Seven year old aerospace engineer child Timothy Richardson is very concerned about the plastic frowning ghost decoration in his neighbor’s lawn. “Mommy, did he die?,” the MIT Graduate young boy asked his mother as she secured him into his car seat. “No, of course not sweetheart. Like I told you yesterday, it’s just a bad joke my love. Now sit tight in your big boy chair so we can get you  to school,” said Leslie Richardson before kissing her son for a little too long on his forehead.

Mrs. Richardson, a 38-year-old helicopter mother who runs a popular “Mommy Blog” called “Take the Mommy and Run”, contacted The Plantain’s editor several times last week to express her concern about the emotional impact her neighbor’s Halloween decoration was having on her son. I was sent to investigate.

“When I first saw Timothy cower at the site of that terrible plastic frowning ghost I realized that it was my duty as his mother to protect him from such ghoulish imagery. It is just so cruel how our society treats children around Halloween. Being exposed to ghosts or spider webs is just not good for their mental health,” said  Mrs. Richardson  before adding “It’s a modern day lynching,” a comment she quickly regretted and asked me not to print.

For the last several weeks Mrs. Richardson has been on a crusade to eliminate every ghost, skeleton, and monster from Coral Reef Elementary School where her son teaches attends. “It has been so difficult to get the school to agree to take down all of its Halloween decorations and cancel its annual charity costume contest, but my perseverance paid off.”

“She threatened a lawsuit against me, the School District, and Timothy’s teacher Ms. Monica for intentional infliction of emotional distress,” explained Coral Reef Principal Henry Wilkinson. “We just didn’t think it was worth the fight.” Recognizing her threat may appear drastic to some, Mrs. Richardson justified it as necessary for her child’s protection. “It’s no different than a child with a peanut allergy expecting his school respect his anatomical differences. My son is allergic to scary things.”

This reporter asked Mrs. Richardson to allow Timothy to sit for an interview outside of her supervision, but was denied the request on the basis of Timothy being “a little scared of red heads. You understand.”

Never one to allow a finicky mother to get in the way of my journalistic integrity, I arrived at Coral Reef Elementary to confront Timothy in front of his peers to find out why Halloween decorations scare him so much and what he thought of his mother’s efforts.  As I, a grown and unshaven man, approached the young child sitting alone in the lunchroom we locked eyes. “Hey Timmy, can I ask you a few questions about Halloween?”

“Could you not? I’m- I’m trying to eat my lunch!” shouted Timothy as he ran off into the bathroom to finish his tuna fish sandwich alone in the handicapped stall. Left sitting alone at the undersized lunch table I was approached by an elderly woman who asked, with appropriate suspicion, who I was. “I came here to talk to a young child about his deepest fears,” I told the woman without blinking.

“I think you ought to go,” she said nervously. As I stood up to leave I grabbed the Ziploc bag full of homemade trail mix that Timothy left behind when he ran away from me. There were peanuts in it – a violation of Coral Reef’s snack policy. God, Mrs. Richardson is such a hypocrite.

As I left the lunchroom I noticed the elderly lady that confronted me staring suspiciously while on the phone with someone; likely the police. 

I attempted to reach Mrs. Richardson again for a follow-up interview but was informed by her attorney that any further contact would result in my arrest. As I became more obsessed with the details of this story I disregarded my editor’s advice and drove through the Richardson’s community and noticed it had been ridded of all Halloween decorations, with the exception of the single plastic frowny ghost that still hung from the Richardson’s neighbor’s home.

I approached that home and spoke with its owner Javier Colon. When asked why he had kept the frowny plastic ghost when it looked like all of his neighbors had acquiesced to Mrs. Richardson’s requests, the man seemed confused.  “Who’s Mrs. Richardson?” he asked, explaining that no one had asked him to take down his decorations.

“Your neighbor…Leslie Richardson,” I explained pointing to the Richardson’s home. “She has a son named Timothy. He’s a shy, nervous boy.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. That home has been empty for years. The family that lived there died 7 years ago. Come to think of it, they died on Halloween.”  

Panic filled my breath and I began recounting the last several days and all of the time I had spent with Mrs. Richardson and Timothy. Had any of that been real? I began to hyperventilate and grasped my head wondering if I had imagined it all or if I had somehow encountered the ghost of a family that died years ago.

“Bro, bro…” interrupted Mr. Colon. “I’m just messing with you, man. The Richardsons live next door. The mother asked me to take down the ghost, but I told her no. That kids got to toughen up.”

I thanked Mr. Colon for his time and walked back to my car. As I was about to drive away I looked up at the Richardson’s second story window and could see Timothy frightfully peering through his curtains and staring at the frowny plastic ghost that, for whatever reason, made him so scared. 

“Mom! The reporter that attacked me at school is outside,” shouted a petrified Timothy to his mother. 

“Get away from the window!” responded Mrs. Richardson as she ran toward the shotgun she kept in her closet.

By 

The commute for students of Miami’s Al Crespo Memorial Elementary School got a little longer this week as the school finalized plans to relocate its campus from its longtime Edgewater location to Severodonetsk, Ukraine. “We really didn’t want to move,” admitted the school’s Principal Vivian Alcarez, “but it was the only way we could be sure the school received enough government funding for its after-school arts programs and to replace our outdated textbooks.”

Immediately upon announcing the school’s plan to move, Principal Alcarez was informed by a spokesperson for the Defense Department that the school would be receiving 1.2 billion dollars in direct aid for the students which will allow her to finally purchase a new overhead projector for Mr. Luntz’s visual arts class and as well as an MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System she was told was specifically earmarked in the grant.

“The Federal Government unquestionably supports the education of American students and the MGM-140, made by our good friends at Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT, $389.41
+16.55 (4.08%)), is the type of surface-to-surface missile system that any school would be glad to have,” said Nancy Pelosi, speaking loudly enough for her husband’s stock broker to hear. When asked how an elementary school would benefit from an advanced military system, the House leader said “I don’t know…physics or something, I gotta go, ZOINKS!”

The Plantain spoke to several students about now having to commute approximately 13 hours each day via a fleet of newly painted schoolbus-yellow 747 Dreamlifters produced by Boeing (NYSE: BA, $133.15, +0.75 (0.57%)). “It’s kinda far,” said 8-year-old Damien Cortez, “but the plane has Wi-Fi on it and computers for playing Roblox, so I think it is a good tradeoff.”

“Listen, of course ideally we would be able to give the domestic education of our children the same sort of fevered prioritization that we do Eurasian border disputes,” said Principal Alcarez as she admired the newly printed U.S. History textbooks which have replaced the chapter about the Nuclear disarmament movement and Bush-era protests by Democrats against interventionist wars with a new chapter in which a cartoon panel of Peppa Pig (She/Her/Pig) teaches the children about what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.

“Go find your mummay and dadday,” informs the British piglet.

The Plantain sought comment from Governor Ron DeSantis who said he would not be able to provide one until he had better polls.

No one likes Art, a study finds. Not a single god-damn person. A surprising revelation given the seemingly immense worldwide popularity of Art and the millions of people attending Art Basel in Miami this week. A survey among Art Basel attendees released today found that despite over 98% of them responding “Yes” to the generalized question of “Hey, do you like Art?”, 100% of those respondents confessed upon additional questioning that they thought Art was stupid and boring and that they just use Art Basel as an excuse to dress-up and go somewhere. “Art is sort of gay,” said David Rubenstein-Smith of his bisexual cousin Arthur Totorro. “And he and I always talk about how awful attending someone’s gallery exhibit is.”

The study found that despite universal hatred for Art, attendance at Art Basel is at all time highs because attendees like the secondary benefits of attending Art events, particularly: exuding the impression of being cultured, European accents, drugs, not feeling like all you did this week was watch twenty episodes of Frasier, the possibility of sex, fear that your idiot younger brother will make more money than you investing in NFTs or whatever, complaining about traffic, selfies, and also drugs. Those, as well as the chance of running into Adrian Brody, the study found, are the only reasons people attend Art Basal every year. Not because they enjoy Art, which they don’t, because Art is stupid.

When confronted with the results of the survey, 24-year-old Christina Delmonico rejected its conclusion, stating that she “always loved Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” as well as other pieces she could totally name but doesn’t want to, but quickly conceded that Art is sort of overrated and pretentious and that she only went to a couple of satellite Art Basel exhibits so she could say that she was doing something when people asked her if she was doing anything for Art Basel.

One of the events Ms. Delmonico attended was the “Overlord Hempmaker” exhibit at the Euphoric Gallery/Café/Clothing Store on Collins. The gallery featured original (but highly derivative) street-inspired collages by “Overlord Hempmaker”, an up-and-coming local artist better known as Daniel Schwartzman, son of real-estate developer Hershel Schwartzman, who owns the Euphoric Gallery.  “The pieces are meant to speak to the struggle of being a minority in this country,” explained Mr. Schwartzman as he vaped. When asked what inspired him to become an artist, the 27-year-old said that he always felt the need to express himself, but mostly he liked all the drugs and women that come from being a famous artist

The Plantain asked Art historian Barbara Dunkin whether people always hated Art or if it was a new cultural development. “People never really loved Art, but they certainly liked it a little more before TV and the internet came along. Before 1950, you have to remember, the only activity people were allowed to do was stare at Art or die of Typhoid Fever.” As more and more better options for entertainment became available, the world stopped having to pretend that staring at a painting for more than 10 seconds was fun or emotional, which she admits it never was. “But people have always loved drugs and having people think they are cultured, so Art continues to maintain a veneer of popularity.”

WE GETTIN’ PAID!!!!!! We’ve been hearing a lot of hate about Miami being unaffordable lately. With some fake news about it being the second most unaffordable place in the US and is even more expensive than Los Angeles where the cast of the new How I Met Your Mother reboot lives. But that anti-Miami propaganda isn’t taking into consideration OUR BIG DICK ENERGY NEW MINIMUM WAGE!!!!!!!!

Thanks to some Communist Socialist legislation or whatever, Florida’s minimum wage is increasing this week to TEN MOTHER FUCKING DOLLARS PER HOUR! That means you can literally just get a job, show up, and an hour later you’ve earned $10 if you don’t think about taxes cause who the fuck does, right?

With the average rent in Miami only $1,915 a month that means all you need to do to afford to live in the place that you live is work a measly 235 hours a month. That’s less than 60 hours a week (not including those PAID FOR 10-min breaks HOLLAAAAA!) which is basically nothing. I mean, my dad worked 60 hours a week growing up and he never complained or even talked to me. In other words, it’s easily done!

Plus, since there are literally 730 hours each month that means even after covering rent you’ll have 495 hours a month to fucking party at LIV, ride those little scooter things they sell at Bayside, wonder why your dad didn’t call you for your birthday, and figure out how after working for 235 hours you’re also supposed to find money for food.

SPONSORED BY MIAMI COIN*! Earn 430% APY!

*We’re not really sponsored by Miami Coin. But we would be if they reached out. We really need the money.

It was 29 years ago this week that Hurricane Andrew touched down in South Florida, leaving a wake of destruction in his path that impacted a generation of South Floridians. “Andrew was one of the most important moments in South Florida’s history,” said your friend’s mother unsolicited on Facebook.

But 29 years later, Andrew has retreated from the spotlight and is no longer the powerful storm of his youth. Now, the embattled gale finds himself in a tropical depression after years of missed opportunities and poor decisions.

In an exclusive interview with the Plantain, Hurricane Andrew detailed his journey from a once great windstorm, heralded by many as the “Storm of the Century”, to an unemployed and highly disorganized storm system living back in his childhood bedroom.

“After I hit it big in Miami in 1992, I decided to test my luck and move in a north-westerly direction toward Louisianna with the ultimate forecast of reaching New York,” said Andrew. “I never came close.”

“Andrew makes a mess out of everything in his path,” said his father, Dr. Lawrence Appelbaum. “I told him he would never make it to New York. But he went anyway and ended up calling me and his mother a few days later to pick him up from Tennessee. When we arrived he was covered in blow and in hysterics. He’s been living here ever since.”

Hurricane Andrew says he is uninterested in following his father’s career in orthopedics, or pursuing any career for that matter. “It’s not like I can just go and get a normal job at CVS or something. I’m Hurricane Andrew, everyone knows that. It would be humiliating if somebody saw me bagging groceries or working in a hospital or something,” said the storm. “I just need to focus on myself a little more before I’m ready to make a comeback and move out.”

Although he maintains he is not prepared to join the workforce, Hurricane Andrew acknowledged the strain that his lifestyle has put on his relationship with his father. “We’ve grown pretty distant, sure, but I know he loves me. I guess I just wish I felt he loved me for something besides just being his son.”

When asked to respond, Dr. Appelbaum was dismissive of his son’s concerns, noting the large amounts of money he has spent on him over the last two decades and suggesting that his son earn his love and respect by working toward building a future for himself.”He was a category 5! A 5! Now what is he? He’s nothing.”

“Andrew has no ambition. None whatsoever,” continued his father. “Not like his sister Sandy, who made landfall in NY where she was accepted to Julliard to study dance. Now she’s married to a congressional staffer from Far Rockaway,” said Dr. Appelbaum with aplomb. “They wrote about their engagement in the New York Times!” he gushed.

“I know some will look at me and think I’ve wasted a good opportunity,” said Hurricane Andrew. “Maybe I have. But I’m going to get back on my feet. I know it.”

When asked where he saw himself in the future, the once great storm smirked to himself before answering: “Anywhere the wind blows.”

The Plantain has confirmed that Disney’s Animated Studio has purchased the rights to adapt the 2006 documentary “Cocaine Cowboys” into an animated television show. The show will reportedly be geared at 5-10 year old children and feature such educational lessons as how to convert units of measurements into the metric system and the importance of not being a fucking snitch. Cocaine Cowboys tells the bloody backstory of Miami’s 1980’s cocaine trade. The seminal Miami movie was created by local filmmaker Billy Corben and his partner, a fictitious individual created for tax purposes supposedly named “Alfred Spellman.”

“They say LA is where you go when you want to be somebody, New York is where you go when you are somebody, and Miami is where you go when you want to be somebody else,” said Mr. Corben without prompt.

The animated series, set to debut on Disney+‘S TikTok account, will focus on real-life Cocaine Cowboy Mickey Monday, portrayed by Mickey Mouse, as he navigates the animated world of 1980’s Miami from his club house at the Mutiny Club. They Might Be Giants has signed on to write the theme song.

When asked to respond to critics that the violent subject matter of his documentary is inappropriate fodder for a children’s television show, the filmmaker and star of the 1993 Alan Thicke vehicle “Stepmonster” informed the Plantain that LA is where you go when you want to be somebody, New York is where you go when you are somebody, and Miami is where you go when you want to be somebody else before throwing half an orange at the head of a passing Jose Javier Rodriguez

Speaking from his favorite Hooters, Governor Ron DeSantis signed an emergency order banning all hurricane shutters throughout South Florida until the end of hurricane season.

“Just leave your windows open! What’s the worst that could happen? Your stuff will get wet? So what?” said the Governor before flagging down a waitress and asking for some more ranch. “Things get wet all the time.”

The shutter ban comes amid increased storm activity in the Atlantic and during a time when experts warn a tropical storm is imminent.

“This is so irresponsible, doesn’t he realize people’s stuff will get wet if they don’t close their windows?” said Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried in three consecutive fundraising emails sent by her campaign back-to-back. “If you ask me, we need to start shuttering our windows regardless of the weather outside,” she said in her emails before asking for a $5.00 donation to fight back against Trumpism in Florida.

The University of Miami School of Law has committed to educating its students on the risks of taking on too much student debt and will offer incoming 1Ls the opportunity to enroll in its new joint JD/LLM program specializing in student debt law. Tuition for the four-year program is $250,000 and will provide graduates with a working knowledge of the non-dischargeable debt provisions of the U.S. bankruptcy code and prepare them for a career as a fucking contract attorney making $38k a year for some insurance coverage firm in Coral Gables.

“We have a responsibility to train these students in the art of the law, by which I mean how to cover a $900/month student loan payment for the rest of their life,” said the School’s recently fired Dean as he begged for change outside the Coral Gables Taco Rico. “UM offers a highly regarded legal education and this new joint program will only add to its–hey if you’re going to throw away that guac can I have it?”

“A law degree is such a like versatile degree,” said incoming 1L Melissa Basques who enrolled in the new JD/LLM program by taking out $250,000 in loans to cover the tuition on top of $140,000 in private loans to cover the costs of living in Miami for four years without an income. When asked whether she was concerned about taking on nearly $400K in debt and if she considered whether taking on this financial burden would impact her ability to get married, have kids, own a house, or change careers at any point in her life, the 22-year-old Akron, Ohio native said she was not. “People who work at Skadden Arps make $205,000 right out of law school, I’m going to pay off this debt in no time.”

The Plantain reached out to Skadden Arps and asked what a UM law student needed to do to secure one of its highly selective associate positions. “Transfer to Harvard after your first year,” said Hiring Manager Hubert J. Cockface before hanging up and sending me a bill for, what the fuck, $1,400 an hour!

By Joshua P. Lager
UM Law J.D. 2013
$274,993 in debt.

“I hate those police!” said a 75-year-old man outside of Versailles.

“You hate the police?” said 15 City of Miami police officers just standing in the parking lot in uniform all day every day.

“NO! I hate THOSE police…in Cuba!” said the old man. “Blue lives matter,” he said as he started to peel the black, white, and blue logo from the bumper of his DeVille. “Just not Azul lives, you know?”

Versailles unveiled a uniquely Cuban take on the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte, a “Mamey Spice Latte“, which owner King Louis XIV of France believes will attract a younger and more diverse group of customers to Miami’s landmark restaurant.”We were terribly upset by the recent real report that Miami was only ranked the eight best coffee city in the Country by ~~The New York Times~~ Wallethub.com, falling behind well known coffee shit holes like Washington D.C. and Chicago,” said Louis XIV. “We realized that Miami’s problem isn’t that the coffee is bad, it’s that unless you are one of the elderly cigar smoking men who stand outside of our ventanitas all day to discuss right wing politics and comment on the bodies of every woman who approaches, the Miami coffee experience isn’t very friendly.”

In an effort to create a more inclusive coffee culture, Versailles will redesign its building to create a separate female ventanita, a third coffee window for English speaking tourists, and a fourth window for people asking directions to the nearest Starbucks. They will also be offering free wi-fi (although most websites will be blocked) and several new menu items designed to attract younger coffee enthusiasts, such as the Mamey Spice Latte and the Cafe Con Almond Milk.

“The Mamey Spice Latte was fantastic,” said tourist Becky Wiltowner of Grand Rapids Michigan. The 22 year old said that she was drawn to Versailles because she was looking for an authentic Cuban experience while in Miami, “but not like too authentic, you know.”

According to Louis XIV, the effort to modernize Versailles seems to be paying off, but not everyone is happy. “This is a disgrace,” said 83-year-old Ernesto Santiago through a plume of cigar smoke, who, although angered that his beloved cafeteria is changing, noted positively that many of the young ladies attracted to Versailles by the new menu were very attractive.

“Mira ese culo,” said the octogenarian to himself as he sighed to himself, appreciating the passage of time.