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  • Alan D.

    A Fresh Perspective on Cane Burning.

    By Alan Dickeson
    February 15, 2013
    alandickesoncreativewriting.com

    For perhaps the first time ever in the history of Maui County, I think it’s time to consider some rarely mentioned, positive results of [sugar] cane burning. The premier boon I noticed most recently when awakening with an extreme case of bed head is that a good dispersed plume of cane smoke is an unspeakable boon to a really bad hair day. The heavy residue is the perfect mousse that allows you to mold your coif into a carmelized mass of perfection that could rival Lady Gaga’s.

    And oh the coughing! The wheezing! It’s a bronchial bonanza for all cigarette smokers island wide. No more embarrassment. No more trying to silence a mucosal, phlegmatic, whooping croup! You can let her rip, cause you are no longer alone. People everywhere from Ohukai Street to Wailea are forming a chorus line of hackers so authentic you’ll think it’s a flash mob.

    Of course some naysayers seem to complain about cane smoke and the remnants it leaves behind, but I have counter arguments! For one, it’s a lot easier to get to the beach in the morning when you can skim board down South Kihei road on the slick coating of black plastic flakes conveniently deposited compliments of a company that truly cares about your recreational needs.

    And look at the SPF Factor provided courtesy of the bulbous cloud, even if temporary. It must increase your protection from the harmful sun’s rays by at least 143%, although this figure has not been confirmed officially by the EPA.

    If you collect enough of the fire-roasted black briquettes, due to its ability to disintegrate into fine dust, you can actually massage this macrobiotic emollient into your skin for a quick tan that rivals the lustrous glow provided by Fake Bake Flawless…all at no cost to you!

    And then consider the aroma itself. The cane smoke really should be sold and bottled for its healing attributes and pleasing smell. This stuff is the original industrial aphrodisiac, let me tell you. Coco Chanel has been trying to copy the proprietary formula for more than ten years with apparently no luck. One whiff of it and you’re sure to be driven into the arms of another, because it is likely you will run into someone head on (as you flee joyously into a cloud of the sweet miasma).

    One morning as I inhaled the ash that was drifting from the skies at Charlie Young Beach I couldn’t help notice it reduced the pain of a recent breakup with my girlfriend. As I savored each breath deeply and fully—the nausea, the vertigo, and the runny nose I enjoyed quickly made me forget my ex had pilfered my credit card and was heading to Ka’ahumanu Center for a wanton spending spree of epic proportions.

    Never forget that you can always count on a good cane fire and the hazy love cloud it engenders when the chips are down! Just like good sex, the benefits keep smoldering long after the fire is out.

    Yes, these fiery cane pyres can also toughen up your lungs and nostrils for industrial strength protection in the future. Consider it has all the benefits of a vaccination or an inoculation at the very least. Doesn’t Maui deserve the very best when it comes to health initiatives for future generations? That cane smoke is doing a great service in preparing us all for hard times to come. Who could argue the unmitigated power of turbid black smoke and polystyrene plastics converted into conveniently misted and breathable inhalants? This stuff has the clearing power of Mucinex, and best of all, it is absolutely free 9 months out of the year.

    It is rumored U.S. Navy Seals now train with the smoke to increase endurance, and that it was secretly used in the Space Shuttle program and in the filming of Total Recall. Its coagulative properties have been suggested as defense measures in national security issues relating to alien technology, foreign invasions, and even hostile takeovers by rogue smartphone applications like Voxer.

    What a thing of wonder, this burning, wafting, drifting cloud of benevolent gas. Half the joy is the sheer mystery of wondering what the smoke contains. You can play twenty questions all through the burning season. Is it animal, vegetable, mineral? Is it edible? Is it something you can mix with coconut juice and rum? No one knows for sure. The black plastic once stuck to the cream frosting on my birthday cake, and it was a thing of beauty—and a thing of immobilizing indigestion. And once, when lacking black olives as a salad topping, the flakes made a nice substitute for what I called “neuvo al dente croutons au Pu’unene style.” Yum. I will never complain about this treasured practice again.

    At this time of year however, the premier benefit cane smoke offers is clear: it really is the perfect complement to the flu season! This stuff can coat every child’s and senior’s lungs throughout Kihei and protect them from the worst flu bugs including the dreaded Norovirus, for not even germs care to live in the substratum of the mighty black fog. Besides, the lungs of Maui’s fine residents are the least of the concerns when it comes to cane burning—what matters is some folks are making good money—mainly white guys in suits living on Oahu. I mean, this isn’t strip mining or acid rain were talking about. This stuff is so harmless it’s practically a curative demulcent; a healing herbal preparation akin to aloe vera.

    You know, an intense cane fire burning season could make this new year one we’ll never forget for generations to come—if not for 76 minutes—and why not? This is a time-honored tradition the elderly and even kids can all enjoy in a hacking haze of headachy bliss.