'Only in Hawaii' is getting harder to find
I HAD WHAT I thought was a hilarious idea for a future column: I'd collect all kinds of strange news bits about things that could happen "Only in Hawaii." But after a few months all I had was a story about someone stealing 1,000 pineapples from a Dole field and a police-blotter item about a guy arrested for throwing a coconut at a moving car in Haleiwa. Both were technically things that would happen "Only in Hawaii," but they weren't particularly zany or amusing. If you substitute apples or lettuce for pineapples, the produce theft story could happen anywhere in the country. And, while odd, it's not really funny when someone throws a coconut at your car.
I had hopes for the recent story about idiots who steal cars in Hawaii, strip them and then sell the parts on Internet Web sites to Hawaii residents. How stupid is it to rip off a car on a small island and then advertise the parts publicly on the same island? Police caught two of the geniuses by posing as buyers and matching up the parts for sale with recent thefts. Still, it didn't have that zany aspect I was looking for.
I did visit the Web site where the stolen car parts were being sold. It's craigslist.org, a well-known site featuring personals, discussion groups, stuff for sale (mostly not stolen) and various services, like massage (mostly not prostitution) divided by countries and states. The Hawaii section of Craig's List turned out to be more entertaining then my "Only in Hawaii" column would have been.
the "Rants and Raves" section included a number of continuing conversations, like a guy complaining that when he walked through Ala Moana Park all he saw were "grossly fat people spread out on chairs stuffing food into their own faces and frequently into the faces of their children." Another discussion involved a local picnic in which a haole family showed up without bringing any food. The "haole ruined their BBQ" blog ran for days with interesting, though unprintable cultural observations from all sides. Another running discussion centered on the question: "Is everyone in Hawaii gay?" Answer: Maybe.
A lot of car parts are for sale in the "auto parts" section in Hawaii. (The same section for Pakistan had only one item, an alternator for a Volkswagen.) What was surprising about the Hawaii page was the "parts wanted" ads. Here people are seeking parts like an '87 Honda Prelude taillight and a sideview mirror for a 2005 Town & Country Van.
Now, if I were a thief, I'd concentrate on these ads. I mean, these guys are telling you exactly what they want. You just have to go out and, well, "harvest" the needed part and then call the buyer and sell it to him.
Of course, after reading this, the police likely will run want ads seeking auto parts and bust the knuckleheads who go out and steal the advertised parts. That would be funny. Not quite an "Only in Hawaii" thing, but pretty close.
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org