Monday, August 8, 2011

Pele Sharia

I'm leaving Thursday for a holiday in Hawaii, so it's natural that I should be worrying a bit about, well, the Wrath of Pele.

The signs are pretty clear, aren't they?  The whole Bible Belt is sweltering in three-digit temperatures and, since Fox News has formally declared that global warming is not and CAN not be due to any human activity, I can only conclude that something superhuman--and very fond of HEAT--must be responsible.

Pele, goddess of fire and volcanoes is the obvious culprit.  Clearly, she's pissed (and rightly so, probably) with those uppity Christian fundamentalists and their drivel about wussy Jesus-turned-Judge casting sinners into lakes of fire.  I'm pretty sure that, as far as Pele is concerned, Jesus can walk on as much water as he wants, but she gets downright irate when people forget that SHE, alone, is in charge of molten lava and lakes of fire.

So Dallas is burning even as I write this.  And the Texas turf hasn't even cracked open.  Yet.  (I can envision a time, however, when Pele will just blow her top--and start erupting right on the 50 yard line of Cowboy Stadium--or just under the baptismal font in the Prestonwood Baptist Church of Plano. Now, that's messin' with Texas.)

It is Pele's ire, of course, that concerns me as my journey to Kona draws near.  Though Hawaiians have traditionally been pretty cautious about provoking Pele (and she, in return, has kept the lava flows under control and the temperatures generally mild), there has, in recent years, been a marked falling away from thoroughgoing Peleism on the Big Island.  Lip service is still paid, but human sacrifice has definitely been neglected--and consequently the goddess may be on what we might call a short fuse.

Thus, it's entirely possible that Pele could get pissed at even her chosen people, the Hawaiians, and pop the cork on Kilauea.  With considerable collateral damage to tourists from the mainland, alas.

Last year when we visited, she merely seethed a bit of VOG and let it go at that.  I'm wondering though just how far we should press our luck.

I mean, should we repent and embrace some sort of revival of Pele Sharia Law?  Sacrifice a random newborn by throwing him in the steam vent of a volcano?  Cut off some vital (albeit rarely used) body part?  Cancel our condo reservation and instead retire to a tiki hut in a kapu-free City of Refuge in order to purify ourselves of unPele-like behaviors?

One of my former students recently suggested that, at the very least, we might don grass-skirt burqas.  Maybe that would do it.  But grass catches fire awfully fast, you know.

For the time being, therefore, I think I'll just try offering Pele my first helping--hell, ALL my helpings--of poi at any luau I might attend.  I do hope the tetchy bitch is placated by my incredible edible generosity.