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Kermet Apio's Laugh Corner

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November 2008


You Betta



I read a quote from Hawaii’s governor Linda Lingle, a female Republican Governor of a non-contiguous state who wears glasses but isn’t the vice presidential candidate, I guess because she doesn’t talk like a North Dakota high school senior. Anyway, the governor has been traveling the country campaigning for the Republicans as part of the Lindapalooza ’08 tour. During a speech she questioned Barak Obama’s Hawaiianness (for today, let’s say that’s a word) by saying “I’m the governor of Hawaii, and Senator Obama likes to say he’s from Hawaii, but the truth is, I’ve never met him in my life. He’s never called me.”

I bring this up because I’m guessing that you, like me, were not aware of this requirement. So for those of you living on the mainland that would like to say that you’re from Hawaii, please be sure to call the governor’s office and set up a meeting in order to avoid being called a liar. I’m not sure how long the meeting will last but I’m pretty sure the drink tab will be Dutch.

It is true that much of Obama’s adult life has taken place in Chicago, but he was raised in Hawaii, graduated high school in Hawaii, has family still living in Hawaii, and is working tirelessly to prevent an old Caucasian guy from taking over. Sounds pretty Hawaiian to me. Give that man a koa bowl and a can of SPAM. So he went to college on the mainland and stayed. So what? Many of us have. And believe me, I may be wearing an REI ski jacket on the outside, but underneath it is a short sleeve Primo Beer aloha shirt. It’s the old saying: “You can take the boy out of Hawaii but you can’t keep him from bringing his old Kramer’s clothes.” For those of you under 40, the joke refers to Kramer’s, the old clothing store in Ala Moana, not the Seinfeld character. You’re welcome.

The idea of someone from Hawaii becoming president is mind-boggling. When I was a kid if you had told me that someone from Hawaii was inches away from becoming the leader of the free world, I would have told you to put down the bong, rest your head, and sleep off these bizarre hallucinations. But as I write this, the possibility is real. And that is good. Not just for Hawaii, but for the country.

I want the all out Hawaiian presidency. I want an imu pit on the White House lawn. I want a shave ice machine in the West Wing. I want Kau Inoa stickers on Air Force One. I want the State of the Union Address to end with one minute of footage of people waving “shaka” to the cameras. I want the press briefing room to smell like adobo. I want the White House to be my uncle’s house.

That would be great. The Akaka bill would be passed before the inauguration ceremony was over. Then there are a few other laws I would lobby for. First, if you say you’re from Hawaii, and you are, you don’t need to call the governor of Hawaii for authentication, especially since she was born in Missouri. Second, if you haven’t lived in Hawaii in 22 years but still love it, you are entitled to Kamaaina rates, or at the very least, a percentage thereof. I still wear Kramer’s shirts! I shouldn’t have to pay the same prices as Spencer from Spokane. Third, upon arrival in Hawaii, all Speedos will be confiscated and surf shorts loaned until the offender is at the gate for his trip home (although if I get enough votes in the House, I will try and get the Speedos burned instead of returned).

The all out Hawaii President would have the best cabinet. The Secretary of State: Emme Tomimbang. Director of Homeland Security: Steve McGarrett (for those of you under 40, ask your parents). Secretary of Defense: Kikaida (ditto, youngsters). Now I realize some of you are probably saying, “But Kermet, those last two are fictional characters.” Well, so was that Brownie guy who used to run FEMA. Secretary of Agriculture: Sam Choy. Secretary of the Treasury: I don’t know, but I’m guessing someone Chinese. And your Press Secretary: Andy Bumatai. Finally a press conference I would want to watch.

I just thought of something wonderful. Can you imagine the whole country celebrating Aloha Friday? I’m so warm and happy right now. I don’t care who you are, if you argue against the idea of a casual shirt and happy hour pupus and drinks, you hate America.

You know we need change when an Iolani grad is cheering for a Punahou grad. Well, this Red and Black is fully on the Buff n’ Blue train. It’s like when rival prison gangs get together to plan an uprising. Well folks, it’s time to unseat the warden. Plus, if the economy keeps going in the direction it is, no one will be able to afford to go to either school. And trust me, no one wants to see the aftermath of Punahou and Iolani kids trying to assimilate into public schools. People, let’s stop the wedgies and swirlies before they happen. Yes, we can.

I know you’ve heard this a million times, but if you’re reading this before election day, PLEASE go vote. The system only works if you participate. By voting, you can say you’re a proud American. That is, if you call Linda Lingle first.

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