Columns > HappytownHAPPYTOWN
It’s not you. It’s us. First, you are very cute, and we’re not sure when or if we’re ever going to find another buff, well-adjusted, dreamy politico to wake up next to and catbutt. However, it’s just not working anymore. We were going to say something back in March, but then we heard about your wife’s health condition and felt really bad.
Anyway, the campaign is in full swing and you’re at the bottom of the first tier (way to go, slugger!). On June 30, you, Hillary, Barack and the also-rans are going to be in town for a forum at the Walt Disney World Contemporary Resort, addressing the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and probably adjusting your ever-so-lovable accent accordingly so that the words “frijoles” and “plantain” don’t sound too forced. We won’t be there. We’re not listening anymore.
You know what? It is you. That whole “just not there yet” thing with the gays really ticked us off. And then your old pal Bob Shrum tells the world how you were “not comfortable around those people” back in 1998. That’s not very nice. (Your own wife just came out in favor of gay marriage. Get with the program, John.)
Also, this self-absorption is sooooo unattractive. The $400 haircut? The YouTube video of you preening like our teenage sister before an interview? It’s very unbecoming a leader of the free world. Working at a hedge fund is fine (we appreciated the trinkets). But doing it while preaching about poverty? Not sexy.
We’re done. Remember the good times (like when we jumped you at the Kerry rally and licked your sweat off our hands) and carry on, sweet prince.
Who: ACLU, Movement for a Democratic Society, Orlando CodePink
When: June 26 at 225 E. Robinson St., in front of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s office
Scene: A handful of protesters gathered to urge habeas corpus reform, largely held to aid detainees at Guantanamo, some who’ve been held for years but have never formally been charged or even had a hearing. Nelson became the lucky target after casting a recent vote on the Senate Intelligence Committee in favor of “enhanced interrogation” for war on terror detainees.
“It’s amazing what we’re willing to sell out in the name of security,” remarks ACLU’s Central Chapter prez George Crossley. “There’s supposed to be a process. The point is that we don’t throw away the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to deal with a national emergency.”
“Hey bro, can you find out if Buddy really went to the hospital? Did he have a heart attack or something?”
Huh? It’s June 19, and we were rudely awakened by the official Happytown™ Cellular Telecom-munications Device’s obnoxious ringtone. (An intern programmed it to play a goddamn Panic! at the Disco song whenever someone calls, and we can’t figure out how to switch it back to vibrate.) Our source had spent the previous night at the Callahan neighborhood community meeting, which was supposed to feature both commissioner Daisy Lynum and Mayor Buddy Dyer.
Buddy didn’t show. He’d been at the city council meeting before, so his absence at this Parramore meeting was odd. Up steps Lynum: “The mayor is unable to be here,” our source recounts her saying. “He fell ill. Yes, he got sick at the end of the city council meeting and they rushed him right off to the hospital.” (Heather Allebaugh, the mayor’s spokeswoman, confirms the story, if not the exact quote.)
As it turns out, the mayor had kidney stones. Rest assured, concerned citizen, he’s doing fine. (Hopping on a treadmill wouldn’t kill him, though.)
Did you know that there is more to Orlando nightlife than International Drive? The Orange County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau doesn’t.
CBS News was trailing a local hipster named Devin Dominguez around downtown June 15 for a segment on The Early Show they’re calling “Summer in the City” scheduled to air July 6. Dominguez took the show producer to downtown hot spots before wrapping up at Bar-BQ-Bar. Along the way, they stopped in at the Matador, where they were greeted by a friendly visitor’s bureau rep who, after having calling repeatedly during the interview, wanted to make sure CBS knew how awesome I-Drive is!
The visitor’s bureau person – Dominguez says she can’t remember her full name – didn’t want the CBS crew headed anywhere near Mako’s either, and we can’t say we blame them. (Dominguez also declined to set foot in Mako’s. Too bad for them.)
“I tried to talk about arts and culture as much as possible,” Dominguez says. Maybe we won’t look like hicks this time around.
Are you scared of gangs? Doyou hate graffiti? Do you find hookers icky? Then let us introduce you to M.O.S.T. – Make Orlando Safer Today – which has its own website (www.makeorlandosafertoday.com), but still posts on Craigslist, which we occasionally stumble across while looking for, uh, “friends.”
Like this June 18 post under the title “Orlando rap shows.” “The media promotes rap like it is the national language despite it’s [sic] strong links to gangs.”
Here’s one from May 23: “Make Orlando Safer Today – Empowering Orlando against crime. It’s time to take back our streets with our greatest weapons: Our eyes, ears and cell phones.” From May 14: “Our ignorance is a criminals [sic] strength. Empower yourself against lowlifes by visiting 5 pages of anti-crime dynamite at www.makeorlandosafertoday.com.”
And here are some warning signs your child may be involved in a gang! No. 1: “Wearing clothing of one particular color. The clothing is often baggy.” No. 7: “Unexplained large amounts of money.” No. 13: “Increased interest in ‘Gangster Rap’ themed movies, music and video games.”
The site, explains its owner Edward – no last name because he’s “not in the best favor of certain elements of the city” – has been up since February.
Its most interesting item? A discussion on prostitution. Edward and some friends stood outside malls and nightclubs asking folks for their take on the world’s oldest profession. Most didn’t approve.
So M.O.S.T. suggests how to root out this problem: “Some prostitutes troll for Johns online at http://www.craigslist.com … . Craigslist posts are self governed by the readers. … We here at M.O.S.T. feel that Craigslist should not rely on readers to monitor ads and that the Erotic category should be removed entirely.”
Edward wants his anti-ho allies to flag the hookers’ posts and have them removed. “When asked specifically about Craigslist,” the site continues, “one responder to our poll seems to have put it best: ‘Why have we made it so easy for prostitution to happen in Orlando?’ Why indeed.”
Hey pal, people get lonely.
This week’s report by Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes and Deanna Sheffield.