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Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Monday, July 31, 2000

Mixed plate of
Monday mullings

MISCELLANEOUS musings for a Monday afternoon ...

The other fried snack

A headline that caught my attention recently read,"Mislabeled pork rinds recalled."

My immediate reaction was, "My God, what were they labeled, asparagus?" How can you mislabel a bag of pork rinds? Most of the bags are clear plastic so you can see the oily hunks of pig skin right there. If they were accidentally labeled "brussels sprouts," it's not really going to confuse connoisseurs of deep fried porcine epidermis.

It turned out the pork rinds were being recalled because the labels failed to mention the rinds contained monosodium glutamate, or MSG. That's a dangerous oversight. You know how health-conscious people who eat pork rinds are.

(Now I'm going to hear from everyone on one of those all-fat diets slamming me for dissing their health food.)

Mango bust

NO, this isn't another food item. But have you ever noticed how sometimes those little police blotter blurbs that appear in the paper shine a light on some colorful part of the islands most of us know little about? I was intrigued by the nicknames of some guys who recently pleaded guilty to running an illegal sports betting operation. Their names were Moody, Mango and Beep Beep. That's pretty cool. They sound like characters from an old Hawaii Five-0 episode.

"Moody, you got the loot?"

"No, I gave it to Beep Beep."

"I thought Mango had it."

"No, he passed it to Papaya."

"Well, as long as Pineapple doesn't get it."

"Watch it, here comes Danno. What a weird name for a cop."

(Just kidding, boys.).

Parking Protest

SOMETHING has to be massively wrong with the handicapped parking system. I never see anyone using the reserved spots who actually seems handicapped. And these are people with cars that have the official parking pass.

OK, a couple of times I've seen some old guy being helped out of a car in a handicapped stall. But most of the time the "handicapped" parkers look healthier than I am. I saw one lady park in the handicapped zone the other day in front of a supermarket who looked like she could have climbed Everest.

I suspect some of the people driving these cars are not the people for whom the cars have received permits. They are probably husbands or wives or friends of the real handicapped persons. But I wonder if some people are getting handicapped parking passes because they suffer from ailments like hives or depression.

As a firm believer in bachi, I like to think that something especially nasty eventually happens to people who abuse the handicapped parking system.

Small bites

IT'S the occasional shark bite that captures headlines in Hawaii but a new book documents the fact that island residents are constantly being gnawed on or poked by critters. Little critters mostly: ants, spiders, mites, etc.

The book is "Pests of Paradise," by Star-Bulletin ocean columnist Susan Scott and her husband, Dr. Craig Thomas. The cover alone will make your skin crawl. But the book also tells you what to do when, for instance, a cockroach crawls in your ear. Hint: Don't use a chopstick. Go to emergency room for removal.

I'll share further advice from the book later this week.

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

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