No Exit (Honolulu, 2009)

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of its characters to persons living or dead is for satirical purposes, or is coincidental. Apologies to Jean-Paul Sartre.


Alan Baldwin: “OK, so where’s the torturer?”

Seizen Shigeta:Shut up! You bring him in here, I’ll wring your neck.”

Kimo Kalakaua (to Shigeta): “Be still, brah. You forget where we stay?”

Shigeta: “A locked room in hell. In this heat, how could I forget?

Kalakaua: “So you wring da haole‘s neck. Where he wen go?

Baldwin: “I never dreamed that hell would be a room in a huge Waikiki hotel, but one without even a city view. I suppose that minor amenities like toilets and bar fridges are superfluous in our condition, and A/C is too much to hope for.”

Kalakaua (to Baldwin): “What fo you stay dis place?”

Baldwin: “Damned if I … oh, shit. You?”

Kalakaua: “Dunno.”

Shigeta: “Me either. One minute, I’m leading a crucial meeting of the Hawai‘i Teachers Association, and the next …”

Kalakaua: “You one teacher union guy den!”

Shigeta: “Yeah …?”

Kalakaua:You how come my keiki no can read!

Shigeta: “Well, maybe if you parents actually sent us kids who were ready to learn to read, instead of spending all of their time disrupting classroom order …”

Kalakaua: “But that your job, to teach, not to be bumboss! An not fo go surf Wednesdays, neither. Teach is fo why we pay you da big bucks!

Shigeta:Big bucks?!? Hell made you lolo already? What’re you calling ‘big bucks’?”

Kalakaua: “You no stay in tent in Nanakuli, you make da big bucks.”

Shigeta: “Well, maybe if you people would get off the damned ice, you could get out of those tents. For your information, brah, teachers make less than just about any other field that requires a bachelor’s degree for entry. In Hawai‘i, teachers make maybe half of what they make anywhere else, when you factor in the cost of living on this rockpile. And that was before the damned furloughs. Teachers are hard to get. And if we didn’t have these little perks here and there for our members, and protect them against the likes of you, we wouldn’t have the teachers we have now!

Baldwin (to Shigeta): “Do those ‘little perks’ include the bloated teaching bureaucracy?

Shigeta: “Look, none of us asked to have reams of paperwork jammed down our throats! If we gotta have it, then we gotta have someone to do it!”

Baldwin: “Maybe if you did your jobs right, we wouldn’t have to have those reams of data to keep tabs on you.”

Shigeta: “And maybe if we had some resources with which to do our jobs, instead of trying to teach classes in science with chewing gum and baling wire, we’d have a chance to do those jobs and get out from under the paper pile!”

Baldwin: “And just where do you think we’re going to get those resources?”

Shigeta:Taxes, of course.”

Baldwin: “‘Taxes, of course’. Get in line! You and everyone else on these bumps in the middle of the Pacific. Who’s going to pay them? The tax burden’s already sky-high. Between high taxes, high prices, and strangling regulations, just about every business in this state has gone broke except tourism, and the tourists are sick of getting gouged.”

Shigeta: “And how do you know this, haole? You a Baldwin, or something?”

Baldwin: “As a matter of fact …”

Kalakaua: “A Big Five bumboss?!?”

Shigeta: “Running working people into the ground for the sake of your swollen profits?!? How’s your buddy Bernie Madoff doing?”

Baldwin: “Listen up, commie. Like it or not, profits are what make it possible for society to pay teachers to surf on Wednesdays. If businesses aren’t allowed to make the kinds of money that will keep both their executives and their stockholders happy, they’re going to move or fold. And when they do, there won’t be anything left in Hawai‘i but coconuts and government. And you don’t want the government running things.”

Shigeta: “Damned right. All they do is tie us up with rules and threaten to fire us if we don’t dance to their tune.”

Kalakaua: “Government don’t do nothin’ fo us ‘cept rip up our tents and throw us in shelters. An it no even is ours!

Baldwin: “And it taxes us to death for nothing! How come we don’t have anyone from government in here?”

Valet: (opening door) “None of them are in this hotel. The Adversary – the one you call (ptui) God – took one look at how they had to try to meet the mutually-impossible demands of the people they were supposed to govern, and decided they’d had their hell on earth. So they’re in that other place.

“Speaking of demands. The other cells are sick and tired of your bickering. If you don’t shut up and learn to get along, all hell’s going to break loose in here. Your only warning.”

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


  1. Very well done. I think you’re on to something too- It may not be profits or taxes or regulation or greed or envy or sloth that boxes us in but the guest rooms of our own intransigence.

  2. In Hawaii all the islands have only one — one size fits no one — school district. There are so many different people needing so many different accommodations that Hawaii has ruled and regulated everyone until the paperwork, rules and adaptations have pretty much eclipsed actual teaching concerns.

    And anyone who questions the surfing teacher, this is a true story. The person in question has a substitute every Wednesday from October to mid-December so she can go surfing. Why is this allowed to stand?

    • Q, I used to think that the ‘one school district’ model had to be superior to ‘local control’, with its geography-based (often by gerrymandering) opportunities for entrenching inequity. Hawai‘i has taught me that no system is safe in human hands.

  3. Is surfing better on Wednesdays? WTF?

    Quilly, interesting!—my son has a team of specialists to work with him: speech, OT, school support, etc. But they hardly ever see him and the paperwork is SKY high; we’re constantly getting letters that basically say nothing beyond documenting the fact a letter was sent out, that sort of thing. Everyone’s frustrated with the system; nobody’s changing it.

    Had to laugh at your last line Amoeba, and the government getting off the hook because JUST today, I read in our own paper that a large number of Irish parents were complaining and demanding compensation because their teenagers had gotten in to see Cabaret and the oooo naked peoples. They’re complaining that more wasn’t done (besides all the signs, an age limit at the door, etc.) to warn about adult content. Helloooo? why can’t the parents erm, *parent*? If I give my kid €60 (as if I had it) to go see a musical, I’d know what it’s about, or I’d be there with the kid, duh. What got my gourd was that these are the SAME people who constantly complain about the nanny state here forbidding them to smoke, or making them wear helmets, etc….
    Well, which way do you want it Spanky? Pick ONE. Just ONE. And they can’t. Our government raises the bar for incompetence on the most mundane issues; who could expect miracles?

    Anyhow. Sartre would be proud of this post, says I. I was once a French Literature major and this was a joy to read from start to end! LOL

    • I don’t wish to say how long ago it was that I read Huis clos, Susan. Except to say that I knew much more about French then than about life.

      I’m sure that a Gibbon would say that we have all these irritations about people and institutions and the ingenious screwups they discover, because life is too good. If times really were tough, we wouldn’t be complaining about bureaucracy because everyone, including the would-be bureaucrats, would be too busy exercising every nerve and muscle in the pursuit of survival to complain.

      Glad you liked the post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s