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Kermet Apio

Hana Ho`omake`aka
(Laugh Corner)

Close to my Mind


I spent the first 11 years of my life in `Ewa Beach, back when the beach had limu and miles of sugar cane separated you from the rest of the world. I spent a lot of time body surfing near my Grandma’s house, playing touch football on the street in front of our house, or playing with illegally dumped garbage in the woods behind the cul-de-sac.

Because of some sort of clerical error, I got accepted to `Iolani School in 1978. I graduated in 1985 ranked 173 out of 197. Quite frankly I was disappointed in the other 24 people because they really weren’t applying themselves.

Because of another clerical error, I got accepted to the University of Washington. I came to Seattle excited and scared, ready to experience a new city, a new culture, and meet new people. The first thing I did was join the Hawaii Club and befriend as many of the Hawaii students as I could. Oh well, some things take time.

Two years and no degree later, I was working for United Airlines in the glamorous field of counting liquor bottles. A co-worker did comedy at the open mike nights and occasionally had some paid gigs. He took me to an open mike at the Comedy Underground in downtown Seattle. I had a blast watching and meeting the comedians. The second time he took me he signed me up. I did 4 minutes and found my passion. Well, other than pie.

I quit my day job in 1990 and 15 years later I have had national television appearances, been on national radio shows, and have performed in 44 states, many of which I would never have gone to voluntarily. Comedy is a great way to make a living, especially when compared to counting liquor bottles while wearing a hairnet.

In 1992 I met a red-headed Texan who taught me more about myself than I could have imagined and who is, by the way, funnier than I am. She just doesn’t have the desperate need for attention that is the Photo by Steve Kajihirobackbone of most comedians. She is a superb wife, mother, and best friend and has embraced the Hawaiian culture, music, and people. I’m touched by this because I haven’t really embraced Texas culture, other than enjoying a rib-eye steak every once in a while.

I was already a fan of the Northwest Hawai`i Times when they asked me to write a humor column. I was honored, surprised, and terrified all at the same time. It has been quite an experience, doing something so different from stand up and so rewarding. The column keeps Hawai`i close to my mind and I am proud to be a part of this. The Northwest Hawai`i Times `ohana is a wonderful group of people and I am very appreciative that they invited me on board. Even if it was due to a clerical error.

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