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Kermet Apio's Laugh Corner

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July 2005




Many times after shows people come up and talk to me, sometimes to compliment the show; sometimes to ask if I have held on to my day job; and every once in a while to throw me a curve ball. Last week a man asked me if I had seen a TV show called “Dog the Bounty Hunter” on A&E. He said it was a reality show that takes place on Oahu . Now right there I was intrigued. I like to think I know a lot about Hawaii. Well, except for maybe historical details, political details, and most trivia. Okay, so I like to think I know a lot about television in Hawaii. I knew nothing about this. So the challenge was set and I dove into a TV Guide to search out this “Dog”.

For those of you who haven’t seen the show, congratulations on having a life. Generally, reality shows are about as interesting to watch as a bag of rubber bands. “Dog the Bounty Hunter” is about, not surprisingly, a bounty hunter who calls himself “Dog”. His name is Duane Chapman and he served 18 months in prison for manslaughter in the 70’s and after his release became a bounty hunter because he already had a gun and knew where the criminals were.

He set up shop in Honolulu (the episode I saw never said why. I would imagine because if you want to be a bounty hunter but don’t want to work that hard, an island is the place to be). Chapman’s appearance is, to say the least, unique. If there were major leagues for hair, Dog’s mullet would be suspended for steroids. He wears muscle shirts and leather pants, along with all the proper accessories that fill the look. He looks like Joe Dirt turned 50 and hung out at Hamburger Mary’s. So he is the star of a television show in Hawaii who wears leather and sports a blonde mullet. Which is perfect because bounty hunters usually want to be famous, easy to spot, and followed by a camera crew.

The operation is a family business with Dog, his wife and son working together to catch criminals and destroy the pidgin accent on national television. Pidgin is like close up magic. Many people think they can do it long before they’ve had enough practice. It can work against you. If you don’t speak pidgin you may not get to pay kamaaina rates. If you speak pidgin poorly you may pay more than retail.

The only locals on the show are the hunted, people who have skipped bail for whatever reason. These people speak pidgin correctly and yet THEY are subtitled. It is very surreal to see a language you understand being subtitled for the country you live in. Applying this logic, there should be subtitles every time Keith Richards utters a word on TV. And MTV should have subtitles 24/7, unless there’s a “Shizzle Nizzle for Dummies” book I’m missing.

I understand that Dog has a job to do and that criminals should be brought to justice, but it seems to be one of the few representations of Hawaii people on television right now. That puts way too much pressure on Michele Wie, who isn’t even making money while carrying us on her shoulders. Until Barak Obama becomes president, we need to fill the gap. Here are my Hawaii show suggestions:

First, a show called “We Go Aunty’s”. Contestants have to visit all my aunties (blood AND calabash) in one day and try not to offend them by turning down food. Keep in mind many of my aunties get offended if you turn down a second helping. It’s six hours of continuous eating culminating with beef stew in aimanalo. That, my friends, is good TV.

Or how about a show called “H-1 Hold ‘Em” Where contestants drink a grande iced latte and eat two bran muffins and try to drive from Ewa to town at 6:00am . After sitting in the endless quagmire of bumper to bumper, the last car to take a bathroom exit off the freeway is the winner. It’s like “Amazing Race” with very little travel.

Or how about a sitcom about an insecure, overweight, and balding Hawaiian comedian with a dry sense of humor who has a wife, two kids, and a boatload of issues. No? How about if he lives in a city that’s cold and rainy? No? What if he has a superpower? Still nothing? Okay, what if he wears leather pants and chases people? There it is. TV gold!

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