Monday, January 3, 2011

Crime of the Century (Uncharitable Acts Division)

HONOLULU, HI--At this moment in the new year, Christmas is but a fading memory, New Year's Eve but a cipher of a dimly remembered past. 
   For this reason, stories of holiday heartlessness can seem so, you know, last year. But wickedness knows no time; it is eternal in the human heart. Herewith, then, the story of a pair of holiday criminals who seem, in their reckless nefariousness, shockingly insensitive. 
   Plus, they are total dumbasses.
   "Honolulu police arrested a 24-year-old Makiki man and a 43-year-old Makiki woman for allegedly breaking into a van belonging to a charitable organization on Christmas Eve." 
   So reports the Dec. 27, 2010 edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The story, which does not name the charity, says witnesses spotted the pair "in a van... at about 4 p.m. Friday" and confronted them. The pair fled but "were arrested at Makiki District Park."  
   This story, like others to which First of All recently has alluded, arises from the Star-Advertiser's "Police Blotter." These just-the-facts accounts detailing the city's police and fire-related incidents are short on color, so one is left to fill in the blanks. 
   The man is twenty-four, the woman forty-three. Mother and son? Young man and so-called "cougar"? (This appellation recently has come to signify an older woman who enjoys the company, in and out of bed, of young men. At one time it referred to Puma concolor, a mammal of the family Felidae that is native to the Americas. It also referred to super-badass car.) 
   Or were the man and woman drug-addicted confreres for whom, when it comes to stealing stuff to pay for shit, age simply was not an issue? 
   Did they understand that the van belonged to a charity and that charities, as a rule, do good things for people in need? Did they realize that the holiday season is predicated on exactly that concept? Were they so desperate for money that they simply didn't care that they were acting not just illegally but immorally? 
   Or, on the other hand, did they so frantically need a ride--say, to an ailing family member's distant home for one last Christmas get-together--that they were willing to hotwire any vehicle at all, including one belonging to a do-gooding organization? 
   For the purposes of First of All, if not of the judge, lawyers and jury members in front of whom the pair may one day appear, these and many other questions will go unanswered. This thought generates within the heart a certain amount of gloom. 
   Our spirits brighten, however, when we repeat, like a mantra, the word "Makiki." Hawaiian words and names are charmingly long on vowels and repeated alliterative syllables, so they can't help but bring cheer to even the most despondent soul. 
   One occasionally fantasizes about moving to Hawaii. There, one idly imagines, life would be chockablock with sun, sand and surf. It would be defined by the kind of indolence considered alluring by terminally lazy writers whose very best artistic efforts result in reinterpreting odd news stories for the amusement of four or five nonexistent readers. 
   Sun, sand, surf, indolence--these may not, in themselves, be enough to sway the mainlander teetering on the brink of a life-altering decision. But add a bit of "Makiki" and one is convinced that Hawaii is, indeed, a paradise. It is the kind of place in which unscrupulous robbers always come to justice. In at least one case they have done so in a no-doubt well-sculpted recreational area the name of which includes an enchanting and entirely compelling mantra: "Makiki."
   (Makiki. Makiki. Makiki. Makiki. Makiki. Etc.)


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