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"Hoo brah, next time you tell me if I like ride ...remind me to say NO!" Hama said between taking breaths. He was straining against the back fender of the Chevy attempting to push it out of the traffic.

"No ack", Peewee answered from the driver's side of the car. "You wanted to check out da cheek at Byron's not me!" He had the door open half way and was pulling hard at the steering wheel with no "power."

Hama already broke his rubbah slippahs and was working on some good size blisters from the hot summer asphalt. Pushing a car in the middle of the day in Mapunapuna was not exactly how he had pictured his day. To top it off it was his GOOD slippahs too!

Truthfully, it was Hama's idea to check out da portagee girl that worked at Byron's near the airport. Peewee told him the car was "kinda running of fumes" and it was Hama that convinced him that the gas gauge didn't always tell the truth.

"Eh, 'member da time we was down Sandy's? Eh?" Hama said. Peewee was trying to remember WHICH time. Dem two guyz had many adventures at Sandy's so he was sorting through his memory bank to match the one Hama was now recalling.

"What? The time we lost da ka-keys in da surf?" he said

"No stupid, not that time"

"The time somebody wen thro' up in da back seat?"

"No dummy" Hama was trying to remember which time THAT was!

"The time Punchy dem got beat up by da Tongans?"

Hama knew he needed to stop Peewee right away. "No, not that time. The time da gas gauge said neva have gas and we wen go all da way to Nalo and back home. 'Membah?"

"No" Peewee had drawn a blank as usual..

"Ok, neva mind den must have been Brandon dem I was wit" Hama conceded.

"Brandon?!!" Peewee stopped sipping his soda. "When was dat?"

Hama suddenly realized his mistake. Peewee and Brandon had beefed ova Karen Masuda. Brandon kicked his okole big time and Karen went to da game with him. Peewee was now experiencing some emotional "flashbacks" right now. It was mid morning in Kapahulu. Hama was having his Zippy's curry and rice breakfast. Peewee was making a mess crunching through his apple Napoleon. The flakes of pastry were all over the table. It was Hama who was "grounded" and couldn't use the family car. So he was on a mission to convince Peewee they should drive out airport way.

"No can go that far, brah" Peewee said between slurps of soda. " ...da car kinda running of fumes, man."

It was at this point Hama was trying to convince him the gas gauge wasn't as accurate as he thought it was. However, the train of thought went careening off track at the mention of Brandon Barbadillo.

"Eh, no get yo' bay bee deez all twisted" Hama countered quickly. "Dis was long time before you wen beef with him. I tink even before you met Karen Matsuda."

Peewee's eyes got really slantly. Hama now realized he had crossed the line. He wished he hadn't even mentioned Karen Matsuda's name. There was a slight twitch happening now with Peewee's right eye. He had stopped chewing.

Karen Matsuda. Hooo. Karen Matsuda. Peewee was replaying the "tapes". Her father had a record store right on Kaimuki Avenue. It was THE place for the latest 45's. You could hang out at Matsuda's after school while waiting for the bus and hear some great music.

Mr. Matsuda had jet black slicked back hair. His sideburns and cigarette drooping from his mouth made him a cool guy. Everyone wished their Dad was cool like Harry Matsuda. Karen went there after school to do her homework and help in the store. Peewee got a job sweeping and helping stock inventory after school. That's how he was able to afford to buy the Chevy he and Hama were now pushing.

It was Karen Matsuda that Peewee had a "big time" crush on. She was popular and was always with a gaggle of girlfriends so Peewee knew he never had a chance. However, he figgured he had "inners" on a chance to date her because her father had hired him to work at the shop.

Somehow, Peewee never could find the words to express his feelings because everytime he tried the words in his head would disappear. "Karen." he would start.

"Yes Peter?"

PETER ... she called me PETER ...BOING! Gone da words. "Um... nuttin"

Mr. Matsuda knew what was going on. "Eh Peter ...you like my daughter, eh?"

Peewee cast his eyes toward the floor and fidgeted with his hands. A goofy grin took control of his face. "Well, you gotta talk to her sometime boy. You da strong, silent type no?"

Well, Peewee thought. Silent? Yup. Strong? Um .. He was a puddle it came to talking to Karen. And so it was Brandon Barbadillo that came into the record store with his loud mouth and corny jokes that got her attention. It was Brandon that made Peewee the brunt of his jokes.

"Eh ...what kind of Wee sits in da corner and gotta go bat-room?" Brandon was holding court in one corner of the store. Harry and Herman Furuta, the twins always followed Brandon around. Assorted other kids waiting for the 4:30 bus were all in ear shot. "What kind?" the twins answered in unison.

"A PEE wee!" Brandon chanted loud enough for Peewee to hear above the din of Bobby Darin's "Splish Splash". "A PEE wee ...get it? PeeWEE ...."

"Eh ... Eh ...lo lo ...what you thinking??" Hama was attempting to reel Peewee back from "Neva-Neva Land".

"So eenny-wayz ' Hama was still on a mission, "we go Byron's den, eh?"

Peewee turned off the video tapes playing in his head and nodded through a fog of memories. "K ...but no blame me if we get stuck."

"No worry ... beef curry," Hama said pointed at his plate of curry trying to make a joke, "my cousin is da manager at Byron's. He owe me money. We can put gas afta."

So now it had come down to dis. Pushing a ton of steel in the hot sticky Mapunapuna afternoon. They managed to get the car on to a side road.

"We can walk 'em, brah" Hama said. "We walk to Byron's and get da money from my cousin and put gas. K?"

They ended up and hour later outside Byron's, T-shirts stuck to their backs with perspiration talking to Eddie Boy Muira, Hama's cousin. Eddie Boy didn't have all the money he owed Hama but he did have a couple dollars on him and he did spring for free sodas.

Hama's object of affection had called in sick but he did have his eye on another girl with stiffly sprayed hair under her hairnet who worked behind the counter.

Eddie Boy drove Peewee to a nearby gas station while Hama stayed behind because he said his feet hurt. Actually, he was hoping Cheryl Watai, his new objection of attention would be taking a break soon so he could try his "Hama" charm on her.

The plan was for Peewee to roll back to Byron's for Hama. "So, Hama get you going on one of his great plans again, eh?"

"Yup" Peewee said picking at a scab on his knuckles.

"You should just leave bruddah at the drive in and split." Eddie Boy laughed.

"Believe me Hama is in it for Hama. You know the real reason he didn't come with us to get the car started right?"

"Yup," Peewee popped a knuckle.

"So look, I going give you one small piece of advice. I olda den you guyz. I watch how Hama use his friends. I bet he told you I owe him money, right?" Eddie Boy asked.


"Well, that's not true. He asked to borrow money because he said you guys needed gas money."

"Yeah" Peewee sighed, regretting he let Hama talk him into driving across town.

"Ok. Look. Here's five bucks. We go put gas in da can in back my car. Den we go get your car started ... and den you just split. No worry about Lolo-head back at the drive in. I take care dat." Eddie said.

"Nah ... I can go back get him," Peewee countered.

"Eh .. Listen to me." Eddie gave Peewee a piercing look. "Do like I tell you. Hama deserve that. He gotta learn not to take advantage of his friends. Hama is full of hot air and right now he's running on fumes."

"Ok," Peewee conceded.

Cruising Ala Moana, Peewee pulled under the shade of a large tree in the cul de sac area near McCoy Pavilion. He got out and pulled a beach chair from the trunk.

He was feeling good. It was like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He actually felt lightheaded. Eddie Boy was right. Being Hama's friend always meant doing something for him. It really was a one way friendship. Well, from today on, it was gonna be different.

He slipped the keys under the floor mat and put his shorts on under a towel. A swim out to the rocks at Ala Moana would be perfect. He crossed the street, ran across the patch of sand and dove into the cool clean Pacific ocean.

"Eh, Hama ... come'ere." Eddie Boy called out. Hama stopped in mid-sentence. He had cornered Cheryl Watai in the employee break area. She was batting her false eyelashes as him.

"Wot?" Hama said. "Wea's Peewee?"

"Neva mind Peewee, brah." Eddie Boy said, "you and me gonna have a talk. Cheryl, your break is ova."

Cheryl made puckering lips at Eddie Boy and left the room. Hama saw the look in Eddie Boy's eyes and the look on his face and knew he was in for a solid lecture.

Eddie Boy had a picture in his head. It was one with Hama wearing a white apron, a paper hat and wielding a spatula at Byron's Drive Inn near the airport!

About Author

Kamaka Brown was born and raised in Hawaii. Childhood years were spent in Waimea Valley on the North Shore of Oahu. Now a California resident he has not forgotten his Island roots. He is a published author and performs local style comedy at concerts and clubs on the West Coast, Honolulu, Las Vegas and the Pacific Northwest. He is a staff member on AlohaWorld.com.

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