Pacific Tales II

I’ve finished, on this trip, Pirate Latitudes (Crichton), Last Night At Twisted River (Irving), I, Alex Cross (Patterson), and am halfway through What the Dog Saw (Gladwell). Had a great time speaking at Rob Nixon’s coaching club event, and fine food every night. (Unlike Maui and Kauai, Oahu has very good restaurants.)

Last night we hit Alan Wong’s: The elevator was out so we hiked up four floors, and then the elevator alarm sounded at high pitch for 20 minutes. No one complained! The food is astounding. I also highly recommend The Beach House and Roy’s. Tonight we’re visiting what the guest relations manager calls “The Sushi Nazi,” with shades of Seinfeld.

And I made about $150,000 while on the beach.

But now the real point of my story, and it’s going to offend some of you, je regrette.

It’s a guy thing. There are some things that, well, make me sad. Guys who wear a short-sleeved shirt and a tie. Guys who use pocket protectors. Guys who bite their nails to the nub. Guys with three holsters on their belt for pagers and phones as if that’s a sign of power. (The sign of power, of course, is NOT carrying such hardware.) Guys who use their knives like a dagger.

But the saddest guys are those guys roaming the beach with headphones, a pathetic little sand sifter, and a metal detector attached to their arm. Has anyone EVER found enough precious metal to pay for one of those things?

And if you did find a valuable ring or metal on a bulging billfold, shouldn’t you return it to the hotel fronting that beach? It really isn’t yours to keep, any more than that wallet I lost in the cab returned by the honest cabbie was his to keep.

Here we are on Waikiki, Diamond Head lordly overlooking the scene, with boats and surfers and catamarans and outriggers on a placid, glass-like sea. And what are these guys doing? Walking the sands amidst the palm trees with metal detectors and headphones, sweating like wart hogs, with a hobby only slightly weirder than Civil War re-enactors.

Yes, I know, I’m painfully judgmental. I’m not fair. Who am I to make such observations?

I’ll tell you who, someone who knows strange behavior when he sees it.

I know how to make money on the beach. By providing value that creates income while you lounge. The only detector I need is the one that tells me where the waiter is who can fetch the mai tais.

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.

8 thoughts on “Pacific Tales II

  1. Classic! Besides the already stated weirdness, who wants to walk around Waikiki looking at the sand?

    All that said, Roy’s and Mama’s Fish House are two great restaurants on Maui (just in case you get “stuck” there).

  2. Peter, it’s not a very well groomed state. No doubt you’re all those things you say, but while dining with someone in a nice restaurant, or watching someone make a presentation, that’s not what people want to see, any more than dirty hair or frayed cuffs or dandruff.

  3. Alan – couldn’t agree more with your observations – why don’t these people see some of the amazing sights spread ALL OVER the island? Even just reading a book by a pool or on the beach would be more productive than hunting for a lost quarter.

    I was at the conference you spoke at, was all very useful; thanks (and not a bad location!)

    Outliers (another Gladwell) is a good read, what did you think of What the Dog Saw?

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