Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Friday, April 16, 1999

And now, the rest
of the stories

DESPITE evidence to the contrary, there are newsworthy things happening in the world other than the war in Yugoslavia. (Although, I'm not sure that raining hell and fire from 35,000 feet onto civilian trains and convoys can actually be called a war.)

Here's a sampling of some of the news you may have missed:

Bullet LONDON (Reuters) - Having sex once or twice a week gives a boost to the immune system that could help ward off colds and flu, New Scientist magazine said.

According to the magazine, a moderate amount of sex increases levels of a bodily substance called "immunoglobulin A" that causes the immune system to destroy bacteria.

This story leaves a lot of unanswered questions, like, do you have to have sex with another person? That's important. And if you do, what if that person has a cold? And why does sex fight certain types of bacteria, like flu bacteria, but not the germs that lead to herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases? You know what they say: a cold is three days coming, three days here and three days going, but herpes is forever.

Bullet HUNTINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- A man pleaded guilty Monday to practicing medicine without a license for performing castrations in his apartment.

Now, this is one of those stories that I just don't get. For one thing, I don't consider castration as "practicing medicine." Practicing medicine is when you give out aspirin to someone with a headache (or have sex to fight the flu.)

And I especially don't like the phrase "performing castrations." It sounds like the name of a group that would be featured on the "Ed Sullivan From Hell Show." ("Tonight, on our stage, we have the serial killer mouse, Jeffrey Dahmer Topo Gigo; Freddie, the Stand-up Chainsaw Comedian -- he'll slay ya! -- and the fabulous Performing Castrations!")

The other thing I don't get is that, assuming there are people who decide they want to be castrated, why would they go to some free-lancer working out his apartment? Is this another one of those problems with HMOs?

Bullet SAN FRANCISCO: A small family-run Mexican restaurant is offering a lifetime of free lunches to patrons who have the restaurant's logo tattooed on their bodies. The logo, unfortunately, is a kid in a sombrero riding a flaming corncob. Nevertheless, so far, about 40 people have gotten the tattoos.

I think this is a great idea. I think I'll steal it. From now on, anyone who gets "Honolulu Lite" tattooed on any part of their body will be allowed to read the Honolulu Star-Bulletin for free on the Internet at

Bullet Our final item involves yawning. Some researchers claim yawning really serves no purpose. "There is no reason why ... adults need to yawn," said one researcher.

He's wrong. Yawning would not have survived thousands of years of evolution if it did not have a purpose. I believe the main purpose of yawning is non-verbal communication. It allows all species of yawning animals to express utter contempt for their fellow animals.

How many times have you been in the middle of telling a really funny story and suddenly the person you're telling it to lets loose a big, hairy yawn? It's devastating. It's ... wait a second ... some of you readers are yawning right now. I can tell. Knock it off. This is interesting stuff.

OK. Forget it. Man, I hate your guts. See? Yawning works.

Charles Memminger, winner of
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
awards in 1994 and 1992, writes "Honolulu Lite"
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Write to him at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802

or send E-mail to or

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