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In Hawaii, Scott discovers it's not the water you have to worry about. It's the potato chips

Fiber in one’s diet is essential for proper digestion, good health and well-being, not to mention a few lingering giggles along the way.But a good thing, as we all know, can be taken a bit too far and here is only one example why.

Once in a while, my wife gets a notion in her head that we need to go off on vacation somewhere. This could be due to a weak memory, or that our vacation pictures (hard evidence) seldom show all the action and, above all, she never believes any of my recollections and/or sworn testimony.

This May, we were celebrating forty years of unmitigated bliss together and she (‘er, “We”) decided to treat the island of Hawai’i to some of our hard earned income as well as a sizable (but “insignificant”) portion of our retirement funds.

After two weeks there, we still had a little of it left and in our delight, decided to check out the real estate world around Waimea mixed in with a little snorkeling down on the Kohala coast. We stopped in at a ‘health-food’ store for snacks and liquids, pilfered some ‘Real Estate’ magazines while nobody was lookin’, then headed off to Spencer Beach state park.

When we pulled into the parking lot, I was so captivated with the color of the water that I hadn’t noticed the trees were all growing sideways. I got out of the car and watched my newly acquired ‘Hamakua Nut Company’ hat disappear over stunningly clear azure waters.

I hear it blew all the way to Maui and was last seen going backwards on Willie Nelson’s head where it saves him from askin’ everyone the all important question, “Got Nuts?”

 Deciding to try a different beach after a sudden malicious gust removed the screw-cap from a bottle of water I was holding, my navigator and noteworthy mathematician (also of 40 years) pointed at page 76 of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Big Island and said “Let’s try this one, it looks like it’s more protected from the wind.” 

 ‘This one’ being Waialea Beach (pronounced “Why’re you here?” beach by some of the locals.) When we got there, the water held me spellbound; it was absolutely breathtaking and so were the tree thorns that I immediately started collecting in my toes, fingers, arms and butt.

We found a perfectly cozy spot in the sand/lava/thorn mixture just big enough for twenty toes and two sets of buns, spread our towels and put on the spf-900. It was a nice day! It was bound to get nicer!

We alternated getting wet with getting second degree radiation burns and having generally just a great time. The water here is intensely blue. The sun at this latitude is just intense. Turtles swam unconcerned among a forest of white legs holding up gawking and blathering tourists dripping in sun blocker and taking pictures of each other’s pink knees.

All of this lit up my appetite like a Roman candle.

Lying on my back for a while, I started to smell bacon cooking. In fact, it smelled a little crispy! This made me even hungrier, so I rolled over and opened one of the snacks we’d purchased back in Waimea.

My little surfer girl was busy re-livin’ her ‘60s childhood on the beaches of Orange County, Ca. while I snorkeled a bag of “Beanitos” Brand pinto bean and flax seed chips with real cheddar cheese! Life is good!!

 Side note here: part-time fine homebuilder/ full-time antagonist, L. Scott Hancock (“Lord Griz”) can attest (and does so regularly) to what it’s sometimes like around me after I come in contact with these ingredients; as it cost him a prospective client, a couple years of easy money back in ’97 as well as most of his nose hair.

 Having tired of prancing bikinis and whale watching, I turned to reading about the snack food I was inhaling. “Hmmm, “Certified Low Glycemic, corn free, gluten free (I love free stuff), high fiber, non-GMO with 4 grams of complete protein per serving! Wow! I’d already eaten 3 servings and was starting to get a buzz-on. I read faster! I munched even fasterer!!

 On the back side, it went on to deliberate about the various benefits of eating better and wiser. Being sixty makes you hip to wiser, and having been snorklin’ for what seemed at least fifteen minutes in which time I somehow strained more Pacific Ocean than I should have through my mustache on account of a leaky mask and an untrained nose, I felt it wise to keep eating.

 By the time I got to the last paragraph (and there were quite a few), I was also down to the very last chip! The latter was delicious while the other held a little more information than I wanted to swallow.

 At the end there was a warning that “If you are new to this product…Don’t eat the whole bag by yourself in one sitting (or laying)”, due to the nature of beans and their ability to improve one’s social status. 

 “NOW YOU TELL ME!!,” I blurted, startling a small pod of prancing whales in bikinis. I casually emptied the ‘bag dust’ into the palm of my hand and lapped at it while my taste buds sang their version of ‘Glory Hallelujah’. I then rolled up the empty bag and inserted it into my snorkel tube where I’d be sure to rediscover it later.

 When my little surfer girl/navigator/sun block applicator returned from her flashback, she too could smell bacon (as well as beans) and openly wondered “Where’d that bag of chips go?” I suggested that the checker may have forgotten to put them in with everything else. She sensed a lack of conviction in my garbled testimony and gave me a complimentary slap on ‘the ol’ back-bacon’.

 The next morning, I woke up early thinking Pele had decided to sacrifice a few tourists by spewing hot lava and noxious gasses down the mountainside from her crater domicile.

 My wife was snoring (she would say ‘purring’) under a pile of covers on the floor by an open window and the ceiling fan was at full throttle. Noting nothing out of the ordinary, I got up to greet Mr. Coffee.

 While he was busy gargling, I slid a piece of fresh banana bread from “Up Country Bakery” down the toaster’s throat. 

 ‘Life Is Good!” and so it says on one of my hats.

 This threesome then tiptoed out on the lanai (Hawaiian for porch) to enjoy the pre-dawn ocean scenery, sounds and smells.

 My stomach began rumbling profusely, fondly bringing to mind that old Jimmy Dean hit “Big John” about a mine tunnel disaster, so I sang the ‘refrain’ in my deepest mock baritone and bent over to pick up a Plumaria petal. A giggle came up, well, a chortle really, a little too enthusiastically triggering a four megaton outburst of ‘pinto bean/flax seed/ no nonsense/ stick to yer ribs fibery goodness’ removing a beach towel from the railing it wasn’t supposed to be on and sent it, along with a resident gecko, out into a brisk trade wind. I went back in to refill my cup when I heard tsunami sirens start up across the bay, next to the Sheraton where they worry about such things.

 Being of a responsible nature, let me now apologize for the actions of a few innocent pinto beans and flax seeds. Any and all snide remarks and/or litigation should be directed towards “Right Brothers Foods” in Austin, Texas (of whom I have become a big fan and wholesomely avid supporter). Enjoy a bag today … and maybe again tomorrow!

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Author info

Scott Clawson Scott Clawson No, he's not the electrician, he's the OTHER Scott Clawson, who's a quality builder when he's not busy busting a gut while writing his humor column for the first issue of each month, or drawing his Acres n' Pains cartoons.

Tagged as:

Hawaii, fiber, Spencer Beach State Park, Waialea Beach, Beanitos Chips, L. Scott Hancock

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