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Sour Poi Awards

Celebrating the best of the worst of 2009—the strange, the stupid and the scandalous.


(page 1 of 3)

Illustration by Kevin Rechin




Nice Going, Hawaii.

Faced with a budget crunch, the State Department of Education and the State Teachers Union somehow decided the best solution was to close the public schools for 17 Fridays, and send students and teachers home. So much for investing in the next generation.






When in prison, always watch out for the one named Butch.

A prisoner at the camp-like Waiawa Correctional Facility sued the state after a wild boar bit him on the hand. He said he was waiting in line for lunch when the pig ran up and bit him. The pig, known as Butch, was a regular on the grounds of the facility.

This is our surprised face.

The close-to-$1 billion budget shortfall facing Hawaii got a bit bigger in September—$44 million bigger. Thanks to a miscommunication between the state Department of Taxation and the Department of Accounting and General Services, millions of tax revenue dollars were counted twice.

Great, one more thing to worry about.

A Honolulu man was electrocuted in February after he stood on an electrical access panel at the intersection of Kapiolani and University Avenues and leaned against a streetlight. An investigation into the freak incident found that insulation for power cables under the metal cover had worn away, electrifying the panel.

Siren call.

Stealing a car isn’t a great idea at the best of times, but snatching an official emergency vehicle takes a special brand of chutzpah. It happened twice this past year, in unrelated incidents. In March, a 23-year-old woman hijacked an ambulance in Kakaako, while paramedics were still in the back treating a patient. Luckily, the EMTs were eventually able to stop her before they went too far. And in October, Maui police were chasing a man on foot when he jumped in their unlocked patrol car and sped off. In this case, he actually managed to make his escape and ditch the car, but landed in jail anyway later that month after crossing paths with police in Lahaina.

Illustration by: Kevin Rechin





In June, Waipahu fire fighters responded to a fire in an unexpected location: their own station house. The blaze, which caused $25,000 in damages, was apparently caused by food left cooking on an unattended stove during a previous emergency call.




Kicking them when they’re down.

The UH Warriors had a rough season this year. How rough? An anonymous critic at the Honolulu Police Department posted a fake incident report at the station in November, poking fun at the football team. The bulletin said that the FBI had been called in to investigate an unknown white powdery substance at the UH Manoa football field, which turned out to be the goal line. “Practice was resumed when the FBI decided that the team would not be likely to encounter the substance again,” deadpanned the report. To add insult to injury, KSSK’s Perry and Price repeatedly aired the bulletin as an actual news item before realizing it was a joke.

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Honolulu Magazine April 2018
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