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Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Friday, March 10, 2000

State needs session
with Dr. Laura

HELLO Dr. Laura. I'm Hawaii and I'm my residents' Big Brother.

Dr. Laura: Haven't we talked before?

Hawaii: Uh, yeah. A few years ago. I had some problems.

L: So how are you now?

Hawaii: I've got problems with hair on them.

L: I'll waive my "one phone call" policy if you promise never to look at those naked pictures of me on the Internet.

Hawaii: Don't want to see you naked, Dr. Laura.

L: Don't take that tone with me. Some of those pictures are pretty hot.

Hawaii: Sorry.

L: So, spill it. I don't have all day.

Hawaii: Well, I've been feeling schizophrenic lately. I've tried to stay clean. I've tried to get off the booze. And I've been trying to get that smoking monkey of my back. I'm squeezing big bucks out of tobacco companies and trying to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. I want to be a healthy state. I'm even trying to put fluoride in the water. But I'm getting the urge to gamble. And, to smoke dope.

L: This sounds bad.

Hawaii: I'm so confused. On the one hand, I want to be good. But on the other, I want to party, party, party. And, my finances are so bad that all the kids have left home and fled to the mainland.

L: Sounds like you've been a bad Big Brother.

Hawaii: I try to do the right thing. Like, I'm trying to force the DUI Breathalyzer level down from .08 to .04.

L: Wow. That means that if I had my usual gin and tonic after karate practice, I'd be considered legally drunk.

Hawaii: You got it. I feel bad, though. Because some of my income depends on people drinking on state property, like Aloha Tower Market Place. I entice them to drink, then I bust 'em.

L: That's domestic abuse.

Hawaii: It gets worse. I'm secretly trying to legalize marijuana.

L: How?

Hawaii: Easy. First, I legalized hemp growing, just to confuse the drug enforcement people. Now, I'm legalizing the use of pot for medical purposes. Once people get used to that, it's a short jump to full legalization.

L: That's pretty sneaky.

Hawaii: I know. And, I feel bad because by the time marijuana is legal, cigarette smoking will be illegal. At least everywhere but inside your house and as long as the neighbors can't smell it.

L: You're severely conflicted.

Hawaii: No lie, bubble eye. Get this. I can't trust people to brush their own teeth, so I'm trying to put fluoride in the water. But I'm also secretly trying to legalize gambling. Now, if you can't trust people to brush their teeth, how can you trust them not to blow their pay checks on gambling?

L: You can't.

Hawaii: And, I want lots of tourists to visit as long as they stay in their rooms and not impact the environment. I even charge a fee for beaches now.

L: Let me see if I got this straight. You want to smoke dope, but not cigarettes. You want to gamble, but not drink. You want nice teeth, but you're too lazy to brush. You want to be a party animal, but only at home. You want tourists as long as they spend all their money on room service and not actually go outside.

Hawaii: That's about the size of it.

L: Hawaii, I've figured out your problem.

Hawaii: Yeah?

Dr. L: You're a sick little puppy.

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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