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Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Move over ‘Baywatch,’

for real deal

I'VE got an idea for a new Hawaii-based television show called "The Tiki and the Tacky."

It would be an epochal soap opera sort of like "Dallas" with plenty of conflict, intrigue, bad hair and human pathos. (Human pathos are stories that tug at your heart, which is different from Diamond Head Pathos which now cost $1 to hike upon.)

Here are some of the storylines being considered:

Bullet A group of high school kids carve a Hawaiian tiki out of an old telephone pole and stick it in front of their school. Instead of letting termites simply eat the thing up, a process that would have taken only about three weeks, an excitable Christian pastor assails school officials for allowing a pagan idol to be erected on public property.

School officials, fearing retribution by an all powerful force on high -- a lawsuit --take down the telephone pole. The kids protest on the grounds that erecting a carved telephone pole is constitutionally protected free speech and they should know because when they aren't carving up telephone poles in art class they are studying pre-law.

The ACLU comes to their rescue, vowing to take the matter all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court as long as the telephone pole looks nothing like Jesus, Mary or Pat Robertson.

Bullet Public union czar Gary "J.R." Rodrigues plots complete takeover of Hawaii from his million-acre Oregon ranch.

Rodrigues, who can bring the islands to a standstill with a snap of his fingers through his control of most state services, ruthlessly crushes any attempt by Gov. Ben Cayetano to abridge his power. Legislators with spines of tofu quiver in JR's presence.

Yet, in the shadows lurk the one person that Rodrigues both despises and fears, Linda Lingle, the Republican almost elected governor in the last election. To defeat her, he knows he will need a larger army of voting public workers. So when Cayetano proposes building a private prison, JR smashes him like a bug. To make sure no public workers are fired before the election, JR forces the legislature to stop state bosses from sacking even employees on drugs.

Bullet Despite a new Hawaii law legalizing medical marijuana, doctors are sent to federal prison in droves for prescribing pot to patients suffering from painful conditions like "Acute Lack of High Disorder" and "Severe Munchies Degeneration."

Bullet Aging peaceniks converge on Pearl Harbor to demand the name of the nuclear attack submarine "USS Hawaii" be changed. Pressured by Hawaii's liberal congressional delegation, the military buckles and changes the name to the "USS Gandhi." "Bug us again," the brass warns, "and it becomes the 'USS Mother Teresa'."

Bullet In a vote of 89 to 88 with 43 members abstaining because "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" was on television the night of the meeting, the state school board ordered the tiki telephone pole replaced in front of Waianae High School. Unfortunately, by then, Bishop Museum had given the tiki away to a guy on Maui who has it hid in a cave.

Bullet A disgruntled Navy admiral plots to rename two missile-armed destroyers the "USS Howzit Brah?" and the "USS What? Bodda You?"

Bullet With polls showing Republican Linda Lingle picking up strength, J.R. Rodrigues unionizes all public school students and forces the legislature to lower the voting age to 12.

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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