“If Joe Carollo does it then it’s in the public interest and he can’t be removed from office,” said City of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo from behind the bushes of the Ball & Chain night club in Little Havana. The argument makes up the Commissioner’s prime defense against a challenge mounted by “socialists” and “uh, did I say socialists?” to remove him from office for being insane and terrible and obstructionist.”

In a brief interview with the Plantain, Commissioner Carollo said that he isn’t worried about being removed from office: “I’m going to beat the shit out of those socialists and their agenda to remove me!” he said. We asked if his threat of violence should be taken literally or was just the type of rantings typical of elderly men upset that their grip on the world and reality is lessening with each passing day.

After a moment of deep self-reflection, Carollo admitted that he would beat the charges politically, and not with violence. “I only beat women,” he said before asking if I was a socialist and threatening to sick code enforcement on me if I didn’t take this article down.

When Miami resident Gonzalo Garcia started building an Ark earlier this year, his friends and neighbors thought he was crazy. But few are laughing at the 43-year-old Cuban native now that the United States’ coastal border has irrefutably begun to flood , and Cities like Miami Beach are discovering that their infrastructure cannot accommodate rising sea levels. “I guess climate change actually is a real problem,” said nearly everyone on earth not named Rick Scott

Mr. Garcia says that God, the almighty creator of all things that ever were and ever will be, came to him and commanded that he start building the Ark in anticipation of a great flood. “I was just sitting in a café, staring deeply into my cortadito when I heard God’s voice. She told me that a great flood was coming and that I should build a 300 cubit long vessel for me, my family, and the world’s animals,” said Mr. Garcia through his 8-year-old daughter and translator Gabriella. “God also told me I should get Gabriella a cell phone like everyone else in her class,” added the girl before being shot a stern look by her father, whose English wasn’t that bad. 

While Mr. Garcia’s divine correspondence has netted him many believers, not everyone is convinced that he has had direct communications with God. Devout climate change denier Senator Marco Rubio insists that Mr. Garcia’s claims are both preposterous and blasphemous: “You only have to look at the scripture to see that Mr. Garcia’s claims are false. I have had a personal relationship with God, and he tells me to look to the Bible for answers. Genesis 9:11 says that God will never again destroy the earth with a flood. How can Mr. Garcia, or any so-called scientists with so-called facts, contradict God’s divine word?”

The Plantain sat down with God at her Aventura condo and asked the deity to respond to Senator Rubio’s assertions.  The Lord, who wholeheartedly denied having a relationship with the diminutive senator, acknowledged the existence of a covenant preventing Her from destroying the world in a flood again, but argued that because climate change is a man-made problem She wasn’t “technically violating the covenant.” 

When confronted about the equity of Her position, God stated that She chose Mr. Garcia to save the human race so as to not appear cavalier and unsympathetic about what many will mistakenly believe to be a covenant violation. “I didn’t have to save the human race, but I am a just and righteous God, so I figured I’d give y’all another shot. But this is really the last time.” 

“I think Gonzalo is going to be a great savior,” said God confidently. “Obviously, everyone is going to want to compare him to Noah, but they both have their own qualities.” When asked why Mr. Garcia was chosen to save the human race, God said the choice was easy. “I thought to myself: What kind of person would be best equipped to build a serviceable sea-vessel with rummaged material on short notice? Gonzalo was the first Cuban guy I met.”

Sir. Daniel Tannenbutton and Mr. Whiskers, two rats that live together beneath a drainage pipe in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood, are eager to enjoy the abundance of rotting mangoes that will soon fall from the many mango trees that line the City’s residential neighborhoods.

“It’s my favorite time of year,” said Mr. Whiskers gleefully. “Normally I only eat trash like discarded Pollo Tropical leftovers or soiled diapers. But come the end of the summer I finally get some real food in my little rat tummy,” said the stay-at-home rat who has been in a long-term relationship with Sir. Daniel Tannenbutton for 2 years.

“Well, I wouldn’t say that Mr. Whiskers only eats trash,” interrupted Sir Daniel Tannenbutton. “I work very hard to provide him with the food he eats and I guess I stupidly thought he appreciated it until now. Remember the discarded orange peel I brought home for our anniversary, Mr. Whiskers? Maybe if he didn’t spend all day “working on his art” and watching telenovelas through Mrs. Perez-Santiago’s window we could afford a meal that was up to his sophisticated standards a little more often.”

“Don’t do this Daniel, you know that’s not what I meant,” said Mr. Whiskers to his partner in a whisper.

“Well that’s what you said, Mr. Whiskers. That’s what you said,” said Sir. Daniel Tannenbutton before pausing, taking a sigh, and saying “I’m sorry. I’ve just been working too hard. I’m excited about the rotting mangoes too.”

Following an incident last month in which a Miami Police officer accosted an African American doctor outside his home for no reason, the Miami Police promise to make significant changes in their department.

Dr. Armen Henderson, a physician recently profiled for his efforts to test and care for South Florida’s homeless population during the Coronavirus pandemic, was unloading his van when he was approached and handcuffed by a Miami Police Officer. The Officer approached Dr. Henderson with a vague claim of reports of “suspicious activity” in the neighborhood and detained him. The officer was not wearing a mask during his interaction with Dr. Henderson.

“In a pandemic, everyone should wear masks,” Dr. Henderson said. “You should keep your distance between people, especially and limit your interactions. I was taking tents out of my car, why was that even a reason to stop and talk to me?.

The Plantain contacted a spokesperson for the Miami Police Department who told us bluntly that “no cops did nothin’ wrong.” When I mentioned I hadn’t told him what I was calling about yet, the spokesperson apologized, allowed me to ask about his officer harassing Dr. Henderson in the middle of a pandemic for no reason, then responded, “no cops did nothin’ wrong” before calling me a faggot and hanging up.

Following widespread outrage about the incident, the Miami Police issued an additional statement that “even though no cops did nothin’ wrong, we have updated our internal protocols to require all our officers to wear masks when interacting with…oh jeez, how should I say this…can’t say black any more thanks to the liberal media, ah, I got it…with persons reasonably believed in the officer’s sole discretion to be subject to the type of harassment that could go viral.”

When asked why a racist officer’s anonymity should be protected, the spokesperson said: “Officer safety is our most important task.” When asked about the safety of Miami’s residents and how the police would make sure its officers do not continue to harass people of color, the spokesperson put on a mask and threatened to detain me if I didn’t stop asking “stupid fucking questions.”

Update: An internal investigations by the Miami police department concluded that “no officer did nothing wrong.”

The Coronavirus is bad. Like really, really bad. But, in a time of social distancing and a worldwide panic about the spread of infectious disease, at least you can take solace in knowing you no longer have to give your friend’s creepy cousin a kiss on the cheek.

“This is bullshit, bro,” said your friend’s creepy cousin, Juan, as you stop him from leaning in. “For real? Bro, I’m so sick of people overreacting to the Coronavirus. It’s just flu,” said Juan before leaning in again to kiss your cheek. When you decline his advances again, he explains that he was “just being polite” before changing the subject to what high school you went to.

“Not leaving the house or being able to go to Ultra is hard, but at least I don’t have to kiss every greasy guy I meet on the cheek,” said esthetician Marielys Rosario after leaving a small, 40-person social distancing get together Juan’s cousin Yammy was having.

The Plantain spoke to Juan about how he feels about not being able to kiss Marielys’s kiss, to which the 27-year-old Belen alum said he understood the precaution but still thought Marielys was a total bitch for not kissing him.

“I think Esteban Bovo would be a great mayor for Miami,” said Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro shortly after funneling money to his mayoral campaign through a consulting run by former representative David Rivera.

“Oh, Jesus, he said what?” asked Mr. Bovo upon learning of the Venezuelan dictator’s support. “Well, I have always been staunchly anti-Communist,” said Bovo of the President’s support. When asked why he would accept money from a dictator responsible for thousands of deaths and untold misery, Commissioner Bovo said: “Well, I’m also staunchly capitalist,” before pivoting his messaging and promising to give back the money and claiming this entire story was manufactured and probably just a plot by the Castro regime.

The Plantain asked Commissioner Bovo why his instinct, wherever he is criticized, is to blame it on Castro. “Castro’s dead, Commissioner Bovo,” I told him. “I know he’s dead! Thank god he’s dead!” said Bovo before admitting that “being a Cuban politician in Miami was a little easier when you could blame everything on Castro.

“It used to be that if I didn’t want to do something for my constituents because it was not in my personal financial or political interest I could just say that is something they would do in Communist Cuba,” said Bovo. “I still do that, but it’s less effective now that El Jefe Maximo is dead,” added Bovo who just last week refused to vote for emergency funds for County contractors because that sort of thing is what Castro would do.

The Plantain reached out to other frequent Castro invokers, including City Commissioner Joe Carollo, who beat up his wife in front of his daughter, and Marco Rubio, who is legally a snail. Both men the wife-beater and snail admitted that life just hasn’t been the same since Castro died. “Castro really let me deflect my own failures,” said Joe Carollo, who beat up his wife in front of his daughter.

Friday 7:22 PM

It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby! That means I finally get to watch TV and pace from my living room to my kitchen like I have done every other day for the last seven weeks.

I may be quarantined right now, but you know where I am not quarantined? In my dreams! So I’ll also take myself a nap or two in between Korean soap operas and hopefully dream of a happier time, not too long ago, when I was allowed out of the house to attend a Kobe Bryant memorial or protest the President’s racist and anti-feminist agenda. Those were the days.

But I’m one of the lucky ones since I still have a job and it lets me work remotely. I haven’t been able to get much work done because I have been watching so many of those Korean soap operas and fully expect to be fired in the next couple of weeks, but it won’t matter because I’m getting a stimulus check from the government! $1,200 baby! My rent is $2,400, but I’m not too concerned because this pandemic is about self-reflection and working on yourself and I refuse to let myself become a victim of negative energy.

Saturday 9:04 AM

I just found out my mom tested positive. My dad called to tell me and like, I wanted to know, but also didn’t need to know this early in the morning. I was having a nice dream about sitting in traffic on my way to the job I hate. I’ll never get back to sleep.

Saturday 11:45 AM

Okay, if it weren’t bad enough that my mom is being intubated and I can’t go visit her, Yop Sung-Soo just called off her engagement to Nang Ji-Hoon which will bring great shame to his family. I know I was trying to remain positive, but Sung-Soo’s betrayal has got me feeling low so I ordered some comfort food from my favorite restaurant to make me feel better. I ended up spending $40 on an $11 bowl of pasta, but at least I got to eat something I love and was able to mostly ignore my persistent concern that it was prepared by someone who has been infected. I wonder how my mom is doing?

Saturday 4:30 PM

She didn’t answer, but I’m sure it’s fine. I’ll just smoke a little weed and watch some more TV. Hopefully, Ji-Hoon can prove to his father that he is honorable enough to take over the family’s business. Of course, if 젊은이의 양지 were real then surely Ji-Hoon’s family’s tea shop would be out of business at this point and Ji-Hoon’s prospects of a bride from a family as well-respected as Sung-Soo’s is unlikely. I wonder if smoking weed is a good idea during a world-wide respiratory virus outbreak? No need to worry about that, I can’t catch Coronavirus if I just stay in my apartment all day…But what if I did catch something from that $40 pasta?

Saturday 7:00 PM

I took a little nap and boy do I feel better. I had 15 missed calls from my dad and siblings, but I’m sure everything is okay. They are probably just bored too. Before I call him back I want to finish the season and find out whether Ji-Hoon was able to find love after all.

Saturday 11:12 PM

He was! That’s great, but I wish his grandmother was able to meet his new bride before she passed away. At least his fiance was able to honor his late grandmother’s memory by attending her funeral. Family is so important. I wonder if we’ll even be able to have a funeral if my mom dies? I’ll call my family back in the morning, I’m sure everything is fine…

Sunday 11:45 AM

I just spoke to my dad and he says my mom is stable. He and my siblings are bored and had nothing to do but call me. I have been talking to them an awful lot since this quarantine, a lot more than I had in years, which is sort of nice, but they call so much that I just can’t get anything done around the house. I mean, this was supposed to be a relaxing weekend and all they want to do is talk to me about their anxieties about the life-threatening virus or mom’s condition. Sort of inconsiderate, if you ask me.

Sunday 6:45 PM

Well, I’ve finished Netflix’s entire catalog of Korean dramas so I guess I’ll try the Scandinavian shows next? The weekend went by quite quickly and I’m excited tomorrow begins a brand new week. That means I finally get to watch TV and pace from my living room to my kitchen like I have done every other day for the last two months.

The Miami Marlins announced it would play next season without fans in attendance, a move the team says has nothing to do with the spread of coronavirus, but a practical decision given the team’s historically low attendance records.

“It costs a lot of money to pay all the janitors and hot dog vendors for our games, and it just isn’t worth it since we’re only getting like 250 fans per game anyway,” said Marlins’ CEO Derek Jeter. When asked whether the spread of coronavirus contributed to the team’s decision, Mr. Jeter said it hadn’t. “It’s just a coincidence that people are avoiding major sporting events around the world. They’ve been avoiding us for years.”

The Plantain spoke to Marlins player Brian Anderson about whether it will impact his game to not have fans in attendance. “I don’t think I’ll even notice,” said the third baseman as he walked to the Stadium from the home of an elderly Haitian man who lives next door and lets the players park their cars in his front yard for only $10 a game.

The Small Business Development Center at FIU Business is providing assistance to local small businesses. As of April 6, the center has helped local businesses obtain nearly $3.5 million in Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans, which provide up to $50,000 loans to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Aha! See, you thought we were going to mention the bridge collapse, right? Well, we are more mature than that and the entire above linked paragraph is true. I stole it verbatim from FIU’s website. I guess we aren’t just “reckless punks who have no respect for anyone” like Donna Shalala’s staff keeps telling everybody.

This is a scary time and FIU is a great institution that does a lot of good for our community. Like did you know that FIU employs more people in Miami than Pollo Tropical? Or that during this entire pandemic not a single FIU professor was caught looking at college co-ed pornography during a Zoom lecture?

The point is FIU is great. So what if they had one negligently built bridge collapse and kill a bunch of people? I’m not going to bring that up because it is not the right time to remind everyone that the bridge had multiple design errors and the collapse could have been avoided according to reporting by the Miami Herald because it’s old news. In fact, if we were to bring it up we would probably be criticized because it probably wasn’t even FIU’s fault even though they oversaw the project thus negating the need for a federal inspector to be on site. So we’re not mentioning it.

The Plantain loves FIU so much. That’s why when we received an email from them this week asking us to leave money to the School if we die of Coronavirus we called our lawyers and updated our wills to bequeath funds to FIU that we asked to be earmarked to help its students purchase UM hats and jerseys.

Stay safe South Florida. Go Panthers.

Actress Tara Reid endorsed Joe Biden for President today during a Zoom conference organized by his campaign.

“Make sure when you publish your story you write ‘Tara Reid Endorses Joe Biden‘ in the headline,” I was told by media strategist Amanda Abromowitz before she sent me the private link to the conference. I thought it was odd that the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee would so eagerly court the endorsement of an actress from the American Pie franchise, but was told that “Joe Biden is loved by Tara Reid in an avuncular, purely non-sexual way, and even if it was sexual it would be purely consensual.”

Tara Reid was 25 minutes late to the online conference on account that she “had to run to the store for some Marlboro Lights,” so Joe Biden took questions from the audience to the horror of the staffers also watching the event online.

What is your response to Tara Reade’s allegations?” asked a reporter in a backward hat for the Young Turks.

“They’re absolutely true! Tara Reid thinks I’m going to be a great President and I agree with her,” said Joe Biden after spending 20 minutes asking his grandson to “show him how to talk to the god damn computer phone, Jeez-Louise, Kyle.”

“No, Tara Reade your former staffer who has accused you of–” interrupted the Young Turks reporter before losing his connection.

“Sorry I’m late, bitches!” screamed Tara Reid as she entered the Zoom. She was wearing a bikini and, I don’t know, something just was off about it.

“Ah, Tara, so good to see you,” said Biden.

“Who are you?” asked Reid.

“I’m Joe Biden, of course,” he laughed before whispering “this girl is as flighty as a hummingbird,” to an old TV guide he confused for his wife.

“Oh, I thought this was for Joe Budden. Ok, whatever, so my name is Tara Reid and I endorse Joe Biden for President and he never raped me,” said Ms. Reid.

“There you have it, folks. Never raped Tara Reid, please print that in your publications, goodnight!” said Joe before turning to his TV guide and asking “now how on earth do I close out the meeting?”

“Um, excuse me, Tara?” I asked as Joe Biden tried to figure out how to end the meeting.

“Yes! Joe?” said Tara, apparently confusing me for the 80-year-old she just endorsed. After explaining that I was not Joe Biden, I asked the Van Wilder actress how this endorsement came about.

“Oh, you don’t have to answer that, honey,” said Joe to a coatrack with a yellow hat, but the actress went on.

“Someone at Joe’s campaign reached out to me on Cameo and paid me $125 to endorse him and tell everyone that he never sexually assaulted me,” Reid went on. I asked the Sharknado actress whether she believed the campaign reached out for an endorsement because she has the same name as former Senate staffer Tara Reade who has accused Joe Biden of raping her in 1993.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” said Ms. Reid as she popped another White Claw. “But I don’t believe her, I mean, women lie all the time. Remember when I played Bunny in the Big Lebowski?” I had forgotten that Tara Reid played the wife of the Big Lebowski who kidnapped herself to extort her husband,” but by the time I was ready to ask a follow-up, Biden had given up and unplugged his computer to end the Zoom.

Shortly after the conference, I received a frantic call from Ms. Abromowitz asking me why I would bring up the allegations of rape against Joe Biden. “Because he is running for President and is being accused of rape,” I said.

“Yes, but do you really want Trump to win? He raped lots of more people than Joe Biden!” she said. I asked how what Trump did was any different, to which Ms. Abromowitz said the women that accused Trump were telling the truth, whereas Tara Reade is making this up.”

“But how do you know the Trump women are telling the truth,” I asked. “Because you need to believe all women when they come out as assault victims. I agreed. “But not Tara Reade?” I asked. “Exactly!” she said. I told her I would think about how to report this piece.

After hanging up the phone I was conflicted about what to do. I didn’t want Donald Trump to be President. But I was still disturbed that Joe Biden was being accused of assaulting a woman and that all of his supporters, including Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams and Kristin Gillibrand, don’t seem to care at all. Shortly before publication, Ms. Abromowitz reached out to me and asked whether I would use her headline.

I said I would because I don’t want Trump to win, but that I would also include a long description of the events of the press conference and an editorial about how I was uncomfortable with Biden’s supporters’ willingness to turn a blind eye to serious accusations because they want to, understandably, beat Trump.

“Okay, great. As long as the headline says ‘Tara Reid endorses Joe Biden’ it’s fine, no one reads your articles anyway.”