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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 6, 2001

This column is rated PG-65

By Mike Leidemann
Advertiser Columnist

G is for general audiences. But what's best for grandparents?

PG-13 is fine for older teenagers. But what's the rating code for those over 65?

NC-17 means no one under 18 admitted. But shouldn't it also mean no one over 70, too?

Maybe the time has come for us to develop a rating code to protect our senior citizens.

We've done a good job of making guidelines that show which movies, TV shows and music are appropriate for our children. Now, we've got to do the same thing for our parents.

All of this came to mind because my in-laws were visiting Hawai'i. Unless you've been through this lately, you can't imagine how hard it is to find something appropriate to do with your elderly relatives.

Trust me, the last thing you want to do is stay home on a hot, muggy summer afternoon with these still active, intelligent people.

But they've been here many times before and have seen all the usual places, from Pearl Harbor to the Kodak Hula Show, from Diamond Head to Ka'ena Point.

So you've got to come up with something different. You've got to show them a good time on the town. Only not too good a time, if you know what I mean.

It's not that they're prudes. Just good, wholesome people. They've probably seen a lot of offensive things in their time. You just don't want to be a corrupting influence on them in their golden years.

So what are you going to do?

• How about a movie? "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is about a botched sex-change operation. "Sexy Beast" tells the dark, comic (?) story of a savage, mad-dog frothing gangster. "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" was a great book, but universally panned by the critics. Even "Shrek," an animated feature, is about a monster trying to make it with a princess.

• Want to go to the Academy of Arts? The Artists Hawai'i 2001 show is full of full frontal nudity, bondage and playful sex scenes. It's intellectually stimulating, but maybe just a little too stimulating if you're a senior citizen. It even made a grown man blush.

• How about a stroll in Waikiki? OK, but just make sure everybody is home safe in bed by 9 p.m., before the wild life hits the streets.

So pretty much we end up doing what we usually do. We stay home and talk about old times and relatives. We buy a bunch of good books and read them on the lanai. We go out to dinner some nights and cook in the kitchen on others.

On the last day of their stay, we have Sunday brunch at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and make a list of all the good, wholesome PG-rated things we're going to do on their next visit: paddle a Hawaiian canoe, take a sunset cruise, ride the train out in 'Ewa.

Then we go home to take a nap. We wake up in time to watch TV. We make sure that the Playboy Channel is blocked out.

Mike Leidemann's columns appear Thursdays and Saturdays in the Advertiser. Reach him at 525-5460 or mleidemann@honoluluadvertiser.com