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Sour Poi Awards

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


(page 3 of 3)

Illustration: Kevin Rechin

What?!  We were assured this sort of thing stayed in Vegas.

Two HPD officers and a social worker on a Las Vegas softball tournament trip ran into trouble in August. They had been hanging out in a double-parked van in Desert Breeze Park, but when park police officers approached their vehicle, they bolted. Why? Maybe because, after a short vehicle pursuit and then a foot chase that ended with one of the Hawai‘i men being pepper sprayed, the Vegas officers found marijuana and an open container of alcohol in the van. The trio’s arrests for drug possession and obstruction charges promptly hit the front pages of Honolulu newspapers.

The bright light means the camera is on, McMackin.

UH head football coach Greg McMackin got into hot water in July when he described a dance performed by Notre Dame players using a homophobic slur during a speech to reporters at the WAC Football Preview. UH slapped him with a 30-day unpaid suspension and a 7 percent salary cut. McMackin tearfully apologized a few days later during a press conference, saying, “I just made a big mistake.”

What’s with Tam and foreigners?

The Honolulu City Council considered a bill in September that would have made it illegal to be stinky on the bus. Bill co-sponsor Rod Tam, who last year caught flack for his use of the ethnic slur “wetback,” explained the bill this way: “As we become more inundated with people from all over the world, their way of taking care of their health is different. Some people, quite frankly, do not take a bath every day and therefore they may be offensive in terms of their odor.” Cooler council heads prevailed, and the bill failed to pass.

We demand an Apollo-gy 

It was reported in October that the state had lost track of five moon rocks given to the people of Hawaii as a gift in the 1970s, last seen on display in the state Capitol’s fifth-floor public reception room. A former NASA senior special agent who makes a hobby of tracking down moon rocks said that the two Lucite globes holding the five rocks are each worth $5 million.

Aloha means both “hello” and “stay the hell away from me.”

One of the weirdest press releases we received this year was for an Aloha Mask—a safety-rated respirator mask intended to protect against transmission viruses such as the flu, and printed with aloha designs. As the release says, the idea was intended to “put a little fun and ‘aloha’ into staying healthy.”

Apparently, it also means “screw you.” 

Go! Airlines owner Mesa Air Group tried to license the trade name of Aloha Airlines in order to re-brand itself this past spring. The move drew disgust from many in Hawaii, as the airline was widely considered to have driven Aloha out of business in 2008. Judge Lloyd King denied the re-naming plan, saying, “Mesa succeeded in inflicting great harm, not only upon the Aloha corporate entities but also upon thousands of Aloha employees and families.”

We’ve got our hands full.  

According to a study released by Benjamin Edelman of Harvard Business School in March, the state of Hawaii boasts the second-highest rate of online pornography subscribers in the U.S—with 2.19 subscribers per 1,000 homes with Internet access. Utah beat us to the top.


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