young so much so that Japan is known as an aging society.

As we waited for the light to change, off in the distance the sound of an ambulance “Brrr buuu, brrr, buuu.” May be better if you imagine the sound of your type of ambulance. Unable to see the ambulance the sound was getting closer and louder with each passing second. Looking across the street I notice the mob of elderly men turning their heads in the direction of the sound. And just as the ambulance came in sight, in a perfectly choreographed visual performance of instinctual fear the men craned their necks at the approaching enemy. Knowing full well the ambulance wasn’t coming for them yet, they, like we all know that day will come.

Until that day the ambulance arrives, how are you living your life?

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