Have you ever found a wood tick crawling on you, and then for the next hour or so, you were sure you felt a hundred or more inching their way across your skin or burrowing into your scalp? How about head lice? Just one small story about the outbreak at the local elementary school can make your head itch for hours. How about spotting a mouse in the garage? For weeks after, you’re convinced every little noise—every little movement—is a mouse moving its entire family into your walls or your attic or your basement.
So it’s no wonder that lately, I’ve been going through my closets, looking for small Japanese women.
The Associated Press ran a story on May 31 about a homeless Japanese woman who for a year lived undetected in the closet of a Japanese man’s one-story home. Evidently, one day when he went to work, he left his door unlocked and she just moved in. She would move about the house during the day while he worked, eating his food, using his shower—and then hide in the closet when he came home. The man finally became suspicious about missing food over a period of several months. He installed a surveillance camera which caught a shape moving about the house. Police were finally able to find the homeless woman curled on her side on a small mattress in his closet.
So I’ve been checking all my closets, looking for telltale signs of habitation: a sushi wrapper on a stack of towels, a stray yen or sen behind a Band-Aid box, or a postcard from Mt. Fuji hidden in the sheets.
It’s Japanese homeless women I’m looking for because at an average height of 5’3” and an average weight of 114 lbs., Japanese women are small enough to live on my closet shelf without breaking it.
I have absolutely no fears that I will find an American (average height 5’4” and weight 163 lbs.), Canadian (average height 5’3½ and weight 153 lbs.), or British (average height 5’4” and weight 147 lbs.) homeless woman living on a shelf in my closet. Too big, too bulky, inclined to snore.
I don’t mean to alarm you, but while you’re checking for imaginary wood ticks, head lice, and mice, you may want to do a quick reconnoiter of the closets, checking for a tiny little Japanese woman tucked into a corner of your linen closet, right behind the extra blankets.