Changing Hawaii

By Diane Yukihiro Chang

Saturday, July 17, 1999


Pie-d square (in the face)

YES, that's me in the photo above. No, I don't have a cream pie all over my face because I'm a messy eater.

It all started a few weeks ago, when a Hawaii Newspaper Agency employee asked if I'd be willing to have Governor Cayetano hit me in the face with a pie as a benefit for Aloha United Way.

This led to mistake No. 1: trying to do a good deed.

Like many people in the islands, my biggest charitable contribution is to AUW, because of its wide-ranging selection of nonprofit causes. So I'm a sucker to help out the effort in any way.

Don't ask me to make a fool of myself. But to raise money for AUW, well, OK. Maybe just this once.

This led to mistake No. 2: attempting to psychoanalyze and outwit the state's highest-ranking government official.

To me, Ben Cayetano always seemed to be a staid, conservative, grumpy kind of guy. No way would he leave his comfy Capitol office to trek over to the news building, open his own wallet, and pay good money to throw a whipped cream and chocolate puddin' pie -- even at a pesky journalist, I surmised.

That's why I told the HNA guy, sure, why not? I'll volunteer to be a target. Because I was absolutely positive that Cayetano would NOT show up. No way would he wreck his esteemed gubernatorial stature by slinging dairy products into the mug of a wahine editor.

My third mistake: coming to work yesterday. I dressed defensively -- wearing junky clothes, rubber slippers, a shower cap and protective eye goggles -- in a pitiful attempt to stay as well-groomed as possible.

Mistake No. 4: being surprised when Cayetano's limo pulled into the HNA parking lot and, oh no, there he was, warming up his arm and practicing his throwing technique, no doubt remembering that the Star-Bulletin failed to endorse him both in 1994 and in 1998.

Mistake No. 5: not wearing nose plugs.

Diane Yukihiro Chang's column usually runs Monday and Friday.
She can be reached by phone at 525-8607, via e-mail at, or by fax at 523-7863.

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