Originally filmed last year, this video features three of Darrell Lum’s short “Boy and Uncle” plays chosen for their timeliness to current events. The last play “Lockdown” (you can read it below) will be published in our latest special issue, Kīpuka: Finding Refuge in Times of Change.Get Kīpuka
Boy and Uncle: Lockdown
Darrell H.Y. Lum
—Boy, what means “lock down?”
—Supposed to stay home except fo essential tings. Not supposed to
go out eat, go beach . . .
—Jes like jail den.
—But if you in jail, you lock up. And if you foget your keys, you lock out.
Why dey no call um lock in, cuz you lock inside? No make sense.
—Lotta tings no make sense, Uncle.
—No can go store eh?
—Only fo food la dat.
—But las time I went market I see all da people touching da lettuce.
So I no buy lettuce. I go buy celery. Get one young lady, dress all nice,
fancy shopping bag touch all da celery. Pick up. Put back. Pick up. Put
back. I stay waiting my turn. She turn around. No, she change her
mind. Pick up. Take one, two stalk celery. She put da rest back. I no
—Why you no go kupuna hour, Uncle. Go early, beat da crowd.
—You evah been kupuna hour? Only get OLD people ovah dere.
—Das who kupuna is.
—Yeah but, kupuna go market like dey going sightseeing. Go up and
down erry aisle. Stop and read da can corn and reach waay in back
fo get da freshest one. I tell you, if da can expire in one year, you no
need get da one dat expire in two years. Especially if you going open
um tonight! Kupuna hour means dey going take da whole damn hour!
Kupuna not going in and out in fifteen minute. Dey buy tree tings and
go home. Den dey come back tomorrow fo buy what dey went foget.
—You one kupuna too, Uncle.
—You calling me old? You young boys get um easy. Rice come in small
bag, not 50 lb. You know rice used to come in cloth bag?
—Yeah, yeah, you was so poor you had to wear rice bag underwear.
—Not me. I had real BVDs. Maybe not fo erryday . . . but I had
—What? Weekend, no need.
—Let’s go get shave ice. Hot today, we go take a ride in da car. Get air
—Nowdays, if you catch ride wit somebody not from your own
house, you supposed to ride wit da windows down.
—So get fresh air so you no breathe somebody else’s air. And no run
da air conditioner, blow da germs around.
—Sometimes I ride wit da windows down. When your Auntie sneak
one silent one and no say nutting, I stick my head out da window and
—True. Boy, mo bettah we jes stay home and breathe our own old stink
fut air. Da virus no can survive dat.
want to read more from Kīpuka?
Check out this previous sneak peek featuring a piece by Christy Passion and a look at some of the art included in the book.
Don’t forget to check out the virtual readings we have scheduled as well!
stink fut air! I love this.