Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Friday, June 19, 1998

Here’s an odd
way to fill space

HI. I'm not in right now. But if you leave a message at the sound of the beep, I'll get back to you.

Actually, there is no beep and there's no way to leave a message. But I'm really not in. I'm in San Diego attending the annual convention of newspaper columnists, which is something like attending the World Cup soccer championships except with more beer.

But in keeping with my philosophy -- "If you can't be good, at least be consistent" -- I didn't want to leave this column space unfilled. Through rain, hail, sleet, snow, brain cramps, colds, flu, the heartbreak of psoriasis and self-inflicted frontal lobe injuries due to the mass consumption of liquids, this space has never been left Honolulu Lite-less. I'm not sure how many years or columns that is because, frankly, I'm too lazy to go back and add them all up.

Anyway, I thought I'd leave you with a few odd wire stories that generally don't see the light of print.

First a few religious oddities, and we aren't talking about Pat Robertson warning Disney World God is going to destroy it with hurricanes and earthquakes because it allows gays to hold a yearly celebration there.

This one is about a London company that produces crucifixes with built-in alarms. If anyone tries to steal the crucifix from a church, the voice of Charleton Heston booms "Back off, bozo, or I'll blow your freakin' head off!" Just kidding. Actually it just lets out a loud noise. But it would be cool if they made a crucifix alarm that said things like "Stop that, it tickles!" or "The red zone is for loading or unloading only ..."

It's rough in the religious world, these days. Kentucky has a law now that allows clergymen to carry concealed weapons. Instead of passing around the collection plate, the choir sings a few choruses of "Put 'em up for Jesus."

Here's a story that'll get your attention:

"CAIRO (Reuters) -- A 47-year-old Egyptian laborer tried to commit suicide by chopping off his genitalia with a kitchen knife Tuesday, security sources said."

Wow. You gotta be really depressed to cut off your da kine. But just think how depressed you'd be to wake up and find out you did it.

Elsewhere: "LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- Four workers at a clinic have been charged with the death of a man they allegedly tried to cure of alcoholism by tying him to a chair and forcing drink down his throat, officials said."

The workers called it aversion therapy. It sort of worked. The man hasn't touched a drop since.

Here's a couple of wire stories out of England that could be related:

"LONDON (Reuters) -- Britain's Vegetarian Society hopes to win over meat-eaters with a new advertisement portraying vegetables as sex objects.

The 50-second film, which involves suggestively shaped chilies, melon-fondling and a flaccid asparagus, seeks to alter the public's perception of vegetarianism as boring and depict it as a sensual alternative to meat."

And: "LONDON (Reuters) -- Britain said it was withdrawing from 'Exercise Danish Bacon' in which pigs are shot with high-velocity weapons to train NATO medics in messy field surgery."

The pigs are deeply anesthetized (not to mention deeply depressed) before being shot under veterinary supervision and never regain consciousness, the story states.

Sexy dancing veggies are all right, I guess. But if they REALLY wanted to get people to stop eating meat, they should broadcast the "Exercise Danish Bacon" during prime time. It would be a sort of pork-aversion therapy.

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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