I’ve told this story so many times, it seems it’s finally time for me to put it to paper. Hawaii hoarders aren’t really crazy, they’re just shell-shocked.
By now, most of us are too young to remember the 1971 West Coast Dock Strike. I barely remember it. In the haze of youth, I recall it as being concurrent with the Oil Embargo of 1973, but it wasn’t. The dock strike started in July 1971, had a cooling off period from October 1971 to January 1972 then resumed again until it was settled in February 1972.
Here’s what you need to know. Hawaii ran out of toilet paper. It also ran out of paper towels and rice. To this day, many older kama’aina are determined to avoid the indignity and have dedicated an entire closet to paper goods. At the same time, they’ve also picked up the habit of hoarding other items — just in case.
Just remember, Hawaii may be the land of Aloha, but that doesn’t apply if you’re taking the last package of toilet paper.