|See the red dragon mask on the floor?|
|Pack it in people! Pack it in! (side note: look at that blonde lady on the right, remember her for later in the story)|
The first several throws didn't come close to us. But, with the crowd pushing us forward the next round of throws made it into our area. I jumped up and actually tipped a bag of beans. Then, I turned around to see where it went. It was right at my feet. So, I bent down to get the bag just as the entire crowd shifted. I was pushed towards the stage, as I was bent over, not a very graceful movement, I'm sure. Then, the crowd shifted again. And, when it did, that blonde lady above, dumped two cups worth of some warm liquid all over my head. I have no idea what that was. It was warm, it was white, it smelled maybe like wheat or something like it, and it had to be full of sugar because it immediately stiffened in my hair! I heard her say, "Oh no, oh no, oh no." But, I just turned, grabbed both my kids by the collars of their jackets and pulled them out of the crowd.
At this point, I was trying to shake some of the liquid out of my hair. it didn't work. Immediately, it turned solid in my hair. Mackenzie said, in her very concerned squeaky voice, "Um, Mommy, you have white stuff in your hair." She was right. Whatever was in that liquid turned into white chunks in my black hair. Geez. All I could think about on the way back to the base was that scene in There's Something About Mary. Guess we will be walking back home so I can wash my hair before karate.
Well, what are the beans for? A person in the family (usually the man in the household who was born in the current animal year, this is the year of the sheep) dons the oni mask. Then, the family members throw beans at that person, this action is called mamemaki, literally, bean scattering. In Japan the oni is considered bad, so throwing the beans at the oni is supposed to purify the family. When you throw the beans you say, "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" ~ Demons out, luck in.
When I told the kids we were going to do this when Daddy got home Garytt was so excited! I mean, he had permission to throw food. In the house. At his daddy! Um, what kid would pass that opportunity up? Mackenzie would. Daddy's little girl. Well, when Daddy got home he was more than tired, so I offered to be the oni if he would take pictures.
I came in the front door and Boy wouldn't even let me get past him! He immediately started pelting me. And, I don't mean tossing those beans at me. I'm talking, full-on, major-league-baseball-wind-up, step-into-it, launching beans at me!
Now, I'm curious how this luck thing works. Does the luck start when I have it under my control? Because it sure wasn't lucky of me to have that hot, steaming drink dumped all over my head. But, that happened before I grabbed the bag. Hmmm....something to think about....