I spent the last two weeks in Hawaii. I could never afford to go there myself, being just a lowly owner of a janitorial company, but a generous benefactor offered to pay for all of my lodging if I could simply get myself there. I figured out a way to do that and two weeks ago my wife and I were off to Maui and the Big Island.
We spent the first week on Maui and I was very negatively impressed by the changes that had taken place there since my last visit. Yuppies love Maui. I am not sure why that has come to be but it is true. I suspect it has something to do with the lemming mentality that infects all Yuppies. Once the word gets out that some place is the place to be all Yuppies suddenly add going to that place to their list of things to do in order to maintain most preferred Yuppie status. Things like doing a zip-line and climbing a fourteen thousand foot peak are examples of activities that show up on Yuppie to-do lists. Apparently visiting Maui is now on that list of things to do.
I knew something had changed the moment we arrived at the airport. People were nervous and tense. People were pushing their way through lines and walking around with intense looks on their faces. Once we picked up our rental car we were immediately raged by numerous tail-gateing Yuppies in an obvious hurry to get to their Yuppie resorts. Driving about the island revealed that there are so many Yuppies there, it was the off-season, that traffic jams reminiscent of the Denver area are now considered to be normal. It was all quite depressing.
There is a hike on the north shore of the north island of Maui called Waihee Ridge. I have done that hike many times in the past and almost always had it entirely to myself. It is not a difficult hike, measuring about 5 miles round trip with a vertical gain of less than 2,000 feet, but it climbs along a ridge in the jungle and provides outstanding overlooks into the canyons and cliffs of the interior of the island. If you do not know where to find the trail head you will likely never find it as it is not marked along the road and on a relatively obscure part of the island. My wife and I decided to go do that hike one morning. Man was that a mistake.
We drove to the trail head only to discover that it no longer existed. Or, at least, it no longer existed as we remembered it. It had been replace with a large parking lot filled with cars. There had to be a dozen cars parked in the lot when we arrived. We immediately suspected that something had gone drastically wrong. Yep, the Yuppies had discovered Waihee Ridge. I don't know how they did it but they did it. Waihee Ridge is now on the list of Yuppie things to do when visiting Maui. I took my wife to the dentist this morning and while sitting in the waiting room I noticed a magazine about great hikes around the world that are must-do hikes. Yep, it was a Yuppie hiking magazine. I opened it up to the table of contents and found a section on Maui. I turned to the section on Maui and there, on the very first page, was the Waihee Ridge trail. The description said, "do this before it gets discovered."
It had been unusually wet the weeks prior to our arrival and this particular trail had turned to mud. We started up the trail expecting to get a bit dirty. We had not gone half a mile before we heard two people crashing through the jungle in the woods above the trail. They soon came down to where we were making our way through ankle deep mud and asked if I had been up the trail before. I told them that I had. They then asked if it was likely to remain muddy to the top. I informed them that it most likely would remain muddy. They looked at each other, wearing their UnderArmor shirts and their somewhat mud splattered neon colored hiking shoes, and decided to turn around. Mud was not their cup of tea, although they both smelled very good. Later on, after we had finished our hike and were cleaning the mud off our lower extremities in the parking lot, a couple of Yuppies pulled up and jumped out of their car. They were clad in UnderArmor attire and wore neon colored hiking shoes. I didn't think it would be worth telling them what was soon to come.
We decided to visit the heart of Yuppie country on Maui, an area called Kaanapali, one afternoon. We wanted to visit the Whaling Museum in the Whalers Village. If you have never been to the Whaling Museum, you should go. It is a fantastic testimony to the history of whaling in the area. The artifacts they have collected there are astounding. We looked forward to our visit as we pulled into the parking lot. As we walked through Whalers Village it was obvious things had changed dramatically. Store fronts that had previously housed Hilo Hattie and ABC stores were now occupied by Armani and Gucci. There was a large hole in the middle of the Village where the museum used to be. I asked around and discovered that the museum was considered to have become a waste of space and it was being replaced with a pantheon of Yuppie stores instead. How sad, I thought out loud.
We did manage to find one Hilo Hattie store in Lahaina. While there used to be dozens of Hilo Hattie stores there are now only three on all of the islands. The one we found was being closed and the poor employees working there were all seriously depressed. I asked them what had happened and they said they could no longer afford the rents as more and more upper class stores had moved into the neighborhoods, displacing lower and middle class stores like theirs. I looked out the window and, sure enough, there was a Gucci store where an old sea food restaurant used to be. I bought a Hawaiian shirt and went outside to sit down and contemplate what had happened. While my wife and I were sitting on a bench outside the store a Yuppie couple came strutting up to us. The woman was dressed up like she was going to the Oscars, complete with stiletto heels, and her man was dressed all in black and sported a very square jaw and perfect teeth. He stopped to ask us if we knew where the "Blank & Blank" store might be found. I did not recognize the name of the store he was inquiring about but before I could tell him I had no idea what he was talking about the woman, without even glancing in our direction, waved her hand in the air and said "they won't know where it is." She didn't even break stride as she passed us. I have been treated poorly many times in my life. As a janitor I am accustomed to being ignored. But never in my life have I experienced the utter disdain this woman expressed for us. We were so low on the evolutionary scale we did not even deserve to be recognized as human beings.
As we were driving back to our room that night my wife described it best. She said, "Yuppies destroy everything they touch." How true.