The Karate Trips

In the summer of 1984, I developed a shoe fetish. Check that, it was actually a Shue fetish. As in Elisabeth Shue. You know, the unassuming hottie who played Ralph Macchio’s love interest in that deplorable movie, The Karate Kid?

Yet as memorable as Elisabeth proved to be, it was Mr. Miyagi who made the biggest impression on me. In fact, even after all these years, I still think about him every day. Can you guess why? No? Maybe the following exchange will help.

Daniel: Hey, what kind of belt do you have?
Miyagi: Canvas. JC Penney, $3.98. You like?
Daniel: [laughs] No, I meant…
Miyagi: In Okinawa, belt mean no need rope to hold up pants. [laughs; then, seriously] Daniel-san… [taps his head] Karate here. [taps his heart] Karate here. [points toward his belt] Karate never here. Understand?

Give up? I’ll always remember Mr. Miyagi for telling Daniel-san that, no matter how much he practiced, his, um, “johnson” would never be able to administer a karate chop.

Kidding. Sorry about that.

So seriously. You still don’t know why I think of Mr. Miyagi every day? Here. Read this exchange and see if you can figure it out.

Daniel: Hey – you ever get into fights when you were a kid?
Miyagi: Huh – plenty.
Daniel: Yeah, but it wasn’t like the problem I have, right?
Miyagi: Why? Fighting fighting. Same same.
Daniel: Yeah, but you knew karate.
Miyagi: Someone always know more.
Daniel: You mean there were times when you were scared to fight?
Miyagi: Always scared. Miyagi hate fighting.
Daniel: Yeah, but you like karate.
Miyagi: So?
Daniel: So, karate’s fighting. You train to fight.
Miyagi: That what you think?
Daniel: [pondering] No.
Miyagi: Then why train?
Daniel: [thinks] So I won’t have to fight?
Miyagi: [laughs] Miyagi have hope for you.

Give up? I think of Mr. Miyagi every day because my toddlers talk just like him. They’re finally able to express their thoughts, and like the karate master, they do so with surprisingly few words as well as with little or no regard to grammatical nuances such as subject-verb agreement. The nouns in their short sentences may not be preceded by articles, but Sam, Jack, and Kirby are able to make their points nonetheless, even if they choose to make them while referring to themselves in the third person. Just like Mr. Miyagi. (And that annoying, little red bastard, Elmo.)

Whenever I happen upon Jack, he’s quick to tell me what he’s doing. And he’s always doing the same thing.

“Jack play with twuck, Daddy. Jack like twuck.”

“I know you do, buddy. Here. Let Daddy play, too.”

“Daddy play with twuck? Jack turn. Jack play with twuck now.”

It’s the same thing with Kirby, only with a twist. She, too, speaks like Mr. Miyagi, but she does so while treating me like an unwanted suitor.

“I love you, Kirby.”

“Kirby love Mommy.”

“Don’t you love Daddy, too?”

[Like Daniel-san, she ponders before giving her answer.] “No. Kirby love Mommy.”

While Jack is busy playing with “twucks,” and Kirby is busy worshiping Lovie, at least I can always count on Sam for a little back and forth. The other day, we were walking into his room when I made the mistake of opening the door.

“No, Daddy. Sammy open door. Sammy do it. Sammy do it!”

So I closed the door and let him open it. Once he did, he ran into the room with a grin that begged me to chase him. So I did. And once I caught him, I pulled up his shirt, buried my face on his belly, and gave him a world class zerbert, causing the little guy to laugh uncontrollably.

“Daddy tickle Sammy,” he said as he touched the stubble on my chin that had exacerbated his reaction.

“That’s Daddy’s beard,” I explained.

“Daddy beard,” he repeated.

“That’s right, buddy. Sammy will have a beard one day, too.”

Sam touched his smooth face and looked into my eyes with wonder. “Sammy beard?” he asked.

“Yep.”

He smiled at the prospect of his eventual manliness, until a look of concern swept over his face.

“Daddy?” he began as he reached up and touched the bare spot on the top of my head. “Sammy bald?” he asked in a serious tone.

And just like that, Sammy took the Mr. Miyagi thing to the next level. After all, Sammy-san not only talk like Miyagi, he think like him, too. Wise Sammy know when some man grow hair in one place, he lose hair in other.

“You’ll probably be okay, buddy.”

A look of relief accompanied his widest smile yet. “Sammy no bald, Daddy. Sammy no bald.”

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • http://creativecarving.wordpress.com ohbhayes

    OMG, you are one funny man. Thanks for the laugh. 😉

  • http://creativecarving.wordpress.com ohbhayes

    OMG, you are one funny man. Thanks for the laugh. 😉

  • http://www.latifahshay.com Latifah Shay

    Hey – no fair! I just left you a comment, but apparently my house mate was logged into my computer…

    Thanks for the laughs Mr. JC Osborne. 😉 I’ll have to read your blog more often.

  • http://www.latifahshay.com Latifah Shay

    Hey – no fair! I just left you a comment, but apparently my house mate was logged into my computer…

    Thanks for the laughs Mr. JC Osborne. 😉 I’ll have to read your blog more often.

  • http://www.blogonkevin.blogspot.com home and uncool

    Sammy sound like he next for Shue-like fetish. Wax on, Sammy; wax off.

  • http://www.blogonkevin.blogspot.com home and uncool

    Sammy sound like he next for Shue-like fetish. Wax on, Sammy; wax off.

  • http://sahdinlansing.com Chris (@tessasdad)

    Awesome stuff man! So funny. Nothing wrong with a Shue fetish btw, I had one of those as well. From a different film though – Leaving Las Vegas.

  • http://sahdinlansing.com Chris (@tessasdad)

    Awesome stuff man! So funny. Nothing wrong with a Shue fetish btw, I had one of those as well. From a different film though – Leaving Las Vegas.

  • http://lifeofanewdad.blogspot.com Otter321

    How dare you say Karate Kid was deplorable. It was bad, but it was so bad that is was awesome. I love Mr. Miyagi, but I never made that exact connection. Thanks for giving me the opportunity for hours of fun once Braden starts putting broken sentences together.

  • http://lifeofanewdad.blogspot.com Otter321

    How dare you say Karate Kid was deplorable. It was bad, but it was so bad that is was awesome. I love Mr. Miyagi, but I never made that exact connection. Thanks for giving me the opportunity for hours of fun once Braden starts putting broken sentences together.

  • http://sahdpdx.com Portland Dad

    my kids are a mix of miyagi and yoda with their tense switching and verb moving skills.

  • http://sahdpdx.com Portland Dad

    my kids are a mix of miyagi and yoda with their tense switching and verb moving skills.

  • http://www.almightydad.com Keith Wilcox

    a “zerbert”! LOL. Never heard that one before :-) I haven’t seen Karate kid since it came out. I had the misfortune of seeing the third one in the theaters. Never thought of Miagi talking like a kid.

  • http://www.almightydad.com Keith Wilcox

    a “zerbert”! LOL. Never heard that one before :-) I haven’t seen Karate kid since it came out. I had the misfortune of seeing the third one in the theaters. Never thought of Miagi talking like a kid.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Hey Shue was supposed to be from Encino- my hometown. Never did see her walking around but Tom Petty and Kirstie Alley made a few cameos.

    Kids are cute, funny.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Hey Shue was supposed to be from Encino- my hometown. Never did see her walking around but Tom Petty and Kirstie Alley made a few cameos.

    Kids are cute, funny.

  • sidsillinois

    A. Smart kid.
    B. Hahahahahahahaha

  • sidsillinois

    A. Smart kid.
    B. Hahahahahahahaha

  • Patrick (yeah, that one)

    -laugh- Awesome, man. :-) Just awesome. :-)

  • Patrick (yeah, that one)

    -laugh- Awesome, man. :-) Just awesome. :-)

  • http://dadlogic.net dadlogic

    I met Shue once during a special event at Disneyland. She is just as beautiful in person.

  • http://dadlogic.net dadlogic

    I met Shue once during a special event at Disneyland. She is just as beautiful in person.

  • http://www.realmendriveminivans.com PJ Mullen

    Well played, Sammy. I’ve always likened my son’s verbal skills to Yoda, but I can totally see Mr. Miyagi.

  • http://www.realmendriveminivans.com PJ Mullen

    Well played, Sammy. I’ve always likened my son’s verbal skills to Yoda, but I can totally see Mr. Miyagi.

  • http://www.trippin-lifewithtriplets.blogspot.com Trippin’ Mama

    I love this post! You made me laugh out loud.

    And I share your dislike of Elmo, but sometimes that little red bugger bails me out of a world-class screamfest around here, so he he has his uses.

    Christy

  • http://www.trippin-lifewithtriplets.blogspot.com Trippin’ Mama

    I love this post! You made me laugh out loud.

    And I share your dislike of Elmo, but sometimes that little red bugger bails me out of a world-class screamfest around here, so he he has his uses.

    Christy

  • http://daddyfiles.com Daddy Files

    I almost didn’t get past the part where you called Karate Kid “deplorable.” How dare you sir? How dare you.

    But the ending was worth it and that’s hilarious that Sammy put two and two together like that so quickly. I hope my son doesn’t pick up on the fact that he’ll most likely have a receding hairline and grow up to be a fat guy.

  • http://daddyfiles.com Daddy Files

    I almost didn’t get past the part where you called Karate Kid “deplorable.” How dare you sir? How dare you.

    But the ending was worth it and that’s hilarious that Sammy put two and two together like that so quickly. I hope my son doesn’t pick up on the fact that he’ll most likely have a receding hairline and grow up to be a fat guy.

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad

    Awesome.

    I had a Shue fetish too. Even liked her after that even more deplorable babysitter movie.

  • http://liayf.blogspot.com Seattledad

    Awesome.

    I had a Shue fetish too. Even liked her after that even more deplorable babysitter movie.

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