Having read J.D. Salinger’s short story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” this week, I was reminded that I had seen a title of a short story called “A Perfect Day for Kangaroos”. Being positive that it was a Mark Twain story, I scoured through my short story collections, but couldn’t find it. I finally had to look it up on the internet and discovered that I had seen it in the table of contents of Haruki Murakami’s collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. And since I went to the trouble of figuring out who wrote it, I figured I might as well read it.
Completely different in tone from the other Murkami works I’ve read, I had a little trouble getting in to it; however, a couple going on a date to a zoo to see a recently-born kangaroo has a little of that Murakami oddness to it. The couple has a few relatively friendly little spats while admiring the kangaroos.
One minor detail jumped out at me (no pun intended). While the narrator of the story waits for a hot dog and a Coke, he mentions that the vendor has a boom box playing Stevie Wonder and Billy Joel. Did this mean the story was set in the 80’s? Possibly. I can’t help question why this little piece of information was included. What was important about placing the story in a specific time? The answer to the question isn’t really that important to me. I think Murakami tends to like questions more than answers.