Guys Who Spit, Butchering Hawaiian

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - February 07, 2007
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The other day it happened again. I’m sitting in my car idling at a stop light when I see the man in the car ahead crack open his door, stick his head out, and spit.

Why do guys spit?

I can’t understand it. Is it a reflexive action like a cough or a sneeze? Is it something cultural? I saw a lot of spitting on my trip to Hong Kong - it was just as disgusting there as it is here. But I’ve also seen guys spit in Texas and San Francisco, and in Germany. So it appears to be a universal male flaw.

Is it something they ate? Smoked? What could possibly be in their mouths that is so darned awful? Really, guys, it must be bad for you to have to spew it out so emphatically.

They don’t just spit. They hawk before they let fly. The closest I can come to describing it is-HHCCCHHHHCHCHHH! It’s not a pretty sound. Where in their upbringing did they learn that sounding like you’re retching in public is socially acceptable?

I asked my husband. He didn’t know. Or he pretends he does-n’t know. Hmmm. He’s a guy, after all. Maybe he does it when I’m not around.

three star

Another pet peeve, while I’m in a complaining mood. I just saw an episode of a show called

$40 Dollars a Day. It’s a showcase for Rachael Ray, the EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) girl who travels around the world finding bargain meals. During her visit to Oahu she managed to mangle every Hawaiian name she came across. I’m talking every single one.

Duke Kahanamoku became Duke Kawaka-something - it was so bad I can’t even describe it. Haleiwa became Ha-LE-eewa. And she said it more than once.

I have a lot of sympathy for folks who come here and can’t pronounce the names. They’re difficult for people who haven’t been exposed to them before. We’ve all taught a Mainlander how to say the highway’s name, lee-kay-lee-kay instead of like-like. No big thing.

But Ray must have producers and helpers. Couldn’t her people have prepared her better by finding someone who could coach her? And even if she’s on a shoestring shooting budget, which I suspect is the case, she’s always talking about asking the “locals” for tips and advice on where to go to eat. Couldn’t she have asked someone local to help her out a bit with pronunciation? The end result was embarrassing for her and irritating, like fingernails on a chalkboard, to me.

I know, most people who watch the show don’t live here and won’t know any better. But we do. The days of Wacky-kee and Hawai-ya have been gone for a long time. Have a little respect, please, for the local culture.

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