Memminger will not go with Jones
After saying many prayers, several long meetings with my psychiatrist/personal trainer, consultation with my future bankruptcy trustee and a succession of power naps, I have come to a decision that I hope will make the people of Hawaii, my ohana, happy.
I will not -- as had been rumored for the past week throughout Honolulu -- be accompanying former University of Hawaii football coach June Jones to Dallas. Like Jones, I realize that the time to strike out for fame and fortune is coming off a good season, when you are at the top of your game. And I think we can all agree that 2007 was a great year for "Honolulu Lite."
The columns about having my house termite-tented, barely passing my driver's license eye test and the dangers of microwave popcorn were regarded by national pundits as tours de force in column writing. And 2007 followed the equally impressive column-writing year of 2006, when "Honolulu Lite" made it to the finals of the prestigious National Society of Newspaper Columnists competition, where, because of poor officiating and unseasonably hot weather, we garnered only an Honorable Mention.
I would like to quash whispers that "Honolulu Lite" might be in the running for a Pulitzer Prize this year, but frankly, I haven't heard any yet. If you do, let me know.
Nevertheless, I was heavily recruited by professional headhunters in Texas expecting me to accompany June Jones to the SMU area. Since legendary columnist Molly Ivins died and not-so-legendary Kinky Friedman is too busy golfing with Willie Nelson do to anything but recycle old cigar-related essays, Texas has suffered a column drought.
I was flattered that many important people in Texas thought I could spur a renaissance in that column-hungry state. And while the enormous sums of money they flashed before me almost turned my head (my future bankruptcy trustee suffered severe whiplash), I ultimately decided I could not leave Hawaii.
I have to credit my wife for helping me come to this decision. I work at home, and she acknowledged that the condition of the facilities could be improved. She promised to put a new bar of Lava soap in my bathroom and change the towels at least once every two weeks. She also agreed to replace the kerosene lamps in my office with the large fluorescent ceiling light currently in the garage and provide me with a plastic, green-tinted visor. We are currently in negotiations regarding purchasing a vacuum cleaner. So working conditions at home could be pretty sweet in 2008.
I know it will be hard to beat the quality of last year's columns, considering how high the bar has been set. But, with the support of a grateful Hawaii, I know I can put aside visions of financial solvency, national syndication and partying with June Jones in Texas and continue to serve the good readers of these wonderful islands. ("Honolulu Lite" Booster Club contributions welcome.)
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