I went over to Kailua yesterday to watch Blaine Kia’s hula halau or dance group in an informal rehearsal and since I got over there a little early, I decided to kill some time at the Kailua Palace, the sort of dive frequented by Oahu’s Charles Bukowskis.
Nancy, the 60-something bartender, brought me a Bud Light and some poke. Billy, who was swaying on the stool next to me, leaned over to have a look at my food and wrinkled his nose.
“You like poke?” he said.
I told him I did. He shook his head in disgust and took a big swig of his Jack Daniels as if he were rinsing some foul taste out of his mouth.
“I’m Hawaiian, fo’ sure, but I don’t eat Hawaiian food,” he said proudly.
“You don’t eat poi?” I asked Billy.
“Sure I eat poi,” he said defensively. “Everyone eat poi.”
“Sure, what you tink?”
“Dat lomi good stuff.”
“Sounds like you eat Hawaiian food to me,” I said.
Billy grunted. “Well, I tellin’ you, Billy no eat da poke. Dat what I’m sayin’, brah.”
So now you know. Billy no eat da poke.