In a bold display of oneupsmanship, a hallmark of the Sarasotan spirit of entrepreneurship, local leaders have decided to go "all in" in their bid to woo internet giant Google to bring high-speed fiber-optic internet to the Suncoast.
When stunts like re-naming City Island as "Google Island" and having Sarasota mayor, Dick Clapp, (no, really!), go for a swim with the sharks at Mote Marine Aquarium went relatively unnoticed by Google and the world's press, the movers and shakers behind the local movement knew there was no turning back. They refused to be upstaged by the likes of Duluth, MN, Topeka, KS, front-runner Grand Rapids, MI and many other cities who are willing to sell their collective souls for their fifteen minutes of fame on the Google bandwithwagon.
Google, singularly unimpressed by Sarasota's proposed name change, proposed their own suggestion, noting, "It's this or nothing; we take second billing from no one":
Said Rich Swier, Jr., local tech guru, "I took a page out of my dad's playbook. 'If you can't beat 'em, kill 'em. In fact, even if you can beat them, kill 'em anyway. It's just good business.' (Swier's father is a beloved oil-drilling, gun-toting uber-right wing reactionary who resides in Sarasota.)
"After substantial talks with business and political leaders, we have decided that, until Google makes us one of their fiber-optic test cities, we are prepared to execute one Sarasota citizen per day. And, just to show Google that we're serious, we kicked off the campaign by hanging four randomly-chosen transients that we picked up for panhandling in Five Points Park today at lunchtime. We had a great turnout and everyone there seemed excited about getting faster internet."
Swier's partner, Matt Orr, said the idea came to them when Sarasota's mayor was in the shark tank at Mote. "We both looked at each other at the exact same time and said, 'Dude, wouldn't it be, like, so cool if the sharks actually ATE him?' 'What if we tied a pork chop around this buffoon's neck and threw him back in the tank again?' How much more of a bang would Sarasota have gotten if, instead of swimming with sharks, the mayor would have gone sleeping with the fishes. We instantly knew that human sacrifice was the way to go on this."
"We had briefly entertained the idea of animal sacrifices, but, given Sarasotan's love for all things four-legged, we knew the public would be outraged and repulsed if we even mentioned killing, God forbid, somebody's cocker spaniel. So, humans it was."
Both men stressed that those chosen for sacrifice would NOT be tourists, political figures, developers, financial managers, realtors, lawyers, Ponzi schemers, used car salesmen or any citizen with a verifiable net worth of over $5 million--"those people are the very essence of this town," said Orr. "Everybody else, though, is fair game to be nominated by their friends and neighbors to die a horrific public death."
Said Kathy Baylis, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, "I was a little taken aback by this proposal when I first heard about it, but with Sarasota's skyrocketing unemployment rate making 'suicide bomber' look like a viable career option here on the Suncoast, I quickly realized the economic benefit of the program beyond the internet thingy. I think it's a great way to thin out the labor pool so we can bring those jobless numbers down. I just hope Google doesn't end the contest too soon or we won't have enough deaths to make a noticeable difference in our percentages."
One unidentified City Commissioner gushed, "What's not to love about this idea? Sarasota gets its name plastered all over the worldwide media as an innovative tech haven, we cement our reputation for being the "Meanest City in the Nation" when it comes to the poor and homeless, we clean out the transients, whether by public execution or the attending news and, if we run out of bums, we'll start whacking old people. We'll never run out of them!"
In order to keep the program interesting, fresh and relevant, though, the community is being asked to come up with interesting and novel ways to accomplish the executions. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune is kicking off its "Gettin' Gory for Google" contest in its Sunday edition by inviting reader submissions for non-traditional ways that those chosen for sacrifice could be done in, noting that "points will be given for style, amount of pain and suffering, novelty, blood spatter and local flavor--think buried alive in our famous snow-white sand on one of our beautiful beaches or taking that one last swim with Tilikum, the killer whale from Sea World."
"OK, Duluth, think you're badass? You got any of these in Lake Superior??"