Honolulu Lite


30th reunion? Get me
oxygen, please, nurse

Some people I went to high school with are having their 30th class reunion next month, so you've got to feel a little sorry for them.

Think about it. They've been out of high school for 30 years. That means they are all in their late 40s. Hair starting to turn gray (if it's there at all). A spare tire that would wow a monster truck pit crew. Creaky bones, achy muscles ... the pinched nerves in the neck after mandatory nap time. And that's just the guys.

It's weird. Technically, I graduated with these people: the Aiea High School Class of 1972. But is that possible? That would mean my life is almost over, when actually I'm just getting around to pursuing success. My momentum is just building. I'm ready to get in the game. I've got things to do, places to go, people to crush on my way up. I'm just starting to FOCUS.

So how in the hell could I get invited to a 30th class reunion? It's a mistake. I mean, come on! A 30th class reunion. Night of the living dead. A bunch of old codgers trying to dance to the Iron Butterfly drum solo of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."

What sick, twisted person invented class reunions anyway? Reunions are passed off as a time to get together with old friends, relive high school memories and reflect on the amusing vagaries of life.

A class reunion actually is sort of midlife-term exam to determine how you are faring against your contemporaries on that big, cosmic bell curve. You go to a class reunion with specific goals in mind:

>> To find that the biggest brainiac in school is under indictment or, better yet, serving a long stretch in a prison with poor internal security.

>> To see that the athlete who used to press 300 pounds and run the 100-yard dash in eight seconds now weighs 300 pounds and carries "emergency" Pringles in a backpack.

>> To discover the cute, popular girl or guy who wouldn't have dated you if you were the last person on Earth, is supporting a $500-a-day crack habit and will "date" you -- right now -- in the parking lot for 25 bucks.

All right, that might be a little harsh. But let's face it. There are only three people in the world who enjoy going to class reunions: Microsoft's Bill Gates, Apple's Steve Jobs and AOL's Steve Case. They like class reunions so much they go to OTHER people's class reunions just so they can jump up on stage and gush, "Isn't life grand!" Jerks.

I guess I'll go to the Aiea High 30th class reunion, even though I'm pretty sure I've only been out of school for 10 or 12 years, tops. Being a svelte 200 and, er, something, pounds and having most of my hair, I won't gloat. I've always been kind to geezers. I encourage any other Aiea Class of '72 grads to go. You can get details online at I'm told there'll be plenty of oxygen canisters, easily chewable food and nurses on duty.

Charles Memminger, winner of National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards, appears Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. E-mail

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