Dante’s Hawaii Inferno

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BY J. ARTHUR RATH III – Coconut Willee mused about his friend Dante Carpenter, head of Hawaii’s Democratic party, and the conundrum Ben Cayetano’s clear thinking is causing for those whose eyes and ears haven’t been seeing and listening clearly.

Grinning, Willee said to me, in typical doggerel style:


“When God gave out ‘brains’

They thought he said ‘trains’

And replied:

‘Our old Senator will have Washington fund it.’”

Smirking, Willee continued:

“When He gave out ‘looks,’

They thought he said ‘books’

And replied:

‘No need.’”

Willee was on a roll:

“When He handed out ‘chins,’

They thought he said ‘gins,’

And ordered a double.

“When He gave out ‘ears,’

They thought he said ‘beers,’

And wanted two long ones.

They replied with a smile:

‘We like what we think you said.’

“When He gave out ‘noses,’

They thought he said ‘roses,’

‘Make ours red,’ they said.

“Then up spoke Ben,

A working man’s friend:

‘Hey you folks,

Forget trains in the sky,

You won’t find Heaven that way:

.Fix bumps in the road instead,

.Have clean water,

.Ensure clear flushes,

.Teach kids to read:

Those are things we need.

‘Finish your beers, clear your ears:

Instead of big jobs

You’ll have Big Pilikia:

That means ‘trouble’ on Oahu,

And spreading to all islands.

‘When do living costs and taxes

Become way, way too much?

If you go for the train,

You’ll soon find out.’”

“What do you conclude Willee,” I asked,

“People need to listen carefully and think,” he answered.  Look at Ben’s track record,” he said smiling, “He’s tried and true.

“Listen carefully to what he says.  Then use common sense. Forget Hawaii’s 50-year-old ‘go along to get along’ attitude.  That’s old-boy network talk.

“Otherwise things will become real hot and nasty here.  Living in Hawaii won’t be living in Paradise. Those are my thoughts.”

I was nodding my head while listening carefully. I heard his words distinctly and clearly.  The word “brains” didn’t sound a bit like “trains.”