And I Can Cook, Too

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Wrath of Pele
March 3, 2006

Like many cultures, Hawaii has its share of superstitions, and Hawaiians take their lore seriously. It is hard for a week to go by when you don’t hear some reference to the Hawaiian Gods, or Ghosts, and how they have affected any given person or event. Occasionally we non-locals find the lore seeping into our own existences. The stories are old and varied. In addition to Night Marchers who kill you by making eye contact, the Fire Goddess Pele Dressed As An Old Woman, who will curse you if you don’t stop to help her, and Every Lava Rock Has a Soul, which will cause you bad luck if you remove it from the island, there is the curse of Taking Pork Over The Pali. (cliff). Every local I have ever met can tell a true story about their uncle’s sister-in-law’s next-door neighbor’s third son’s girlfriend who forgetfully drove over the Pali with her leftover ham sandwich from lunch only to have her car stall right as she was entering the tunnel at the peak of the Pali. Once said girlfriend remembers the sandwich, she throws it out the window, and miraculously her car starts right up again.

Now, there are Hawaiian superstitions I would never dream of messing with. I would never, for example, insult or mock Pele, and I would avoid anyone who did. I would never in a million years take a piece of lava rock from the volcanoes, and have advised others the same. In driving a 100 lb dead, split, fully-headed pig over the Pali, however, I may have pushed my luck. I didn’t have any car problems, but shortly after I crossed it, the Pali was closed due to monstrous waterfalls that suddenly decided to pour across it. And I almost immediately became ill with a nasty cold that has yet to leave me. Lastly, the head of the pig mysteriously appeared in a cooler on my lanai, where is stayed, fermenting in the hot sun, for over a week…Coincidence? Or Not???

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