Hawaii May Get Official State Microbe, But What About Other Official Stuff?

We can forgive anyone who glances over the front page of today’s Maui News and thinks there’s nothing much happening in the state. Yeah, it’s cool reading about local chef Sheldon Simeon getting to the top of Bravo’s Top Chef, but does it belong on the front page of the island’s sole paper of record?

At first, I thought the same thing about the other local story on the paper’s front page: “Microbe may be elevated to symbol of Hawaii.” In fact, I had to read the headline twice before I realized the whole thing wasn’t a joke:

“House Rep. James Kunane Tokioka, who represents residents of southeastern Kauai, introduced House Bill 293,” reported the News. “It calls for establishing and designating Flavobacterium akiainvivens as the official microbe of the state.”

Like most people, I guess I thought Hawaii–and every other state in the union–already had an official microbe. Because, well, legislators have nothing better to do on the public dime, right, except pass a bunch of toothless resolutions and hold self-serving hearings and so forth. So I figured all that official stuff like State Tree and State Bird and State Microbe had already been done to death.

I was wrong!

In fact, while Hawaii does in fact have a State Bird (Nene), State Marine Mammal (humpback whale), State Reptile (Gold Dust Day Gecko) and State Individual Sport (surfing)–click here for the whole list–it lacks a whole bunch of other symbols that should be official. Since we had five free minutes this morning, the MauiTime staff came up with a few suggestions that ought to be on the books:

Hawaii State Rodent: Mongoose

Hawaii State Television Program: Magnum P.I.

Hawaii State Food: Spam Musubi

Hawaii State Crime: Running red lights

Hawaii State Motor Vehicle: Monster truck

Hawaii State Method of Parking a Motor Vehicle: Backing in

Hawaii State Beer (tie): Heineken/Steinlager

Hawaii State Footwear: Slippah

Hawaii State Insect: Cockroach

Hawaii State Language: Pidgin

Ok, legislator people: get cracking!

Photo of Tom Selleck during Magnum PI filming at the Kahala Hilton in 1984: Alan Light/Wikimedia Commons