Don Marquis, a Twentieth Century writer, claimed his in-process newspaper columns were aided while he slept by Archy, a cockroach.
Archy kept the writing tight because jumping on each typewriter keys to make it strike the paper was exhausting. So he used short words and initiated the use of symbols like those used in contemporary Twitters.
This Halloween story started as a Tweet in Archy’s style, but turned into these adapted e-mail messages. About Twitter-style though: Archy never saw an “And” without making it “an”.
BNMenehune: I’m Dawn @ Paradise Lost. The sales brochure to
Grandpa’s and Grandma’s gated community offers “A Piece of
Paradise.” But everything goes to pieces within here. You write about “Slices of Life.” What about including ghosts such as I think that maybe are active in here?
Dawn@ParadiseLost: Please explain what is happening.
BNMenehune: Residents are acting strangely. My once-dignified grandparents for example: Grandpa was president of a Boston Bank,
high-powered grandma belongs to Daughter of the American Revolution. Yesterday both giggled when telling me “Call us Taffy? and Tuck?and you will be Sweetie because we are now all Islanders.” Yuck!
Dawn@ParadiseLost: Don’t be surprised by Taffy and Tuck because people lighten up and adapt to Hawaii’s casual lifestyle. Calling you “Sweetie” means they’re open about their fondness for you.
BNMenehune: Worse Woes in Paradise: neighbor Stockbroker Swifty Channing always talked about “leveraging to the maximum for asset
growth at cocktail parties in our cul de sac. The bank just foreclosed on his condominium. Mr. Runsford left his wife and moved to Maui with Swifty’s daughter Sally. She’s my age. Gross!
Dawn@ParadiseLost: Any other pieces falling?
BNMenehune: Not only humans are weird. We‚re wired for many TV channels, but now receive only a local Weather Girl who keeps repeating what she just said. The cable company doesn’t know why other signals no longer come into Paradise. Last week Mrs. Gatsby’s dachshund chewed her tether and ran away. Mimsy’s bones were found today in the golf course rough near the 13th hole.
Dawn@ParadiseLost:I forwarded your e-mails to two pals for supernatural insight. They will respond to you.
Dawn@ParadiseLost: I’m Pops@Farm4U. Send pictures of landscaping rocks, don’t include people in them. Negative energy reflecting in
eyes might spread over Internet & contaminate the world with ghostly anger!
Dawn@Paradise.Lost: I’m Pops‚ son Willy. Need close up pictures of pohaku (rocks). They may be heiau rocks.
BNMenehune, Pops@FarmHawaii4U, Willy@BraveSurf
Here are photos: This rock is at Paradise entrance.
This rock is next to Recreation Center.
Small ones are at each home doorway.
Dawn@ParadiseLost: Horror has come to Paradise! Developer brought in heiau stones containing spirits of tortured and killed Hawaiians.
Dawn@ ParadiseLost: This is Pops reporting: Paradise is cursed! Was sacrilege to bring in ritual stones!
Dawn@ParadiseLost: Willy here, during the bumpy truck ride to Paradise I think ghosts inside rocks wake up and now are huhu (angry) for being dumped there.
Dawn@ParadiseLos: This Pops again. Wakened ghosts‚ negative energy is connecting. Watch out!
NMenehune and all the rest of you: I am doubtful about what you say. I come from The Catskills in New York where farmers cleared rocks from their property to make beautiful boundary walls. (Like in the Robert Frost poem about good walls making good neighbors.) No ghosts where I grew up except for the Headless Horseman in Sleepy Hollow, a funny one imagined by Washington Irving. How do you know about heiau rocks?
Dawn@ParadiseLost: This is Arthur and I read history books about Hawaiians lined up for miles, passing stones for a heiau hand-by-hand from a quarry many miles away.
Kahuna selected only certain shape and sized like Paradise’s. Stone at your complex entrance stone is a Kill Altar.‚ Stones at each residence door also maybe from the Death Heiau. Pops learned from old health-giving kahuna and he taught Willy.
BNMenehune: Why are spirits in stones?
Dawn@ParadiseLost: Believe these stones are from a luakini heiau, a human sacrifice place. Spirits are angry for being killed, but stayed and slept where their bodies died. Now awake they want to get even with all living humans!
By the way, ancient Hawaiians loved dog meat, Mrs. Gatsby’s sausage dog was a treat for hungry ghosts.
BNMenehune.com. Pops@Farm4U, Willy@BraveSurf: This is Dawn beginning to see the light. What’s your advice?
Dawn@ParadiseLost Tell the grounds keeper to replace marigolds at the front gate with sweet-smelling Hawaiian flowers. Spirits will enjoy those and not be crabby like now.
Dawn@ParadiseLost: This is Willy: Hawaiians call front gate flowers “okole oi oi.” Okole is human bottom, oi oi can mean buttocks sticking out. But at Paradise is stinking out! Bad-smelling marigolds are insult to ghosts. Dead or alive Hawaiians like flowers that smell good. That is why we plant plumeria trees in graveyards! Nothing sweeter than plumeria, good for lei, too.
Dawn@ParadiseLost: I’m Babs@LocalBabe.com,Wild Willy sent me the pictures. In Hawaiian studies class I learn about big stone like the Rec. Center one with puka–holes. It may be a piko stone. Old-time mothers plugged pukas with baby belly-button stuff. They believed piko stone brought good luck from spirits.
Dawn@ParadiseLost: This is Arthur@BNMenehune again. Some sage advice: Respect old culture symbols and don’t allow kids to climb on piko stone. Plant and care for nice flowers by home entrance ways for good luck.
Stone spirits feeding on negativity are draining human energy.They are making humans act crazy and mean. Spirits affecting outside connections to the complex: No cable now, soon no electric power and cell phones will go down. Paradise must change quickly or worse may happen. Spooks are huhu–awake and angry over being moved.
Being Menehune: Okay, this is Dawn and I see daylight: Maybe being boring can stop haunting?
I can encourage Tiffy and Tuck to throw parties, organize outings, initiate clubs and special interest groups. We can learn some about Hawaiian culture. Both are born organizers. No one can be shy around Tiffy! I like talking with them as equals now.
Dawn@ParadiseLost: Babs@LocalBabe here cheering your good ideas!
Doing things together will encourage residents to be outgoing and kindly. Yes, seeing humans smiling and spreading sunshine will be boring to shaken-up spirits and put them to sleep within their dark rocks.
Dawn@ParadiseLost: This is Arthur@BNMenehune with your conclusion. Ghosts didn’t create problems when asleep. Blame the insensitive humans. Developer brought in sacred rocks to landscape Paradise. Probably did not understand or care what they represented.
Reminds me of an insensitive interior decorator who chose a huge well-worn old butcher block as rich family‚s living room table.
In Hawaii it is nice to respect the past as well as enjoy the present.
Rath credits socialKINE, a social management company, for his iintroduction to Twitter and new media.
Drawings are by Paul A. Forney