Heckuva Job

Yo, Bat Mitzvah Sweetie

"I think [the evolution theory] makes as much sense as saying God created man," Kraft said (though by last Friday, she was energetically backing off her original comments). "I think there's no harm in exposing them to alternative approaches."

Tailpipe, who has inside information that humans were actually delivered to Earth a few thousand years ago by angels driving UPS trucks, says, sure, dude, keep the textbooks loose.

Treadmarks on Your Back

Not that the 'Pipe would ever suggest exploiting the misfortunes of hipper-than-thou Miami. But shouldn't Broward County tourism make some clear distinctions when they market Broward as a beach destination? How about inviting out-of-staters to vacation without being smooshed by sand-roving vehicles?

"Come without treadmarks — leave without treadmarks!"

"Get the tan you want — not numerous contusions and a painful broken pelvis!'

"Spread out a towel and relax... because our sunbathers are never, ever, ever crushed by tons of heavy equipment!"

Francine Mason, vice president of communications for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitor's Bureau, sounded doubtful when approached with the idea. Still, she took the time to listen.

"OK," she said laughing. "No!"

Mason measured her words carefully. "Our beaches are cleaner and safer than most beaches in the country," she said. Take that, South Beach. She added: "We don't trash our neighbors." Or our tourists.

Nemo Bless You

The choice seemed clear: watch helplessly as cute, cuddly aquatic critters slowly suffocated or give them a slim shot at survival. What would you do? Laura Nipe, spokeswoman for the Museum of Discovery and Science, says that when, in the wake of Wilma, a generator ran out of fuel and fish tanks stopped circulating oxygen, employees weren't about to sit around and watch the fish die. So two nurse sharks, a large grouper, and a trio of five-foot-long moray eels were hauled in buckets across the street and deposited into the New River. That's the brackish, unfit-for-human-contact New River.

Nipe admits the creatures probably didn't have much of a chance in the muck, but releasing them was preferable to "watching them in distress."

Well, Tailpipe is happy to report that the finned menagerie made out just fine. Shortly after their arrival in the river, the gang headed downstream, where they were adopted by the staff of Shirttail Charlie's seafood restaurant, living under the dock on a diet of hush puppies and clam strips. From there, Tailpipe has heard, our fattened fishy friends took the Water Taxi down to the Intracoastal.

One of the eels reportedly tasted the ocean-tinged water. "It's salty!" she chirped, and all six little tails flapped and flipped toward freedom.

— As told to Edmund Newton

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