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The Budget Surplus
You know when you’re reading an article and as you get to the bottom of the page it tells you that the story continues, see page 14? Well, I rarely do. I always feel the headline and the first two sentences are enough to know for bar conversations. Plus I will surely forget all of it soon after lunch so why put in all that work. But what I did get from a story I read recently is that unless it said on page 14 that someone forgot to carry the one, Hawaii has a budget surplus of about $540 million (which, coincidentally, is the cost of a one bedroom condo in Kalihi). I realize that the common sense thing to do would be to put almost all of it into the schools as part of the “Let’s Try Not To Leave Thousands Of Children Behind” Act of 2006. But politics isn’t always about common sense (see: Federal Government). So if they’re not going to spend the money on essential things like education, jobs, and comedian subsidies, I have come up with a few suggestions that I think will make Hawaii a better place.
Idea number 1 (and the most important one): Jet Packs. Remember the promise of jet packs? Just before the start of a Super Bowl in the late ‘70’s a guy flew into the stadium with a jet pack and for a brief moment was the coolest guy in America despite having huge lapels on his flight suit and a wind blown mullet under his helmet. I believe Kristy McNichol was the halftime entertainment, but I digress. It had a rocket you strapped to your back and two handles for control. I used to dream about getting from Ewa Beach to Ala Moana in 10 minutes instead of the 85 minutes on the bus (of course, this was before I realized you could actually move closer to town).
Technology was supposed to bring this to us but all we’ve gotten are iPod and Playstation. Sure I enjoy graphic murder and Wang Chung mp3’s just as much as the next person, but I want to fly to Zippy’s! Oahu is a traffic nightmare. Well, there’s your solution. Don’t thank me, just start production. And think about this: if a bird craps on your head, revenge is just one click away.
Idea number 2: A Pyramid Scheme. Of course, don’t call it that. Just get the other states to participate in a “Trickle Down Cash Gift Rotation Pool”. Hawaii will be at the top with Washington right there. You tell Idaho that you will match their funds in the pool and all they have to do is get three more states on board. By the time it gets figured out Hawaii will be sitting in Cash City. And I’m not sure the southern states will ever actually figure it out. Okay, it’s not as good as jet packs, but keep in on the burner.
Idea number 3: Extend Kamaaina rates. I realize the definition of Kamaaina is someone who lives there, but can’t we make it someone who is from there? It was incredibly disheartening to be told I had to pay a cover charge to go to Hanauma Bay. I even tried saying in Pidgin that “My ancestahs came hea tousands of yee-ahs ago!” The fact that half my ancestors settled on the big island and the other half came from China and Portugal didn’t seem very important at the time. I think if you still own the Nohelani Cypriano cassette with “Lihue” on it, you should get all Kamaaina rates, even though your license says you live in Everett . It’s good for the economy because I would actually spend money instead of standing there whining about the $4 (Did I mention I have Chinese ancestors?).
Idea number 4: “Lost – the Theme Park”. Filmed in Hawaii, the TV show “Lost” is a huge success despite the fact that no one who watches it actually knows what’s going on. So why not set aside an island (or a part of an island) to help fans recreate the “Lost” experience. Drop them off with a few carts of food and clothes and let the fun begin. Can you imagine that Help Wanted ad? ’Wanted, people who can pretend to be pirates, ghosts, and government agents in order to scare tourists.’ Listen. Is that the sound of Kermet creating local jobs? I think it is. If this works I have other theme park ideas like “Jurassic Park – Take Your Chances”, “50 First Dates With Titas” and “Dog The Bounty Hunter Thrill Ride”.
Idea number 5: More Direct Flights From The Northwest. By taking some of that money and sliding it to the airline companies, we can convince them to have more direct flights. Then people will arrive in the islands quicker, more energetic, and happier. The only thing worse than an uncomfortable airline seat and having to pay $5 for a box of raisins and beer nuts is doing that twice in one day. Then there’s the layover. LAX is like a college dorm with jetways. Not exactly a great place to spend 3 hours. There are 50,000 of us between Seattle and Portland and if you get us there early, we will spend money the minute we land. We need sunglasses immediately. Cha-ching! Here comes the tax dollars. And by the way, this is not a bribe to the airline companies. It is more like a “Trickle Down Cash Based Persuasion Gift”.
I have a lot of better ideas. See ‘Kermet Saves Hawaii’ page 14.
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