Chi (showing me a pair of socks in a store): See, the socks say, "Gomen naSAI." This animal is called SAI. These socks are funny.
Me: Huh? That's an animal? That doesn't look like an animal. What is a SAI?
Chi: It is the animal on the socks.
(The hamster inside my head runs on its wheel for about 15 minutes while I try to figure out what the animal on the socks is supposed to be)
Me: Oh, hold on. I see it now. Those aren't the eyes. THOSE are the eyes. And that's a horn. It's a rhino! Wait a minute, SAI means RHINO? That means that Saipanda means "rhino panda." That makes a lot more sense. I learned something today!
If you have no idea what I am talking about, then you probably don't live on Saipan. Saipanda is Saipan's mascot. He is a panda with a horn for a nose. He has a horn for a nose because his mother was a panda and his father was a rhino.
You can buy Saipanda merchandise all over the island.
When I visited Saipan in December I thought Saipanda was the dumbest thing I had ever seen. After all, what do pandas and rhinos have to do with Saipan? NOTHING, that's what!!!
Turns out it is a clever play on words. Turns out I'm not nearly as clever as I wish I was. Now I like Saipanda. He's not dumb...he's the frickin' bomb!
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