What happens in Honolulu...
... could fill a column, so here are some suggestions, both sappy and snappy, for our city's slogan
Sin City's coy and naughty slogan, "What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas" led its chief mainland rival for tourists, Orlando, to copy it. But since Orlando is the opposite of whatever Sin City is (Adults Dressed in Large Varmint Suits City?), the best it could come up with was the sappy and somewhat confusing "What happens in Orlando stays with you forever." As KHON anchor Kirk Matthews pointed out when I visited him on set the other morning, "stays with you forever" sounds like a disease or criminal rap sheet.
Honolulu is in the same market for tourists as Las Vegas and Orlando, so I figured we should have a sappy slogan, too. I challenged readers (and a couple of high-level political figures) to come up with a slogan that starts off, "What happens in Honolulu ...," and the results were, well, pretty weird. Actually, people who responded fell into two categories, those who took the assignment seriously and the usual rabble who use such opportunities to rant or just get silly.
City Council Chairwoman Barbara Marshall, acting in a purely nonofficial role, was typical of those readers who offered up serious suggestions. Her pick was "What happens in Honolulu remains in your heart forever."
"The sentimentalist in me likes it," she said. "I acknowledge that's not humorous, but it's how I feel!"
Who knew that Barbara was such a big softy? Certainly not her fellow councilmembers.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann, also in a purely unofficial role, represented the more zany group, supporting the phrase "What happens in Honolulu ... Elvis did in Honolulu." I'm not even sure what that means. But the mayor is a big Elvis fan, so as long as it makes sense to him, everything's cool.
Many of the submissions are just as good, if not better, than the Las Vegas and Orlando slogans. Sali Toda suggested "What happens in Honolulu calls you back again." Lee Anderson came up with "What happens in Honolulu is Aloha!" Bethany Watkins offered "What happens in Honolulu is the stuff dreams are made of."
Other suggestions in the more serious mode included:
What happens in Honolulu ...
...» You'll cherish anywhere.
» You won't want to forget.
» Stays on island.
Notorious Maui entrepreneur and rascal Jon Farmer led the way for the weirdos with "What happens in Honolulu depends on your credit card limit."
Others in that vein included:
What happens in Honolulu ...
...» Is based on your relationship with Dog Chapman.
» Can often be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
» Includes a mandatory 20 percent gratuity.
» Washes out to sea.
» Is between you and paradise.
» Your mother did in Honolulu. (Editor's note: Did mom know Elvis?)
» Will help pay for the train.
» Will end up in "Honolulu Lite." (Editor's note: Ain't THAT the truth!)
I thought that since Las Vegas is actually a suburb of Honolulu, we should combine the two places with: "What happens in Honolulu stays in Las Vegas at the California Hotel."
Take that, Orlando.
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