5-pun Ato ni Igai na Kekka / ５分後に意外な結果
Lit. An Ending You Didn’t See Coming 5 Minutes Ago
5-pun is a collection of short stories whose ending will marry your mother and declare itself your pineapple…meaning, it’s going to be crazy as hell. Or at least that’s what’s advertised on the obi around the book:
“30 short stories”
”That can be read in the blink of an eye”
”Whose endings you’ll never see coming!”
”The fan loved third installment!”
“Best read in the morning.” <- wut?
”You’ll be covered in goose bumps 3 seconds after finishing.”
”Endings you never imagined.”
A little background here: I got 5-pun because I was looking to start reading novels in Japanese but I wasn’t ready to commit to an actual novel. I don’t have the attention span to last for an entire 200 pg story haha! It must have been fate that I came across this book while dicking around at the kid’s section in Kino (lol that sounds so wrong if you don’t know what “dicking around” means xD). What caught my eye was the cover. Actually, it was the font on the spine but it was the cover that sealed the deal. As you can see, it’s not super detailed but its simplicity is what drew me. Also, the giant pants-less skeleton amused me (oh the things I notice). Using my shaky Japanese skills, I was able to decipher that 5-pun was a collection of short stories. This was one of the few books that wasn’t shrink wrapped so a look inside verified my questionable translation. Each short story was only like 6 pages, which was perfect ~ I have a higher chance of reading (to completion) a 6 page story than a 200 page one!
Kino had collection #2 and #3 but I grabbed #3 because of the anti-pants skeleton xD
I’m guessing most kids would be able to read each story in 5 minutes like the title advertises because my slow ass took all day. Look at this:
Like I said on Instagram, I’ve got more notes on this one page than there are printed words! This is a picture of pg 1. o___O
Surprisingly, I did hold out to the end! Since this is such a memorable moment, I wanted to share it with you all!
So let’s see if you see the ending coming!
Tsuma he no Koukoku / 妻への広告
Translation: An Ad for My Wife (as in…the ad was created for the wife, not “this is ad to buy my wife!” lol)
In a small town in America, there lived a man named Joey. Joey was an average man in his mid-40’s. He didn’t possess any special traits that made him stand out from the rest of the crowd. If anything, he was a good tempered soul. He made his money via a bar he owned. He’s always attentive of his customers, whether by being an ear to vent to or by having free rounds on the house for customers experiencing good fortune. While Joey’s bar wasn’t prosperous, he always drew in customers.
Joey was married to a beauty 20 years his junior. They met when she went to his bar to drink away a heart break. He comforted her as she cried and that was the beginning of their relationship. At their wedding, Joey was practically dancing at the alter as he professed his love for her, saying she was the only thing that mattered to him in the world. He was a very devoted husband, staying by his wife’s side whenever she fell ill, and showering her with expensive gifts. He’d always tell people she was his goddess. To the outside eye, he was the embodiment of an ideal husband.
However, there was one thing about Joey that could be seen as a problem. His intense jealousy. Whenever his wife talked to a male, whether an old friend of hers or a patron at the bar, he’d get very dour and stiff. Despite his smothering affection towards her, his wife loved Joey dearly and so his intense feelings were never an issue.
A year had passed after their marriage. No child had been conceived in that time. However, while they didn’t have a baby, they did end up with a new addition to their family. When walking home one rainy day, the wife had found a cat abandoned on the street and brought it home. Joey wasn’t a fan of animals but he couldn’t tell his wife to put the cat back where she found it. He didn’t want to make his wife sad. And so the cat stayed.
Joey’s wife loved the cat. Every morning, the first thing she’d do after getting out of bed was prepare a fresh bowl of milk for the cat. In the winter, to keep the cat from getting cold, she knitted a little hat for it. She also made a matching hat for Joey and she’d laugh happily whenever Joey held the cat, both wearing their hats.
However, their happy days weren’t fated to last forever. One day, the cat left the house but didn’t return that night. Joey’s wife was in a panic. “Joey, where do you think the cat went off to? If something happened – !” She hadn’t eaten or drank anything and her eyes were swollen red from crying. Joey comforted his frantic wife. “I’m sure everything is alright. You love that cat so much it pales in comparison to me – there’s no way a cat that loved will forget about you.”
His words calmed her but time passed and the cat still hadn’t returned. One day became three which became five. Worrying that misfortune had met her cat, the wife was unable to sleep. Dark bags appeared under her eyes. Unable to stand seeing his wife in her current state, Joey decided to try something. He went to visit a friend of his from his school days. The friend, Mark, worked for a local newspaper company. Everyone in the town Joey lived at read that paper. Upon seeing his friend, Joey bowed his head low.
“Mark, I’ve come to ask for a big favor. I want to put an ad in your newspaper to help find my wife’s lost cat. Please.”
Joey explained to a confused Mark about what was happening with his wife. Upon getting the details, Mark let out a little sigh.
“It sucks about losing your cat. I understand using an ad to help find the cat, it’s worth a try. I’ll run the ad, no charge since we’re friends. But…I’m doubting people will put too much effort into looking.”
“A thousand dollars.”
Mark blinked in confusion. “Come again? A thousand dollars?” He repeated.
“I want to save my wife from the state she’s in. Money is no object. If it’ll bring her smile back, I’ll give whoever finds that cat one thousand dollars!”
The next day, Joey’s ad was featured in the local newspapers. It was the talk of the town. While some scoffed at it, many were interested. A thousand dollars to find a cat? Easy money!
The town was turned upside down. People scoured the streets looking for the cat. Unfortunately for Mark, his friend’s request was turning into a headache. All day people came to the newspaper office, hoping to claim the reward. At first Mark was able to handle each claim calmly but he was starting to tire when the number of people didn’t dwindle. At lunch time, Joey left to answer a call and Mark didn’t hesitate to do the same.
While outside, Mark reflected on Joey’s plan. It had certainly worked. People were indeed looking for the cat. But had Mark known what a mess Joey’s ad was going to create, he would have charged his friend a fee! Mark had just let out a sigh when he felt something tug on his shirt sleeve. He looked down to see a boy next to him.
“Mister, you’re a reporter for that newspaper, right?”
“That’s right. But what’s wrong, little man? You lost?”
Mark bent down as he asked. The boy shook his head violently.
“I live around here. I’m not lost. But. I. A week ago, I saw it. That cat from your newspaper ad.”
Mark held in the urge to sigh “not again.” This kid was doing his darnedest to talk to him so brushing him off wasn’t an option.
“Where did you see the cat? Can you tell me?”
This boy must be uncomfortable talking to adults. Whether it was from nerves or fear, Mark could see the boy was trembling from head to toe. To assuage the boy’s unease, Mark planted the warmest smile he could on his face as he asked. The boy pointed to the river before them.
“That cat’s probably still down on the riverbed.”
“….what do you mean?”
“I, saw everything. Some man threw and drowned that cat from your ad in the river.”
“What? Who would do that!?”
“There! It was that man! He’s smiling but he, scares me. Because, he was wearing a smile just like that when he threw that cat into the river.”
Mark, in shock, followed the boy’s outstretched finger. Before them, walking towards him, was a man – the devoted husband Joey.
DID YOU SEE IT COMING? DID YOU???
I actually did haha. I think it was because of the book I read before this, Battle Royale. It had many, I BETCHA THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE THAT’S HOW MESSED UP THIS BOOK IS YUP TOLD YA THEY TOTALLLY DID THAT moments. So my mind was already thinking about what would be the most messed up conclusion for this short story.
So yeah, Joey’s one’s sick motherfucker. Damn, throwing a cat into a river because he was jelly? Shit, if he gets that pissed over a cat, good thing they didn’t have kids because they’d be getting swimming lessons with kitty :/
Before I leave, I have to ask. Does anyone understand what this illustration at the end of the story stands for:
I have no idea…even my English teacher that found the meaning of a curtain blowing in the wind as the author talking about the war would have trouble with this haha.