Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Wednesday, December 17, 1997

It’s hard to be jolly
when reality intrudes

MY Christmas shopping is pretty much done. I got my packages, and cards sent out early. I'm on vacation until 1998. Life is good. In fact, if I didn't have to look at Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey's face on television every morning, this holiday season would be damn near perfect.

If it were up to me, I'd let Lindsey keep her job if she would just quick yakking on television. I went through 43 years of my life without laying eyes on the lady and now she is part of my everyday life, trying to fend off charges of mismanagement.

One day she's wearing a Santa hat, mugging for the camera in a Christmas parade (shortly after she savagely attempted to cut the entire Kamehameha School's management off at the knees). This morning she's jabbering to Paul Udell on Channel 4. It's what in the PR biz they call a full court press. The best defense is to be offensive. Get your face on television so much that people start feeling sorry for you.

I can't stand it. Because I'm really trying to get in the Christmas spirit. But it's hard when you see one of the most powerful people in the state (of any of the three genders) whining that people are trying to get her fired because she's a woman. That's one of Lindsey's claims. "I don't know why the other trustees are being mean to me. Maybe it because I'm just a little, fragile woman. Boo, hoo, hoo."

Please. Lindsey is one of the strongest women I've ever seen. She could give Imelda Marcos a run for her money in three rounds of hand-to-hand combat. She wouldn't win, but Marcos has been at it for a lot longer. Imelda was attacked by someone with a machete, for God sakes.

What is Lindsey whining about? Marcos steals millions of dollars, gets attacked by a guy with a machete, puts an entire country into bondage, fights off criminal charges and still ends up standing with her hair perfectly coiffed. That's a real woman, man.

And it's not just women. Trustee Henry Peters has said in the past that one reason he gets criticized is because he's Hawaiian. The implication is that if he weren't Hawaiian, no one would be questioning his running of the state's largest land trust and the country's richest private school. That's shibai, brah.

Ididn't mean to go off on a tirade here. I am trying to get in the Christmas spirit. But it's hard.

My publisher just sent me a note about some Internet group that's running "The Lee Atwater Invitational Dead Pool." Lee Atwater, you may remember, was that Republican aide who died of brain cancer or something.

Whenever a bigwig gets sick, the sickies in the press corps start a "dead pool," trying to guess exactly which day the guy will die. Real class, I know. I've never done it myself, mainly because I'm usually surprised to find out that the subject of the dead pool is still alive. I thought Spiro Agnew was dead years before he died. Maybe he was.

In this dead pool, players are being asked to submit by e-mail a list of celebrities they think will die in the coming year. What a wonderful holiday idea, eh? The first place prize will be $1,500, according to the information organizers sent to newspapers all over the country.

"We believe that Celebrity Dead Pools are an emerging cultural phenomenon and we think our game makes for an interesting story. Let us know if you agree," the organizers wrote.

I don't agree. This sounds so incredibly cruel and in such bad taste that you can only hope it is an Internet hoax.

Now get outta my face. I'm tryin' to enjoy Christmas.

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 charley@nomayo.com or

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