RFT 552: Hamfist Meets His Soul-Mate
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Just then, the apartment door opened. I heard a soft-spoken female voice, “Tadaima!” “Miyako is here, and she brought our lawyer from the airport,” Tom remarked. A very attractive Japanese lady entered the room, walked right up to me, held out her hand, and bowed slightly. I had expected her to be wearing a kimono, but she was wearing a conservative, grey dress. She had a slight accent, “I'm Miyako. Thank you for saving my husband's life!” She gripped my hand with both of hers. “It's a real pleasure to meet you, Miyako. I'm not so sure I saved his life, but I'm glad I was there to help.” Tom interjected, “Here comes my lawyer.” A gorgeous Eurasian woman, about my age, entered the room, rushed over to Tom, and hugged him. “Daddy!” Tom hugged her back, then introduced me, “Samantha, this is the Hamilton I've been telling you about.” She held out her hand. “Call me Sam.” I shook her hand, and said, “Sam, it's a real pleasure to meet you. I'm Ham.” “Sam I'm Ham,” she responded, “sounds like we're reading a Doctor Seuss book.” Tom beamed. “That's my girl. Sharp as a whip. She finished at the top of her class at Harvard Law School last month. We're so proud of her.” Sam appeared to blush. “Now,” Tom said, “let's go have a great dinner. Do you like steak?” He didn't have to ask me a second time. While I put on my suit and tied my tie, Tom changed to an equally outstanding outfit. We all got into the car, and Tom said something in Japanese to the driver. “The absolute best steak in Tokyo is at the Misono Steak House, in Akasaka,” Tom announced. We drove through narrow streets for about a half hour, and pulled up outside a small restaurant front. We went into a dimly-lit, elegant restaurant, and sat at a table with a large skillet built into the surface. Tom and Miyako sat on one side of the table, and Sam sat next to me, on my right. I think she purposely positioned herself there to help me with my chopsticks if I had trouble. A chef appeared with four thick steaks, some shrimp, and an assortment of vegetables, and he proceeded to cook them in front of us. He put on an incredible performance, slicing and dicing the steaks and then tossing the pieces of meat over his head and catching them in the rice bowls in front of each of us. “This is Kobe beef,” Tom explained. “Every minute of their lives these animals are massaged, and they're fed beer all day long. The meat is tender enough to cut between your chopsticks. You'll see.” “And, by the way,” he continued, “from now on, we're not calling them chopsticks. They're hashi.” “Got it. Hashi,” I answered. “Ham went to the Air Force Academy,” Tom explained, looking at Sam. “Where’d you go for undergraduate?” I asked Sam. “I graduated from Northwestern in 1966.” We ate in silence for a few minutes, with me trying my best to impress my hosts, and especially Sam, my facility withhashi. I was getting pretty good, getting almost every bite to my mouth without dropping anything. Then Sam ventured, “You know, I almost dated a cadet once.” “Sounds like you dodged a bullet,” I replied. “No, I was actually really looking forward to it. In the fall of 1963, when I was a sophomore, the Army and Air Force were playing their first-ever football game, at Soldier Field in Chicago.” I remembered it well. I was a doolie at the time, and the entire cadet wing was going to travel to Chicago by train to watch the game and then have a post-game formal ball. We were going to have a joint ball with the “Woops” – the West Pointers – who had also come to Chicago en masse. As a doolie, I had never gotten the opportunity to leave the base since entering the Academy in the summer, and this was going to be a real treat. After the game, we would have about four hours to be out on our own to explore Chicago before the ball. I was really looking forward to it. Then, the day be
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