Former Magical Girls and their Daily Lives
"Waiter! I'll have another drink!"
"No, you will not," Mrs. Hiiragi said, "You had way too much already. You're going to surpass the safety zone soon."
"What? Come on, Hotaru. I can handle moree... You don't know what you are talking about," said the woman sitting across from Hiiragi.
The woman was Mrs. Kuroki, a proud housewife and an alcoholic. She was a young woman once, but that was behind her, and she was in her early thirties, just like Mrs. Hiiragi. She had a toddler or two at home, but this was her night out, which was kinda weird because it was a Tuesday night, but it worked for everyone involved.
"My husband has been getting all of these weird phone calls recently," Mrs. Kuroki said, "Turns out that one of his clients wants to branch out to a bunch of different things, and she thinks that he is the only person to ask for help. Seriously, she wants snacks, comic books, manga, hamburger meat, snacks, liquor, cacti, and a bunch of different things. I don't understand why she thinks that my husband is the secret to all of her problems. She seriously doesn't know how to find anyone who can help her other than my husband."
"Who is she?" Mrs. Hiiragi said.
"I don't know. Some girl who opened a store a couple of weeks ago, and already wants to expand into new horizons. I haven't seen anything like her store. She wants to sell hats and coffee in the middle of the night. She isn't even open in the mornings. Can you believe that?"
"Maybe she is aiming for truckers and graveyard shift workers?"
"I doubt truckers because apparently her store is not near any major roads, and she isn't near many places. It's near some suburb, and she even closes at 3 in the morning. She isn't even trying to hit any market!"
"Wait, how about the hats?"
"I don't remember going to any hat store, so I can't tell you. It's close to a costume shop or something, but there are only hats. My husband suggested selling other stuff, but she's like 'Sorry, I only want hats', and then she is now demanding for everything that my husband doesn't sell. He's calling up old high school friends to see if they know anybody that sells traditional South American instruments just because this woman is curious if she could put them in her store. Frankly, I'm just wondering where she gets all of this money. She seems to make money out of thin air despite making every wrong decision in the book. I wonder what kind of trust fund baby she is. She seems to have little concern if she turns a profit or not."
"Is she married to an old rich guy or something?"
"Possibility, but I don't know. That doesn't sound like a trophy gold-digging wife to me, however. If she was the young wife of some billionaire, she would be running around, doing drugs, and partying every day of the week. Not running a legitimate business."
"Wait, how do you know that it's a legitimate business? Can't it be a front? Maybe she isn't a good businesswoman, but her sugar daddy is pumping drug money through her cafe so that they clean the money."
"That could actually work, but why is she spending a lot of money on the most random of stuff? If what you are saying is true, then she is wasting drug money on hats and whatever fits her fancy. If I were a drug lord and this woman was wasting all of my money on random stuff, I would be so angry. I would send some of my engineers to make a hat that would blow her head off."
"Why does a drug lord have engineers?"
"I'm a high-class drug lord. We need to develop new tech to kill all of the competition. I'm talking about new kinds of guns, death rays, and massive robots."
"That sounds more like a supervillain than a drug lord. What if someone stole one of those things?"
"It self-destructs, simple. If it falls in the wrong hands, it blows up. That way it kills the person who stole it as well."
"Self-destruction doesn't sound like a good thing. What if it ends like one of those kid shows and some good guy presses the self-destruct button and ruins all of your plans?"
"No button. It'll detect my fingerprints, and we will be fine."
"What if you are eating chips and all of the power stays on your fingertips and you touch the gun and it explodes?"
"Screw you. My engineers will figure it all out. It'll detect my brain waves, and it'll disable the self-destruct feature."
"I don't know if brain waves even exist."
"Okay, I'll use my mana."
"Are you some mage or something? You don't have magical powers."
"Mana flows through every human and animal. We just don't know how to focus it on the more useful form of magic. We need our scientists to figure this out. I'm calling my engineers right now."
"You don't have engineers, and you aren't a drug lord. You are just drunk."
"Yes, I'm the drunk. I remember when you were the biggest drunk of them all but look at you now. You are in this restaurant and you ordered milk. Not water or some fountain drink. Milk. You are a walking stereotype of someone who doesn't drink."
"That's because I don't drink. Things get weird, and I don't feel safe getting drunk anymore."
"I remember when you suddenly shifted to a dry woman. We were out one night a couple of years ago, and then you got lost and I couldn't find you for a while. Then I found you freaking out in some alleyway, and that's when you suddenly decided to quit."
"Yes, and I'm not going back. Don't make fun of my experience. Things just got better for me."
"Frankly, I don't know how you managed to go that crazy that night. Alcohol doesn't make you see those kinds of things, but you were like 'I see Paris. I see France. I see your grandpa's underpants.' It would've been hilarious if you weren't crying the whole time."
Mrs. Hiiragi bopped her on the head.
"Just shut up. Talk about something else."
"Okie dokie. Hey, do you want to shoot a rifle with a peacock standing on it next weekend? I always wanted to do something like that."
"That sounds like fun. Wait, what does that have to do with anything?"
"It doesn't have anything to do with anything. You told me to talk about something else. So, here I am talking about something else."
"Well, something about something apart from that." Mrs. Hiiragi lightly tapped her on the head.
"Okay, fine. Have you ever accidentally walked the dog twice?"
"I never had a dog."
"That's sad. Last Friday, I accidentally walked my dog twice. She was quite happy, but it turned out that she didn't have enough energy for another round. So, I practically dragged her around for the second time."
"How do you accidentally do that?"
"Well, I walked her in the morning, but in the evening, I thought, 'I forgot to walk the dog today.' And I ended up walking her twice in a single day. At first, I thought that she was just tired for no reason at all, but it was because I already walked her and she was tired."
"I guess I could see that happening, but how did you forget that you walked the dog already?"
"I don't know. You forget hundreds of things every day. What's stopping one of those things from being the fact that you walked the dog already?"
"I guess so, but I would think that you'll forget to walk the dog at all. Not that you already walked her. That's like accidental productivity."
"Sure, accidental productivity sounds right, but I don't know the benefits of walking the dog twice. The dog already got its exercise. Why would more help?"
"I think some dogs would need more than one walk a day. Maybe they need to be more active."
"I don't my little Pearl needed more walks. She was exhausted by the end of the second walk."
"Yeah, but I meant more like that other dogs needed more walks. Some probably need fewer walks. Different dogs need different things."
"Pearl isn't that kind of dog. She loves to laze around most of the day. But she needs her walks. Either way, I love how her little legs rapidly run forward. It's really cute."
"Pearl is really cute. But she is getting old, right?"
"She turns 7 this year. She's always going to be cute, but I don't think that she is going to be as hyper as she was in her puppy years. That unfortunately will never happen. I guess you could say the same about me."
"You're turning 7 this year?"
"NO! I'm getting older, and I can't handle everything as I used to. My hangovers usually hit me like a train passing Mount Fuji. Has anyone gotten hit by those bullet trains?"
"Beats me. I really hope not. A train at that speed would probably obliterate you, but a train will usually kill anyone it hits. It's really big. A train going at walking speed could probably kill you."
"I really hoped that you could figure it out. You are a history teacher after all."
"History teachers don't study the history of train deaths. Those things aren't that important in the wide scheme of things."
"Well, I never understood what was that important about studying all of the stuff in history. It's not like I'm going to have to know who the second prime minister of Japan is in the real world."
"History class is for cultural enrichment. Students aren't going to learn about any of that in their day-to-day lives. Either way, you may not need to know everything that we teach you. That would be unrealistic."
"But people do learn about history outside of the school setting. There are documentaries, movies, and books about historical events. Even if history class didn't exist, kids will still learn about history."
"The issue with purely learning from pop culture is that you fall for sensationalism. Only the cool or crazy events get heard by the general public. And those events get distorted just like rumors. Imagine that kids ended up thinking that samurais had to drink 20 cups of milk per day just to get enough energy to pick up their massive swords, which weighed many tons by the way. That's the main issue with letting pop culture teach history. History would be nothing more than fairy tales and urban legends."
"That may happen for some stories, but how about fact-checkers? The internet allows for a massive amount of information to be seen, and if someone tried to spread the milk rumor about samurais, then you would see a bunch of people on the comments says that the samurai didn't do that and post a screenshot of an internet encyclopedia that disproves that statement."
"Theoretically, that would happen, but people don't care about facts that much. They just want to go with the flow. Ignoring everything that requires effort on their part. As such, people need some standardized baseline of knowledge. Something that allows everyone to have some sort of BS detector. That is what history class is for. It's to teach the population about their history so that they don't get it wrong later on."
"But what about the fact that kids don't care about history? Students whine and complain like me, and their idea about 'not needing it in the real world' is justified. Wouldn't people forget about history and fall for the traps you are telling me? Just like how people forget science and fall for conspiracy theories like flat Earth and anti-vaxxers."
"Students don't hate history. They don't like history class because their teachers aren't good. I remember reading history books in elementary and being very fascinated by them, but once I entered middle school, my teacher blocked my curiosity. History class ended up being a cycle of documentaries and quizzes. None of that was interesting to me. So, my growth in history was stunted, and I wouldn't like history until much later. So, I believe that the teacher is the reason students don't like history. Not the history itself."
"But there's a lot of useless history out there. I remember my teacher forcing us to remember a lot of dates and events. That can't be useful."
"As a history teacher, I don't think that the specific date is important. More important is the sequence of events and a decent idea of when it happened. World War II ended in 1945. You don't need to know exactly when it ended. A date won't suddenly make you smarter. However, if you say that the nukes came after World War II ended, then you should recheck your logic."
"I guess are right that it depends on the teacher. But are you a good teacher?"
"That's my question to ask. I think I'm doing fine, but I do need to improve my relationship with my students. I feel like a real side character in their lives."
"If I heard that my teacher wanted to be a main character in my life, I would be very confused and worried."
"Okay, maybe main character is a bit too much. I think that I'm currently a background character and I want to become more of a minor character or side character."
"Just become the villain. Easy."
"I want to be a good teacher."
"But can't a villain be a good teacher?"
"This seems like a complicated debate that I'm becoming too tired for. I just want to be a positive impact and for students to like me. I'll leave it at that. Let's just get the bill and get out of here."
They paid for the dinner and left the restaurant with each other. Mrs. Hiiragi had to help Mrs. Kuroki after all and make sure that she didn't end up in France as she did.
Mrs. Hiiragi never actually went to France in her lifetime. She should probably go, but she didn't. Her hallucination from a couple years ago was quite vivid. She knew that it was Paris because the Eiffel Tower was there, but there wasn't anyone else around. Well, there was this one girl with light brown hair. She wore a white cap and a cute white dress. She also held this light pink staff with a red cross on the end of it. Mrs. Hiiragi asked for her name, but she could only understand her first name. After that, the girl just smiled and bonked on the head with the staff. She found herself in an alley. Traumatized by the event, she decided to not drink anymore.
All that she remembered from the alley was that it was cold. She didn't like cold.