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The joke’s on Maui map

Man’s sarcastic island guide finds online following

November 20, 2011
By HARRY EAGAR - Staff Writer ( , The Maui News

A Facebook friend sent Shawn Michael a sarcastic map of places tourists should visit in Australia - sample gag: in the middle, in big letters: NOTHING - and Michael thought he could do the same for Maui.

Late Monday night, he sat down at his computer, and "in 10 minutes" it was done. "It wrote itself," said Michael, a musician and DJ.

Before breakfast on Tuesday, "I had 43 forwards, unusual for me," he said, and before lunch he had requests to use his Maui map on a poster and a T-shirt.

Article Photos

Shawn Michael poses last week along Piilani Highway in Kihei.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

All he was hoping to do, he said, was foment a little discussion among friends on Facebook. (He did.) "I wasn't trying to make money."

You probably have to have lived on Maui for a while to get all the jokes, and even if you were born-and-raised, you might not get all of them. "Oprah's house" in Ulupalakua is easy, and so is "Oprah's other house" in Hana. Likewise "Maui's Stink-Ass Factory" in Puunene.

But "Good Place to Hide" in Kaupo might not mean much if you didn't follow the case of Robert Chiarizia, the survivalist who when caught pleaded guilty of assault in a homicide case.

While there is an air not merely of sarcasm but of dissatisfaction in the map, it tweaks residents as much as, or almost as much as, tourists. "Impromptu UFC Fights" in Launiupoko and "Street Races" in North Kihei aren't about visitors.

Michael moved to Maui permanently in 2000 but had spent the 12 previous summers here, so he knows the island.

"I tried to keep it light. I didn't want to make it ugly," he said.

Some of the commenters on his Facebook page were not as restrained, but that isn't his style.

On his Facebook page he "tries to be off the wall."

"I was trying to do something real funny," he said.

You might have seen Michael at a music gig, or on Akaku, or have heard him. He has three regular radio spots: "The Weekly Dish" with Trisha Smith of Maui Weekly on Fridays, and "Gadgets, Geeks and Gamers" with Shaggy and Max Diliberto on Saturdays, both on KAOI; and on Sundays on Manao where he plays a "goofy DJ with a gigantic iTunes library" who plays "random genre music" and shares comments about the world with his sometime music collaborator Vince Esquire.

* Harry Eagar can be reached at



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