Once I realized the problem, I no choice but to form a one-man intervention. The ring of the bell next door followed by the ceremonial “Konittiwa!” could only mean one thing – The unrelenting salesman had returned and would do so daily. Living in the house next to us was Okaasan’s longtime friend, who I referred to as “Next-door Obaachan,” and while her husband was at work it became my job to curtail her reckless impulse buying. The first time was a $65 hat the was suppose to offer special UV protection. Considering it was a sombrero, the hype was likely well-founded. Next, a massaging chair that was akin to being mugged and then having your spine snapped in two. Finally, there was an age-spot removing ultrasound machine on wheels. But tonight may have been crème-de-la-scam! Okaasan and Obaachan went to the newly remolded mall and both were talked into buying $85 “magic water” jars that were guaranteed to make the water taste unbelievable. For full effect, water would have to be stored in the mug or jar at least six hours prior to drinking for the enchantment to work.

Okaasan was no sucker by any means. She managed to barter with the salesman until he finally agreed to a discount. If she would agree to purchase two magic water jars, he’d give them to her for only $160 plus throw in a free mug. Of course, Obaachan had to get in on the action bringing the total purchase to $320. And I know what you’re wondering, did the water taste better? Okaasan wasn’t certain. Besides, she’s now using it exclusively with beer with much-improved results. Who wants water anyway when you can have magic beer?