Snafu of Junk Science

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So, it
was a month after 9/11 on the always-sunny side of Oahu, Hawaii. Weird enough
it was; growing up in the recently locked off farthest reaches of Ground Zero
in downtown Manhattan, now I was strolling the afternoon tourist blocks of
downtown Waikiki. While the street I grew up on in NYC was ghostly silent,
Kuhio Ave was extra hooker-laden.

The Towers dropping had an effect of
bringing out prostitutes in Hawaii. With tourism down, they were out trying to
find work at any and all hours of the day. I was lucky enough to be enrolled in
the National Student Exchange through Hunter College, and spending the school
year at UH Manoa. (I highly recommend taking advantage of that program,
kiddies! – you get to go to any state involved in the program for the same
price as in-state CUNY tuition.)

So, anyhoo. My rap pal, Baje One, and
I just finished our never-to-be-mentioned-again homemade Junk Science album
(good luck finding that one). We had the crappy CD stickers and color ink-jet printed
jewel-case inserts and everything. I happened to get the CD into a local
Hawaiian record store, TooGruvz. Soon after, a Blockbuster employee recognized
me as ‘that rap guy’. I really had no
clue what he was talking about for a minute.

One evening I walked into the only
hip-hop club I had located so far: “The Wave”. Now, there are some big
differences in being part of a hip-hop group from New York City while being in
New York City, and being part of a hip-hop group from New York City and being
anywhere else – apparently especially Hawaii. As I entered the club, someone
announced on the loudspeakers: “SNAFU from New York City is in the
HHOOUUUSSSSEE!!” I replied with a sheepish wave and shoulder shrug. How did
they know who I was off of a couple crappy homemade CDs? The internet was
barely even going nuts by ’01. I think people I knew still had beepers back

The evening was slow. It could have
been a weekday, but there was definitely the vibe of this whole 9/11 thing
ruining everyone’s fun. The club consisted of: Me. A cipher of B-Boys.
Bartenders and staff and such. And then there were more than a couple girls in
one-piece neon tube-tops with tiny purses. Near them, off on the sidelines,
were one or two menacing ‘daddy’ types to look after the neo-tubes.

The breakers began breaking. Yes, it
went and went. Spinning and fun and all that happened. But then I looked
around. The tube toppies were cavorting on the circular couch behind me. Kinky
stuff happening. They were getting restless. No business. No fun. One girl
tried dancing in the middle of the circle. The breakers waited patiently as her
tongue-in-cheek dancy time came and went. Back to breaking. Another girl
started trying to dance with a small, Bruce-Lee diesel B-Boy. He said not a
word, but motioned for her to back away. “This is serious dance time, lady!” is
what he psychically told her. She responded with a full split/booty shake move
right in front of him, taunting him to dance. He ripped off his shirt and did
some actual Bruce Lee-esque dance moves and cleared her away. But the lass had
sass and stood back up, announcing to the audience (i.e.: me) “He scared! He
scared to dance with me…. I’m gonna TIT-SMACK this dude!” and then proceeded
to chase the little Bruce around the dance floor swinging her plastic bits at
him. I looked around, and found out that I was in a weird place. Very blue.
Weird things happening. And then finally a tit-smack. The hooker won. Bruce
stepped down. Everything calmed down. I walked home.