The Plantain has confirmed that Michigan tourists Dennis and Julia Redgrave are safe and have been returned to their hotel after a day of attending the Calle Ocho Festival in Little Havana.

The couple was in South Florida for the weekend and had planned to explore Miami before leaving for a cruise to Haiti, St. Barts, and the Bahamas on Monday. “We looked up things to do in Miami and thought the Calle Ocho Festival looked real fun,” said Dennis. “The only problem is the website didn’t say what street it was on!”

The Michiganders spent most of the morning trying to find the festival, a task that took longer than anticipated after Dennis asked several locals for directions and was either just shrugged at or purposefully given incorrect directions.  After several hours, and an inadvertent trip to Hialeah, the couple reached Eighth Street and even found parking after they paid a few children $40 to park in what they said was their parents’ lawn.

After several minutes of trying on hats, awkwardly dancing to La Vida Es Un Carnaval, and avoiding plumes of cigar smoke from very short men, the couple became separated from each other after Dennis was lured into what he thought was a friendly domino game and Julia accidentally enrolled herself in the festival’s croquette eating competition.

“I thought it would be fun, but I guess the competitive spirit got the best of me,” said Julia, a type 2-diabetic who became briefly comatose after devouring 91 ham croquettes in 8 minutes to take home the women’s eating title.  As she sat unconscious on the floor, her husband was losing the keys to his rental car, several thousand dollars in traveler’s checks, and the new hat he just bought to a group of 80-year-old domino sharks.

After awakening from her stupor to find that her shoes had been stolen, a barefooted Julia tracked down Dennis and traded the $30 Valsan gift certificate she won for eating over 16,000 calories worth of croquettes to an on-duty cop in exchange for him calling an ambulance to take the occasionally still convulsing woman to the hospital for observation. 

After several hours of observation, Ms. Redgrave was released. The 64-year-old retiree said she and her husband have canceled their cruise and plan to return to Michigan as soon as possible for some much-needed rest.

“She lucky to be alive,” said Julia’s physician Dr. Norman Babo.  “It isn’t safe for a Midwesterner to eat that many croquetas. Or anyone, for that matter.”

“We need to support a free Cuba,” said Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to his wife before climbing into bed with her.

“What, Ronnie?” his wife asked as she rubbed the back of his neck.

“Sorry, babe. Force of habit. I just had a heck of a day what with all those Cubans in Miami rioting on the street. I had to repeal my new anti-riot bill just so those fuckers wouldn’t get arrested–“

“Ronald Dion DeSantis! Watch your language! The lord is listening.”

“Sorry. I’ll put a nickel in the swear jar tomorrow. It’s just so dang hard being Governor of Florida,” Ron said as he looked into his wife’s eyes.

“I know it is,” she replied as she brought his hand to her lip for a gentle kiss. At that moment, the stress of the day went away and Governor Ron DeSantis remembered what was really important in life.

“I love you, Sugarbee. But enough of about me. How was your day?” the Governor asked his wife who went into a long story about her sister or something. After twenty minutes and the conclusion that Governor DeSantis’s sister-in-law was being a real “see you next Tuesday”, the couple kissed again and went to sleep in each other’s arms as they have every night for the last 11 years.

As Governor DeSantis slept he dreamed that thousands of Floridians had taken to the streets to demand an end to Government oppression. As they chanted in unison they took over freeways. They broke the windows of businesses. They demanded change. In the dream, Governor DeSantis was tasked with responding to the angry crowd, but no matter how close he got, as he approached the protestors he couldn’t make out what they wanted. Were they African Americans wanting an end to police violence? White people wanting to brunch without masks? Hispanic dreamers wanting to remain in their home? Or the good kind of Hispanics wanting Cuba to be free? He couldn’t tell, but nevertheless, dream DeSantis needed to make a choice. Were these criminals or patriots? Was this a protest or a riot?

“You need to tell us what to do!” yelled a police officer in the dream who was also Sasha Velour from Season 9 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race (one of the DeSantis family’s guilty pleasures). As the crowd of protestors approached a line of police officers with their guns drawn, the cops looked at the Governor for direction.

“Don’t be a pussy, Ronald!” said Officer Sasha Velour, who was also now Ron DeSantis’s father. “Don’t be a pussy, Ronald. Make a decision. Are these protestors or rioters? What is your choice!” Officer Sasha Velour DeSantis screamed.

“I don’t know! I don’t know, daddy. I don’t know what to do I just want you to be proud of me–I just want to make you proud.” Dream Ron screamed before being jostled awake.

“Ronnie! Ronnie! It’s okay it’s only a dream,” his wife said calmly as she caressed his waking head.

“Are you okay, Ronnie?”

Governor Ron DeSantis paused for a moment and looked deep into his wife’s loving eyes. As he did he tried to remember the dream but the details faded from his consciousness quickly. Something about Sasha Velour walking along the highway? It didn’t matter.

“Oh, I’m okay, Sugarbee,” he said to his wife. “Can we just lie here for a minute? It’s going to be another stressful day at work.”

“Of course we can, Ronnie,” his wife said as she put her head on her husband’s chest and started bringing up her sister’s bullshit again.

Thirty-something Miami-Beach resident Gabriel Santos and his neighbors at the Feltch Condominium Tower in Miami Beach were relieved when they were told that their building–originally constructed in 1972–was, while poorly maintained and criminally overpriced, not structurally unsafe.

After what happened in Surfside I think everyone who lives in a dilapidated coastal building that was constructed with laundered coke-trade money became concerned about their safety. But apparently the building inspector our condo association President hired said we’re cool and to just not worry about those cracks in the garage because they’re probably nothing.”

“Well, those cracks are probably nothing,” said building inspector Martin Perez of Martin Perez Discount Building Inspection and Insurance Adjustment as he counted the $49.99 paid to him in cash by Feltch Condo Association President, Maryanne Watkins-Smith. When asked by the Plantain how Ms. Watkinks-Smith found Mr. Perez she said he came very highly recommended on Groupon and was the only building inspector she could find who could give her an opinion over the phone. When asked if she had received any conflicting reports about the building’s safety the 58-year-old widow told me she couldn’t say on advice of counsel.

“Listen, Feltch Towers is a wonderful building and Mr. Perez’s report certifying the building’s safety,” added Ms. Watkins-Smith referring to the text she received from Mr. Perez of a house emoji next to a happy face, “proves that the building is perfectly safe and can stand for another 50 years without the need for a fucking assessment that no one in the building is going to support.”

“So you really feel safe in your home even after what just happened in Surfside?” I asked Ms. Watkins-Smith. “Oh, of course I do, the building is a wonderful place to live,” said the condo association president from her daughter’s home in Boca before asking if I was pre-qualified and sending me the 1.6 million dollar Zillow listing for her 1400 square foot apartment.

Greetings! My name is Corey Jacobson and I am the Plantain’s new food critic covering the Miami Metropolitan Area. I am a recent transplant from SF (Editor’s Note: “San Francisco”) and just moved to Miami (Editor’s Note: “Pompano Beach”) last week. As a Miamian now I take great pride in eating at local restaurants that showcase Miami’s (Editor’s Note: Broward or maybe West Palm…I don’t really know where the line is) diverse (Editor’s Note: White) LatinX (Editor’s Note: Very White) flavors.

Mi Amor (Editor’s Note: Oh god), if you are looking for great LatinX flavors (Editor’s Note: He’s my wife’s cousin and his wife left him after he got laid off. You see why I had to hire him, right?) you need to look no further than the Chili’s on State Road 7 in Parkland in Miami (Editor’s Note: That’s not even in Parkland! That’s in Boca in Miami!) (Editor’s Editor’s Note: I mean Boca in not Miami). Now as we all know, chilies are a traditional LatinX food, and Chili’s in Parkland (Editor’s Note: Boca) delivers on those muy caliente traditional diverse flavors we all expected when we moved from the Bay to Miami. (Editor’s Note: Fuck this guy). The menu is full of authentic Latinx staples such as potato skins, sliders, mozzarella sticks, and my favorite: the Latinx Quinoa bowl with corn, edamame, and what I thought was a mole sauce at first but actually was just balsamic dressing. Yum!

I know what you’re thinking: Will I be able to order at the Chili’s in Parkland (Editor’s Note: Boca) if I don’t habla Spanish? Emphatically yes! I was pleasantly surprised when what I assume is my LatinX waitress Makenzie spoke near-perfect English. (Editor’s Note: No LatinX has ever been named Makenzie) (Editor’s Editor’s Note: I’m sorry I used LatinX. I don’t know what the rules are anymore). In fact, when I was there, alone since my wife left me at the start of the pandemic for someone who made her feel “like more than a fucking doormat”, I found that Makenzie and I really started to hit it off. She is a student at a University in Miami (Editor’s Note: She goes to FAU) with an undeclared major and showed me the type of basic human attention I found I really respond to as a lonely man and have no choice but to interpret as sexual interest. (Editor’s Note: She works for tips).

As I finished up my meal with a traditional LatinX dessert of a chocolate lava cake topped with deep-fried onions, I asked Makenzie whether I could have her number because I thought we shared a real connection. She told me that I was old enough to be her father and that she was just being nice and asked me whether I wanted to buy some molly. (Editor’s Note: Aw, pal). Slightly embarrassed I agreed and bought some pills from her boyfriend “T” who seems like a real swell guy who makes what I assume is a nice living selling drugs from the parking lot of the Parkland (Editor’s Note: Boca) Chili’s because he had a pretty supped-up Accord (Editor’s Note: Those aren’t even that expensive).

Anyway, for a great and healthy LatinX meal go to Chili’s and order the quinoa! And look, I’m trying to put myself out there so if you know anyone who might be interested in going on a date with a hip 40-something Miami local (Editor’s Note: Pompano Beach) please send me a message on LinkedIn.

Editor’s Note: I know. I should fire Corey because this article is total shit but he’s family and going through a lot and gave me the $250 worth of Molly he bought from T.

Hey guys (and girls!), Matty here. As you may have heard I’m going through a bit of turmoil right now, but just like Jesus, my newly adopted son, I think things will work out for old Matt Gaetz.

To cut to the chase, yes I am being investigated for some hardly illegal political crimes like “human trafficking” and “rape”, but I want you all to know that I am definitely not guilty. Look at my face, does this look like the face of someone who would pay for sex with a 17-year-old?

Exactly!

Since the allegations against me became public my social calendar has cleared up some and I am frankly grateful for the extra time I have been given to spend with my children Nester, Jesus, George Lopez, Wilfredo, Enrique Marsalas, Tito Gordo, Lil’ Marco, and James Franco Rodriguez. These little guys are my rocks and I couldn’t stand up against these human trafficking allegations without my family. Goddammit, I love those little Mexicans or whatever.

But family isn’t everything and, to be honest, I don’t understand a thing any of those guys say so I am also pleased to announce that I have joined The Plantain as its official youth coordinator. This role combines my passions for connecting with Florida’s youth and being paid in Venmos that the IRS will never find out about.

As the Plantain’s Youth Coordinator my goal is to help them engage younger readers and expand the reach of their website beyond Florida.

I know this may seem like an odd role for someone like me, but if you think about it it actually makes a lot of sense. After all, who better to reach children beyond state lines than good old Matty Gaetz?

Excelsior!
Matty Gaetz
Youth Coordinator for The Plantain/Not A Rapist

Your abuela swore he saw the future, and while Walter Mercado passed away last year, a Netflix documentary about his life – Mucho Mucho Amor – has been streamed on repeat in every Cuban house since its release in July.

But how can you succinctly explain Walter Mercado to your sorority sisters before they come over for your family’s ‘coronavirus can’t happen to them’ party?

Here are some quick answers you can give to Rebecca and Hillary so they don’t make a fool of themselves by confusing him with Blanche from the Golden Girls when they see your Abuela watching VHS tapes of his show she has had since the 80’s.

Who is Walter Mercado?
Walter Mercado was a TV astrologer who owned a lot of capes. He has been on TV since it was invented and could predict the future in a vague sort of way.

What is an Astrologer?
An astrologer is, generally speaking, a con-artist. Not to be confused with an “astronomer,” which is a scientist. Neil Degrasse Tyson is an astronomer, but that lady who your Tia Larissa gives $40 to once every month that told her to break up with her boyfriend is an astrologer.

So Walter Mercado was a con-artist?
You shut your mouth. Walter Mercado was a national treasure who has brought untold joy and entertainment to Cuban matriarchs for more than 50 years.

Oh okay, so your grandma likes him because he is Cuban?
No, Walter Mercado is a proud Puerto Rican. But every Spanish speaking country has basically claimed him as their own, so you’re sort of right. 

Are you sure he isn’t one of the Golden Girls?
Pretty sure, but I wouldn’t want to bet money on it.  

Con mucho, mucho amor.

What’s that mean? Why do you guys eat so much pork? Your cousin Pedro just kissed my cheek but like shouldn’t we be social distancing? Wait he just gave me his number, but like isn’t that his girlfriend in the corner? He’s asking me if I want to go outside and see the rims he just put on his Acura. What do I do?

Just go with it, Hillary. But if you do want to learn more about Walter Mercado, there’s a documentary debuting on Netflix July 8, 2020, that was made by a group of documentarians from Miami.




The Arnez family of Pinecrest wants you to know they are struggling just like the rest of the world. Since the pandemic, the family of four was forced to upgrade to a larger house because their Coral Gables home started to feel “a little too crowded.” Things only got worse when the sale of the Coral Gables home only came in at 10% above their asking price. But it wasn’t until all of their tenants in their Redlands investment property lost their jobs and they found out local restrictions made it damn near impossible to evict them for non-payment that the Arnez family decided they needed to be proactive about their finances.

“This Coronavirus is just so inconvenient,” said Zachary Arnez, an insurance litigator. “On top of everything else, because I make several hundred thousand dollars a year, we didn’t even qualify for the stimulus money. Once again, the Federal Government leaves the upper-middle-upper class people like me out to dry.”

Mr. Arnez told the Plantain that “instead of complaining about things like those liberals in Congress,” he decided to call his colleague Brett, a corporate tax lawyer, and had him incorporate his family as a limited liability corporation. “It’s one of the best financial decisions I’ve ever made outside of my uncle having founded Bacardi.”

“We’re technically a regional airline now” laughed his wife as she poured a 2PM glass of wine. The Arnez Family Airline, LLC, is now set to receive $4.6 million in government subsidies, which they plan to help pay for food and shelter…on their upcoming winter vacation in Fiji, as well as pick up several distressed properties once the housing market collapses.

We asked Mr. Arnez how he and his family could just call themselves an airline all of a sudden. “We’re an airline, you can check the records,” he told us. We asked him if he were really an airline then where did he fly and where are his planes. “We have no planes or flights scheduled,” he said before reasoning “that’s why this bailout is so important for us.”

The Plantain tried to speak with Zachary’s colleague, Brett Wilkinson, himself a Panamanian chartered cruise vessel receiving over $2.5 million in government bailout money, but he refused to sit down with us without a retainer. He did tell us, however, that because he is technically flagged in Panama, he is in the process of applying for several grants set up for Hispanic businesses.

Author’s Note: Shortly after turning in this article, I was fired from this job without severance. Thankfully, I make less than $75,000 a year and would be eligible for an additional one-time payment of $1,200, assuming Congress will pass such help, which they won’t. My rent is $2,400 a month.

Author’s Second Note: On the advice of counsel, I have incorporated as the Kennedy Center for The Arts.

Rabbi Mordechai Shalomberg-Deckchair of Temple Beth Um told his congregation that reports of iguanas raining down from the sky is indeed a sign that the people of earth were experiencing a new plague from god.”What many so-called “scientists,” mostly goyum, say is just a consequence of the cold weather freezing the cold blooded reptiles’ central nervous systems into immobilization is actually, according to the Talmud, evidence that Hashem is very angry at us and wants us to repent.

“Aw, come on!” said synagogue attendee Benja Saferstein, who only went to this morning’s services because he’s visiting his parents from his home in San Francisco. “What could god be so angry about again? The guy has everything?”

Rabbi Shalomberg-Deckchair contemplated the young Juden’s question for a moment before responding, “Mostly the shellfish, Benja! As they say at Yeshiva, ‘If you eat shellfish, you’re being selfish!”, said the Rabbi to his congregation who chuckled politely.

Rabbi Shalomberg-Deckchair said the apocalypse is expected to last a few more weeks, with high chances of dead oxen, boils, and several nights of intense darkness. He said that some of the more nasty plagues may be avoided through a healthy donation to the Temple’s B’Nai Brit Youth Drive.

Miami-Dade government suspended all government operations this morning and announced it would do so until the weather reached at least 70 degrees. “It’s just too damn cold to do anything,” said Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava from underneath three blankets in her bed while The View played in the background. The Mayor says once the Government reopens, she plans to enact legislation that would prepare the County for future cold fronts by providing educational services to the community to teach people how to dress for the weather and how to use their home’s heater. 

Residents around South Florida are reacting to the cold weather change by shivering uncontrollably. Except Dave, who insists he isn’t cold and even wore shorts to work today to prove the point. “It isn’t so bad. I don’t know what people are complaining about,” said Dave as he brought a cup of iced coffee to his blue lips. 

Breaking news out of Venezuela: Hugo Chavez is still dead. 

Despite conflicting reports, the A.P. confirms that dictator Hugo Chavez is still dead, although he is feeling better and better each day. The news, which is still developing, has been confirmed by several independent sources who report that they have spoken to Hugo Chavez since his death and can confirm that he is, in fact, still dead. 

The Plantain attempted to ask Hugo Chavez about accusations set forth by Donald Trump’s lawyers today that he conspired to steal the election for Joe Biden, but has not been able to reach him for a statement on account of he’s dead.

More as this story develops.