Free Announcer Aika Kanda, “The “Alcoholic” Leader is Back! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Free Announcer Aika Kanda, “The “Alcoholic” Leader is Back!

No.51] Me, Pink, and Sometimes New York

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Illustration drawn by Kanda-san

I still get together with my friends from my college days, a group of 11 members called “Alcoholics”. It was formed by members of the mathematics department of the Faculty of Science, where I was enrolled, who were particularly poor at studying. It is not an official circle, but a group of just us. There are only three women in the group, and we call them “Alcoholic Girls. On the other hand, the eight ″alcoholic boys″ were soccer enthusiasts and occasionally played grass games. Since the team had three less players than the regulation, we lost every time, but it was still great fun. Because the main thing was the post-game “Cheers! after the game.

I became a member of Alcoholics Anonymous in my third year of college. At the time, I had to somehow obtain copies of my notes in order to earn credits for classes I had been missing. Naturally, people who earnestly attended classes would not take kindly to such an act. It was difficult to find anyone who would lend me their notebooks. However, the alcoholic boy who was looking for the notebook as I was had successfully obtained it. I had no choice but to rely on them. Moreover, they seemed to want to include female members in the group for a long time. So, being a compatible group, my good friends, the girls’ group and the boys were combined.

Since then, we have experienced many things, such as opening a corn soup store at the school festival, taking a trip in the name of soccer camp, and running the wrong way down the street of Aoyama Cemetery late at night and screaming……. I was very shy and spent the first six months of my enrollment alone. But thanks to meeting the alcoholic members, I was able to become strong in drinking and earn credits. It was a very fulfilling college experience.

A leader who disappeared.

And that’s because we had a leader who was a solid man. He was the sole person in charge of all our activities. Even after graduation, we used to get together twice a year under his order. …… One day, the leader left the group line without informing anyone. I lost touch with him for a while.

In fact, there was a time when I was estranged from an alcoholic as well: I joined NHK and during the years I was in Fukuoka, unexplained pimples covered my entire face. Every day my boss would ask me, “I’m scared because of the boils on my face. Why is she on TV?” She would say, “My daughter is more beautiful than hers. I received comments from viewers such as, “Don’t make me read the news. During that time, I didn’t want to meet with anyone who knew me without a blowout.

So I worried that something must have happened to the leader. But only I myself could overcome that something. In the absence of the leader, all the members took turns taking the role of organizer to keep Alcoholics Anonymous going.

Then one day, about two years ago, the leader suddenly returned to the group line. I have just gotten married!” And. The leader was the last bachelor in the group. (I was glad to hear that I was not all alone!) I was honestly relieved. Congratulations! and “Welcome back! messages flew back and forth, and some people asked me why I hadn’t heard from him. No one asked me why I had lost contact with them.

Once again, the leader was in his element. They organized year-end parties and camps. And finally, the other day, the quintessential project of the leaders of the world, a “home party at home,” was held.

As an alcoholic girl, I want to greet the leader’s wife properly. I was very careful about fashion and left the house wearing expensive leather pants and a brand-name bag that I had bought with the intention of jumping off the clean slate. As gifts, I bought a bottle of champagne and a bag of strawberries. It was perfect.

But on the train on the way to the hotel, he suddenly remembered. I remembered that when I was a student, he used to let his ferret run free in his room. At the time, I had never met anyone who owned a ferret, nor had I ever met anyone who kept a creature other than a cat or dog free-range indoors. When I went to visit him, he ran as fast as he could around the corner of the room, and suddenly peeked out from between the folded bedclothes! My clothes are getting dirty!) I thought to myself, “What a disgusting thing to do!

What if the leader is still letting something loose! Today’s clothes are not for animals! But your house is only a few more stops away …… What will you do, Aika?

©Kazuki Shimomura

Aika Kanda / Born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from Gakushuin University with a degree in mathematics, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003, and left NHK in 2012 to become a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently makes regular appearances as the main MC of the daytime TV program “Poka Poka” (Fuji Television Network).

From the May 24, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • Illustrations and text by Aika Kanda

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