Honolulu Lite


Monday, December 24, 2001

Christmas Eve 'Lite' blast
from the past

(Dear Lite-oholics: Suddenly realizing that "Honolulu Lite" is 10 years old, Charley suffered a retroactive grammar hernia and decided to take Christmas Week off. He left behind a couple of holiday -- condensed -- columns from Lite's infant days, when it was just a little funny. Today's ran on Christmas Eve 1991.)

Here it is the day before Christmas, and all of us are safely nestled in the holiday spirit. But it hasn't been easy.

This is the time of year when you make a conscious effort to be in a good mood and show good will to fellow human beings.

So you drive from house determined to have a nice day, dammit. You immediately come up behind some jerk going 52 miles an hour in the left lane of the freeway, which everyone knows is the lane reserved for exceeding the speed limit. So you tailgate him, flash your lights and honk your horn. You know he's deliberately blocking you because nobody can be so stupid by accident. You finally pass him on the shoulder, knocking over a few traffic cones. But it's Christmas, so you settle down, turn on some carols and determine not to let one idiot ruin your holiday mood.

You pop into Ala Moana Center for some last-minute shopping, and HOLY GRIDLOCK! Don't you people have jobs? People are punching each other out over parking stalls. You park in a nonparking spot near a Chinese restaurant after promising to buy an order of Crispy Duck on the way out. Plus, the guard demands guard five bucks, the big jerk.

But it's Christmas, so you jar yourself back into the spirit, take a deep breath and throw yourself into the writhing mass of humanity at Woolworth's. You squirt like a bar of soap out the other side of the store seconds later, wearing a funny hat and three pfffts of perfume you didn't ask for.

The rest of the stores are too crowded to even enter. So you start eyeballing the carp in the reflecting pool. Fish make good gifts. But the security guy refuses to take the funny hat in trade for the fish. What's his problem? He can't let you have one lousy fish that's probably suffering from copper poisoning from all the pennies kids throw at its head? Moron.

You finally get home an look at your collection of "gifts": a traffic cone, a funny hat, a container of soggy fried duck, a handful of pennies (almost got the big carp by the waterfall) and a black eye (that security guy was faster than he looked).

At any other time of year, you'd be depressed and angry. But it's Christmas Eve. You've done all you can. Time for shopping has run out. So you thank your chosen deity for having made it through another year. You promise to be more tolerant of idio ... people in the future. And you mean it. You really feel good. Somehow, you have the holiday spirit. You love everyone. Except for people who go 52 in the left lane of the freeway. All right, you even love them, but just a little bit. Merry Christmas.

Alo-Ha! Friday compiles odd bits of news from Hawaii
and the world to get your weekend off to an entertaining start.
Charles Memminger also writes Honolulu Lite Mondays,
Wednesdays and Sundays. Send ideas to him at the
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210,
Honolulu 96813, phone 235-6490 or e-mail

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