By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
I grit my teeth in exasperation. Strange how life can sneak up on you. It's important to maintain perspective. I think I'll stay fat and ugly. I've always had a thing for science. Whooooaaahhh. What a revelation. Seems people appear better-looking the more you drink This is definitely my kind of science. Duh research. I'm going to go out on a limb here. A kegger in space. For the public good, I would suggest not. We're back to wonderfully wacky. South Florida normal. I've become a cold-blooded killer. I've never been partial to mosquitoes. Although those scoundrels certainly seem attracted to me. I pleaded and begged. I smiled. Cold-blooded satisfaction. I was beginning to feel really uncomfortable about all this. I love this country. It saved my life. I have an immigrant's unrestrained patriotism. I wasn't even going to write about this. It was so obviously nutty.
The frenetic, abrasive Tom Jicha of the Sentinel clearly doesn't want to be here. Says he has to leave early to fill in for Ed Kaplan on the late shift at WQAM-AM (560). Still, he manages to bark out this appropriately Dadaist little ditty.
Do you have a canasta or mah-jongg game? Does the early-bird special no longer run in your neighborhood? To borrow a phrase from Gary Coleman, ³What you talkin' about, Willis?² The answer is not complicated. There is television and there is real life. You really should work on learning to separate the two. Don't fret your achy-breaky heart. The medical drama starring Billy Ray Cyrus figures to be around for quite awhile. You have a point, but for the wrong reason. James Michael Tyler resembles Tim Conway about as much as I resemble Pee-Wee Herman. Are we talking about the same Tim Conway?
You can tell from his nervous smiles at the mic that the Sentinel's Michael Mayo wants this one bad. Perhaps there is still some lingering, sports-scribe jealousy toward Le Batard. Perhaps that's why he confines himself to drawing upon his work as a "real" pundit, not his jock stuff.
There's cruel coincidence -- or maybe perfect poetry -- in that the first printed day of my new job comes on the favorite day of my old one. The minute I stepped in, I knew I was in the right place. They came into Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale under the noon sun, wearing pink ribbons and pink hats and T-shirts with scanned photos of departed loved ones. Despite all the nitpicks, this is an event worth cheering. The neighbors greet reporters with all the enthusiasm of a tax dodger welcoming the IRS. Another dead baby on West Elm Lane, and the neighborhood just wants to be left alone. You've got to hand it to Weston, the swampland that became the American dream. Even if it means fake neon. It's easy to get a skewed impression of the young from the media. Yeah, I play some violent video games, but I also play some games that have made me a little smarter. There are terror suspects and there are terror suspects. More like suspect terror. You'd expect this from some touchy-feely New Age actor or experimental artist, some psychedelic scientist like Timothy Leary. An ending that's not splendid at all. At first it seemed amusing, one of those only-in-South Florida stories. If this is justice, it's not only blind but tone-deaf and dumb. Is there gold in them there sandy hills? Sometimes, a treasure hunt is its own reward. Where's Rilya? Where's Rilya?
He is shouting at this point -- he just keeps repeating "Where's Rilya?!?!" -- so finally we all start applauding wildly, just to get him to shut up. Still four poets to go, after all.
Gliding through the assembled BoBos touching them gently on the shoulder, offering a sunny smile and a kind word, the Sentinel's Sherri Winston lights up the darkened room, which is buzzing. Everyone knows that Winston's consistently cheery and even more consistently vapid meanderings make her the odds-on favorite. The crowd falls silent as she begins.
Lightning shredded the inky black clouds, and thunder growled above the belly of the Earth. Exit. Bridge up. Traffic not moving. Hot, hot, hot. Pulled over. Car cooled. Child whined. Crept to school. Delivered child. Child sulked. Prayed car only needed a radiator flush. God was laughing at me. She could barely breathe. She was... getting closer. And closer. She was... so close now. So very, very close. I wore a pastel smile and spoke with fruity optimism. Inside, however, my mind rattled more than the typewriter in Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. I can only imagine the tap-tap-tapping by the clickety cows much resembled my mommy Morse code of distress. Gloria Rothstein wants children to write a letter to Mr. Blueberry and ask him about pigs or puppies or pelicans, whales or wildebeest or wild turkeys. But my utter contempt for rules became legendary in my high school. They were waiting for her now. The whole town... Oh, I do hope you find that the children haven't been naughty, just nice. I know how happy, happy, happy most of you students are to return to the classroom... Go on with your bad self. Show the book burners you know what's hot. We held hands and chatted, oooed and cooed, but we were both tipping around the big CHANGE that was coming. ³Hey, world, you can't stop me! I'm bad to the bone, and I'll read it again!²