Best Reminder that South Florida Is Still the South

The Rundown

When a tourist from the big city saw a bevy of bunnies running from a freshly cleared sugar-cane field, he freaked and phoned People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. But little did that Yankee carpetbagger know that that's just the way it's done in Pahokee. Every January during sugar-cane harvest season, a few agile boys in the town of 6900 take to the "rundown," the sport of scrambling after rabbits fleeing the burning fields -- shooting Peter Cottontail, skinning their prizes, and selling them for $2 a hop. Call it barbaric if you will, but many in this hamlet directly east of State Hwy. 715 say it's basic training for their high school's future track and football stars.

Best Reminder that South Florida Is Still the South

The Rundown

When a tourist from the big city saw a bevy of bunnies running from a freshly cleared sugar-cane field, he freaked and phoned People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. But little did that Yankee carpetbagger know that that's just the way it's done in Pahokee. Every January during sugar-cane harvest season, a few agile boys in the town of 6900 take to the "rundown," the sport of scrambling after rabbits fleeing the burning fields -- shooting Peter Cottontail, skinning their prizes, and selling them for $2 a hop. Call it barbaric if you will, but many in this hamlet directly east of State Hwy. 715 say it's basic training for their high school's future track and football stars.
The DMV is one of those extraordinary settings where social status and income take a back seat to bureaucratic decree. Almost everyone drives, from the salt-of-the-earth working class to the mega-wealthy. Almost everyone, therefore, must show up every so often in person for eye exams and mug shots. And oh, what a treat it is to see these disparate denizens rubbing shoulders. The Rolls-Royce owner gazing straight through the cretin beside him. The plumber pitching woo to the blonde behind him. The spastic businessman trying to buy his way forward in the line. The lanky teen who's so near, yet so far, from hitting the road solo. Pity we don't renew annually.
The DMV is one of those extraordinary settings where social status and income take a back seat to bureaucratic decree. Almost everyone drives, from the salt-of-the-earth working class to the mega-wealthy. Almost everyone, therefore, must show up every so often in person for eye exams and mug shots. And oh, what a treat it is to see these disparate denizens rubbing shoulders. The Rolls-Royce owner gazing straight through the cretin beside him. The plumber pitching woo to the blonde behind him. The spastic businessman trying to buy his way forward in the line. The lanky teen who's so near, yet so far, from hitting the road solo. Pity we don't renew annually.
Nothing like a big red cock on your logo to drive home the message, one clearly announced in this liquid dispensary's official motto: "A great place to bring a date, or to find one!" Housed in a stone-and-peach building just minutes from the airport and downtown, ringed by gay-friendly neighborhoods like Flamingo Park and El Cid, Roosters has been a center of Palm Beach County gay social life for nearly 18 years. Except for the male strippers, it's not that different from the typical corner bar -- pool tables, drink specials, karaoke, Monday-night bingo -- but everything is done with an ironic twist of the wrist, the slight self-parody of the lavender set on home turf. Knowing glances exchanged in the main room inside, more intimate conversation in the quiet corners of the back patio.
H.G. Roosters
Angel Melendez
Nothing like a big red cock on your logo to drive home the message, one clearly announced in this liquid dispensary's official motto: "A great place to bring a date, or to find one!" Housed in a stone-and-peach building just minutes from the airport and downtown, ringed by gay-friendly neighborhoods like Flamingo Park and El Cid, Roosters has been a center of Palm Beach County gay social life for nearly 18 years. Except for the male strippers, it's not that different from the typical corner bar -- pool tables, drink specials, karaoke, Monday-night bingo -- but everything is done with an ironic twist of the wrist, the slight self-parody of the lavender set on home turf. Knowing glances exchanged in the main room inside, more intimate conversation in the quiet corners of the back patio.
California is renowned for its tofu-and-granola lesbians, but there seem to be more vegetarian lesbians per capita in South Florida than in Los Angeles and San Francisco combined. Pick your type -- Birkenstock, butch, lipstick, or new age -- and she'll be roaming the aisles at the Fort Lauderdale Whole Foods Market. But the dykiest section of the store is definitely the prepared-foods counter. You can peruse grilled tofu while cruising the chic chick next to you as she examines the veggie sushi with one eye and your abs with the other. At least you know you'll have enough in common to agree on a restaurant for your first date. If you don't want to wait that long, grab your food right then and see if she offers to pay for your meal when you reach the cashier. Or you can always stalk the vitamin aisle and ask your prey, "What brand of B-12 do you suggest if we're going to stay up all night?"
Whole Foods Market
California is renowned for its tofu-and-granola lesbians, but there seem to be more vegetarian lesbians per capita in South Florida than in Los Angeles and San Francisco combined. Pick your type -- Birkenstock, butch, lipstick, or new age -- and she'll be roaming the aisles at the Fort Lauderdale Whole Foods Market. But the dykiest section of the store is definitely the prepared-foods counter. You can peruse grilled tofu while cruising the chic chick next to you as she examines the veggie sushi with one eye and your abs with the other. At least you know you'll have enough in common to agree on a restaurant for your first date. If you don't want to wait that long, grab your food right then and see if she offers to pay for your meal when you reach the cashier. Or you can always stalk the vitamin aisle and ask your prey, "What brand of B-12 do you suggest if we're going to stay up all night?"
What are the two greatest impediments to meeting that special someone? Temporal constraints and disjunction, of course. (You know: being in the right place at the right time.) If you could just get Mr. or Ms. Right to sit still for a while beside you, the magic would flow like words from a poet's pen. Well, what better place than the peaceful, laid-back setting of a blood bank? Strapped to a blood bag for ten minutes, you're putting your best altruistic foot... er, arm, forward for all to see (not to mention passing a basic health questionnaire). Resting in that psychotherapeutic incline, the conversation will come naturally between you and your newfound love interest. You'll get far past the whatta-ya-do-for-a-livin' questions. Best of all, you can seal the deal over cookies and OJ while the object of your attraction remains delightfully lightheaded.

What are the two greatest impediments to meeting that special someone? Temporal constraints and disjunction, of course. (You know: being in the right place at the right time.) If you could just get Mr. or Ms. Right to sit still for a while beside you, the magic would flow like words from a poet's pen. Well, what better place than the peaceful, laid-back setting of a blood bank? Strapped to a blood bag for ten minutes, you're putting your best altruistic foot... er, arm, forward for all to see (not to mention passing a basic health questionnaire). Resting in that psychotherapeutic incline, the conversation will come naturally between you and your newfound love interest. You'll get far past the whatta-ya-do-for-a-livin' questions. Best of all, you can seal the deal over cookies and OJ while the object of your attraction remains delightfully lightheaded.

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