Too Low A Ha

The other day, Quilly came home from her job with a stack of stickers.
“Here”, her coworkers said. “Take a bunch. Spread ’em around. Maybe somebody will get the message.”

She took them home, spread them around the table. And we looked at them.

We looked at each other.

We looked at them.

We looked at each other.

We looked at them.

We looked at each other – and out of our mouths, simultaneously, came the words:

dead_aloha “Too late.”

(I should probably take a moment here to point out that the “Live” of “Live Aloha” is pronounced with the “i” short, as in “Live long and prosper”, not long as in “live music”. Despite the temptation to suggest that aloha, or its ghost, is only to be found at stage shows put on for the benefit of the tourists.)

Now please don’t misunderstand here. Somebody, thank goodness, has recognized that the aloha of the Aloha State has gone missing, and is trying to find it among the traditions and values of Hawai‘i’s original human population.

Respectful and kindly traditions that, so far as I have been able to discover, included strict social castes (so strict that only noble males had access to limu, about the only available source of essential vitamins on these Central Pacific rockpiles), incessant inter- and intra-island warfare, and a system of religious and ethical prohibitions (kapu) so intricate, the most rigid of Pharisees would have bowed to it in admiration. The hapless sod who planted his foot on the wrong patch of sweet potato would have to perform Olympian feats of athleticism to reach a sanctuary before some righteous nut busted his head open with a hunk of coral.

High-minded and peaceful traditions that led a Hawai‘i Island ali‘i, presented with the wonders and marvels of European civilization, to seize upon the most attractive of these – cannon and muskets – to settle scores with his rivals once and for all. In the process driving native birds to extinction for the sake of his cloak of yellow feathers. And he is called “Great”.

But I digress.

I am sure that the various tourist organizations, Chambers of Commerce, etc., of Hawai‘i would be most unhappy with me if they should ever stumble on this blog and its suggestion that, not only has aloha largely vanished from these islands, it may never have had much of a foothold in the first place. Especially in these recessionary times – which, fortunately for them and probably for me, likely means that C of C people, and everybody else, are too busy, or too broke, to go looking for this blog, or to read it if they find it.

But there are only so many times that you can get cut off on the freeway at 70 mph by somebody driving an SUV like it were a Ferrari before one’s faith in the existence of an aloha spirit begins to decline.

Especially when that SUV displays a bumper sticker:

ALOHA, interj. Central Pacific dialectical variant of the universal call to the slaughter. Typically accompanied by a garland of flowers, which symbolizes, in a manner congenial to a tropical clime, the customary fleecing of the newly landed. See ¡Turista, turista!

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


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