Friday, July 24, 2009

Musings: Playing Chicken

The sky was gray, save for shiny Venus, but it was quickly shot through with streaks and strands and wisps of pink when Koko and I went walking this morning. The air was heavy, still and thick, carrying the sweet fragrance of plumeria and the acrid smell of urine-soaked concrete from the dog-in-a-box structures that dot the street.

A mynah stood in the middle of the road and screamed, and the colony of wild chickens collected by the little boy who lives two houses down from me clucked and crowed, with a rooster inexplicably lying make in front of one of the cages.

The kids on my street often catch the chickens, which they care for as pets, and I sometimes hear them calling loudly to each another: “One of the chickens got out!” Other times they report excitedly on the chicken fights — natural, not staged — that they witness.

It’s all far more wholesome than the fighting and squabbling that characterized the most recent Council session, with Michael Levine today reporting more of the sordid details for those of us lacking the stomach to sit through 11 hours of it on TV.

The relationship that kids have with chickens is such a quintessentially Kauai kine thing, as epitomized by a classic scene Jimmy Trujillo and I witnessed the other day while driving down Kawaihau Road, heading to the radio station. Two young boys were on a bicycle, one sitting and pedaling, the other standing behind, holding a white chicken close to his chest.

It made me think of a story that a friend, who was running an after-school program at the time, recounted to me. It’s part of a much longer piece, entitled “Parallel Universes” that will be published in Bamboo Ridge, Hawaii’s literary journal, this fall:

“I’ve got the kids and we’re down at Lumahai, you know, where we always go, on the beach road, and we can’t get out because the tourists have parked on both sides and this Jeep blocked us in, so I send the kids to go ask every tourist on the beach whose car is it but nobody’s admitting nothing and I’m getting mad and the kids got a pet chicken, you know, and they take it around and stuff and this tourist lady was kinda yelling at them, saying it was on too short a leash, and I’m like, ‘lady, give it a rest,’ and then this other tourist starts in, she’s some kind of animal expert or something, and she’s saying they shouldn’t take the chicken around on a leash and I’m saying to the kids like, ‘let’s go already, get in the truck,’ then the first lady said, ‘what are you gonna do with that chicken?’ And the kids said, ‘eat it!’ and she said, ‘that’s it, I’m calling the police,’ and by then I’m just boiling and I put the truck in four-wheel-drive and push the Jeep out of the way and the kids are in the back and one of the boys starts yelling, ‘fucking haoles!’ as we drive away.”

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I put the truck in four-wheel-drive and push the Jeep out of the way and the kids are in the back and one of the boys starts yelling, ‘fucking haoles!’ as we drive away.”

Hahahaha........ That's classic!
That said I'm sure some politically correct sensitive souls would call it racist. It's not its comedy at it;s best. Lenny Bruce, George Carlin and Bill Hicks would put it in the stand up acts. RIP

Anonymous said...

Joan said; "with Michael Levine today reporting more of the sordid details for those of us lacking the stomach to sit through 11 hours of it on TV."

Levine does a good job but it is like a review of a horror show and nowhere near as enjoyable as seeing the show itself in person if possible or as a poorly produced rerun on Hoike if not.

I guess not everyone enjoys free horror shows like me. Well I guess they are not really free since we as taxpayers pay for it, but at least I got me monies worth.

Kudos to Levine for his iron-ass review of this extremely long play.

Not quite Waiting for Godot but more Kafkaesque as the apparent hopelessness and absurdity of the work is not for the faint of heart nor weak of stomach. Can't say I enjoyed the conclusion and am really looking forward to the sequel(s).

Anonymous said...

"I put the truck in four-wheel-drive and push the Jeep out of the way and the kids are in the back and one of the boys starts yelling, ‘fucking haoles!’ as we drive away.”

That's so cute awww what nice little boys

Brad Parsons said...

Joan said; "with Michael Levine today reporting more of the sordid details for those of us lacking the stomach to sit through 11 hours of it on TV."

Actually, there is quite a bit more than what Michael has reported. He's being respectably reserved about his reporting. Even Hoike doesn't tell the whole story of what went on during recesses, etc. You had to be there from 9am to 1:40am the next day to get the whole story.

Anonymous said...

stupid ladies, rude rental car driver, and ignorant kids...all made for each other


dwps

Anonymous said...

i haven't lived here too long, less than 10 years and it used to be that when i'd drive down kawaihau rd, there were a number of 'classic kauai' scenes where a horse or mule was tethered in a pasture and all the grass in its proximity was cropped close while everywhere else was overgrown. the tethered animal would be moved to mow down the overgrown pasture before it would return to the jungle it once was.
over the years,these 'old hawaii' scenes have disappeared. first the FOR SALE sign went up. then the mule was gone ,next came the pasture land. it was converted by bulldozer to a building site.
one by one these pastoral scenes have disappeared and we can bemoan the loss of ag lands, the mcmansions that have replaced them and the realtors and speculators who help flip them. this scene has been repeated all over the island in every district,in every neighborhood. once it gone its gone.
i hope that the scene described about the boys and thier birds doesn't disappear as well. if we never see young boys running roosters down we will know that the kauai of old is gone for good.

Anonymous said...

"stupid ladies, rude rental car driver, and ignorant kids...all made for each other"

The kids aren't ignorant. They were correctly identifying classic fucking haole behavior.

Anonymous said...

graph IQ relative to profane race description frequency and see whats what

think those most often uttering such colorful terms are the smart kids in the room? i bet not


dwps

Anonymous said...

Yeh, the really smart ones say it quietly to each another instead of yelling it from the back of a truck.

Anonymous said...

Profanity is the last resort of the illiterate bastards.

Anonymous said...

Mark Twain on profanity:

When angry count four; when very angry, swear.
- Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

There ought to be a room in every house to swear in. It's dangerous to have to repress an emotion like that.
- Mark Twain, a Biography

Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
- Mark Twain, a

Anonymous said...

Find me an ethnic group without its fair share of d-ckheads and it's probably in my genetic makeup. All you "others" on the other hand, suck.