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Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Wednesday, November 8, 2000

Morning People
rule the world

MORNING people secretly control the world. I'm convinced of it. One day, Stephen King is going to write a creepy book called "Morning People." (And when he does, I'd better get my cut.)

I first began to suspect that Morning People were in control of everything when I inexplicably, not to mention uncharacteristically, woke up early one day and decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. The sun was just coming up. The air was bracing. The views of Kaneohe Bay stunning. It was a completely different world. One that most of us sleep through.

But not all of us, it turns out. I came across an old man sweeping leaves off his driveway. He smiled. Said "morning." His look was one of recognition. I had never seen the gentleman before and yet he acted like we knew each other.

NEXT was a lady watering some flowers. "Morning," she said, smiling. "Morning," I responded. I had the sense we were partners in some way. Then she waved to the leaf guy.

I continued walking and continued to run into Morning People. They all were friendly. A little too friendly. When you walk in the afternoon or evening, people are not so engaging. They will even look away as you approach. But Morning People look you in the eye.

Then I began to think, what are these people doing up so darn early? And every day. Surely there are not so many leaves to rake and plants to water. There is way too much energy pulsing through these Morning People. That's when I figured out that they are part of a secret society that runs the world. What else could it be? They are the generals, the people making the big decisions, running government and business. They are like Mafia dons who hang out in delicatessens. They don't keep records, they don't hold meetings. They just quietly control things.

On a recent morning I had to drive in to work before sunrise, another unnatural act. As soon as I got on the roadway, I was sucked into a blazing river of metal, cars racing and dodging and basically flying like bats out of hell toward town. The expressions on the faces of the drivers were hard and determined. Some puffed cigarettes and talked on cell phones. Others chugged coffee from huge thermoses and reeked of cheap cologne that you could smell long after their cars whizzed past.

THEN I realized, these were the drones of the Morning People network. These were mind-controlled worker bees that the leaf rakers and plant waterers sent forth to do their bidding. Yes, these drivers were people who awoke early in the morning, but they were not Morning People.

I felt like I should warn the world of my discovery. But everyone I told treated me the same way people treated the Katherine Ross character in "The Stepford Wives," at least before they killed her and replaced her body with a robot.

I told my friends to wake up early and see the Morning People for themselves.

"Get up at daybreak?" one said. "You ARE nuts."

So I gave up. Obviously, if Morning People are controlling the world, they're doing a pretty good job of it. At least better than people who stay up late boozing and partying and then sleeping all morning. Not that I'd know any of those.

The other morning a man picking mangoes told me, "Plenty mango this year." I think it was code. Not wanting to blow my cover, I nodded sagely, said "morning," and walked on.

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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