Surf’s up in a Honolulu of a case - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Voices

Surf’s up in a Honolulu of a case

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Mark J. Scarp is a contributing columnist for the Tribune. Reach him at

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Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2012 7:39 am | Updated: 11:12 am, Sat Jun 23, 2012.

Amid the recent brouhaha in Arizona over a birth certificate — a document we each have but virtually none of us knows where it is — was the unlikely revelation that in 2008, a secret pilot for a big hit TV show set in Hawaii was being filmed.

Producers apparently thought they would be riding the wave (yes, they actually used that cheesy island metaphor) of public interest in candidate birth certificates.

In this heretofore unknown pilot, Leaf McCarrot and some top private eyes who report directly to the Hawaii secretary of fate travel to Phoenix to seek the birth records of that year’s Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

No one knew whether the pilot would result in a prime-time success, so production costs were minimized four years ago by shooting “Phoenix” scenes in a warehouse near a desert landing strip north of Los Angeles. The following previously lost clip has the sleuthing crew from Honolulu mulling over their next move. Pay no attention to the space shuttle landing overhead.

VALLEY WHO: Leaf! Leaf! Just got word. That archfiend Whoa Nelly is back! One of my best snitches says he’s...

McCARROT: No can do. We’ve got a big case here and we can’t leave Arizona until we solve it.

BANNO: But, Leaf ... You’ve been trying to find Whoa Nelly for years, ever since he went into getting people to sign petitions against photo-radar...

McCARROT: Yes, I know. Whoa Nelly’s a menace, but we’ve got bigger sushi to slice.

KIMONO: (walking in, wearing a rather tiny cover-up) Will there be a need for me to wear a bikini?

BANNO: On this show, there’s always a need for that.

VALLEY WHO: (to Kimono): He’s right, cousin. Get down to Big Surf right away and shake down the locals for clues!

KIMONO: I’ll upload interviews to you. (She grabs an inflatable raft off the wall and leaves.)

McCARROT: Look, guys, we’ve got to concentrate. (He pores over documents.) If only we knew what kind of ink cartridge was used... (His phone rings.) Yes, Mr. Secretary? Well, um, of course we did... Yes, Mr. Secretary. I understand. Goodbye, sir.

BANNO: We go over budget again?

McCARROT: I don’t get it. He knows that we had to ship those revved-up sports coupes we use from Oahu. So, what have we got?

BANNO: (looking at his tablet) Kimono’s reporting in from Big Surf... No clues, but she says the hot sand hurts her feet.

McCARROT: (sighs) This show is never going to get picked up. Look, let’s say McCain isn’t a real citizen of the U.S. Where would he be from?

VALLEY WHO: I may be wrong, but I don’t think there were ink cartridges when McCain was born.

McCARROT: Let me see that tablet, Banno. Look at these words: “Official Fake Document 454ZL” in the lower right hand corner.

VALLEY WHO: That’s your private-eye license.

McCARROT: Oh. Yeah. (Kimono returns.) Whatcha got, Kimono?

KIMONO: Nobody’s seen John McCain at Big Surf. Guy’s had skin cancer. For good reasons, he doesn’t get out in the sun much.

VALLEY WHO: A politician from Arizona who doesn’t get too much sun?

McCARROT: (hands tablet to Banno) Nook ’em, Banno.

BANNO: That’s still not funny.

VALLEY WHO: Boss, I’m beginning to think we’ve been had. Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona when it was still a territory, and he ran for president without challenge.

McCARROT: No one thought he could win. (His phone rings again.)

KIMONO: No one thinks McCain can win, either. It’s an Arizona thing, I guess.

McCARROT: Yes, Mr. Secretary? What? What?

VALLEY WHO: What’s happening?

McCARROT: (still on phone) Uh huh. We’ll be there right away, sir. (Hangs up.) Guys, we’re going home. Whoa Nelly’s selling fake IDs at Waikiki and the secretary’s office has an interesting document about Senator Obama.

VALLEY WHO: What makes it interesting?

McCARROT: It’s got a signature. At the bottom it says, “This is my real, authentic birth certificate. Signed, Barack Obama, age 2 ½ (days).”

The clip ends there. Today, apparently a pilot is in the works for a new series, “Arizona Four-Eight,” about a special team in search of the Lost Reputation (Mine), whose location everybody used to know. Be there. Adios.

Any resemblance between the characters in the above satire and any real people or television shows is purely hysterical and hilarious.

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