Gathering Places


Christmas shoppers walk toward their car in the crowded parking lot at Ala Moana Center.

It’s beginning to sound
a lot like Christmas, too

I just came back from the testosterone-energized parking garage at Ala Moana Center. I cannot believe what people are calling one another. Words such as b-----d, a-----e, SOB and lots more are being called out. Some of the bad words were directed at me.

I was waiting for a woman to pull out of a parking space at Longs. All she had to do was back up, turn the wheels and move on. She finally got herself out after an unbelievable wait of about 30 seconds. As I began to pull in, some old fool with a beard tried to back up and get into the space.

Since my car is a 1985 Toyota "Landfill," I am not terribly worried about another rust spot, although I have just about run out of the "Lingle for Governor" bumper stickers that are holding it together.

I smiled at the driver and said, "Go ahead, hit me." Since his car was only about four or five weeks old and he lacked the fire in his gut for a really stupid fender bender, and the only place he could hit my car was in the back door, he drove off, pausing only long enough to call me the A-word.

His holiday attitude was one of the better ones I ran into there. I stopped to allow two women to cross in front of my car. (Even though they were not in a crosswalk, I hate to hit them.) The driver in the car behind me began to blow his horn and scream vile things out of his window. He pulled out to go into the oncoming lane to get past me, barely missing the ladies, and screamed something at me. (He could operate his passenger-side window from the driver's side. What are are auto designers thinking?)

I smiled and shouted, "You're still short."

Driving out of the parking garage onto Piikoi Street was also an experience. One gentleman was trying to back up, but there was nowhere to go except over me and the two honkers behind me. His right hand kept flying up as if he were exhorting God or blessing me for being in his way. His wife was crouched in a prayer position, head between her knees and hands over her head. I imagine it's a well-practiced huddle.

Halfway down the ramp I thought of something I needed at Shirokiya. I abandoned any hope of purchasing that item until well into the new year.

With any luck, the mall has seen the last of me until after the holidays. I'd rather rewrite James Joyce.

Have a good day.

Arnold Van Fossen, a retired magazine
promotion manager, lives in Waikiki.

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