My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

Thursday, June 3, 2004

A total defilement

» Kaneohe

"Let me get this straight," Quinn Ah Sun said over his shoulder as the big BMW bike, a red replica of the one he rode as an HPD solo bike officer, idled at the red light waiting to turn left onto Kahekili Highway from Haiku. "You personally know Muhammed, the lslam inventor, from, like, god land?"

The second Lama Jey Tsong Khapa smiled. "There are many realms, many levels, all connected. Let's just say we are friends in the spirit world."

"OK, and he keeps trying to reincarnate, but every time he comes back, the criminals who've taken over Islam kill him for preaching peace?"

"He gets sooo frustrated. But he keeps trying. Keep your fingers crossed. A boy was recently born in Bethlehem, to a Palestinian family."


"Muhammed figures it worked for our friend Jesus, maybe he'll have better luck this time."

"If he doesn't get shot by the Israelis, or blown up by one of his own."

"Good points, but we can hope and meditate on his success."

"Right ... Um, no offense, your holiness, but hearing this stuff for the first time, it's pretty weird ... I'm trying to get a picture ... You guys, like, hang together up there? All different gods and religions?"

"Of course, we all share compassion for humanity, we all work for the same cause, for the great creative force that is the cycle of birth, death and reincarnation, resurrection of the soul, whatever you want to call it."

"No s---," Quinn said, forgetting himself. "Oh, sorry, your holiness."

"It's simple, really -- different words, different approaches work better with different people. But we're all on the same side."

"So all these religious wars?"

"Humans way out of control," officer Ah Sun. "A total defilement of holy words and the intentions of the gods."

The light turned green. "Hang on, your holiness. You wanted to see some speed, here we go."

All three lanes were open, so Quinn goosed the big engine. As he had earlier in turns, the young lama rode in perfect balance as they accelerated, neither anticipating nor being thrown off balance with Quinn's three quick upshifts and sharp braking and downshifts for the light at Kahuhipa.

"Excellent!" the holy boy said.

"You like that?"

"Oh, yes. Do you know about the accelerated path to enlightenment? It's kind of like that."

"Accelerated path to enlightenment? Not really, I'm just muddling toward my Buddhahood one eon at a time. But I'll take your word for it."

"I'm working on an accelerated path virtual reality program with my brother Joe, perhaps later at the house ..."

The light turned green. "Accelerated path, here we come."

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek. His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin. He can be e-mailed at


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