Some Kind of Jedi

Pidgin guerrilla takes a look at office life

December, 2010

This fictional short story will be published in March in the local journal Bamboo Ridge

I dunno how for respond to da boss’s question when she asks me, “What are you, some kind of Jedi?”
I nevah intend for anybody see what I wuz doing. I wuz jus kickin’ it at my desk, waiting for my supah slow computer for boot up. Sometimes I hold my breath for see if I can hold my breath longer than takes da computer for get onto da network. Usually I lose cuz da computer takes more longer. Or actually, maybe I win yeah, cause for five minutes a day I get paid to sit dea and do nahting.

So anyway, dea I wuz on company time getting paid for play around with da office supplies. For fun I wen place my pencil on da edge of my desk wit half da pencil extending ova da end. Den using my breath I wen move da pencil while simultaneously moving my hand as if for give da illusion dat I wuz guiding da pencil’s movement wit my mind. I wuz impress that I nevah even spit or anything. I wuz too busy giving myself some mental self props and considering one serious career change to master illusionist for notice who else might’ve been looking. I wuzn’t aware I had one audience.

I not sure if da Boss being serious, if she really tinks I tink I might be one Jedi. Da Boss, her, she so mainlandy, she no laugh when we cut each oddah down and tease each oddah. We jus get diff’rent senses of humor I tink, no? For example, one time my office co-worker Michelle Fernandez left work early. Michelle wen gather up all her tings, put ‘em in her Tokidoki bag, and wuz telling everybody happy weekend. an’den she left. And not like she wuz fully for blame, cuz when she told bye, everybody told bye back. I tink she even had da Boss fooled dat wuz pau hana time, or should I say quitting time, cuz I no tink da Boss knows what is pau hana. But anyway, everybody started getting ready for go too until Tony da clock watcher wen tell, “Eh, only 3:30 yet. Where she went?”

Michelle nevah realize she left early until she wuz in her car driving half way home and da guy on da radio said da time. For da life of her, she said she didn’t know hakum she thought wuz pau work. Her mind jus zoned out. Now when come aftahnoon time and everybody stay coming all futless and like go home early, we remind people, “Eh, no do da Michelle now.” Or if anybody do someting das scatterbrain, we tell, “Eh, who you tink you, Michelle Fernandez?” We jus rag on poor Michelle. But das how, ah? Pretty much, once you make one mistake at da office, you going forevah be reminded.

And we could probably get written up by Human Resources for doing dis all da time, but whenevah somebody makes one mental error we play da race card and we blame ‘em on top their ethnicity even though we know dat their ethnic backgrounds nevah have nahting for do with their screw up. Like if Lisa Kim forgets for put da ting she Xeroxing underneath da cover of da Xerox machine and makes 246 copies of nahtingness before she realizes her mistake den we say “Eh, you stupid Yobo,” cuz Lisa’s Korean. Or if David Hiromoto files one folder under da first name instead of da last name, cuz sometimes people get confusing names like Parker Bryan where dey get one first name dat sounds like one last name and one last name dat sounds like one first name, and so eventually when da missing file turns up undah P instead of B we tell “Eh, you stupid Buddahead.” We do dat for everybody at work. You stupid Buk Buk. You stupid Pa-ke. You stupid Popolo. You stupid Haole. You stupid Kanak. You stupid Potagee. You stupid So-le. For little while dat new girl Debra Miyashiro had immunity cuz nobody knew what for call one stupid Okinawan, until finally somebody came up wit “You stupid Chewbacca” and so it stuck.

In our office get people who is of da kine mixed race ancestry too, so we usually jus go by dominant ethnicity. Or if dey hapa, if dey half half exack, we be nice about it, we let dem choose which of their ethnicities is da more stupider one.

Da Boss, she ej-u-ma-cated, but I no tink she catch on dat we only making fun. She jus tinks she surrounded by one office full of racists. Das why no one in da office has dared for tease her yet. We dunno how she would reack. Plus nobody knows what her precise ethnic background is and everybody too sked for ask. She no catch on we only fully tease da people we know good. But I guess no can blame. I tink she extra nerjous cuz when she first came ova hea had dat parking space incident in Waikele dat wuz in da news. So now everytime she hears somebody in da office calling somebody one stupid someting, she automatic tink going get beef. But ironicallies if had one beef she might not even know, cuz I no even know if she know what one beef is. One day people in da office might start yelling “Beef, beef” and she might jus very well tink we all celebrating da deliciousness of da new McDonald’s McTeri Burger. I gotta remembah if anybody starts fighting I gotta yell, “Altercation, altercation.”

“Why yes, I am Jedi.” I tell da Boss as clearly as possibles so as no mo’ da miscommunications. Usually da Boss gets on my case in meetings and stuff. She says I not assertive enough and I get one tendency for sound unsure. “Fo’ real?” I ask. I no really know why she always telling dat. Maybe I gotta talk more loud, or more long, or more someting.

I keep her criticism in mind as I rephrase my answer for make ‘em sound more, pardon da pun, “forceful.” “Why, yes. I am Jedi. Jedi as defined as being one person who is of belonging to da Jedi Knights of da Jedi Order. Jedi, da peacekeepers of da Republic. That is. . . who. . . I. . . am.”

I wait for her reaction. But even with all my over acting, I still no get any acknowledgement from her. She jus turns away and heads down da hall. So I shrug my shoulders and I whisper “I am Jedi” again to myself and das when I realize it wuz da answer I had been searching for all along. Without looking for da solution it jus revealed itself to me. It is da Jedi way.

*****

These past few months I had been looking for religion. Not because I wuz doing any kinda spiritual soul searching or seeking any kinda answers to da mysterious workings of da universe. I was looking for one religion for use as my excuse for work.

I’m all down wit holiday celebrations. Usually if someone calls me up for one party, I’m dea. Before our new Boss came we used to have one all out, end of da year potluck party. Wuz mean. People would bring pulehu kal-bi from Kiawe Grill, meat jun from Young’s Kal-Bee, chicken katsu, chicken adobo, fried chicken from Lahaina Chicken, all diff’rent kine poke from Poke Stop, kalua pig, sushi, fried noodles, manapua from Kwon On, gau gee from Waimalu Chop Suey. Ho, used to be onreal I tell you. Chree years ago when da Boss first came we told her da routine, dat we usually have one end of da year potluck. So she said okay. . . and she brought. . . cheese and crackers.

Nobody knew what for say. Tony blurted out “Oh, look so. . . crackah” before he realized his answer could be misconstrued as being racist. So wuz one good ting da Boss wuzn’t really listening if in case she wuz little bit Caucasian. Everybody else wuz all like, “Oh, so you jus spread da cheese on da top?” and “Try look, if you put one noddah cracker on top, you can make one cheese and cracker sandwich.”

Da following year wuz even mo’ good fun cuz da Boss brought. . . cole slaw. I tink dat one wuz even more puzzling. Everybody wuz all talking amongst themselves, “What’s in cole slaw?” and “Is cole slaw a food or a condiment. Cause everyone’s supposed to bring something FOOD.” Personally, I not one big fan of cole slaw, like everytime I go KFC I ask for two mash instead of one mash and one cole slaw, but so as not for be rude I wen go try sample some of da Boss’ one, which tasted remarkably like da kine dey get at KFC. To me, cole slaw not as good as mac salad, or potato salad, or even bettah yet, da potato mac salad like da kine get at Shiro’s. Apparently planny people had similar feelings as me cuz da Boss’ cole slaw wuz cause for quite one stir.
“Eh, wassup wit dis? Da first time wuz excuse cuz maybe she nevah know how we go ballz to da wallz on food, but wassup wit da cole slaw dis year?”

“She ruining da parties cuz she brings her weird quote unquote food.”

Me, I get da coolest head outta everybody, so I reminded everybody how, “Das unz, no, for diss somebody else’s food offerings. You no see me teasing Debra for bringing weird kine left ova pig parts.”

“Aye shaddup. Before time da rejeck parts wuz poor man’s food, but now, das all da expensive one, ah? You seen how much Pig Feet Soup cost-es nowdays?”

“Any boss should know bettah. It’s jus common sense. She da Boss and she make chree times what most of us make and she bring da cheapest ting.”

“Maybe da cheese she wen use for her cheese and crackers last year wuz da kine 100-year old gourmet cheese,

“ I tried for defend. “But we jus nevah know wuz gourmet cheese, cuz we not da kine cheese connoisseurs das why.”

“Bulai! I remembah dat cheese,” Tony wen tell. “Da ting said Kraft on top.”

And maybe it’s bachi, but apparently da Boss sensed dat people wuz disgruntled wit how da whole party ting turned out last year. She could probably jus feel da vibe. I tink da Boss thought da party wuz one extra burden for everybody cuz it would be as if she wuz asking all da workers for spend choke money on party food during one time when everybody’s wallets wuz taking one hit due to da economic downturn. But in reality people wuzn’t salty dey had for spend so much on food, dey wuz jus salty because da Boss wuzn’t quicker for catch on dat as da Boss she should be spending way more than any of us, no?

Da Boss must be tinking she doing us one favor dis year by getting rid of da party, and instead, substituting ‘em with her Secret Santa idea with one ten dollar cap and no party. She probably tink she saving us money and everybody going dig her plan. And no get me wrong, Secret Santa can be fun. I’m down wit gifts and giving. But I tink she missing da point. For us, da good fun part is not in da getting, but raddah in da social aspeck of da present opening. Secret Santa only works if you get one party where everybody can see you opening up your crazy kine gifts from your co-workers. No more party means no fun if you gotta open up your inflatable rubbah companionship doll at home by yourself or worser yet in front your family. Party-free Secret Santa, das dumb, no? Das why I protesting. Das why I wen decide I going try for come up with some kinda reli-ja-mous reason for get out of participating. I figgah da best excuse would be one religious excuse.

But choosing one religion’s proving for be more problematic than I thought. Cuz as one youth I nevah went church, so I no really know so much about religion. You see, my faddah wuz one man who wuz about “practically.” His rule wuz, so long as it costed “practically” nathing den wuz okay wit him. Dat wuz pretty much his rule for everyting. We nevah had fireworks for New Year’s cuz my faddah always said, “Playing poppa-hu, das like trowing da money away. Das not practically.”

An’den, I remembah too dat we had for watch TV in da dark cuz my faddah always said, “If you leave da light on, das pohö da electric. You tink electricity grows on trees?”

For him all wasteful spending wuz “You tink wotevah-it-is grows on trees?” I dunno where he picked up dat saying from or if he knew dat da real saying wuz “You tink MONEY grows on trees?” And not, “You tink candy grows on trees?” or “You tink Kikaida grows on trees?” or “You tink Castle Park grows on trees?”

And I remembah da one time his favorite saying actually did make sense, da ting wuz still off. We went Times Supah Market and lychee wuz in season so I asked him if we could put some in our wagon. Of course he said, “You tink lychee grows on trees?” So it did make sense little bit. Cuz lychee does grow on trees. But it would only make sense if his answer wuz , “Why yes, we can get some lychee, “ and not “No, we cannot, even though lychee does grow on trees.” When I pointed dis fack out to him I got in trouble for being one talk backer. When we went home he washed my mout out wit soap for giving him lip. I felt like telling him, “Dad, you wasting soap. You tink soap grows on trees?” but I no tink he would’ve appreciated da humor.

Growing up I had lotta friends who went church. All my friends seemed for have fun going to all their church functions like picnics and excursions and stuff. I remembah brining up da subjeck of maybe our family possibly going for check out one church jus for see what it wuz like.

“Dad, you tink we should go church? Almost everybody I know goes.”

“Church, das only for rich guys,” My faddah wen tell. For my faddah, dat wuz one noddah one of his favorite tings for say if I evah asked for someting.

“Dad, how come I cannot get new clothes?”

“New clothes, das only for da rich guys.”

“Dad, how come I cannot get one license to drive?”

“Driving, das only for da rich guys.”

“Dad, how come I cannot go prom?”

“Prom? Das only for da rich guys.”

Being one pudgier guy made ‘em tough for me as one kid. Being pudgey and not having cool stuff made ‘em especially more harder. Pretty much as one youth I blamed my whole lack of one social life on my faddah. You know how hard it is for get one date when you no more car and you gotta catch bus?

But I gotta admit, I did have ‘em bettah than my faddah guys. Back in his days dey used to make their own toys. I tink it’s cuz he wuz born before plastic wuz invented. He grew up in one plantation camp and dey played Jan Ken Po and Hide and Seek. And nevah have no toy stores back den so dey made up their own weird kine games wit sticks, rocks, and grass.

My faddah’s fond of saying how one of his favorite games wuz called Fight Grass. Basically dey would challenge each oddah and pull da nut grass from da ground and whoevah’s one broke first lost. He said wuz good fun. I tink Fight Grass wuz jus da old people’s way of tricking da young plantation kids into pulling some weeds and doing some yard work.

My maddah always had one soft spot and she nevah like deprive me. I remembah she tried for get me Kikaida toys or Micro Man toys, but my faddah always won those hard fought battles. His argument wuz dat he nevah had store-bought toys when he wuz growing up and he turned out okay.

Still, at least I got for have da kine toys dat nobody else had kine. When I got into Lone Ranger reruns on TV, my faddah made me one rubbah band gun made out of wood. When I got into Bruce Lee movies he made me nunchucks he made from left ovah rubbah piping, electrical tape, and some string.

When da movie Star Wars came out, he made me one lightsaber. At least das what HE called ‘em. I called ‘em one flashlight with clear blue cellophane ova da lens wea I had for make my mout like one ventriloquist for do da lightsaber noise. I asked my faddah how come I had for do my own sound effecks. He toll me wuz jus like da real lightsaber in da movie.

“Insai da movie, did you see Luke Skywalker moving his lips?”

“No.”

“Seeeeeee.”

My faddah had his own logic. And I guess I should’ve been grateful cuz wuzn’t like flashlight batteries grew on trees. I remembah dat first year when Star Wars came out, all da kids at school wuz all desperate for play wit anyting dat wuz Star Wars related. I asked my faddah if we could try check some of da big toy stores I heard about like Playworld or Playwell. Aftah all my nagging my maddah and faddah finally gave in and we went, but nevah have no Star Wars toys. As one consolation prize my maddah got me one Star Wars coloring book. How could dea be no toys I wondered. I thought maybe we wuz too late and everybody got ‘em all already and maybe I wuz da only one who nevah have. But I asked around and none of my friends had Star Wars toys eiddah. I wuz all set on getting someting made of wood or rubbah again dat Christmas. But when Christmas came I opened up my present and it appeared dat my Star Wars wish had been granted. It appeared dat I had finally gotten my first real toys. At least das what I thought at da time.

*****

Star Wars wuz my favorite movie as one kid. And it still is. My friends Ted, Joe, and Kevin meet at my place every month or so and we celebrate all things Star Wars. Some guys participate in online forums about Star Wars. Some guys play Star Wars Galaxies online. Us, we jus get togeddah and share da latest Star Wars swag we acquired or we talk about anykine Star Wars stuffs. Sometimes we have some pretty philosophical discussions.

“What happens to you aftah you die I wondah?”

“I tink you jus ma-ke. Pau you gone. Das it.”

“But in Star Wars you become a spirit. You just watch over everyone you know like Obi Wan Kenobi.”

“You tink Obi Wan Kenobi really died in Star Wars?”

“No question. Darth Vader killed him during their light saber duel, remember?”

“If you can call it one duel. Da new fight choreography makes dat old fight scene look so geriatric. “

“Doesn’t matter. End result is da same. Darth Vader killed Obi Wan Kenobi.”

“But nevah have no blood.”

“Yeah, he’s right. There wasn’t even a body.”

“Maybe he teleported.”

“But Jedi can’t teleport.”

“Do we know that as a fact? Just because we haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean it can’t happen.”

“His robe was still there.”

“See, that only lends more credence to my teleportation theory. It would be silly to think he could teleport himself as well as his clothes.”

“So you’re saying Obi Wan Kenobi’s running around nekid somewhere?”

“But hey guys, we see Obi Wan’s spirit talking to Luke later on.”

“How do we know it’s a spirit. Maybe it’s a holographic communication device like how the Emperor communicates to his guys in the prequels.”

“If Obi Wan Kenobi wuz alive, wouldn’t he let Luke know he wuz alive, instead of letting Luke think he was dead?”

“That would be kinda uns, if he bailed out and left his friends on da Death Star and just teleported away. But it wouldn’t be totally outta character. Obi Wan Kenobi did lie to Luke and say dat Darth Vader betrayed and murdered Luke’s faddah.”

“But did he lie lie? You could think of it as a symbolic murder as the Darth Vader persona took over for where there was once the man known as Anakin Skywalker.”

“Maybe. Obi Wan Kenobi should’ve been one politician I tell you. He so shibai.”

*****

Finding religion is tough. Da more I wuz Googling different religions, da more I wuz beginning for second guess my choice for be non-participatory in our stupid office Secret Santa. Might be easier for jus do ‘em. Being one religious faker would require a lotta hard work cuz I would have to learn everyting about dat religion for make my cover story fly. For lotta religions for learn ‘em good you have to go to one physical location for meet with oddahs of your congregation. Dat takes time. Plus lotta religions you get homework. Christian people, Jewish people, dey all gotta read one tick ass Bible. Muslim people too gotta read da Qu’ran. Plus everybody’s religions get all kine rules and observances you gotta follow. Buddhism, Kwanzaa, Wiccan people, all of ‘em get tings for do. So much rules and so much reading. J’like going back school already.

During my search on da internet I learned one interesting fact. Here’s one fact and facts is da truth. Da truth is da fastest growing church organization in da United States is Jehovah’s Witnesses. What can we attribute dis to? Da only ting I can tink of is it’s cuz people stay like me. Dey disenchanted with da whole commercializations of Christmas. Christmas has become all about da getting.

I suppose I could be one pretend Jehovah’s Witness. But I would probably have one hard time pulling off da role, cuz I nevah really got for study one real Jehovah’s Witness up close. Whenevah dey knock on my door I always too busy hiding. I should’ve been watching dem more carefully.

But jus from seeing how much ground dey cover in our neighborhood, I no tink I can handle being, or even pretending for be one Jehovah’s Witness, cuz dey do lotta walking for pass out their brochures. I not even sure what dey all believe in cuz I usually jus trow way da magazines dey leave on my doorstep. Da only ting I know dey no believe in is da post office. I mean, dey could jus mail their Watchtower tings. But I guess dey save stamp by making all their members deliver ‘em for dem. In all likelihood, people would nevah in a million years believe me for be one Jehovah’s Witness. Dey’d take one look at me and say, “You cannot be one Jehovah’s Witness. You too fat.” I gotta confess, dey might be right. But if I wanted for do dat much walking and get dat much exercise I would’ve joined one gym, not one church.

But I suppose physical well being and exercise is one large component of many of da world’s religions, yeah? Jehovah’s Witnesses walk door to door. Mormons ride their bicycles for miles and miles. Hari Krishna’s do that cardio workout with their dancing and shaking their little tambourines. Muslims are supah hardcore and dey required for walk ukubillion miles in da hot sun for make their religious pilgrimage to Mecca. And even Scientologists do lotta trampoline, jumping up and down on couches and stuff.

*****

Local style is you judge somebody not from what dey tell dey going do, but from what dey do do. Part of da reason why people in da office no like da Boss so much is cuz she make all himakamaka cuz she get her fancy degree from her fancy school. Everybody zones out at meetings and da Boss only digging herself one deeper grave cuz she nevah asks for input. We all jus expected for follow whatevah she tell. Lotta people no like dat kine. It’s like she da messiah and all everybody’s on da job experiences no count for anyting.

People often criticize Local people saying Local people no vote. Dey say Hawai‘i get planny voter apathy. For me, I no tink we apathetic. I jus tink we disenchanted wit our authority figures. Politicians especially, cuz politicians is da most famous for being all talk.

Actually, when I tink about it. Surprising I still even like Star Wars considering all da broken promises Star Wars made to me. I remembah da Christmas aftah Star Wars came out my faddah, with some convincing from my maddah, gave me one set of Star Wars action figures or what I believed at da time for be one set of action figures. Da box wuz pretty light for someting dat had one drawing of twelve Star Wars characters on da front. At first I thought maybe my faddah had emptied out da box and I’d have to hunt for each of da figures dat wuz depicted on da box. Like one grand Star Wars Easter Egg hunt. It seemed like someting my faddah would do—make me work for my present. But turned out there were no action figures. At least not yet.

You see, I wen learn years later dat Kenner had da license for produce da toys for da movie, but nobody expected Star Wars for be da runaway hit dat it wuz. So Kenner only had low investment movie merchandise ready for go like paint sets and puzzle books. Das why my maddah only could find me dat coloring book. Dey nevah even start developing da toys which had for be designed, sculpted and den tested. So when Christmas came dey nevah have no toys ready for sell. But luckily somebody in marketing had da creativity for market one empty box, wit da promise of future Star Wars toys, and christened da ting da Star Wars Early Bird Certificate Package.

I dunno what da actual mail away certificate said cuz my maddah and faddah filled out da papah. But several months later when da toys finally came only had four toys and not twelve like how had drawn on top da original box from Christmas time. Da four figures wuz Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2 and Chewbacca. Wuz clear dat da toy company head honchos wuzn’t in touch with how young children played with toys. Good guys need bad guys for fight. I suppose if I really wanted to, I could’ve had da good guys having one INTERNAL struggle. Dey might battle succumbing to da dark side of da Force, which can be dramatic seeing ‘em in da movie, but it’s kinda hard for make ‘em exciting when you jus one kid trying for play with toys.

Truth be told, I wuz little bit let down dat my heroes nevah have no villains from da Empire for fight, but by dat point, aftah months and months of waiting, I wuz jus happy I got someting. It’s kinda like politicians who campaign dat dey going give Local people more services and less taxes, but aftah dey in office dey forget who put dem there, and so aftah years of broken promises Local people so frustrated dey jus end up being happy dey even get one job.

Those four Star Wars action figures wuz my first real toys and I found once I got one taste, I found myself jus wanting more. Unfortunately for me, my faddah wuz like da movie studio. He wuz handing out all kine budgetary constraits. He said I could only get da characters who wuz vital for telling da story. In da end, da way my faddah did ‘em he pretty much wuz making up his own Star Wars movie.

Jawa? No can. My faddah said can streamline da story if instead of buying da droids from da Jawa, we eliminate da middleman and Luke jus finds ‘em instead, mo’ fast like that. Same with da Sand People. Basically dey jus dea for slow down da actual meeting between Luke and Ben Kenobi. Greedo, Hammerhead and oddah creatures from da Cantina? No can. If dey only get couple, few, or no lines den dey not important to da story. Storm Troopers I thought wuz important, but my faddah said dey jus cannon fodder, which at da time I nevah understand cuz I nevah know da difference between faddah and fodder. I really wanted Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing fighter pilot gear. But dat nevah fly. Cuz I already had Luke dressed regular. So my faddah said for why Luke gotta change clothes everytime he do someting different? One clothes nahf. Dis Star Wars, not Barbie my faddah wen tell.

In da end, I managed for get four more guys outta my faddah. Han Solo, C3-PO, Obi Wan Kenobi, and jus one villain, Darth Vader. I liked keeping da packaging cuz on da back had one picture of all da oddah figures dey had, but I couldn’t have. And wuz good ting I saved da packaging, cuz on da back of da newest one I had had da announcement for da special mail away Boba Fett figure. I had jus enough proof of purchases. All I needed wuz my faddah for cut me one check for da shipping and handling.

“I no get it. If free, den why I gotta pay?”

“Da toy free. You jus gotta pay SHIPPING.”

“If I gotta pay shipping, den not free for me. Free for you. Who da guy anyway, Bobba Fett? He wuz in da movie? “

“He wuz in da cartoon on dat TV special.”

“On TV? So das not Star Wars den?”

“He’s gonna be in da next Star Wars movie.”

“So if he going be in da next movie, den I can get dat for you next time den, ah?”

“Look, he has one cool rocket-firing backpack. You jus push da button and da missile flies out.”

“Dangerous dat kine, no? Bumbye poke out da eye.”

Aftah some negotiating I got my faddah for take care of da shipping. Aftah I played like 100 rounds of Fight Grass with him. And like da last time, when da ting finally came in da mail, I wuz little bit disappointed again. Wuzn’t exackly as shown in da picture. I wuz looking forward to using Boba Fett’s missile for shoot down all da good guys, cuz I wuz getting tired of having seven against Darth Vader all da time. But da ting nevah fire. Boba Fett’s rocket wuz stuck inside his backpack. Couldn’t come out. Wuz glued in. Stuck. Found out way later dat Kenner got cold feet cuz around da same time Mattel had for recall one Battlestar Galactica space ship toy dat had one small missile dat fired, cuz ten kids got injured and one kid died from swallowing da missile. Too bad Boba Fett wuz deemed too dangerous. Would’ve been cool if dey made ‘em like how dey said dey wuz. Dey really knew how for fool us with their promises.

*****

You would tink dat having hard working parents would’ve made me wanna be hard working too. But seeing how hard my maddah and faddah had to work had da opposite effect. It made me cherish da concept of having free time.

High school time I had to work for help pitch in. I managed for find only da coolest job in da world, working at McDonald’s. I wuzn’t allowed for have McDonald’s as one kid, so working dea wuz like Disneyland to me. Especially cuz da manager let us eat all da mistake food. All he asked wuz dat we throw da mistake wrappers in one special rubbish can, which wuz fine by me cuz not like you can eat da wrapper. Dey jus wanted da mistake wrappers so dey could record all dat on top da inventory. I dunno if wuz good dat my fellow workers wuzn’t so good at their jobs cuz everyday at least three mistakes ended up in my belly. Looking at my girth now I suppose I should’ve exercised more self restraint. But like not having toys, being deprived of fast food as one child only made me want it more.

I had to work McDonald’s aftah school and on weekends too, so I hardly had free time. My maddah faddah tried for get me for join extra curricular stuff at school. But I nevah like. I figgahed for why do extra.
“You don’t wanna participate in student government?”

“Nah. Dey gotta go meetings den take notes and report back to da class.”

“Maybe you should join Key Club or Leo Club.”

“Dem guys too. All dey do is go to meetings during recess. Every meeting is mandatory. Recess time is when you supposed to be able for relax, talk story with your friends.”

“It’ll look good for you when you go college.”

“On weekends too you know, dey gotta paint benches and pick up rubbish and stuff. Weekends is when you supposed to be able for take it easy. Plus all dat community service stuff is when I gotta work. You like me quit my job?”

And dat wuz enough for convince my faddah dat extra curricular activities wuzn’t practically.

I only did little bit college. Jus enough for get my associate’s. I figgahed for why do more? I managed for get one nice job in one office. Made my maddah faddah guys happy. I had my own small apartment. I had my close circle of fellow Star Wars friends. I could buy all da toys I wanted with my own money. For years I wuz living in my own little perfeck world until dat new reality show came out on top da TV.

Dog the Bounty Hunter changed my life. He probably changed lotta people’s lives. Besides da people he helped on da show, he probably changed lotta viewer’s lives too. Maybe he showed dem different sides of society dat dey nevah seen before so it bursted their bubbles. Maybe seeing da homeless peoples or recovering addict peoples inspired some viewers for do some volunteer work for da first time. For me wuz someting diff’rent dat inspired me. Wuz seeing da man himself. Dog wuz one guy who wuz from da mainland, but hea he wuz doing good. He cared more about da Local community than me and I grew up hea my whole life. It’s like he wuz more Local than me. Seeing him in action made me wanna start making some changes.

Das why I been starting small. Seeing if I can get my friends for care about someting beyond ourselves. I been trying for use Star Wars as one launching pad wea we can debate some Local issues at our Star Wars meetings. I started if off with da pros and cons of Act 221, da ack dat gives tax breaks to production companies for film in Hawai‘i. Aftah much discussion, we agreed we wuz all for it cuz da tax incentive would lure more movies ova hea and we figured if Hawai‘i can stand-in for da whole world like in da television series Lost, den surely Hawai‘i can be substitute too for da whole Star Wars galaxy. We came to da consensus dat if George Lucus eva decided he wanted for remake his Star Wars movies AGAIN, he should give Hawai‘i some serious considerations. He no need go around da world from da Redwood forests of California, to da deserts of Africa, and den on to da frozen glaciers of Norway. He can jus stay in Hawai‘i. Da old Paradise Park can stand in for planet Endor. Da hot, muggy ‘Ewa plains can substitute for Tatooine. And for da icy planet Hoth, George can use Ice Palace, brah.

And if we lucky, George might use some Local talent in his movies. I know who would be good as my favorite character, Boba Fett. Boba Fett wuz da coolest looking. I jus wish he wuzn’t so wimpy. It brings me great sadness dat Boba Fett nevah die one more valiant death. It’s like sins of da faddah, brah. His faddah Jango Fett got killed cuz his jetpack malfuctioned while he wuz battling Mace Windu. You would tink dat since young Boba Fett wuz witness, he would’ve learned from dat, but he wen pretty much ma-ke da same way too. Jetpack malfunction. Da ting probably had glue stuck inside.

To me, it’s highly unbelievable dat one blind Han Solo could defeat da baddest bounty hunter in da galaxy. Basically all Han Solo did wuz bump into Boba Fett by mistake so dat Boba Fett’s stupid jetpack came all haywire and flew him direck into Sarlacc Pit where presumably he died. Though I still holding out for da possibility dat Bobba Fett’s armor wuz able for keep him alive and he eventually regained control of his jetpack and wuz able for fly himself outta da pit aftah everybody left. Das going be in Star Wars Episode VII, garanz.

Would be awesome if for da Star Wars Hana Hou films if dey could get da coolest real life bounty hunter, Duane Chapman a.k.a. Dog the Bounty Hunter, for play da role of da fictional bounty hunter Boba Fett. And ho, would be even more mean if Dog as Bobba Fett could have his own Boba the Bounty Hunter spin-off series on A&E. 
Boba: Han Solo. . . I’ve finally caught up to you, bruh.

Han: How did you find me?

Boba: I’m in the business of finding guys that are hard to find.

Han: What do you want Boba?

Boba: I hear you’re using the Millenium Falcon for trafficking.

Han: I may do some smuggling every now and then.

Boba: You wouldn’t so happen to be smuggling ICE now would you?

Han: Ice? You mean ice, like they have on planet Hoth?

Boba: Bruh, I’m using the street term. Ice, you know. Crank, glass, meth. Crystal Methamphetamines. I’m down with all the lingo because I spent time on the prison planet. But I’ve been reformed. All you have to do is confess to your sins. Bruh-dah, do you need me to quote you a passage from the good book?

Han: How can I confess when I can’t say that I know what you’re talking about.

Boba: No one competes with Jabba, Solo. Jabba’s not pleased.

Han: Jabba still telling you what to do?

Boba: Don’t speak ill of Jabba. My sources say you’ve been spending a lot of time on Chinaworld. Everyone knows that Chinaworld’s a haven for seedy brothels, illegal gambling halls, and notorious drug dens. Is that where you get your drugs from, bruh? Don’t deny it Solo.

Han: You shouldn’t stereotype Chinaworld. They got quite a vibrant cultural scene going on there. I been going to a nice little club where Jake Shimabookie’s been playing his galactic uke. Some say, that someday he’s gonna be even bigger than the Max Rebo band. And I have to say. I really like the manapua from Char Hung Sut. I always have to go there to bring some back for Chewie. He says I have to bring him back omiyage when I go on a trip. He gets mad if I don’t. And you should never upset a Wookie.

I doubt that Han Solo would use da word “omiyage,” but wouldn’t it be cool if Star Wars Hana Hou wuz all Local style? Dat would be fun. Nevah boddah me when I wuz small, but when I watch Star Wars now, I tink, das not how Local people would do ‘em. Das so mainlandy. And if George wuz for make us script consultants for his revamp, we’d gladly point out which scenes we could help him Localize. For example, off da top of my head, he’d definitely need for fix da scene at da Cantina where Obi Wan Kenobi and Luke hire Han Solo for take ‘em on da Millineum Falcon. Locals all know dat das not how you do business. Local style is you supposed to try establish one connection and build one relationship first before making da deal.

BEN: So you’re Han Solo.

HAN: That’s right.

BEN: You related to one Ming Solo?

HAN: No.

BEN: What about one Ching Solo?

HAN: Sorry, don’t know either of those guys.

BEN: So you not related to any of da Dynasty Solos?

HAN: Huh?

BEN: So what school you went?

HAN: You mean what Starship Pilots’ school?

BEN: No, high school, high school.

HAN: Look, enough chit chat! I’m here to do business. The fare’s 10,000 credits from here to Alderaan.

BEN: No need for get huhu. I just wanted for see if you know my cousin.

HAN: What’s the odds of meeting someone you’re related to in a galaxy so big?

LUKE: Han’s right. Da odds are astronomically against finding someone you’re unknowingly related to. Maybe back in your day everyone knew everyone, Ben. But that wuz one different time. We kinda need for get outta here soon. We don’t have time for talk story.

HAN: Listen to the kid, old man. Look, do you wanna charter a flight on the Millenium Falcon or not?

BEN: I heard of one Ford Falcon. But da Millenium Falcon?

HAN: You’ve never heard of the Millenium Falcon? She’s only the fastest ship in the galaxy. Made da Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs.

LUKE: What’s one parsec?

HAN: Trust me kid. It’s fast.

BEN: Where is dis Millenium Falcon of yours?

LUKE: Yeah. Where you wen park? Close by?

HAN: Right in the hanger.

LUKE: Parking expensive in da hanger, no?

HAN: Where would you suggest I park then?

LUKE: Tatooine Locals know, you gotta park by da Zoo and walk.

Aftah da Boss catches me playing Jedi, I tink about it for da whole day. When I go home I do some reseach and das when I find out dat me and my friends missed da whole boat on one international email campaign urging Star Wars fans for declare demselves Jedi on their respective censuses. One year in England and Wales 390,127 people claimed Jedi as their religion making it da fourth largest religion in dat region. And den in New Zealand ova 53,000 people said dey wuz Jedi on their census, but da government ova dea nevah recognize. Dey counted ‘em as “Answer understood, but will not be counted.” If da ting wen count, den Jedi would have been da second largest religion in New Zealand. And den again, more than 70,000 people in Australia said dey wuz Jedi. Da Australian Bureau of Statistics wuz so annoyed dat dey issued one statement warning dat anybody who wen write Jedi for their religion would be counted as not-defined and dey cautioned against giving false of misleading statements on top da census. Basically Australia dismissed da claims of da Jedi explaining dat Jedi is not one religion cuz for be one religion da ting gotta be one set belief system and have some kinda organizational structure.

Jedi gotta REPRESENT. Dat weekend for our Star Wars meeting I lead our discussion about how over development might affeck Endor if da Empire evah decided for build luxury spa resorts and whether or not tourism would displace da native Ewok population. Notice da parallels, ah?

Aftah dat I share what I wen learn about Jedi becoming recognized as one world religion. I tell, “If da people of da world is for real kine going make Jedi one religion, da ting gotta get some rules.” I put ‘em on da table dat we should try studying da wisdoms of Master Yoda, Master Kenobi, and da rest of da masters on da Jedi council. Ted interrupts me with one question.

“It occured to me that actually the church of da Jedi is actually the church of George Lucas, because didn’t George Lucas write all those words?”

“Yeah, Yoda wuz just his puppet,” Kevin chimes in.

“It doesn’t matter,” I argue. “God had for talk to his peeps for write down da Bible for him, no?”

“He had da kine sackratary? Fo reals?”

“So you saying God spoke to George Lucas?”

“No, I not saying dat. But maybe da Force spoke to George Lucas.”

“Da Force can talk?”

Aftah our whole Four Stooges rigamaroll, we eventually get down to da business of studying da actual Star Wars texts. We decide each one of us going volunteer one Star Wars quote from one recognized Jedi master on da council. Das means Anakin no count cuz he nevah have da rank of master. And from dea we going analyze da wisdoms found in those Jedi words.

Joe says he like go first. He says that da next time Ted or Kevin get dates dey can buss out some quotes from Master Yoda . If dey evah get one girl in bed dey can tell, “Size matters not. Judge me by size do you.” Den he snickers to himself. Joe has nevah had a girlfriend and perhaps he nevah will. Sometimes I find it’s rather creepy how he caresses his soft vinyl Kotobukiya figure of Princess Leia in her slave outfit.

I shake my head and I inform young padawan Joe dat he’s corrupting da words of Master Yoda who wuz referencing his diminutive physical stature. He wuz saying dat physical might doesn’t guarantee one victory in battles. I can tell already dat our Jedi Church going need some kinda leader person or someting for help interpret our Star Wars scripture for da congregation, oddahwise people jus going make up their own, any ol’kine.

“The force is what gives the Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together” is one quote from Master Kenobi dat Ted tosses out. Of course Joe cannot help but chuckle when Ted says da word “penetrates.”

Ted says he has one good interpretation for dis one. “I think that Master Kenobi’s advocating we all become Breatharians and live on air because Jedi shouldn’t eat plant nor animal because plants and animals are our fellow living things.”

“I’m not sure we can live soley on air,” I tell.

“I thought there was that guy one time on the news who claimed he did.”

“I tink he got busted at 7-Eleven eating one Slurpee, hot dog, and some Twinkies.”

“Technically only da hot dog is bad. I no tink Slurpee or Twinkie is either plant or animal.”

“Perhaps Master Kenobi will be okay with us eating food,” I offer. “By eating tings that are alive, we not going be killing off their energy, but raddah absorbing their energy into our own I tink so.”

“So you should be one really powerful Jedi,” Kevin tells.

“How you figgah?”

“Cuz you eat a lot. So you have a lotta Force in you. Haw, haw, haw, haw.”

I jus ignore Kevin and his comment and wait for him for tink of his quote. Finally he says doing his best Yoda impression, “Once you start down the dark path, forever it will dominate your destiny, consume you it will. Episode V, Yoda 61:32.”

“What’s 61:32?” Ted asks.

“Duh! Das precisely how many minutes into da movie,“ Kevin reveals. “It’s one good quote, yeah? I tink it jus means you should do good. Cuz once you do evil, den you going become more eviler and eviler. ”

“But doesn’t Darth Vader redeem himself in the end when he saves Luke from the Emperor? So don’t Anakin Skywalker’s actions contradict what Yoda says will happen?” Ted challenges.

We discuss ‘em and come to da conclusion dat though Yoda says “forever” he also says it’ll “dominate” hence we agree dat there is no contradiction as “dominate” means most of da time. So Darth Vader wuz indeed pretty mean most of da time once he turned to da dark side, as Yoda predicted he would be. That wuz close. We almost invalidated our own religion.

When it comes my turn for quote someting I trow out my favorite line. “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” Or as Locals would say, “No sked, chance ‘em.”

For da next few days I try new tings I nevah tried before. And I even take ‘em one step further and I take Yoda’s words to da extreme. I decide for avoid all usage of da word “try” in my everyday speech. Which I find is actually kinda hard cuz in Hawai‘i people use da word “try” a lot. Instead of saying “Try come,” I jus tell “Come.” Instead of saying “Try write this down” I gotta remembah for switch ‘em to “Write this down.” I not sure if I like taking out all my tries, cuz I tink I end up sounding more like my Boss. Bossy. And when I tink about ‘em sa’more, lotta cultures get da polite form when dey talk. “Try” sounds more nicer. Local politicians should take note. Instead of being bossy and saying “Vote for Mufi,” maybe Mufi should consider saying “Try Vote for Mufi.” See how dat works.

An’den, Local people, we always adding on confirmations at da end of our sentences too. Like “W&M Burger is da bes hamburger, no?” Or “Cate Sustanna is super smart, yeah?” And “I gotta work late so you going cook da dinner tomorrow, ah?” Notice how it’s those little tings dat Local people do for soften their statements making ‘em seem friendlier. Maybe das why lotta mainlandy people like for say how Local people sound welcoming when dey talk. It’s like we add on those tings not cuz we unsure, but cuz we care what da oddah person tinks so das why we feel like gotta check in wit da oddah person, make sure us and da person we talking to stay in agreement. Ho, das so considerate. Try like, I nevah know I wuz so polite, yeah?

*****

When Monday rolls around I walk into da Boss’ office all prepared for give my follow-up statement about my being Jedi and how it affecks my ability for participate dis year’s Secret Santa festivities.

“Hey Boss, how you doing? How wuz your weekend?” I ask.

“Okay.”

“Wotchoo do anyway on da weekends? You evah been hiking up any trails or anyting?”

“What do you want? More time talking is less time working. Time is money. So if you’re wasting time. You’re wasting money.”

“Oh, yeah. Not practically, yeah? Uh. I wanted for talk to you about your Secret Santa.”

“Yes, I don’t know what to do about that. Suddenly everyone’s dropping out. Well, almost everyone.”

“For real?”

“Is this some passive aggressive Local thing? Don’t tell me you’re dropping out too. Suddently everyone’s claiming they belong to all sorts of religions that don’t believe in Christmas gift giving.”

“Wo, same idea. . . I mean, naaaah.”

“The next thing I know you’re gonna be telling me you’re a Jedi.”

“Eh, how you knew what I wuz going say? Maybe you one Jedi too, yeah?”

“Yeah, yeah. I heard about it last year. Jedi’s becoming a world religion yada yada. Still doesn’t explain why you can’t do Secret Santa.”

“Well. . . do you see anybody in any of da Star Wars-es exchanging Christmas presents? Not dat you recall, right? And you know hakum? It’s because there is no Christmas in Star Wars.”

“I don’t know about that. Why then did they have the Star Wars Holiday television special? “

“You mean dat obscure variety show special wit da Boba Fett cartoon dey had in da 70’s on CBS?”

“That’s the one.”

“Uh. . . in dat special Chewbacca wuz going to his home planet for celebrate Life Day, which is like Christmas. But it’s different see.” While I trying for rationalize my answer, I begin for wondah how da Boss even knows about dat super-cheesy, once-aired special dat George Lucas wouldn’t mind if wuz wiped out from da world’s collective consciousness. And das when it hits. “Hey, wait a minute, if you know about da special, dat must mean, you one Star Wars fan too!”

“The force is strong in this one,” she tells me while simultaneously rolling her eyes. “You know, I’m starting to believe no one likes my Secret Santa idea, but everyone is too afraid to tell me. Is that true?”

“Well, I dunno about afraid. But I dunno if you wen take a-notice, but sometimes, Local people, yeah, we no communicate direck, ah?”

“Are you asking me or telling me?”

“Uh, I telling you, but making sure we on da same page.”

“So is dis your indirect Local way of telling me something.”

“Since I gather you one Star Wars fan too, I go explain ‘em to you using Star Wars as one analogy. You know when Luke first met Yoda, he thought Yoda had one funny way of talking and wuz jus one funny backwards country bumpkin. But in reality, Yoda wuz jus feeling him out. Yoda wuz really one Jedi master.”

“So is this your cryptic way of saying I shouldn’t dismiss the workers? Perhaps I have an office full of Yodas.”
“I jus saying how you know who’s one Yoda if you no take da time for listen.”

“So tell me, do you have an example of how I might listen better?”

“For example, you remembah da oddah month how planny guys wuz asking you about da air condition? Dey wuz saying save electricity if we turn off da air condition sometimes, no?”

“Yes, and I interpreted that to mean that everyone was worried about our company’s financial state and I thought, no, we’re okay with our energy bills for now.”

“Uh, no. What everybody wuz saying wuz da office too cold.”

“Really?”

“Well, except for Debra cuz Debra Okinawan. And Okinawans nevah get cold.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Next time I expain dat one. Back to da topic at hand.”

“So I take it everyone’s sending me a message about my Secret Santa proposal? Randall Wakumoto told me he became a devil worshipper so that’s why he can’t participate. Why does no one like my idea? I figured it would be a great way that everyone could save some money in these tough times.”

“You may tink you giving everybody one break. But tink about what you taking away too. Maybe everybody wanted for have fun get togeddah before we all go on vacation.”

“So it might be viewed as a punishment. Hmmm. . . I see. Do you have any suggestions?”

“Wow, you asking for my suggestion. Um, outta curiousity, hypothetically speaking, if we still had da potluck ting going on, what would you have broughten?”

“Tapioca pudding probably. Why?”

“Tapioca pudding? May da force be with you on dat one.”

“Huh?”

“Oh? I mean, jus checking. Yeah, you right. Maybe potluck junk. If only get some way we can save money, yet still be social, dat would be so awesome. Eh, who’s for say we cannot do both. What if we had one Secret Santa party during our regular lunch break?”

“Interesting idea. So everyone will bring food for themselves only so it’s a savings to them, but we can still have the social aspect of the party, which everyone seems to miss. And as a bonus we can see everyone opening up each other’s Secret Santa gifts. I like that.”

“So Boss, wotchoo doing dis coming weekend?”

“Huh? Oh. I don’t know. Um. . . why? Oh, I mean, why, what are your plans?”

“Me and my friends we volunteering for Lokahi Tree’s toy drive. I convinced my friends how it’s important for kids to have toys when dey young, so dey no grow up for come greedy toy grubby adults when dey come old.
“A toy drive? Maybe we can see if people here want to donate some toys too.”

“Shooooooots.”

“I’m confused. Is that a yes or a no?”

“You nevah heard shoooooots? You probably know short shoots, yeah? If you say shoots fast, den das like you forgot someting, made one mistake, or suddenly remembered someting das contradictory. Short shoots is negatory. Long shoots is Local style. Long shoots like shoooooooots is affirmative and signals agreement. Shoooooots means you tink sounds like one plan. So what Boss, wotchoo tink?”

“Shoooooooooots.”

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