By Jeffrey C. Turbitt
By popular demand I offer a second installment of New Rules for the CNMI.
New Rule. If locals are going to continue to talk with their eyebrows, someone needs to write an eyebrow dictionary for us confused haoles. When I ask a question, and my local friends respond with eyebrow movements, I'm never quite sure if they are saying "yes," "no" or "want to come to a barbecue." My eyebrows have the muscular development of a baby chick stumbling out of the shell, so I can't eyebrow respond, not that I can speak eyebrow anyway. I'm just assuming option three from now on. If you see an unfamiliar short, stocky, bald man on the weekend with your crew at Kilili Beach, please pass me a plate of ribs and be confident that this translation tool hasn't been published yet.
New Rule. Saipan gas stations must stop charging separate prices for self service and full service gas when both pumps are really full service anyway. It's bad enough that fueling a mere Toyota Echo nowadays feels comparable in price to fueling an aircraft carrier, but with all the motorists clamoring to the self service pump like a pack of boonie dogs on a live one in heat you're just insulting us now. Since Bush was installed into office you people at Shell and Mobil have lived it up better than an Enron Executive on expense account in the clubs of Manila, so do us this small favor and stop wasting our time and half of your pumps. There are no people with money to burn at the higher priced pumps in Saipan. Didn't you hear Arod is staying in New York, not Saipan, for $300 million?
New Rule. The police can't be obsessed with me wearing a seat belt if they are going to just smile at the idiot sitting ten feet high on the "Leaning Tower of Patio Furniture." Sitting in a pick up truck ten feet high going down that hill next to NMC is slightly more dangerous than a Sunday stroll in the Sunni Triangle wearing a Bush/Cheney shirt while eating a bacon sandwich. My lack of a seat belt is just not that bad in comparison. Focusing on the seat belt situation when that goes on is the police equivalent of our lawmakers spending their time renaming streets and trying to exile its citizens in a time when two households making toast simultaneously causes an island wide power outage.
New Rule. Joeten Motors must offer a lunar rover to dive enthusiasts trying to get out to the Lau Lau Bay dive site. Buried somewhere in those holes is my transmission and I think an axle. I lost my tackle box fishing in those pothole lakes along that thing suggestive of a road as well. People on vacation should feel relaxed and comfortable, and a drive to Lau Lau or Obyan feels more like the opening plane crash sequence in the Lost pilot. They must be half expecting to meet the Others before seeing the Lau Lau pipe underwater.
New Rule. Anyone who gets stuck behind the avalanche of humanity crossing the street in front of the Saipan Garment Manufacturer's Association in San Antonio at 1:00 pm gets a second lunch hour. I read about General McCarthur's plight at the Yalu River in history class, I don't need to see a re-enactment -- I'm just trying to get somewhere for lunch. You couldn't get a bigger crowd than that on this island if you had a free betelnut and beer barbecue hosted by the bikini babes from Beach Road Magazine.
New Rule. The business community must make one giant store and stop the scavenger hunt that is grocery shopping in the CNMI. Any mildly complex food preparation means going on more trips than the folks following the Snoop Dogg Tour around the country. This isn't North Korea. "Nothing" isn't an appropriate answer when I ask what aisle I can find chicken or a lemon.