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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reminisce before we part, Part I

By Charles Memminger

Editor's note: This is the first installment of a two-part column.

It was just about a year ago that I wrote my "Aloha" column for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, after taking a voluntary layoff from that paper. After 30 years with the Bulletin, it was tough to leave, but I felt it was time to try something new.

Leaving a good-paying job in a bad recession is a brilliant counter-intuitive move at best and just really stupid at worst. But I eventually began freelancing one Charleyworld column a week to this paper, which gave me a great opportunity to keep entertaining my several loyal readers.

The new Honolulu Star-Advertiser takes over next month, and Honolulu officially becomes a one-newspaper town. Charleyworld (The Column) will not be a part of that newspaper. It's time to say "Aloha" again. So ... See ya. Been fun. Adios. Hasta Lumbago. We have to stop meeting like this.

I thought that in my last two columns (today and next Sunday) I'd share some GREAT MOMENTS IN CHARLEYWORLD HISTORY. Or at least some vaguely amusing lines. Here are some favorites from the past year:

• You know the economy's bad for everyone when you pull up to an intersection and a disheveled man walks up to your car with a cardboard sign reading, "Hey, you need a sandwich? A cup of coffee? A short-term loan?"

• Weird Words: "Regicide": The killing of a king. "RegisPhil-binicide": The killing of a morning talk show host.

• I've got a great idea for a talent show that many Americans not only would watch, but would think they might even have a chance competing in: "So You Think You Can Drink!"

• Hurricane Tip #295: Stockpile a "hurricane kit" to help you get through the post-hurricane days when there is likely to be no power or water. The kit should include beer, water, beer, Spam, beer, duct tape, beer, flashlights, beer, candles, beer, beef jerky, beer, potato chips, beer and beer. Also: beer.

• Weird Words: "Karaoke": Means "empty orchestra" in Japanese. In South Dakota, "karaoke" means "empty cocktail lounge."

• Father's Day History: 1014 A.D. English King Ethelred the Unready (aka Ethelred the Helpless, Ethelred the Constipated, Wilbur the Unsure) had several children, including Thorkell the Tall, Ulfcvtel the Unpronounceable, Edgar the Flacid and Drogo the Frequently Confused. Ethelred celebrated Father's Day by making up funny names for other family members. 1492 A.D. Christopher Columbus, who had 327 children, celebrated Father's Day by sneaking out of Spain on three ships after telling his wife, "Uh, I've got to go discover the New World, or something."

• Weird Words: "Frontal lobotomy": An operation on the front part of the brain. "Frontal lobootomy": A swift kick in the head.

• You know you're getting old when your back goes out more than you do.

• Hurricane Tip #2,4947: Put big masking tape X's on all your windows. This will give flying debris something to aim at.

To be concluded next Sunday.