Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick Or Treating In Sarasota; It's.........Different

Because of the "mature" demographics of Sarasota, Halloween is celebrated a little differently.

Differently, as in (if you ARE a trick-or-treater):

  • Even in your costume, everybody knows who you are because you forgot to take your name tag off your walker,

  • Trick or treating starts at 6:00 PM and lasts until 6:15 PM,

  • You get out of breath just walking up the sidewalk,

  • You pass on any houses with a step up to the door,

  • Someone drops a candy bar in your sack and you lose your balance,

  • Someone says "Great Scrooge mask" and you aren't wearing a mask,

  • When the door opens, you say "Trick or..............Trick or...........ahhh, forget it",

  • You get lost and you've only gone next door,

  • You knock on the door of your own house and get mad when no one answers,

  • Your buy your costume in a larger size to fit over your Depends,

  • You wonder why they don't make high-fiber candy,

  • You tell everybody your costume is Hopalong Cassidy and nobody knows who that is,

  • You think dressing up like an Eskimo would be a great costume until you have heat stroke,

  • Your costume gets soaked with your drool,

  • You faintly remember the good old days when your kids would do all the hard work of trick or treating and you just stole their candy, telling them they would thank you later because candy was bad for them.

Or, differently, as in (if you ARE NOT the trick-or-treater):

You have a smug sense of satisfaction when no kids come to your door on Halloween because:

  • You've worked hard to cement your reputation as the meanest man in your gated community,

  • You're glad there are no kids living in your gated community,

  • Your constant harassment of your homeowner's association has resulted in their banning of trick or treating in your gated community,

  • Standing at your front door cradling a shotgun (which you are entitled to do by the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of these United States of America, by God) intimidates any would-be trick-or-treaters in your gated community,

  • Your fight with your homeowner's association to keep your three pit bulls has paid off, even though the covenants clearly state "No Pets" in your gated community,

  • Your ex-wife's restraining order against you precludes her from bringing your grandchildren over to trick or treat at your house in your gated community,

  • You faintly remember the good old days when your kids would do all the hard work of trick or treating and you just stole their candy, telling them they would thank you later because candy was bad for them.

"You little punks! I never went around begging for candy when I was your age. I worked in the steel mills when I was 12 so I could buy my own damn candy."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Great Pumpkin--AND IT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!

Recently, I received this heartwarming note from little 8-year old Virginia Plumnelly of Poucher's Corner, FLA:

Dear Mr. One-Eyed,

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Great Pumpkin. Papa says, 'If you see it in on the internet, it's so.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Great Pumpkin?

Your little friend,


Ms. Virginia Plumnelly
c/o Pete 'N Bonnie's Mobile Home Park
Double-Wide #4
Poucher's Corner, FLA


Your little friends are all on drugs. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age and by listening to their socialism-spewing pinko teachers. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, VIRGINIA, whether they be men's or children's, are little. Except for Rush Limbaugh's; there is nothing about Rush Limbaugh that's little. At least, nothing we want to talk about until you're a little older. In this great universe of ours that was created by our Judeo-Christian American God, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world as presented by Fox News, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge according to Glenn Beck.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Great Pumpkin. It exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion and tax shelters exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world of retail commerce if there were no Great Pumpkin. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance, no 180-proof pumpkin-spiced rum to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight and cheating on our income taxes. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished, like a filthy, slimy cockroach stomped on by a million angry feet.

Not believe in the Great Pumpkin! You might as well not believe in fairies! (Not that there's anything wrong with fairies.....) You might get your papa to hire illegal aliens to watch in all the pumpkin patches on Halloween to catch the Great Pumpkin, but even if they did not see the Great Pumpkin rising up out of the field, what would that prove? Nobody sees the Great Pumpkin if they're sober, but that is no sign that there is no Great Pumpkin. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? (Again, I'd like to reiterate that there is nothing wrong with practicing an alternative lifest--DANCING ON MY LAWN?? GET YOUR FAIRY ASSES THE HELL OFF MY LAWN RIGHT NOW OR I'M CALLIN' THE COPS!! DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I HAVE TO PAY THOSE DAMN MEXICANS EVERY MONTH TO TAKE CARE OF MY LAWN??) Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there, much like the question: "If a fairy dances on your lawn and nobody sees it, do they leave footprints on your freshly-manicured slice of green heaven?" Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world unless you were around in the '60s.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside and then sue the manufacturer for damages when your baby brother chokes on the pieces of broken rattle, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the misguided Commie-courting Democrats that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance and the Republican Party, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else more real and abiding than the Grand Old Party!

No Great Pumpkin! Thank Linus! Thank Charles Shultz! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now when we're all DEAD, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood, but never taking away the pain and disappointment of getting apples or raisins in your trick-or-treat bag instead of a Snickers.

On a side note, VIRGINIA, there is NO Santa Claus. It's your parents who work day after day, week after week, slaving at a job they loathe just to pay the mortgage so you don't have to live in a cardboard box, pay the car payments so they can drive your sorry self to soccer and piano lessons and gymnastics, even though you are a hopeless, tone-deaf klutz and pay for the food you eat like some swarm of locusts rising up out of Hell to consume everything in its path, who buy you those over-hyped and over-priced Christmas presents that you just have to have, only to find out that they aren't so cool after all and never worked the way they did on TV, so they got shoved underneath your bed, where they will stay until you go off to college and your folks have to rent out your room just to pay your tuition and the renter turns out to be an axe murderer who tries to hide the body of his latest victim under the bed and finds your discarded toys, which greatly disturbs him because of your thoughtlessness, so he hitchhikes to your college, finds your dorm, hacks your roommate to death and IS, AT THIS VERY MOMENT, WAITING IN YOUR ROOM TO KILL YOU!!!!

Don't bother me again, you little brat......

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bombs Away On Longboat Key!

The Army Corps of Engineers have been placing half-page ads in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune recently asking locals who have any knowledge or evidence of ordnance, unexploded or otherwise, on Longboat Key to please inform them forthwith of same.

Longboat Key, popular tourist destination here on the Suncoast IF you own or rent a condo, since public beach access for the poor, huddled masses is limited to an unmarked, well-camouflaged path fringed with poison ivy that winds its way to the Gulf, sandwiched in between two large and decidedly unfriendly concrete behemoth condominium complexes. You know you've found the right spot by all the 'No Parking' signs and the idling tow truck nearby.

Back in the dark days of WWII, Longboat Key was just another relatively-uninhabited barrier island; so uninhabited, in fact, the US Army used the waters just offshore for artillery and bombing practice. Thank God the realtors finally got there and saved the island for all that Yankee money to be spent on it!

So, anyway, the Army has finally decided to start looking for any ordance that may have been left laying around on the beach or under some condo's kiddie pool.

What, only 60 years it took them to look for this stuff? I don't get it, what's the rush?

The locals who would have been old enough to remember any of this era are now well into their 80s. Luckily for the Army, that's about 90% of the population of Longboat Key.

Residents believe that the government's new-found interest in finding the lost bombs, artillery shells and K-rations (which history tells us will be much better preserved than the other military hardware), was prompted by the recent discovery of a 150-lb. bomb by two local residents, Beckley Gassaway and Kimball Mabscott.

The Army will not be able to gain much insight from the two boys, as, unfortunately, just after this photo was snapped, the boys dropped their prize. Authorities found their remains on the beach at Longboat Key.

And Siesta Key.

And Anna Maria.

Ellenton, near the Interstate.

South Bradenton.
Punta Gorda.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Emotional Consequences Of Falling In Love With A Married Woman: A Confession

I can't believe this has happened to me.

I've been married to a wonderful woman for close to 19 years, but, at a wedding we both attended a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to dance with a gorgeous recently-married young woman and realized that I am hopelessly head-over-heels in love with her.

I even told her so.

To my utter amazement, she said she loved me, too.

It started out so innocuously. I've known this girl for some time now and first met her, innocently enough, through my wife. Through the years, I've watched her mature into a very special woman; smart, self-assured, funny and blue eyes that branded her initials on my heart forever.

Now, I could feel my wife's eyes burning a hole in the back of my head watching the two of us dance, but it didn't matter. I almost think that everybody at the reception was watching us, but, for as long as I held her in my arms this night, we would shut out the rest of the world and our universe narrowed to become just the two of us.

I remember the first time I danced with her, appropriately at another wedding we both attended years ago. She didn't want to, but I coaxed her into it. Back then, she was just a shy girl with glasses; this time, she is a stunning beauty and I am putty in her hands as we sway to the music in the gentle evening breeze.

For that first dance together, she stood on my feet.

What makes this dance so special was that, about an hour ago, I had escorted her down the aisle and given her over to the man who was to be her new husband.

I am the father of this beautiful bride.

Technically, I am her step-father, but she's called me "Dad" ever since she was 5, when I married her mother.

We've been through the blending of families, births, deaths, birthday parties, weddings, vacations, Sat. afternoon roller-skating, zoo trips, 6th-grade choral concerts, walks in the woods, girlfriends, the slamming of doors, a keychain collection, slumber parties, homework I didn't know how to do, first dates, learning to drive, boy-band concerts, boyfriends, Christmases, moving to FLA, first jobs, baseball games, the boyfriend and now, her very own wedding.

I didn't think I would get so emotional about all of this. Sure, I got a little misty when the first notes of the Wedding March sounded our cue to start down the aisle, but I recovered and completed our solemn walk and made the handoff to the waiting groom without incident, successfully acquitting my father-of-the-bride duties at the ceremony.

But when the DJ began playing Little Miss Magic by Jimmy Buffett after calling the two of us to the dance floor, I knew I was in for it. The song, not a classic by any stretch of the imagination, was special to me because I remember singing it to her and her younger sister when they were just wee little girls. Try as I might to think about batting averages or yards-per-carry, I felt tears burn my cheeks as I held her close, this newly-married woman. She said she picked the song because it reminded her of me.

Of "us," actually.

Constantly amazed by the blades of the fan on the ceiling
The clever little glances she gives me can't help but be appealing
She loves to ride into town with the top down
Feel that warm breeze on her gentle skin
She is my next of kin

I see a little more of me everyday
I catch a little more moustache turning gray
Your mother is the only other woman for me
Little miss magic, what you gonna be?

Sometimes I catch her dreamin' and wonder where that little mind meanders
Is she strollin' along the shore or cruisin' oer the broad savannah
I know someday she'll learn to make up her own rhymes
Someday shes gonna learn how to fly
Oh, that I won't deny

I catch a little more dialogue comin my way
I see those big (blue) eyes just start to lookin' astray
Your mother's still the only other woman for me
Little miss magic, what you gonna be?

Yes, she loves to ride into town with the top down
Feel that warm breeze on her gentle skin
She is my next of kin

Constantly amazed by the blades of the fan on the ceiling
Those clever little looks she gives just cant help but be appealing
I know someday she'll learn to make up her own rhymes
One day shes gonna learn how to fly
That I won't deny

I see a little more of me everyday
I feel a little more moustache turning gray
Your mother's still the only other woman for me
Little miss magic, what you gonna be?
Little miss magic, what you gonna be?
Little miss magic, just can't wait to see

It's raining, it's pouring
Your old man is snoring

Through my tears, I could see her mother sobbing, holding the bride's younger sister, also sobbing. Later, I found out that my wife was going to suggest this very same song for this special dance, but did not want to infringe on the God-given right of the bride to select her own songs.

That's why I love her so--she's just like her mother!

At some point during the evening, her "real" dad, her biological father, shook my hand and thanked me for "taking over for him and raising his daughters" when he and my wife got divorced and he faded in and out of their lives.

In retrospect, I should have thanked him for allowing me the opportunity.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sarasota CSI Cracks "Knife In Sandwich" Case; Community Breathes Sigh Of Relief

A team of highly-trained investigators from the Sarasota Police Department, working relentlessly around the clock to solve the biggest mystery to hit this cosmopolitan city of big dreamers, bigger schemers and the other half of the population which is unemployed, announced today that they are close to making an arrest in the notorious "Switchblade Sandwich" case.

Utilizing state-of-the-art forensic techniques, including DNA profiling, computer-assisted crime reconstruction, metallurgical spectro-chromatic analysis and an intense grilling of colorful waterfront character, "Bayfront Bob," itinerant panhandler and well-respected police stoolie, detectives were able to piece together the shadowy circumstances surrounding this puzzling whodunit.

Police allege that the baker of the bun, sandwich shop worker, Lentini ("Razor Lips") Caltanissetta (photo below), who had just been released from the Florida State Penitentiary for the Criminally Insane, which is located in an undisclosed location deep in the snake-infested swamps of the Everglades, all but admitted to this heinous act.

According to the official police transcript, Caltanissetta told authorities "I wasn't paying no attention to what I was doing, was all. I learned how to bake in the joint and we used to bake stuff in our bread all the time, just for laughs, you know. Shivs, razors, hacksaws--I even baked a 14" pipe wrench in a sourdough baguette once for a guy in Cellblock C for a pack of smokes, you know. Things ain't easy in the joint unless you got friends."

"I guess I was just kinda daydreaming the other day and the knife just kinda ended up in the crusty ciabotta I was making that day. Old habits die hard is all, you know. How's come you guys are making such a big deal outta this? It's not like anybody took a bite out of it and cut off their tonsils or something. Maybe the lady can sell my sandwich on eBay or something, maybe make a few bucks for herself, you know."

Detectives currently consider Mr. Caltanissetta a 'person of interest' and wish to interview him further to determine if he is eligible for the SPD's $400 waiver-signing program. He was reportedly last seen attempting to hitchhike on southbound I-75 near the Fruitville Road interchange, where his was picked up by a white mini-bus carrying senior citizens from the Happyvale Retirement Home.

Please call the Sarasota Police if you have information regarding the whereabouts of Mr. Caltanissetta.

Or the missing driver and eight residents of the Happyvale Retirement Home.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

North Port Harvest Fair Fireworks Cancelled Due To Accident

The City of North Port's annual Harvest Festival fireworks display has been cancelled due to an untimely accident during a test shot by the pyrotechnic company that was to mount the aerial display.

Phalba "Short Fuse" Quinif, a convicted arsonist and long-time employee of the Shoot-Em Up Fireworks Co., was testing their signature"Barrel of Fire" firework when something went terribly awry. Only the cat-like reflexes and professionalism saved Quinif's life, as the "Barrel of Fire" exploded in a massive fireball, sending flaming shards of paper high into the air and onto the roof of North Port City Hall, which, unfortunately burned to the ground as the city's fire apparatus was unable to exit the fire station located next door due to the department's Chuck-A-Luck booth being set up directly in front of the garage doors.

Witnesses said that the paper that went flying in every direction as a result of the explosion appeared to be some sort of technical paper. An unidentified spokes-shooter for the fireworks company confirmed that, typically, they collect all the safety manuals that they receive from the firework manufacturers and use them for wadding for the "Barrel of Fire" display.

"As a result of this unfortunate turn of events," he said, "we may re-examine that practice."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Soupy Sales Takes His Final Pie, Toxicology Results Indicate Banana Cream

Beloved entertainer and patron saint of pie lovers everywhere, Soupy Sales, died this past week in a New York City medical facility. Mr. Sales was 83. He is survived by his loyal and faithful companion, White Fang, and was predeceased by his other co-stars, Black Tooth and Pookie. Pookie had left the show in 1987 due to an uncontrolled cocaine addiction and the two never reunited before Pookie's death in 1994 from an overdose.

Sales had been in ill health recently and authorities have suspected foul play. When Sales first began experiencing health problems, police initially drew correlations between this case and the 2006 poisoning of Col. Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent in London. Litvinenko was deliberately contaminated with radioactive polonium-210 by person or persons unknown and the symptoms of both men were remarkably similar.

Adding to the incidental evidence was the revelation that another children's television icon, Fred Rogers, worked with Mr. Sales in a secret branch of the American CIA following their stints in Special Ops during the Vietnam War and used their entertainment connections to travel the world in relative freedom. Just before Rogers' death in early 2003, it was learned that Litvinenko had passed information to Sales and Rogers regarding a secret recipe for-------------banana cream pie.

North Port Harvest Festival This Weekend; DEA Agents Descend Upon City In Force

The City of North Port is celebrating its Harvest Festival this weekend with food, fun, activities for the kids, crafts and, of course, the annual harvest of marijuana from the many grow houses that blanket the town. And, naturally, the fair will attract more than a few narcotics agents from various Federal and State law enforcement agencies.

"This goes on every freakin' year," said one fair participant from behind a blue and white bandana pulled across his face. "If this wasn't such an important piece of the fabric of this town, I'd skip it altogether and just sell my weed out of my van like I did in the old days."

Harvest Festival organizer, Doobie Brothers, agrees. "This event brings our community together," said Mr. Brothers. "We have growers from all four corners of the city come to City Hall to sell their wares. Its a great tourist attraction, gives North Port name recognition and is a big money maker for us. We don't really need the DEA walking around taking down people's license plate numbers, hassling our guests."

"This is a wholesome, family event. We have brownie-munching contests, joint rolling competition and the main event, judging individual plants for the coveted "Best In Show" award."

"We do this for the kids. They need something to keep them off the streets, something to occupy their time, something to strive for, something they can take pride in. Not too many schools have 4-H clubs anymore; North Port High School has a waiting list to join."

The grow houses of North Port are said to supply most of the Suncoast's drug dealers demand for quality marijuana. Some is shipped to various localities within the state, but the majority of the crop is used and enjoyed right here in Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

"We take pride in the quality of our weed," said the still unidentified grower. "And we take pride in the fact that we can bring joy to so many people in our hometown. Plus, we make a ton of money to add to the economy. Really, would rather invest in some risky financial scheme right now or finance a proven merchandise, with kids lining up to spend their parents' last unemployment check to buy your product?"

OCT. 24, 2009

Sarasota Realtors Unveil Ad Campaign Aimed At New Demographic: Rednecks?

The Sarasota-Manatee Counties Association of Realtors revealed today their new multi-million dollar advertising campaign. In an effort to jump-start their flagging sales in this dismal economy, the local real estate industry has taken a highly unusual step by targeting an entirely new demographic for their campaign.

This new ad program will replace the current campaign which, since 2007, had insisted that "NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY." Said one disgruntled, but still upbeat and perky real estate agent, "I can't believe that the public didn't trust us enough to buy into that."

"Some may look at this campaign as the Association of Realtors throwing in the towel and giving up on the upscale Sarasota market," said an unidentified spokes-realtor. "But, in my mind, we're only putting the "real" back into real estate."

"Let's face it, the days of McMansions and Madoff are over. Some of our best customers are in jail, waiting to be extradited or in the process of trying to get smuggled out of the country. Or they've had the pleasure of having had financial dealings with some of these former customers and were taken to the cleaners. Either way, things aren't looking too good for us."

"When you're looking to buy a property for, say, a million, Obama's $8,000 is chump change. But if you're looking to buy a used double-wide for $15 to $20 grand, it's huge. Unfortunately, that's the reality of where the market is now. It won't pay for a new Lexus for me, but, at least, it'll put gas in the one I have now."

"Besides, between throwing up that tacky statue on the bayfront, no Proscenium, no Waldorf, no conference center, the Sarasota Orchestra imploding, the Orioles coming to town instead of a real baseball team, the Colony on Longboat closing and the biggest restaurant opening of the season being the new IHOP on Rt. 41, as my new clientele would say about continuing to promote Sarasota as a luxury destination: 'That ole coon dog just won't hunt no more, friend.'"

"Why, I can remember when Presidents of the United States would come here to Sarasota. Now they go to Arcadia. What does that tell you?"

"And if you act now, why, hell, we'll even throw in not one, but TWO genuine plastic pink flamingos to enhance the curb appeal of your new home."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Banks Declare 'Customer Appreciation Days' By Raising Rates, Cancelling Credit Cards; If Only They Wouldn't 'Appreciate' Us So Much

America's financial institutions, ever mindful of putting on a good face for their adoring public, have begun to show their gratitude for the billions--make that BILLIONS, or, rather BILLIONS--of taxpayer-funded bailout money they received to allow them to continue doing business and collecting their obscenely-large salaries, commissions, bonuses, perks, etc., ad nauseum.

To demonstrate their remorse for driving full-speed toward the cliff of doom while pretending not to notice, only to be saved in the nick of time by those poor, dumb schlub American taxpayers right at the brink of annihilation, the banks are in full "giving" mode. As in "giving" us the shaft.


  • Piling on the fees: $19 if you don't use your credit card for 12 months or a 2% surcharge for purchases outside the US; so there's a fee if you use your card and another fee if you don't?

  • Jacking up overdraft fees: up to $34 a pop, which adds up to an estimated $17.5 billion annually for the banking industry. This allows banks to raise the euphemistically-termed "overdraft protection" fee; we couldn't very well have the overdraft protection fee be more than the overdraft fee, now could we?

  • Unexpectedly boosting interest rates on credit cards: monthly rates from the banks are now comparable to what Vinny down on the corner charges; things are now so bad for him, he's had to lay off two of his goons,

  • Closing credit card accounts out of the blue: "no reason, just 'cause we feel like it," as in this story: "I had it happen while I was on vacation in Germany. I called ahead of time to let them know where I would be but they disallowed my card without checking their notes. Their explanation: we called your house, but no one answered. That's because I already told them I'd be in Germany!"

Customer service, customer schmervice! It's sooooo over-rated. Besides, why waste it on the little people.

Now, financial workers at some of Wall Street's finest banking establishments are set to receive paydays worth more than $70 billion in appreciation for all their hard work this year. Staff at six banks, including our friends at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, are ready to cash in on these discretionary bonuses, despite having taken $700 billion in bailouts. Congress was to hold hearings on excessive payouts to these financial institutions, but there's this "honor among thieves" thing.....

The new swine flu

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sarasota K-9 Dog Mauls 12-Year Old Girl, Parents Refuse SPD Standard $400 To Drop Lawsuit; The Nerve Of Some People.....

A May, 2008, unprovoked attack on young Angela Berk by a Sarasota Police Dept. K-9 unit left her with 14 stitches in her leg and an irrational fear of large dogs and police cars, which doesn't usually show up in kids until they reach the age of 16.

Angela, riding an electric scooter, apparently startled the dog, who was being loaded into its handler's, Officer Sean Gleason, patrol car. "Aries," ever vigilant and highly trained to take a bite out of crime, determined that an unsupervised 12-year old on an electric scooter was a violation of numerous codes and ordinances and took a bite out of Angela's right leg instead.

The girl, who is autistic, has since had a permanent scar, nightmares, cold sweats and an unexplained rash on the nape of her neck, which the family's lawyers all attribute to the attack. The K-9 canine, meanwhile, continued on the force until its retirement four months ago and has been said to be hitting the bottle regularly and is frequently seen hanging around local bars and after-hours clubs, sniffing strange asses when it has had a little too much to drink.

Angela's family wants money for pain and suffering--even though they didn't actually feel the pain or really suffer that much, as they were not the ones bitten. Sarasota PD conducted their 'standard operating procedure' of picking up the 12-year old, taking her downtown to meet with risk management, having her sign a waiver (written in an obscure Greek dialect), taking her to the bank to cash a $400 city check (she didn't have her own account, being 12 and all), then giving her a ride back home in a real, live police car.

The Berks said $89k would assuage their feelings, while the City thought $15k should be more than enough to do the trick. Lawyers to follow.

Surprisingly---------or not so-----------is the reaction of the local critics in the 'Comments Forum' for this story. Some are understandably sympathetic toward the girl ("this girl and her family deserve compensation for the incident"), most think the parents are trying to milk this for all its worth ("just another money grubbing family looking for a handout" and "I was utterly SHOCKED to look on the Manatee Clerk's website and find that Ray Berk was "I facing foreclosure for a 384,068.33 mortgage that goes to auction in January"), some are positively rabid (HA!) in their defense of the SPD ("I have a few questions for you, Mr. Ruger. First off, why do you live to throw dirt on police officers and the police department?" and " Another attack on a police officer? The attack should be on the parents of this so called “Autistic girl”. Or did she become autistic after the incident? This is such crap.") and some think the girl, being autistic, should be shuttered away in a filthy padded cell with a dirt floor in some spooky old sanitarium to live out her wretched life in solitary confinement ("she's 12 and autistic and yet she rides an electric scooter up and down the street. I bet she drove her neighbors crazy." and "If the little girl really is Autistic, then why was she riding a motorized scooter unsupervised.. You would think that the parents cared about there mentally ill child... guess not.")

Tough crowd, eh?

There is shocking video of the K-9 dog "Aries" in a vicious attack sequence that the Sarasota PD has tried to quash. It is presented here, not to make a judgement about this particular case, but to demonstrate just how bloodcurdlingly violent a dog attack can be.

Please be advised that the following unauthorized video contains graphic scenes of senseless and gratuitous violence, buckets of blood, gore galore and the heartbreak of psoriasis. It is not suitable for anyone under 21, has a weak heart or is currently or may become pregnant with puppies. Under no circumstances should you allow pet dogs or other domesticated animals watch this video, lest they feel empowered to kill you in your sleep, which has happened in several instances.

You've been warned..........

"Free" Clothing Sparks Riot In Columbus, Ohio; Sarasota Laughs At Your Greed And Lack Of Common Sense

A Burlington Coat Factory in Columbus, Ohio, was the scene of a full-on riot fueled by individual greed, an absence of moral bearing, rampant self-interest and incivility to the point of repugnancy. Picture the Florida State University football program, only in earthy tweeds and plaids, which are sure to be the hot new looks for this fall's fashionable trendsetter, by the way.

Authorities report that Linda Brown pulled into the parking lot of the haberdashery in a chauffeured Hummer stretch limousine, announced to the shoppers inside that she had just won $1.5 million in the lottery and would pay everybody's clothing tab up to $500.

People, being the self-indulgent gluttons that they are, began grabbing clothing off the racks to fill their carts and called friends and relatives to hurry to the store to get in on the action. At the height of the frenzy, police estimated that there were 500 people inside the store and another 1,000 clamoring to get in to claim their piece of the pie.

One shopper confided to the benefactor of Burlington that she needed help paying her rent more than the foldover boots that Beyonce wears, to which Brown promptly wrote her a check. This magnanimous gesture was tempered somewhat, however, by the fact that the check was worthless. Linda Brown was a bust.

By the time the staff at the clothing store realized this not inconsequential bit of information, Ms. Brown had already hopped back in the limo and took off, perhaps realizing that her work there was done. Or maybe she left because she realized that she DIDN'T win the lottery and that she DIDN'T have the money to pay for any of this and that she WAS going to get her ass kicked when everybody found out about it.

Well, you can imagine the disappointment on the sad faces of everyone with armloads of 'free' plus-size designer jeans and fake fur jackets when they found out that it wasn't going to be free; they did what any reasonable person would have done in a similar situation--they tore the place apart and looted the store. God bless America!

Shouts of "I still want my free stuff" pushed the angry shoppers into a feeding frenzy of unbridled entitlement as they rushed out the doors with their swag of moss green ankle boots by Lulu Guinness, skinny jeans by Mavi, blue/gray long sleeved T-shirts by Velvet and teal sweaters by a knock-off Benetton sweat shop staffed by underage orphans in Sri Lanka.

The feel-good story of the year came to a rather ignominious end when the limo driver, money-hungry jackal that he apparently is, realized that he wasn't going to be paid the $900 daily rate for his services and, in turn, deposited Ms. Brown at the local police station.

Sarasota residents could only laugh at the story, knowing that they were much too sophisticated and urbane to be fooled by promises of something for nothing.

In other news, Art Nadel and Beau Diamond were teaming up from their jail cells to offer local investors the latest 'no-risk sure thing' in financial ventures, guaranteeing a minimum 35% return rate to all who sign up now before it's offered to the general public. The fund is to be administered by Sarasota entrepreneurial icon, Bill Griffin, who, being involved in the collapse of not one, but two, insurance scams, has decided to bring his considerable expertise to the investment industry.

Griffin is calling the new investment vehicle from Nadel/Diamond Ventures the "No-Riscorp Fund" since profits are virtually guaranteed by the personal integrity of the three Sarasota financiers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cub Scout Suspended From School For Carrying A Concealed 'Spork', Vows Revenge; "I'll Give Them A War They Won't Believe"

First grader, Zachary Christie, knows what it's like to be hunted, to be driven to the brink and beyond and he knows what to do about it.

Zack The Knife, as he's known around the John R. Downes Elementary School in Newark, Del., was busted packing a Swiss Army-type combination of fork, spoon, bottle opener and knife by an alert teacher who instantly recognized the lethal device as the weapon of choice favored by the roving bands of Cub Scouts who have been terrorizing this sleepy hamlet for the last several years. Calling for back up, school security and Newark law enforcement cornered the young thug and subdued him after a lengthy struggle.

Released into the custody of his parents, Zachary later learned that he was to be suspended from school for five days and faced a 45-day stretch in reform school. Visibly distraught, the youngster headed for his room and emerged a short time later, sporting a decidedly different look than the button-down Oxford shirt and tie that he had been wearing:

and he had traded in the Cub Scout spork for this:

When his stepfather, Lee Irving, tried to intercept Zachary, the boy shouted, "They drew first blood, not me! They drew first blood! All I wanted to do was eat lunch with my spork!" and let his stepfather know he would not be home for dinner that evening.

The young Christie then went back to his elementary school and raked it with .50-cal. machine gun fire for well over 15 minutes, until the cache of ammunition hidden in his Dora, the Explorer backpack was exhausted

George Evans, president of the Christina school board, rushed to the scene, imploring Zachary to stop his rampage. "Nothing is over!" cried Zachary, "Nothing! You just don't turn it off! This isn't my war! Calling me a juvenile delinquent and all kinds of vile crap! Who are they to accuse me? Who are they? Unless they've been me and been there and know what the hell they're talking about!"

Then, grasping Evans by the throat, young Zachary ripped out the man's windpipe.

A National Rifle Association spokes-shooter said that the organization would not be trying to intercede on Zachary's behalf. "He had a spork. It was dangerous and offensive. It was a clear violation of school policy. Now if he would have taken an assault rifle to school, well, then, that would be a different story, as far as we're concerned....."

Monday, October 12, 2009

First Picture Of 'Moon Bombing' Released By NASA, Ralphie's Mother's Advice Vindicated

Beginning a news conference by stating, "We're soooo sorry. We didn't realize.....We never meant for this to happen......." is never a good sign, but when it's a NASA news conference, it has even more consequence.

The scientists from NASA were trying to apologize for the unintended damage caused by their Friday morning intentional crash of, not one, but two multi-million dollar spacecraft into the surface of Earth's moon. "Like having sex with a hooker at one of those out-of-town conventions we go to, it seemed like a good idea at the time, " said one high-ranking Space Agency administrator. "Now, not so much."

Designed to determine if frozen water existed below the crust of the moon, the first rocket was to make impact, while the second rocket beamed back video and analyzed debris kicked up by the force of the crash before it, too, struck the moon.

At the center of the controversy is this first high-resolution photograph beamed back by the trailing rocket just seconds before it plowed into the face of the moon:

A NASA spokes-rocket scientist opined, "We had hoped to find water on the moon. Instead, we found retinal fluid."

Renowned Sarasota ambulance-chasing attorney and local social scene bon vivant, Wragby Crigglestone, has announced that he is suing the United States on behalf of the moon. "The facts clearly indicate that the collision was premeditated, intentional and deliberate, with little or no regard to the consequences, intended or otherwise, to the entity known as "The Moon," for which I am legal counsel."

"The victim here is not only my client, but, because the second missile did strike my client's other eye and has completely rendered him blind forever, the irresponsible actions of NASA, working on behalf to the United States, will also deprive millions of people worldwide the pleasure of viewing a full moon, as my client will no longer be able to fully reflect the Sun's light, due to the nature of his grievous injuries. In addition to the reckless endangerment charges I hope to bring against the United States, I will also organize a class-action suit for those people who, through no fault of their own, can no longer enjoy the light of the silvery moon because, henceforth, it will be a bad moon a-rising, although my client does not seek revenge, as their is no dark side of the moon."

"No more will we, as a people, enjoy dancing in the moonlight, for no longer will the moonlight feel right. 'Moon River' is now just a stream of tears as we are all relegated to live in a moonshadow, now that the blue moon of Kentucky will be the standard for us all, since NASA had no more regard for my client than if it was only a paper moon. When the moon comes over the mountain from now on, there will be no moondance unless there's a neon moon somewhere east of the sun and west of the moon that would cast sufficient moonglow."

Damages in the case have not been specified.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize, Right-Wing Tea Party Conservatives Riot In The Streets

Thousands of disgruntled Americans spontaneously took to the streets this morning in a groundswell backlash to the surprising announcement that Pres. Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. Right-wing conservatives, already a tinderbox of simmering distrust and ill will toward the president, exploded in demonstrations that quickly degenerated into full-scale rioting that authorities were hard pressed to quell.

Reports of National Guard intervention have surfaced in various cities and officials have abandoned plans to contain the rioters in other cities and are taking up defensive positions in others. Sections of all major cities are in flames, with some of the hardest hit being the local wealthy enclaves of West Palm Beach, Naples and Sarasota, FLA.

In the upscale island resort of Longboat Key, just outside Sarasota, FLA, one particularly virulent demonstration marched down Gulf of Mexico Drive, the main thoroughfare of the normally-quiet town. It was an angry mob, not just because of their actions, but because they had signage to prove it, as shown in the photo below.

Some of the demonstrators, fashionably attired, of course, for the occasion, evidently had some of their protest signs outsourced to their non-English speaking staff. (We hope.)

Some demonstrators took the opportunity to recycle their displeasure with the Obama health care plan. Especially troubling was the woman below, shining her light of truth on the heretofore little-known pubic option that had been secretly attached to the larger bill. We're not sure exactly what the pubic option entails, but it can't be good........

Schools were shut down across Sarasota County, as distraught educators streamed to the impromptu demonstrations to add the voices of academia to the masses at the anti-Obama protests.

Damn you, Morans!

Local officials reported that the area demonstrations broke up shortly aftr 11:00 AM, when the combination of rising temperatures and humidity made it uncomfortable to be outside, forcing the protesters into their idling SUVs for some air-conditioned relief, not to mention that it was nearly lunchtime.
Damage is still being assessed, but it appears that the most extensive problem here on the Suncoast will be the sea of litter from empty mimosa cups, granola bar wrappers and expensive cigar butts.

Looting was confined to one Starbucks when a customer ordered her usual triple-mocha half-caff soy latte over ice and tried to pay for it with a $100 bill. When informed that, because the store had just opened, there was not enough change in the register for the hundred, the unidentified woman grabbed her drink from the barrista and left the store in a huff, intentionally knocking over a Fair-Trade Coffee display, citing her displeasure at its socialist implications.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dead Whale Washes Up In Tampa Bay, Usual Suspects Rounded Up

"The bloated corpse floated belly up in the bay, adrift, bobbing with the tide. It was obvious she had been dead for some time. The sun reflected off her smooth, naked body, contrasting with the cerulean blue of the water. The curious watched from the shore, while the authorities went about their duties in workmanlike fashion. At one time, she may have been a big fish in a big pond, now she was just dead."

Workers towed a dead 41-ft. Bryde's whale from Tampa Bay to a deserted section of beach at Fort DeSoto Park where marine biologists performed a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

Curiously, the biologists found a one-legged man attached to the carcass of the whale, entangled in the lines of numerous harpoons that were lodged in the flesh of the whale.

First thought to be dead as well, the biologists were shocked to discover the faint flicker of life yet in the bearded man. As they tried to stablize the man until paramedics arrived, he spoke in a hoarse whisper, "To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." With that, the man expired.

Researchers discounted the harpoons as the cause of death, although dragging around a disgruntled sea captain for several years did put an obvious strain on the whale's cardiovascular system, not to mention putting a damper on the whale's attractiveness to potential mates.

A rumor that the whale had died from the flu was making the rounds on the Suncoast today. County health departments were flooded with calls from frantic citizens, concerned that the whale was "patient zero" in a new "whale flu" pandemic. The rumors were discounted late today and all schools will re-open tomorrow as scheduled.

Sarasota County detectives were also checking with the NOAA biologists to see if the death of the whale could be related to the recent rash of assaults on area women by area ne'er-do-well drifter, Delmer Smith III, who was arrested for four home invasions and suspected of eight others. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Dept. asks that anyone who can place this man with the victim to contact them immediately.

Late this afternoon, NOAA researchers completed their necropsy on the whale and announced the official cause of death as a hit-and-run by ship. Florida Fish and Wildlife is checking the Port of Tampa and the Port of Manatee for any ships with damage to their starboard bow.

As this is such a high-profile case, local authorities have called in a team of investigators from the Miami-Dade Crime Lab. Arriving on the scene around 10:30 this evening was lead detective Lt. Horatio Caine. "It's a clear cut case of ship strike", he said, while dramatically removing his sunglasses. "This will definitely be my biggest case.........."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Olympic Committee Stuns World By Choosing North Port As Site For 2016 Games

North Port 2016

Eat it, Oprah

From The North Port City Commission

Thursday, October 1, 2009

North Port To Get A Seat On Sarasota County Tourist Development Council, Apocalypse To Follow

The City of North Port, FL, the ever-expanding juggernaut that threatens to blot out the sun in the rest of Sarasota County, has bumped Sarasota from the top spot on the Tourist Development Council, kicking Venice to the curb and designating that venerable old tourist mecca as "an ex-officio non-voting seat." Which is political speech for "go sit over there, old timer, and keep your mouth shut."

Yes, that North Port. Sarasota County's very own West Virginia. Where men are men and sheep are scared.

In an area that calls itself "The Suncoast" and prides itself on its beautiful beaches, North Port, both 'coast'-less and 'beach'-less, will now call the shots on how to spend the $10.4 million budget of the Tourist Development Council. God help us all.

In addition to having no beach, North Port has only one (1) lodging spot within its metropolitan boundaries. The Budget Inn. That no-star, no-tell motel that generated 200 police calls last year. The same joint where a teenage boy was found dead from a drug overdose after partying with HIS PARENTS, who abandoned him when he lapsed into a coma. That ought to give the Ritz-Carlton a run for its money. Be sure and ask for the 'Nickolas Block Suite' when you go.

North Port is also famous for its plentiful grow houses, although the owners of same would just as soon forego welcoming visitors, unless they're there to buy the "product."

So what exactly does North Port have to offer in the way of tourism?

Upscale shopping and fine dining...........

Frolicking in the healing waters of the newly-renovated Warm Mineral Springs.........

The proposed relocation of the very avant-garde "Tri-Wall Hockey Stadium" from Lakewood Ranch to North Port, to be used for---------"well, we don't know, we just think it looks cool."

The proposed water sports complex, with "acres of splishy-splashy fun and thrills for the entire family...........

And remember, on Thursdays, it's "Bring Your Pet To The Pool Day"...........
But the piece de resistance is sure to be the recently-approved "Uncle Booger's Mud Bog Multiplex and Shooting Range," where North Port cordially invites you and your family to "get as down and dirty as you want, all for one low price. Plus parking. Plus equipment rental. Plus gas. Plus hose-down service."

Siesta Key Beach, your days are numbered.

Just wait until North Port gets seated on the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority after next year's census results.

Surely Armageddon can't be too far behind.