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8/7/2008

Columns > Happytown

HAPPYTOWN

 

Local Republican congressman and Jack Abramoff BFF Tom Feeney would like you to know that he’s just as pissed as you are about high gasoline prices – no, more! – and it’s high time we all started blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for your pain at the pump, because when she took over gas was only $1.46 per gallon and … oh, wait. That was George W. Bush. Never mind.

Anyway, taking a cue from the almost moribund National Republican Congressional Committee – which actually instructed the House of Representatives’ Bush bootlickers to campaign against their own party, because everyone hates the GOP – Feeney has now made it his mission in life to ensure that there’s an oil rig within eyeshot of every inch of Florida coastline. Even though Republicans have failed so dramatically on, well, everything these last eight years, they still think they can avoid a total ass-kicking this November by chanting, “Drill! Drill! Drill!”

So, when Pelosi allowed the House to recess – as the House always does in August – without first granting the Republicans a vote on some hackneyed “Drill Everything!” legislation, the GOP-ers pitched a fit. Now Feeney wants you to mail Pelosi your gas receipts, because she’ll almost certainly look at them, change her mind, call the House back in session and give the president whatever crazy-ass thing he wants.

Since Pelosi is using the recess to pimp her book, Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters, Feeney gets to play the “Nancy Pelosi Is a Selfish Bitch” card in an Aug. 1 press release: “Sadly today, Speaker Pelosi’s dismal book sales have taken priority over the needs of America’s hardworking families. She shamelessly left town today without listening to the calls to address rising gas prices. Pelosi wouldn’t need a promotional tour to increase book sales if she simply titled it: How I Ruined the Greatest Economy in the World.” 

That’s right, Tom. Nancy Pelosi ruined the economy. All by herself.

So a lender has filed a foreclosure on Church Street Station. Who could have seen this coming? Cough everyone cough.

Yep, Buddy Dyer–anointed Downtown Savior™ Cameron Kuhn’s latest downtown-saving scheme has collapsed almost as spectacularly as the Plaza on Orange Avenue, the skyscraper he built with your tax dollars but walked away from earlier this year when he went broke. Back then, he was still promising to revive Church Street Station (see Happytown™, April 10). But then he forgot to pay the mortgage. Lenders frown on that.

This soap opera would be comical if it weren’t so depressing. For the moment Bob Snow’s Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House is still open; but, in our opinion, any night-life “hotspot” that has to erect a banner announcing, “Yes, We’re Still Open!” probably won’t be for long. Remember the good ol’ days when Lou Pearlman (who owned Church Street Station before he went bankrupt, then to federal prison) was going to bring tons of live music to the venerable Station, and all the hipster kids were going to roost there, drinking and ogling their favorite boy-band stars? Remember when the city actually believed that was going to happen?

Ah, memories. Can we finally put a strip club down there and be done with it?

This week’s excellence in journalism award goes to WFTV Channel 9 News for their skills at very important scientific simulation involving foodstuffs.

While we were hoping to tune out the media trainwreck of the Casey/Caylee Anthony story currently driving television news ratings up and the bars of taste down, we couldn’t help but applaud last week’s brilliant Hail Mary at attempting to bust the dead-body-smells-like-rotten-pizza myth that the Anthony family and their attorney have been sticking by.

Channel 9 managing editor Joel Davis agreed to let the news team stuff a Domino’s Meatzza pizza (product placement!) in his trunk, or at least its “leftovers,” and wait for that sweet smell of death. Their findings? After seven days in the boot-bake, the pizza had the consistency of shoe leather. “More importantly,” they reported, “you have to get really close to smell anything and, when you do, the smell is pizza.” Science!

Each year the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission embarks on a leadership mission to go steal marketable ideas from grown-up cities. So, this week, Aug. 5-7, about 80-100 of the stuffed shirts and power skirts (with spouses!) have set up shop in beautiful Montreal.

Sadly, they just missed the city’s Divers/Cité gay pride (and concurrent “bent pride”) celebration by three days, during which they might have enjoyed “Faggity Ass Friday,” some “Gayrobics,” “Homotopia Under the Stars” (an outdoor gay film festival), something called “Capture the Fag” and a book fair called “Queer Between the Covers.”

One insider suggested to us that maybe if EDC members like the Magic’s helmet-head Alex Martins or Mark McHugh of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau got the chance to see an actual metropolis embrace homo-diversity and succeed, they might come back home with some ideas to make our own arts community grow. Sadly, that would never happen. Although it would be nice to see Martins get teabagged just once. Seriously.

Speaking of gay, and when aren’t we, we’re big enough to admit our mistakes. We were wrong when we said in our Best of Orlando issue (July 17) that Ed, the “undiscovered radio genius” on the Bantering Idiots show (10 a.m. to noon Mondays on WPRK 91.5-FM) is gay. Apparently all that queer talk about Ed and his buddy Ted was just that: talk. Ed’s co-hosts think it’s hilarious to rib the good-natured Wal-Mart employee – who sounds like Yoda – about his close friendship with Ted on the air, and it is, but we took it the wrong way. So let’s be straight: Ed is not gay. But we are sticking with “undiscovered radio genius.” That voice!

Scene: 2 p.m. Thursday, July 31. Hughey Avenue and Amelia Street. Two downtown ambassadors. One homeless man, perched on the curb. The down-on-his-luck fellow isn’t holding a “feed me,” “will work for food” or “Vietnam vet” sign, or even offering to squeegee windows, though that would’ve been appreciated.

The first doughy, Segway-assisted tourist guide crosses Hughey and circles behind the bum. Another, slightly more trim, waits on the other side of the road. Words are exchanged and the bum leaves the area, frustrated but resigned. The two ambassadors laugh and say something to each other, their monkey in the middle rendered banana-less. Jesus weeps and we roll down our window: “Why don’t you leave him alone, huh?” The fat one smiles again and we’ve just become the new monkey.

Fin.

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