Undercurrents

Hamsters smothered in cream! And fed to the family dog! Food blown up with firecrackers! Artworks defaced! Jewels stolen! Terror!

When 45 teenage Visigoths trashed a Weston minimansion July 10, only one South Florida journalist was fully qualified to write the story: 23-year-old Diego Bunuel, grandson of renowned surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, That Obscure Object of Desire).

"There is kind of an irony here," says the Sun-Sentinel pup reporter, "in that all his films were about trashing the bourgeoisie, and here the bourgeoisie was trashing itself."

A sample of suburban mayhem prose from Bunuel the Scene Writer: "Food was tossed in heaps on the floor and cherry bombs were lit, blowing mounds of jelly, crackers, and cereals onto the ceiling."

The tale was so rich in bizarre detail that jealous staffers mumbled he had made it all up. But the Miami Herald, which was forced to follow the piece the next day, confirmed the story. More or less.

Then cops and colleagues criticized Bunuel the Younger for too readily believing an 18-year-old daughter's contention that, heavens nooooo, she did not invite the rampagers over to her parents' house while they were in Key West -- those teens simply materialized with kegs of beer, um OK?

Pooh! says Bunuel the Reporter, standing by his opus. "The cops wouldn't talk. I went with her as a credible witness because her 13-year-old brother and her parents supported her story."

Why the newsroom resentment? Besides scooping the Herald twice in only three weeks on the job, besides being indirectly world famous, besides having singlehandedly pioneered the new school of surrealist journalism in the face of small-minded criticism, Bunuel the Dashing is something else.

"He's a babe," says a female competitor.

Those in the yachting world who've succumbed to the quaint habit of calling any vessel longer than 150 feet or so a "megayacht" might want to adjust their vocabularies as of August 3.

That's the day Limitless, a longer-than-a-football-field behemoth owned by clothing magnate Les Wexner (founder of mall outlets Gap and Limited), will steam into Port Everglades for a scheduled two-month refit.

The appropriately named Limitless stretches out to a comfortable 315 feet, 100 feet longer than the next-largest U.S.-flag-carrying motor yacht and is by far the largest recreational boat ever to visit Fort Lauderdale, says Frank Herhold of the Marine Industries Association, where champagne corks are popping in anticipation of lots of contracts with lots of zeros in them.

Not everyone is raising a glass to the German-built Limitless, however. To port officials the presence of a pleasure yacht in the port is nothing more than the waste of a good berth. "We're growing by leaps and bounds, and we don't have room enough for cruise and cargo traffic as it is," says port spokesman Dave Miller. "The simple fact is, we're there for commercial vessels."

Maybe during the refit they could rip out that million-dollar interior, build in a few tanks for carrying crude fuel oil, and be welcome back to port anytime.

Undercurrents wants to know about any and all political deals, media screwups, and particularly dumb memos from bureaucrats. Let us know. Call 954-233-1570, fax 954-233-1571, or e-mail undercurrents@newtimesbroward.com.

 
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