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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, October 24, 2009

Alone in dark on furlough day No. 1


By David Shapiro

I don't know where I get off making light of anybody else when I didn't have the brains to take a furlough Friday, but here we go with our "flASHback" on the week's news that amused and confused:

• More than 20 state buildings will shut down two Fridays a month because of public worker furloughs. Lieutenant governor candidates have to move their support group meetings to the Convention Center.

• Gov. Linda Lingle said she'll keep showing up for work even though most of the government is closed. She's used to operating in the dark with nobody listening to her.

• School cafeteria workers and custodians not covered by the furlough agreement were on the job even though schools were shuttered. It was the best lunch and cleanest classrooms the kids never had.

• Congratulations to Sen. Daniel Inouye for becoming the third-longest-serving U.S. senator in history. He's one of the few left who can remember when laws were written on stone tablets.

• The merger of go! and Mokulele airlines is experiencing some growing pains. Interisland operations in the first few days were so choppy that the pilots had to sleep with one eye open.

• Hawaii diners are the cheapest restaurant tippers in the nation and far more easily annoyed about poor service than the national average, according to Zagat's. The problem started when servers changed the greeting on their name tags from "Aloha" to "Ainokea."

• Police arrested a man in Waikk after he allegedly enjoyed $155 worth of steak, lobster and cocktails for which he couldn't pay an offense he's been convicted of 10 times before. His secret to repeated leniency is to never complain about the service.

• Four Waianae High School students were arrested and several others were pepper-sprayed by police in a campus brawl. Blame the influence of all the angry confrontations students see on reality TV shows, like the Neighborhood Board meetings on 'Olelo.

And the quote of the week ... from U.S. District Judge David Ezra in denying a restraining order on school closings: "We have a train that is going down the tracks, and like most trains, it needs some time to stop, and we do not have that time." You'd think the 170,000 kids the train ran over would have at least slowed it down.