Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Politicians to feel
the gridiron heat

SOMETIMES I feel like this column is little unduly harsh on certain public figures. But as I sit here flipping through song lyrics written by various other news weenies and PR flacks for the upcoming "Gridiron '99" show I feel like an absolute puff ball.

I'm a real sweetheart compared to these guys (and gals).

The idea of a "gridiron" show is for members of the news media and public relations profession to skewer public figures in a raucous, politically incorrect stage show during which the public figures demonstrate they have a sense of humor by laughing good-naturedly while they are being disemboweled when actually they hate every minute of it.

This is rousing good fun, at least for the people doing the goring. This year's gridiron targets will include members of the news media, which, is sort of a dirty trick. But, as emcee, I'm on the side of the gorers, so I guess I can live with it.

The show's producers probably wouldn't like me disclosing secrets, not to mention lyrics, but if they are silly enough to give me the material before hand, that's their problem. I think it's fair to let some of the victims know what is coming so if they choose to attend, they can come armed with the necessary rotten produce with which to pelt the stage.

FOR instance, get the tune to the song "Copacabana" bouncing around in your head and then try these lyrics:

"His name is Milton
He's from the Senate
He turned out not to be so nice
Then they caught him doing ice
They say he liked to wine and dine
His life used to be divine
And then his term was through
Lost re-election, too
And then he was indicted
And suspended too
From the school called Kamehameha
The campus atop Kapalama
At the School called Kamehameha
," etc.

See? Pretty brutal.

But that is nothing compared to the thrashing certain Bishop Estate trustees and other politicos will be taking. For instance, there's the Henry Peter's song called "Reindicted" and a little love note to Frank Fasi to the tune of the Village People's "YMCA." A few lines:

"Voters, did you think he was done?
I say voters, can't you see he will run?
As long as there's an election to hold
I tell you he's not that old"
He'll run forever
This time for mayor!
You can say anything
Even laugh if you must
But like the stadium, Frank will not rust because he is
" ... etc.

Of course you can only get away with a show like this if you are raising money for a good cause. In this case, the $50 ticket price (which includes a pupu buffet) is a fund-raiser for scholarships and internships for the Hawaii chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Public Relations Society of America. In other words, the money goes to propagating -- just what the world needs -- MORE news reporters and flacks. So I'm not sure how they can get away with calling this a good cause.

Nevertheless, a few tickets remain for Gridiron '99, Sept. 17 and 18 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Tropics Showroom. Call 988-4618.

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 or

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