An Azumanga Daioh Vignette
by DB Sommer
Any and all C+C appreciated. You can contact me at: [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Disclaimer I don't own any of the Azumanga Daioh characters. They are owned by Kiyohiko Azuma, Genco, J.C. Staff, and ADV Films.
~~The Other White Meat~~
Osaka showed up ten minutes before homeroom started. As she entered the classroom she looked around, spotting her friends clustered around Yomi's desk. Sakaki noticed her first and waved, with the others following suit. Osaka smiled as she approached the group.
"How's it going?" Tomo asked.
"Fine," Osaka said, then looked at Chiyo closely.
Chiyo noticed the stare. "What is it?"
Osaka said, "I was just wondering if you'd taste good with fava beans and a fine Chianti."
The young girl's pig-tails shot up in shock.
Kagura said, "You saw 'Silence of the Lambs' last night, didn't you?"
Osaka was in awe. "Wow! How did you know?"
"Soy sauce and boiled brown rice," Yomi said.
Everyone stared at her. "What was that?" Tomo asked.
"Chiyo-chan. She'd taste best with soy sauce and boiled brown rice, not fava beans and Chianti."
Kagura said, "You're on a new diet, aren't you?"
"Wow. How did you know?"
~~Gunning for First~~
Yukari entered the classroom smiling, which made the class wary. The teacher took no notice of the tension as she made her way to her podium. She situated herself, then stared at the class as she continued to smile. "We're going to try something new today, boys and girls."
"What is it?" Tomo asked.
Yukari beamed. "We're going to have an eating contest to determine who has the best lunch."
"Shouldn't that be something conducted in Home Ec?" Kagura asked.
"Hell no! Those cooking teachers couldn't tell filet mignon from ground chuck," Yukari declared. "Anyway, I'll be the judge, sampling a little from each person's lunch. The winner gets my seal of approval."
Tomo said, "You forgot your lunch and are trying to mooch off ours, aren't you?"
Yukari drew back, offended. "I would never engage in such activities because I forgot to bring a lunch."
Osaka raised her hand. "Would you do it if you were broke?"
"In a heartbeat. Especially if that ingrate, Nyamo, wouldn't loan me enough money to get by. It's not like I don't get paid tomorrow," Yukari said at the same moment her stomach chose to growl.
~~Can't Miss Diets~~
Lunchtime arrived, the girls choosing to eat their meal in the classroom. They formed a large circle as they opened their lunches.
Tomo examined her food closely. "At least she only took one bite."
"One very big bite," Kagura bemoaned.
"Congratulations on winning, Chiyo-chan," Osaka patted her on the head.
Chiyo-chan laughed, but it had an edge of worry in it. "I'm not sure winning was such a good thing. Yukari-sensei said she wanted to sample it again tomorrow to make sure I keep up the good work, and to bring twice as much for judging." She turned to look at the teacher, who had remained in the room, walking around in a good mood as she smiled contently from her full stomach.
Everyone looked at each other's food to observe the damage Yukari had inflicted. As they did so, they noticed how little Yomi had in her bento. Just a couple of pickles and several radishes.
"Wow, Yukari sure emptied you out," Tomo said.
"No, this was all I had, minus the pickle she took," Yomi explained.
"Are you sure that's going to be enough to get you through the day?" Chiyo asked worriedly.
"I'm on a diet." There was obvious regret in Yomi's voice, as though she were volunteering for torture.
Kagura said, "If you want to keep your weight down, you should do what I do and exercise a lot. I'm lean without being too skinny." She rolled up her sleeve and flexed her arm.
"You've got to be careful about that," Yukari said, having drawn near enough to overhear the conversation. "Exercise too much and you'll end up looking like a muscle-bound gym teacher, like Nyamo, and unable to find a good man. Hehehe—!"
Yukari's laughter died as a basketball slammed into the back of her head, producing a resounding smack of rubber and flesh as it nearly sent her to the ground.
She turned angrily in the direction the ball had come from. "What the hell did you do that for?" she shouted at Nyamo, who stood idly in the doorway.
Nyamo shot her a level stare. "I was just walking down the hall when the ball slipped out of my hand."
"It shot halfway across the room and bounced all the way back!"
Nyamo shrugged. "It happens every now and then when you're a muscle-bound gym teacher."
"Oh yeah, well maybe I'll start working out and become a muscle-bound English teacher! Did you consider that? In fact, I think I'll go to the weight room and pump some iron." Yukari stormed out of the room.
Tomo turned to the others. "Five bucks says she ends up in the nurse's office after nearly being crushed by a weight."
The others shook their heads, refusing to accept the bet.
~~Hitting the pads~~
Gym class rolled around, with the boys and girls changing then heading toward the athletics field. As they lined up for the head count, Nyamo said, "Okay, class, we're going to do something a little different today. It'll be like a sports self-study session. You each get to choose an exercise or sporting activity you'd like to do, then you can gather together in like-minded groups of people and play with one another in that sport."
"How about demolition derby?" Tomo asked.
"We don't have cars for that," Nyamo informed her.
"What about Yukari-sensei's car? It's been demolished a lot. One more time shouldn't make a difference."
Nyamo considered that. "We'd need a second car."
"Darn!" Tomo wanted to drive the 'Deathmobile' as Kaorin had dubbed it, at least once.
"How about American Football?" Osaka asked.
Nyamo was taken aback by Osaka's selection. "We do have pads for it in the equipment room, but are you sure you want to play that?"
"Yeah, I want to try it out," Osaka said eagerly.
Nyamo shrugged and led her to the equipment room. About five minutes later Osaka emerged, dressed in pads, a helmet with an eyeshield visor in the front, and wearing a jersey with the number '45' on it,
Osaka walked up to her friends and spun in a circle. "How do I look?"
"Pretty good," Yomi admitted. "I never pictured you as a football fan."
"I didn't have you pictured as one either."
Yomi looked at her, confused. "I'm not."
"See? I pictured you correctly."
Yomi was struck momentarily speechless.
Osaka continued, unaware of the effect of her words. "I'm wearing a 45 because my favorite player, Tamon Nakamura, wears it. I can't wait to see how he does this season."
Kagura suddenly tensed up. "Um, Osaka, I hate to break it to you, but he was suspended yesterday for being on the juice."
Osaka stared at her in surprise. "You mean you can't play football if you're on juice?"
Osaka was crestfallen. "I have a glass of orange juice every day, so I guess I can't play."
Kagura winced. She should have seen that one coming. "'Being on the juice' is slang. It doesn't mean he actually drinks juice. You can drink all the orange juice you want and can still play."
"How about pineapple ju—"
"Any kind of juice."
Osaka breathed out a sigh of relief. "What does 'being on the juice' mean, then?"
"It means he was using steroids."
Osaka became depressed again. "I use those, too."
Kagura looked at her, stunned. She felt Osaka's slender arm, easily able to wrap her hand around it in her grasp. "I'd hate to see what you'd be like if you weren't on them."
"It's for a skin condition," Osaka explained. "I rub it on the area and it helps keep the skin from peeling."
Kagura brightened up again. "That's okay. That's not an illegal steroid."
"So I can play?" Osaka asked eagerly.
"Yeah, no suspension for you," Kagura said.
"Hey, Osaka, wanna play?" Tomo shouted, emerging from the equipment room dressed in football gear as well. She tossed a football in the air. "How about we practice place kicking? I'll hold the ball, then you run up and kick it."
"Okay," Osaka said, drawing back a distance so she could get a running start. She was too far back to see the mischievous gleam in Tomo's eye and the low snickering escaping from her lips.
Chiyo held her hand to her chin in thought. She had this terrible feeling of deja-vu, as though she had seen a similar scene played out a dozen times before. Something American.
As Osaka ran toward Tomo with all the strength her legs could manage, Chiyo suddenly remembered it. "Don't do it, Osaka! She's going to pull the ball—"
It was too late as Osaka lashed out with a kick just as Tomo moved the ball up and out of the way, already laughing.
The laugh died abruptly as Osaka, who had closed her eyes right before sending her foot forward, landed a mighty kick right into Tomo's head. Tomo's arms went flying outward, sending the ball away as she fell backward, sprawled out on the ground.
Osaka opened her eyes and saw the short distance the ball had traveled. Uncharacteristic determination in her features, she turned to the nearly unconscious Tomo and said, "That was a terrible kick. Pick the ball up and we can try again."
Tomo just groaned in response.
"How about we go to my house today?" Chiyo asked her friends. "We can check out the new satellite hook up to our television. We just had it installed yesterday. It gets almost three hundred channels."
"Three hundred," Osaka said in awe. "There must be a channel for everything."
"Pretty much," Chiyo confirmed.
"Lots of twenty-four hours sports channels?" Kagura mock swung a bat.
"Yep," Chiyo confirmed.
"Are there channels devoted to animals?" Sakaki asked softly.
"I saw one that had a special on kittens yesterday."
Sakaki blushed as she imagined watching cute animals twenty-four hours a day. In many ways, it was better than seeing them in real life, since animals on television couldn't bite you.
"Sex education channels!" Tomo shouted.
"Sex ed… do you mean porn channels?" Kagura asked.
"They're educational," Tomo insisted.
Chiyo said, "No, my dad locked those out."
Yomi said, "You have food networks, right? He didn't lock those out, did he?"
"Ah, no, he didn’t," Chiyo said nervously.
"Then count me in!"
Yomi's smile made Chiyo nervous.
The party of six headed toward Chiyo's house, discussing what to watch first. The discussion started to become an argument when Osaka spotted a large object lying in the gutter. "Look. Roadkill."
Tomo drew closer. "Hey, that looks like Mr. Tadakichi, doesn't it?"
Chiyo and Sakaki both looked like they were about to faint.
Kagura walked up to it and took closer look. "Not unless he grew scales and replaced his legs with fins."
Chiyo breathed a sigh of relief, then what Kagura was saying registered. "What's a huge fish doing in the middle of the road?"
"Decomposing?" Osaka suggested.
"It must have fallen out of a fish truck, or maybe it went bad and someone threw it out," Sakaki guessed.
"I can't believe it's a fish!" Tomo boldly proclaimed. She walked up to it, nudged Kagura aside, and bent over. She then stood back up and waved a large, decapitated fish head around. "Yep, it's a fish, all right."
Chiyo recoiled in disgust. "That's gross."
Yomi stared at it. "Wasabi and a side of coleslaw."
"You really, really need to get off that diet," Kagura said.
After abandoning the fish head, the group continued on their quest toward Chiyo's home.
As they walked, Tomo began to sing.
"Knock it off!" Kagura shouted. "My stomach's in bad enough shape as it is."
The others, save Yomi, nodded in agreement, all of them looking somewhat green.
By the time they arrived at Chiyo's home, things had settled down. As they entered the grounds of the Mihama Estate, a loud barking erupted and a happy Mr. Tadakichi ran up to Chiyo.
Yomi opened her mouth, but before she could say anything Chiyo wrapped her arms protectively around her pet and shouted, "Mr. Tadakichi wouldn't taste good with anything!"
Sakaki nodded her head fiercely in agreement.
They group entered the mansion, taking off their shoes at the entryway. Chiyo ran on ahead to greet her parents and tell them they were going to have company. She returned a few minutes later, appearing nauseated.
"What is it, Chiyo-chan?" Osaka asked.
The young girl's eyes teared up. "We're having fish head stew for dinner."
End notes: Yes, Tomo's 'Fish Heads' song is real. It was done by Barnes and Barnes years ago. The video was just plain warped as well.
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