We have a tropical brew of parasites, prayers and peacocks to quench our thirst for the absurd as we place tongue in cheek and "flASHback" on the week’s news that amused and confused:
» The state Health Department disputed a national tabloid’s claim that President Barack Obama was exposed to parasites during his recent Hawaii vacation. That couldn’t be true; when he visits, he avoids contact with local politicians.
» Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in his first State of the State speech that it’ll take sacrifice and a strong sense of values to save the state from economic collapse. A skeptical reader suggested it’ll more likely take a mathemagician.
» Abercrombie said he’ll seek a new tax on soda pop and increases in the vehicle weight tax, car registration fee and fuel tax. Somehow, I don’t think this is what MADD meant about making people pay for drinking while driving.
» Abercrombie described his appointment of Judge Sabrina McKenna to the state Supreme Court as "the most important decision" of his career. It must be momentous if it beat out cutting off his ponytail.
» A civil unions bill to give gay couples the same rights as married couples got fast-track approval from state senators. Soon, people of all sexual identities will understand why "I do" is the longest sentence in the English language.
» After the state Senate became the nation’s first legislative body to ban session-opening prayers, nine senators stood in a private circle to seek God’s guidance. When Abercrombie sends down his budget, they’ll get on their knees.
» A Honolulu man got crocked, waved around a knife, dived into a trash chute, lost his skivvies on the way down and had to be plucked out naked after becoming stuck in a garbage heap. The Legislature’s conference committees are starting early this year.
» The City Council approved three more holdovers from the Hannemann administration that Mayor Peter Carlisle is keeping on in his Cabinet. The Carlisle era can now officially be known as "Mufi Lite."
» Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro said the acquittal of a 70-year-old Makaha woman who beat a noisy peacock to death with a baseball bat won’t deter him from pitching similar animal cruelty charges in the future. Maybe next time he’ll get an umpire with a wider strike zone.
» Hawaii is one of the nation’s most tolerant states, according to a ranking by the Daily Beast. It goes to show that our maker giveth the most tolerance to those who need to tolerate the most.
And the quote of the week … from Gov. Abercrombie to the Legislature in his State of the State: "I stand before you, not above you. And I stand with you." In other words, he’s a moving target.