“Jelly smells like taxi driver.” – Akemi, the other day.
Well, Jelly may have needed the bath but it was Akemi who took the dive yesterday. We had just parked in Yaletown and were unloading the dogs from the car. I had the treats in one hand and a leashed Bubba and Lulu in the other. I crossed the bike path and threw a look back to Akemi who, Jelly in her arms, started after me – and trapped. She went like down a cartoon character, flat on her face, arms outstretched and still holding Jelly who landed cleanly on her paws and quickly shuffled over to join me.
Akemi was stunned. The first thing she did was apologize. Then, she assured me that she was okay and that we should continue on to the park. I took one look at her and told her “No way.”. She had abrasions on both her shins, her right toe which had caught the edge of the concrete, and her right wrist which had partially broken her fall. We bundled the dogs back into the car and returned home where Akemi cleaned the dirt and gravel out of her wounds, then applied some antibiotic analgesic and vaseline before bandaging them up. Now she looks like one of those injured anime characters.
As painful as it looked, for her part, Akemi was more hurt by the fact that nobody (but me) stopped to help. Apparently, if this was Japan, people would have rushed over to help or, at the very least, asked her if she was okay – as opposed to gawking and then moving on. Which brings up another complaint Akemi has about North Americans: they’re rude. Whenever someone bumps into her or steps on her foot, Akemi is conditioned to apologize. Again, if this was Japan, the individual bumping into her or stepping on her foot would apologize in turn but, here in North America, the standard response she receives is: “That’s okay.” or “No problem.” Well, it IS a problem. For Akemi. She feels that THEY should be apologizing to HER! I sympathize, but only up to a certain point. Japanese social conditioning dictates that an individual should launch a preemptive apology, even if they’re not in the wrong, but North American social conditioning dictates that individuals should automatically find fault with others – and if they’re apologizing, then that just makes it all that much easier!
I advised Akemi that she should compromise in the future. If someone steps on her foot, she can go ahead and apologize (because, being Japanese, I’m sure it would feel wrong not to). If the other person apologizes in turn, then all is right with the world and she can move on with her life. IF, however, the other individual fails to apologize, she should wait until they have turned and are about to walk away, then step firmly on their achilles tendon and shove from behind, preferably using a forceful two handed maneuver while remembering to keep that foot (and achilles heel) planted. THEN you can go ahead and apologize. And really mean it this time.
Continuing our stroll down Stargate: Atlantis memory lane:
Paul and I are big Carl Binder fans for purely selfish reasons. He writes solid first drafts and is able to incorporate notes quickly with a minimum of hand wringing and tearful reproaches. He is a show runner’s dream writer, as reliable as a Mustang convertible in his ability to deliver the goods in impressive yet understated fashion, relieving us of the necessity of doing any of our own driving – or, alternately, stripping him for parts and abandoning his gutted chassis in some sketchy neighborhood. Well, you know what I mean. He’s great, especially when it comes to character-driven stories. So it should come as no surprise that Carl was the go-to guy when it came to the Elizabeth Weir episodes. Before I Sleep was his memorable first writerly foray into Stargate: Atlantis and, two seasons later, he’s lost none of the skill, inventiveness, and humor that landed him a staff position on the franchise. The Real World is a head-spinner of an episode that takes place in two different realities – one real, one imagined, and yet for all of its illusory setting and fictitious elements, the alternate world offers up the opportunity to see a side of Elizabeth we, as viewers, rarely get the chance to glimpse.
Richard Dean Anderson guest stars in this episode. I recall he and Torri had a great time shooting their scenes and that, in turn, translated into the palpable onscreen chemistry between them. Makes me sad we didn’t get the chance to explore this a little more.
Also guesting in this episode was our own stunt coordinator, James “Bam Bam” Bamford who has a cameo as one of the burly orderlies who restrain Weir.
As much as I enjoyed the big space-based battles or team-centered off-world adventures, it was always nice to occasionally have a quieter, spotlight episode that featured a single character. And this one hit all the right notes.