OPINION: Hawaii’s Bizzare, Nanny-State Future
by Nate Gaddis
It’s the year 2015, and things are starting to get expensive. Tired from a long day of paying bills, you decide to de-stress with a trip to the beach.
After filling your truck with mandated 20% biodiesel fuel, you stop by your local plate lunch place to stock up on gravy-drenched goodies.
Gone are the styrofoam plates that once provided drip-free housing for your Loco Moco, replaced instead by cardboard-ish biodegradable boxes.
You used to be able to toss these items into a handy plastic t-shirt bag. Instead, you’re told that even the paper option is going to cost an extra 10 cents this time around. With a sigh, you retrieve a canvas sack from the car. It smells suspiciously like last week’s Korean chicken, but oh well.
After pulling into the beach parking lot, you reach for a pack of smokes. Thinking better of it, you decide to avoid a potential ticket and choose instead to relax with an electronic cigarette. Blowing off some steam, you reminisce about the days of old.
Coming here used to be fun. And dammit if you didn’t look cool doing it.
Discovering your Loco Moco’s gravy has been absorbed by its container, you try to stay positive. Cutting into a pile of egg and meat with your plastic knife (thankfully those are still legal) you end up slicing off a chunk of gravy-soaked cardboard. Deciding to roll with it, you stuff the whole thing in your mouth, packaging and all.
Satisfied, you pick the paper out of your teeth and make your way toward the water. On the way there, you spot a make-shift wooden sign near the sand that reads “You are now entering a reasonably private area.”
Scratching your head, you look toward the shore to survey the surf. The beach is largely deserted, but a small gathering of people nearby catches your attention. A tall, lean man in a speedo is doing a handstand while a young blonde woman giggles incessantly under a beach umbrella.
As she leans down to grab an impressively large brownie from a picnic plate, you quickly recognize her face. “Britney!” you say to yourself.
Almost on reflex, you aim your cellphone to snap a photo. As your eyes meet hers, she spits out her food and points at you, moaning “Steeeeeven…” The lean man next to her flips onto his feet and jeers in your direction. Realizing your mistake, you fumble to pocket your cell-phone, shouting “I’m so sorry!”
But it’s too late. A lanky lead singer is sprinting in your direction, tassels flowing behind him, screaming “you livin’ on the edge, pal!”
You run in the opposite direction down the shoreline, terrified. How could a 68-year-old be so quick? In the distance, you spot a lone, diminutive figure in a wide-brimmed hat, waving you toward him.
Hope propels you faster. You’re nearly there. As a red-faced Steven Tyler closes in behind you, he shouts “Get ‘em!”
With that, the mysterious figure in front of you suddenly lunges forward, hat flying off in the wind. He deftly plucks your legs up, driving your face into the sand. “Citizen’s arrest!” he screams.
You instantly recognize the gender-neutral tone of his voice. “Bieber?!” you cry out, confused. “But, you’re Canadian!”
The lead singer from Aerosmith quickly catches up, removing a hair-extension to bind your wrists together. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot an angry, out-of-breath Britney approaching.
She’s carrying the beach umbrella. Dear God…