They say there’s a fine line between genius and madness. It’s a line that our Mr. Sato frequently walks.

One day, fellow Rocketnews24 writers Mr. Sato and P.K. Sanjun were out getting lunch at a self-serve soba noodle restaurant.

After a pleasant conversation about kidney stones, P.K. wiped his mouth with a napkin and put all of his garbage on his tray to take to the counter.

“Well, back to work,” P.K. said to Mr. Sato in a voice cheerily full of well-fed camaraderie. However, as P.K. turned to leave Mr. Sato murmured something in voice that appeared to be stifling rage.

Mr. Sato: “P.K…You’re not throwing away everything on that tray, are you?”

P.K. turned back towards Mr. Sato and saw that a darkness had fallen over the usually easy-going coworker. Not knowing quite what the question meant, P.K. had no choice but to go with the truth.

P.K. Sanjun: “Um… Yup. Just gonna go over there an…”

Mr. Sato: “You son of a bitch!! Why are you throwing out your disposable chopsticks? What’s the point of coming to a restaurant to begin with?! Oh, maybe I forgot you’re actually a globe-trotting celebrity? No wait, perhaps you forgot to tell me you’re some kinda oil tycoon?!

Since when did you lose your soul? You make me sick, you scum!”

Although the level of Mr. Sato’s anger was very unbecoming of him, P.K. was more taken aback by the apparent reason for his rage. He wasn’t quite sure about the details but it definitely had something to do with throwing away wooden disposable chopsticks.

P.K. Sanjun: “Look, I appreciate people who know how to save money at every opp…”

Mr. Sato: “Jeeze P.K… You really don’t get it do you? You poor bastard… The worth of used disposable chopsticks goes far beyond money.”

Mr. Sato was cautiously settling down now that it appeared P.K. had no idea what was going on. His face took on a solemn Buddha-like expression of utter certainty as he explained.

Mr. Sato: “Do you know that as you eat your meal, your chopstick soaks in all the deliciousness of it?

Are you getting it yet?

The chopsticks are made of the Earth’s greatest treasure, wood, and then they are steeped in soup made from the bounty of the seas. Rocks, oceans, mountains all come together here. These disposable chopsticks are the taste of the very Earth itself.”

And so Mr. Sato too bussed his own tray, but kept the chopsticks for himself and proceeded to skip along the street with one in each hand like the Pied Piper of Soba-town.

Later on, back at RN24 HQ, Mr. Sato came up to the desk where P.K. was working and asked, “So, how are you liking your used disposable chopsticks?”

“Well,” P.K. responded, “I get what you said, but I still don’t know what to do with these things.”

Mr. Sato just grimaced at P.K., much like Mr. Sato Sr. once had back when his son told him he was dropping out of medical school to be a writer for RocketNews24.

“Come with me…” he said and sternly headed for the smoking lounge.

“This… This here is the height of luxury,” Mr. Sato groaned while first taking a drag of his cigarette and then sucking on a used soba-sauce-stained chopstick as his eyelids closed and began to twitch with ecstasy.

P.K. had to admit, his colleague did appear to be residing in the oft talked about “flavor country.”

Then, P.K. watched as Mr. Sato took his sticks back to his desk and continued to suck the essences of the world from them as he worked.

When he was finally done, Mr. Sato ceremoniously gave them a date and serial number.

▼ Number 165,369!!

P.K. returned to his desk and stared at his own chopsticks. Shrugging his shoulders he stuck their business ends in his mouth and began to savor the “Earth.” It certainly was tasty in a woody kind of way and actually did remind him of the meal he just ate.

However, it was far from the transcending experience that Mr. Sato had so passionately described…

Maybe P.K. wasn’t ready for it. Maybe none of us are. Maybe – just maybe – one hundred years from now, all people will walk around sucking on wooden sticks birthed of the land and soaked in the ocean’s bounty all the while being truly at one with the planet.

Then again, let the record show that Mr. Sato had also chosen at points in his life to both smoke and regularly wear an Apple watch…

Original article by P.K. Sanjun & Mr. Sato
Photos: RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]