The Plantain has confirmed that “¿Qué Pasa, USA?”, the popular-in-Miami 1970’s sitcom about a Cuban family living in Miami, is being remade, but with a twist.

“We want to make sure the new “¿Qué Pasa, USA?” remains as relevant in 2020 as it was when it debuted in 1976,” said the new series’ creator Harold Weisenbaum-Steinman. “So, whereas the original series featured the Cuban Peña family navigating an anglo-majority Miami, the new sitcom will feature the anglo Peterson family relocating to a Hispanic-majority Miami from Rhode Island.” In keeping with the show’s new anglo-lead, the reboot’s title will be “What’s Happening, Miami?”

“What’s Happening Miami?” will see Jonathan Peterson (played by John Lithgow), a white, Hispanic studies professor at the University of Rhode Island relocate with his wife Barbara (Cheryl Hines) and three children (Chad Michael Murray, Leighton Meester, Chloe Moretz) from their lily-white hometown to a newly renovated home in the heart of Little Havana. Rounding out the odd-ball cast of Cuban characters that make up the Peterson’s new community will be George Lopez (actually Mexican), Paul Rodriguez (also Mexican), and Gabriel Iglesias (he’s Mexican too). Gal Gadot (Israeli) will guest star as Usarmy Santos, a potential love interest of Chad Michael Murray.

“We hope the new series retains the heart and humor of the original series, but with the profitability that comes from maintaining a primarily white main cast that only has to interact with minorities for humor,” said Weisenbaum-Steinman.


MIAMI IS EXPENSIVE, BUY OUR MERCH

I don’t like political documentaries. I find them self-righteous and am frankly at the point in my life where I’ve heard just about enough out of Doris Kearns Goodwin, thank you very much. But I do like drugs and football, which means I’m a fan of local Jewish filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman and was willing to check out their new documentary “537 Votes,” despite its political subject matter. It was the biggest mistake of my entire life.

537 Votes is a horror film that recounts (get it?) how the Republicans stole the 2000 Presidenital election from Al Gore. As with most bad things, the trouble started (Elian) and ended (Palm Beach) in Florida, and the film makes the case that the ever-present political manipulations of the local Cuban diaspora community’s trauma resulted in George Bush’s election, as well as, extrapolating the consequences of his Presidency out: EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD TODAY.

It’s been three days since I watched the film and I can’t sleep. That isn’t an exaggeration, I literally can’t sleep because I just keep thinking about what the world would be like if Al Gore had won. Would we be further along in our fight against climate change? Would we have been thrown into an endless unjustified war in the middle east? Would Trump be President? Would my wife have left me?

Seven years ago I met Marissa in Seattle on the weekend of its annual FrasierCon. She had been raised in Kosovo, and as a little girl, took comfort from the war and economic uncertainty that ravished her Country in the 1990s by watching episodes of Frasier on her village’s only TV. Every night she’d sit with her father and watch for the list of the dead and wounded on the news and then would laugh at Frasier’s antics, Niles’s quips, and Roz’s unbridled sexuality before returning to her home for dinner of one bean split three ways with her father and family goat.

“One day, I’ll be in America,” she told her father, “like Dr. Frasier Crane, and you will live with me like his cop father Martin Crane,” she would say in between bites of her bean sliver. In 2014, she was able to join me in the United States after I purchased her through an online forum that connected eastern European women with men who had $700. When I took her out of her crate at the Port of Seattle, she was over the Daphne Moon to be in the United States. It happened to be the weekend of the City’s annual Frasier convention. “This was meant to be,” she told me, so we headed over to the convention center and were married by a Jane Leeves impersonator who turned out to actually be Jane Leeves.

“I love you,” she told me as we exchanged vows. “As much as Niles loves Daphne.” I told her I did too, although I didn’t understand the reference because I don’t like Frasier. The few episodes I remember seeing as a kid were pretentious and distractingly unfunny. That night, we flew to my home in Miami to start a life together.

The narrative around the 2000 election has always been one of Floridian incompetence, but that undermines the seriousness of the crimes that were committed against our democracy. George Bush was installed as President as a result of a concentrated effort to steal the election by making sure votes for his opponent were never counted. That’s a scary enough thought in normal times, let alone two weeks before another election in which Florida is once again responsible for safeguarding our democratic institutions and whose electoral votes will turn on the ability of Miami’s Cuban community to recognize a dictator asking for their support. God help us.

Since coming to the United States, Marissa had been joyfully disinterested in politics. After years spent living in an anti-Democratic regime, she relished that under Obama, it was possible to ignore what was happening day-to-day in Washington. Since 2016 though, like many of us, she started watching the discourse around national politics grow more and more divisive. “I don’t like where this is going,” she’d tell me after recanting whatever scandal of the day made its round on Twitter before finally tossing her phone to the side and putting on an episode of Frasier to clear her head.

“How many times can you watch that damn Ski Lodge episode?” I asked her a few nights ago, but all she could do was cry and mutter something about Russian bounties. After pressing the issue, I convinced her to turn off Frasier and put on the 537 Votes documentary instead. “It’s supposed to be funny,” I told her. “Probably a lot funnier than Frasier, at least.”

And 537 Votes is funny, at first. The editing is frenetic and the film is as weird and quirky as you would expect in a story about Miami fuckery. But as with the case with most stories about South Florida, behind its bizarre patina, 537 Votes offers something sinister and awful: The realization that our democracy is broken and has been for a long time.

After the movie, Marissa and I sat in silence thinking about what we just saw. “It’s all a lie,” she said. “American democracy is just a lie.”

“I wouldn’t go that far,” I said.

“It’s all a fucking lie! They stole that election and they are trying to steal the next one too! This place is no better than Kosovo. It’s all just tossed salad and scrambled eggs!”

I tried to tell her that she was overreacting but she wouldn’t hear it. She just put on the Ski Lodge episode again, but unlike the hundreds of other times she watched it over the years, this time she didn’t laugh when Frasier storms out at the end after realizing no one wanted to have sex with him. She just stared at the TV, her mind very obviously somewhere else.

When I woke up the next morning, I found a note on her pillow that she was leaving, along with $700 in cash and her wedding ring. “I know what it’s like to grow up under an undemocratic regime. I won’t subject our child to that.”

She’s pregnant?

In the letter she said she was returning to Kosovo, and told me that I should consider joining her and our son.

With a son?

In the three days since she left, I’ve been thinking about the future of the country and whether Marissa is right to want to leave it. As I did, and maybe in an effort to feel close to her, I put on Frasier and started watching it for the first time. As the episodes flowed into one another, I found myself able to push the disgusting grins of Republican operatives bragging about disenfranchising voters in 2000 that featured so heavily in the documentary out of my head.

After 72 hours of watching Frasier, I’ll acknowledge that it is a great show. But almost no episode is individually very remarkable. It’s dumber and more vulgar than how it’s marketed, and some of its episodes are bad. Just embarrassingly bad.

But you can’t judge Frasier by its worst episodes because the series gets, on a whole, better and better as it goes on.

And I think that’s true about America as well.

When I finally got a hold of Marissa in her village in Kosovo, no easy task since the nearest cell tower was knocked down recently by a sheep, I begged her not to give up on the United States.

“If Frasier teaches us anything, it’s that even the most arrogant and selfish of us can improve over time if we work on it,” I told her. She said she was doubtful about the U.S.’s ability to ever live up to its ideals and even whether its leaders even saw those classic-American principles of freedom and equality as worth striving for, but would nevertheless be returning to Miami, because she forgot how Kosovo was still massively underdeveloped, and she figured that if she is going to be in an undemocratic nation without fair and free elections, she should at least be in one with plenty of Targets and a Massage Envy.

537 Votes can be seen on HBO MAX.
Plantain Score: ★★★★★

When Miami Beach resident Gonzalo Garcia started building an Ark earlier this year, his neighbors thought he was crazy. But few are laughing at the 43-year-old Cuban native now that King Tide and non-stop rain have flooded nearly all of Miami Beach making it impossible to drive anywhere on wheels
“I guess climate change actually is a real problem,” said nearly everyone on earth not named Ron DeSantis.

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.”

“I am not a pedophile!” Alan Dershowitz told the clerk at a Boston-area Dunkin’ Donuts after being asked if he wanted an order of Munchkins. “Sir, this is a Dunkin Donuts…” said the young clerk, news that seemed to startle the old man out of the daytime delusion he was having. “Oh, okay. Well, in that case, I will take an order of Munchkins,” he told the clerk who didn’t even know who he was but got a really creepy vibe.

Alan Dershowitz is a lawyer known for zealously advocating on behalf of the worst people in the world and his belief that sex with a fourteen-year-old should be lawful. He is also a litigious little man who likes to threaten lawsuits against those who have criticized him following accusations that he had sexual relations with one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, when she was a teenager. Accordingly, here is a completely made up and constitutionally protected fake quotation and story about Alan Dershowitz defending himself.


It isn’t right that my reputation is being dragged through the mud on nothing more than sworn accusations of a woman who has provided the government with scores of credible evidence about the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, and their collaborators, including Prince Andrew. Virginia Giuffre is a liar with regard to her specific accusations against me, and the idea that I engaged in pedophilic activities similar to my client Jeffrey Epstein is absurd. I did nothing wrong and that is obvious because the US Attorney granted all of Jeffrey Epstein’s collaborators immunity from prosecution. And as a collaborator, I made sure of that when I negotiated the non-prosecution agreement.”

Among the many accusations levied against Professor Dershowitz is that he received an erotic massage from Ms. Guiffre while at Jeffrey Epstein’s home when she was a teenager. Alan Dershowitz claims this is a lie and even (and this part is real) claims that while he did receive a massage at Jeffrey Epstein’s home while there in his capacity as a lawyer like that’s a thing lawyers do, he was rubbed down by an older woman named “Olga” and kept his underwear one the entire time.

Reaction to Mr. Dershowitz’s “underwear defense” has ranged from “I don’t fucking believe a god damn word he says” to widespread mouth barfs at the thought of Alan Dershowitz in his underwear. In a conversation with The Plantain that we made up so don’t sue us, Professor Underpants claimed to have irrefutable proof of his innocence.

“Here, now what do you think of that boychik?” Alan asked me as he slid a photograph of himself posing for the camera wearing a dirty pair of underwear. After spitting out the vomit from my mouth I asked him what it was he was showing to me.

“That’s me! Harvard Professor and CNN contributor Alan Dershowitz standing in a pair of soiled underwear! Don’t you see, this proves that I didn’t have sex with that liar Virginia Giuffre.”

I waited for a moment, contemplating his argument as I stared at the liver spots that covered his pruned body.”But how does this prove you didn’t have sex with her, Alan?” I asked. He was ready for the question.

“Excellent question, I am so glad you asked. Why would I, a well-respected Harvard professor and CNN contributor show you this picture of me in my shit-stained underwear if it weren’t the same underwear I wore when I received a massage at Jeffrey Epstein’s house from an adult woman named Helga?”

“Olga,” I corrected him.

“Right, Olga. This picture is very embarrassing, but if I’m willing to show this to you and the world then I must be telling the truth, right? Don’t you get it, I am clearly absolved of any wrongdoing.”

I spent the next forty-five minutes listening to Alan Dershowitz talk without interruption as he explained over and over again how he didn’t have had sex with anyone who is underage, but that even if he did statutory rape is an outdated concept anyway. He explained at length how Jeffrey Epstein’s abusive behavior had nothing to do with him and that his role in defending him is just part of his job as a constitutional lawyer which somehow absolves him from being a shitty person or mounting campaigns against the character of his client’s and allegedly his sexual victims.

When I told him I wasn’t buying it he accused me of being anti-Semitic until he found out I was Jewish. He then started mumbling to himself in frustration before showed me the picture of him in his underwear again. “I’m a Harvard Professor who knows Anderson Cooper. Why would I do this?”

As I was leaving, Alan Dershowitz tried to stop me so he could continue explaining to me that this entire thing is a misunderstanding, a conspiracy concocted by abuse victims and investigatory journalists. But it was no use. I didn’t really exist. I wasn’t even there. He had imagined the entire exchange while he waited in line at a Dunkin Donuts near his Boston home.

“I am not a pedophile!” Alan Dershowitz yelled at the clerk. It was the third time this has happened this week.

“Professor Dershowitz, you’re at a Dunkin Donuts again,” said the store manager, news that startled the old man out of the daytime delusion he was having. “Oh, okay. Well, in that case, I will take an order of Munchkins,” he told the clerk.

When 27-year-old Miami native Delia Fernandez was arrested earlier this year for twerking on top of a car as it drove down the 836, she felt her rights were violated. “You can’t do this to me, I have rights!” screamed a scantily clad Ms. Fernandez as she was handcuffed by Miami-Dade Police in a now-infamous viral video of the incident recorded by the arresting officers that they immediately posted online.

“You don’t have a right to twerk on a moving vehicle” said one of the police officers before roughing her up a little just for fun.

At Ms. Fernandez’s court appearance on one count of disorderly conduct, the Miami-Dade College alum argued her arrest violated the First Amendment and her “right to disseminate an erotic message by twerking on a car in traffic.”

“Are you suggesting that the Founders intended for the First Amendment to protect drunken women from shaking their asses while driving on a freeway?” asked Judge Beatrice Baker, herself a former Miami-Dade alum who was known to get down in her day.

“The right to twerk on top of a car was one of the primary concerns of the Founders,” said Ms. Fernandez’s lawyer. “It’s frankly why we fought the Revolution.”

In an Order issued at the hearing, Judge Baker found that the First Amendment protected twerking on a moving vehicle and prohibited Miami-Dade from enforcing its restrictions on shaking that ass while driving, reasoning:

“It is clear, under the Supreme Court’s Barnes v. Glen Theater precedent, that erotic dancing is protected under the First Amendment and the Court finds the government has not demonstrated that its prohibition against popping one’s pussy from the hood of an Acura while it drives down the Dolphin Expressway” meets the Time, Place, and Manner standard as outlined in Ward v. Rock Against Racism. Accordingly, this Court enters an injunction prohibiting Miami from stopping any other cars with a ratchet women hanging off the hood twerking in traffic.”

“This is a great victory and I feel, like, super vindicated,” Ms. Fernandez told The Plantain as she exited the Courtroom. She then mounted the hood of her boyfriend’s Mazda and started clapping her ass, just as the Constitution intended.

Many have wondered how Senator Marco Rubio, a cowardly Miami native legally classified as a mollusk, remains so popular in Miami despite doing absolutely nothing for anyone in Miami. After a careful review of the Senator’s record and talking to the men who used to hang out in the Tropical Park bathrooms that knew him as a youth, we discovered that the qualities that keep Rubio relevant are the same ones that skyrocketed Scooby “Dooby” Doo to popularity all those years ago.

Here are 5 ways Marco Rubio is just like Scooby-Doo.

They’re both cowards

Scooby-Doo’s cowardice is one of his defining traits. He runs from every problem he faces, whether it be a ghost, a monster, a bath, or personal responsibility. While Scooby’s cowardice can get in the way, and indeed, sometimes instigates antics among his gang of meddling kids, he always redeems himself once Velma gives him a Scooby-Snack which gives him the courage needed to save the day.

Marco is also a coward unwilling to protect his constituents by standing up against his party’s dog whistle immigration policies and is too petrified to criticize literally anything Trump has ever done. Like Scooby, Marco Rubio knows he is a coward, which upsets him, and he occasionally tries to eat a Marco Snack for courage. Unfortunately, “Marco Snacks” are just croquetas from Vicky’s, which are so oily they tend to just make him tired and not brave.

They both believe in consolidating wealth at the top.

Senator Rubio loves low taxes and is a staunch believer in trickle-down economics. The economic policies he supports let the rich exploit the efforts of the working class by funneling profits up through essentially tax-exempt corporate entities. This is exactly like how Scooby-Doo uses a very-long straw to secretly suck up his friends’ milkshakes before they notice, even though they did all the work of getting the milkshake because dogs can’t buy milkshakes.

Scooby at least is honest and direct with his theft and says “ROUGH ROUGH SARRY, FRED” after he laps up Fred’s sandwich with his tongue. Marco, on the other hand, is not an honest thief and would steal Daphne’s pig to give to the butcher without any shame or even inviting her over for lechon.

They are both totally divorced from their ethnicity.

It’s a well-documented fact that “Scoob” is a DINO (Dog In Name Only) who spends all his time with humans who keep him around only for the sake of saying they have a dog. He’s clearly treated as lesser than his peers, with only shaggy making any attempt to understand dog culture.

Marco-Doo is the only prominent Hispanic Republican in the Senate, with the notable exception of Ted Cruz, who is such a hated twerp he would definitely be Scrappy-Doo by analogy. Rubio, like Scooby, totally eschews his Hispanic heritage and culture only displaying it when he wants to bark at the cat of communism.

They both have brown hair.

In Scooby’s case, it’s more like fur and he has a lot more of it since Rubio isn’t a dog and is going sort of bald too. But either way, brown.

They’re both two-dimensional characters obsessed with taking down 1960’s-era villains that don’t pose a threat to anyone anymore.

For all his faults, Marco Rubio, like Scooby-Doo, just wants the people who own him to think he is a “good boy, yes he is, a very good boy.” And like his cartoon counterpart, Marco Rubio thinks the way to achieve affection is to fight 1960’s-era villains. For Scooby-Doo, this makes sense since he is a cartoon character from the 1960’s. But Marco Rubio isn’t a cartoon dog from the 1960’s, he is a U.S. Senator.

And Fidel Castro is dead.

Bit even for all of his posturing about Castro and the problems with communism, Marco wants so desperately to have his tummy rubbed by the white man in the ascot that he is willing to ignore Trump’s dealings with Castro and the Cuban government over the years. What’s worse, with all of his obsession with what has happened in Cuba or Venezuela long ago, he ignores the many issues happening back home in Westchester, where he may or may not used to have gotten handjobs from strange men in the Tropical Park bathroom in the 90’s. Zoinks.

There were a lot of options for the headline of this satirical article about Miami’s mayoral election. I could have done something really outlandish like “The Plantain Endorses Wishes Alex Penelas Cause have been Mayor cause He’d Be Great” or something more realistic like “Esteban Bovo Promises To Defeat Ghost of Fidel Castro If Elected Mayor” but after four years of running this (highly profitable) website (that is available for purchase should any hedge fund be interested), I know that our (super literate) readers sometimes take these articles literally.

Daniella Levine Cava is one of the best people I’ve ever met. That’s not satirical and there is no hidden subtext to it. She is just a stand-up person who cares more about Miami than almost anyone I know. And I know Mitchell Kaplan. Not personally. Through a friend.

Over the last four years, I’ve tried to write a satirical article about Daniella Levine Cava, one in which I exploit her worst qualities for the hard-hitting comedy gold that any hedge fund would be lucky to have in its portfolio. But I could never do so because Daniella’s worst quality is that she is an almost unnaturally wonderful person. Her second worst quality is she may be too into floral pattern blouses.

When you meet Daniella for the first time, you think to yourself “how could this lady be so nice and genuinely caring,” and also, “that’s a distracting peacock feather patterned blouse.” She’s so nice that you think she must be up to something. But it’s been years of me waiting for the shoe to drop on Daniella Levine Cava and all I’ve found out about her is she is a saint. I’ve even grown to love her penchant for large hats and turquoise clothing. Her worst quality is that there aren’t more people like her. And that’s the type of person I want as a mayor.

I’m serious about this, by the way, here is the absolute best headline I’ve been able to come up with poking fun at DLC over the years:

“Daniella Levine Cava to change her name to ‘Daniella Levine Cava Cava’ in appeal to Hispanic voters.”

It’s a pretty good headline, if I do say so myself, but I didn’t post it because it undermines the amazing work Daniella has done as Commissioner and throughout her career in non-profits for the normal people who live in a County that is run by politicians who prioritize the needs of those who already have the most over those of us still struggling to make it. I see the role that The Plantain plays in this community as being a source that shines a light on the things that Miami should improve. Daniella, in my honest opinion, doesn’t need to be improved. She needs to be in power. That’s why I’m endorsing her for mayor.

Miami has a lot of issues. But whether it will be addressing climate change, traffic congestion, our affordable housing and overdevelopment problems, police oversight, or just having someone in power who will be transparent and care about how her decisions impact normal people, Daniella is the only choice to address those issues.

I look forward to the day I can watch her stand at County Hall in an oversized hat and paisley blouse as she is sworn in as our mayor.

A note about her opponent:

A lot of people dismiss Esteban Bovo because he is a MAGA-loving idiot. But what you may not know is he’s been terrible LONG before he became a MAGA-loving idiot. I was once at a Commission meeting and he went on this long diatribe about how no one cares about public transit because people left Cuba for freedom and freedom means being able to drive their own car. No, Bovo, people left Cuba to escape inflexible leaders with god complexes like you.

Bovo’s only argument against Daniella is that she is a “radical liberal.” Literally, that’s it. I’ve gotten about a thousand mailers saying just that, but Daniella is no radical liberal, and believe me I should know because I am a radical liberal. She is just compassionate and caring and believes that those with the least have just as much of a right to call Miami their home as those with the most. If that is radical liberal socialism, then I guess I’m a radical liberal socialist and proud of it.

Hell, I’m so proud of it I put it on stickers and shirts that’s for sale

What could be more capitalistic than that?

It was overall a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I never eat Frankie’s Pizza because it is awful. It has been awful for 50 years and anyone who tells you that’s not true just grew up in South Miami and doesn’t want to admit that their youth was spent eating subpar pizza.

But, every 4 years or so I give it another chance because deep down I want Frankie’s pizza to be good. It is an institution that I want to succeed.

But it is never good.

And it has never been good.

Their sauce is gross and their dough is spongy and I think it’s time we all just admit that it no longer meets the standards of modern pizza and we just eat it because it’s there and sometimes we’re hungry.

And yes, this review is an allegory about the election.

And no, I’m not sure if allegory is the right word.

So as I approached Frankie’s dingy little building there were two elderly men screaming at each other about socialism and telling each other to shut up over and over. I tried to make my way past them to order but they were so belligerent I couldn’t make my way through.

“Who are these men?” I asked a teenage employee smoking a black and mild on his break. “Oh, they’re just two old men who show up every couple of years and scream at each other like they fucking own the place,” he said before turning to his phone.

I asked the kid if I could order a pizza, to which he said “yeah, for sure, I’ll be back on the clock in 10 minutes.”

So I waited and watched the two men go at each other. Neither made much sense and both had difficulty getting their point across without screaming or stumbling over his own words. As they yelled about the direction of the country it was clear they didn’t care about what anyone wanted other than themselves. It was frustrating to hear, but after 10 minutes of back and forth about the police (they both basically love police) and the environment (they both basically don’t want to do anything to help it) and health care (they both basically don’t think health care should be given to everyone) and the monopolization of corporate power (they both basically love big corporations), I decided to push my way into the restaurant and order what I knew would be a very bad pizza pie.

Inside the teenager took my order but was texting with someone at the same time so I didn’t have confidence he got my order correct (it was a cheese pizza). But I am generally conflict-averse and afraid of teenagers so I said nothing and handed him my credit card. “Yeah, yeah, cool, it will be ready in 15 minutes, so just wait outside.”

Outside I listen to the old men fight again. One was fat and overly pampered and the other liver-spotted and frail. They yelled at each other about women’s rights and black’s rights and what the world would be like in 50 years and had opinions about everything that would impact everyone other than them. And they both believed each other wanted to take the country in the wrong direction but supported this belief in a very half-educated hyperbolic sort of way.

I thought it ironic that these two old men would dare to think they should still have a say in a world. How dare they? They were both in their 70’s…why not just take their remaining years and calm the fuck down. Why are they fighting so hard for things that won’t impact them when doing so means the very people who are impacted will not have a meaningful say? It’s selfish and I tried to interject several times, but they just ignored me and laughed about how I was a socialist. They both agreed that I was a socialist.

After several minutes the fat one started getting really cagey and low-key started defending Nazis for some reason. I felt I needed to interrupt at that point: “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” I finally screamed. The other old man looked stunned.

“How can you defend Nazis? They are Nazis? That should be enough for you to hate them!”

As I was really starting to get going I was interrupted by the kid who worked at Frankie’s who handed me my pizza as he walked outside to light another black-and-mild. As he blew smoke in the air and ran his fingers across his tapered hairline I realized I hated him and felt a strong desire to call him a socialist because the pizza he handed me had onions all over it. It was just cheese and raw onions. Who would order that? How could he think I or anyone else would want that? Was he fucking with me? I asked him to make me a new one, which he said he would but he just started another 15-minute break so it would be at least 45 until the pizza was ready. Fucking socialist. I decided to just accept the pizza.

As I turned back to the fat old man who was defending Nazis I noticed the other old man just standing there silently. “Well, what do you have to say for yourself? Do you like Nazis too?”

He took a moment and reflected…”No. I don’t like Nazis. They’re Nazis.”

For whatever reason what should have been his uncontroversial opinion that Nazis are bad made me feel comforted. I took a deep breath and I pulled out a slice of Frankie’s disgusting pizza with cheese and onions and a spongy undercooked crust and sauce that tastes like it was pickled in vinegar and reluctantly took a bite because I was exhausted and hungry and sick of fighting with someone who supports Nazis and just needed to eat something, goddammit. I gave that frail old man who doesn’t really represent me or want to fix any of the big problems I’m concerned about a nod as I left him to continue fighting with the fatter old man, because at least he doesn’t like Nazis so in this fight that means I’m on his side.

And as I walked back to my car to go home to watch the debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump I thought about how I would so much rather have gone to Big Cheese or Miami’s Best or Anthony’s or An Diamo’s or Harry’s or even fucking Pete Buttigieg Papa John’s, but that wasn’t a choice I had because I happened to be on Bird Road and needed to eat. And I knew that in four years I would likely be back at Frankie’s Pizza listening to two other old men fighting about issues that no longer impact them without any care for what I, or anyone my age, or frankly anyone who doesn’t look like them, really wants. And I’d have to eat another slice of awful cheese and onion pizza because I’ll be hungry again and need to eat and because despite a long history of disappointment Frankie’s is just not going anywhere.

Congressleprochaun Donna Shalala is under fire, yet again this week after admitting to–wait, are you serious? Uch, what an unforced error, okayCOMMITTING A FEDERAL CRIME BY NOT REPORTING THE SALE OF STOCKS SHE OWNED. This is somehow the second time in the last six months she has been busted for not reporting stock sales.

The Plantain spoke with Ms. Shalala about the FEDERAL CRIME SHE COMMITTED, which the freshman Congressmen explained it was just a “mistake” that she chalks up to her youth and inexperience. “I was only 78 years old when it happened. I’m 79 now and learned my lesson.”

When asked how an error of the magnitude of FEDERAL CRIME could occur, Ms. Shalala was unsure of the details, explaining only that she and her team of investment advisors took the position that they did not have to comply with federal law: “For the life of me, I cannot remember what made us think that we were wise and we’d never compromise,” said Ms. Shalala, adding that “she was merely a freshman…congressperson.”

Donna Shalala’s FEDERAL CRIME has caused some to question whether she should be appointed to the House Oversight committee overseeing the distribution of emergency Coronavirus funds. As of this publication, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not ask Donna to step down, chalking the entire controversy up as a “simple mistake” not at all like what Republican Senators Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler did which was much worse for some reason..

The Plantain asked Ms. Shalala if she regretted selling her stock in violation of federal reporting laws, to which she said she did. We then asked whether she also regretted selling environmentally sensitive land owned by the Univesity of Miami when she was its President to developers to make a fucking Walmart to which the Congresswoman told me to fuck off and then had a staffer reach out to one of my friends in the Democratic party to ask me to “cool it” since the most important thing is defeating Trump and presenting a united front.