Waking up to the shocking news that at least 50-people have been murdered during the early morning hours at an Orlando gay club, the world has collectively decided that today it just can’t even.

“I just want to lay in bed and cry,” said literally everyone. “I can’t process another tragedy, especially one so close to home, nor do I want to. I don’t know what to do. I literally can’t even.”

Although recognizing the need for the nation to mourn yet another mass tragedy, President Obama advised the American people this morning that although we all feel we can’t even, for the good of the Nation, we must:

My Fellow Americans,

Far too often, and with increasing frequency, we are asked as a nation to process tragedies like the one that occurred in Orlando last night. And with each tragedy, I know that we feel more and more pessimistic about the state of our nation, our security, and the direction we are headed.

Although we must grieve and pray, and there will be plenty of time for both, we must also recognize that tragedies like these create an urgent obligation on us all to unite and do what we must to assist the victims and their families.

If you are in Florida, there is an Urgent Need For Blood Donors and if you are elsewhere, the families of the many victims of this tragedy would greatly benefit from a donation to defray the unexpected financial costs that they must now endure.

So I ask you all, as a Nation, to take a few minutes to find out how you can donate blood and plasma, or a few dollars, before taking a much needed and well deserved moment with your family to just sit with them in quiet reflection about how much they mean to you and how precious life can be.

President Barack Obama

Following President Obama’s remarks, droves of people reportedly pulled themselves together for a few minutes in order to find a place to donate blood and input their credit card information to assist the victims of the tragedy, before returning home to confine themselves to their couch for several hours to watch Netflix with their families.

“It was the least that I could do,” said Orlando businessman Carl Davidson,” before placing his arm around his wife and son and watching 6 episodes of Fuller House.

On the eve of the RNC’s nominating convention, Donald Trump has picked Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. This confirms a long anticipated theory that Mr. Trump’a campaign is making a conscious effort to veer even further away from the center of American politics in order to excite the party’s core southern and midwestern constituents. Leaked documents reveal the campaign’s new strategy will include the adoption of a hardline anti-LGBT platform as well as the casual introduction of the “N-Word” into campaign rhetoric.

The Plantain spoke to Vice Presidential candidate Pence–a controversial politician who pushed through numerous LGBT discrimination laws in Indiana
–about his decision to join the ticket:

“I’m really excited to join the campaign and look forward to helping President Trump take away basic human rights for a whole heck-of-a-lot of people,” said the Hoosier as he held a “God Hates Fags” placard.

Governor Pence’s selection, and the campaign’s strategy to “drop the n-bomb”, is the culmination of a months-long effort by Mr. Trump to go “full racist.”

An internal memorandum from the Trump campaign noted that due to Mr. Trump’s low favorability ratings among minorities and women, he would need 65% of all straight white male electors to vote for him in November to win the election. The memorandum states that the campaign’s “polls suggest that in order to sufficiently energize Mr. Trump’s core constituency of older white male voters Mr. Trump needs to go “full racist”, including but not limited to, the occasional use of the “N-Word”.

“Trump needs to change the narrative away from his reputation as a temperamental con-artist unfit to lead our nation, while at the same time making sure his supporters are invigorated enough to fight for him come November,” said Trump political advisor Bradford Penniston. “The campaign believes the best way to accomplish both goals is for Mr. Trump to start casually using the N-Word now and then.”

Although a controversial strategy, University of Miami political science professor James Michael Tomlinson believes Trump’s strategy may be an effective way for him to turn the media’s attention away from questions regarding Mr. Trump’s intellect, character, and temperament.

“If Trump uses the N-Word the press will have no choice but to analyze whether it is appropriate for an old, white, billionaire to use the N-word. The national conversation will necessarily shift away from whether or not Donald Trump orchestrated a multi-million dollar fraud through Trump University and toward the merits of Mr. Trump’s use of the word,” said Professor Tomlinson. “That changing narrative will play very, very well to his base of white voters angered by today’s “P.C. culture” and may even cut into coverage of the Democratic convention the following week.

During an interview with Fox News on Thursday night, Mr. Trump defended his strategy, saying on live television that the “use of the word [N-word] is not racist,” before insisting that “[N-words] love me” and guaranteeing that he will “do very very well with the black community come November.”

In a statement immediately following these statements, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Mr. Trump’s remarks were a “textbook definition of a racist comment” and advised his party’s nominee to tone-down his divisive rhetoric in order to keep with the Republican party’s long tradition of espousing coded, but never overt, racist dialog.

“Mr. Trump is new to politics and needs to learn that you never ever go “full-racist,” said Mr. Ryan who is still endorsing Mr. Trump.

Last month, The Plantain reported that the Miami-Dade Police Department began ticketing drivers for using turn signals. This week, the department took another step toward curbing traffic lawlessness by publishing a driving guide for visitors and new residents of the County.

Below are the ten key points from the guide:

  1. Never thank another driver for an act of courtesy. It will be misinterpreted as weakness and spark road rage.
  2. Posted speed limits are averages. Double or halve the number to figure out the speed you should be driving.
  3. If traffic ahead of you is not moving, honk your horn relentlessly. This is an effective way to deal with gridlock and also slow-crossing abuelas.
  4. Disregard crosswalks. They were imposed on us by out-of-town safety consultants who thought you’d actually give a shit.
  5. Cyclists are not expected to follow any laws and have the right to unleash hell on you if you come anywhere near them. Keep at least three feet between your car and all cyclists for your own safety.
  6. If you get into an accident and it’s your fault, scream at the other driver. Or better yet, just make a run for it. The police don’t have time to track you down. Good luck!
  7. If you’re sitting at a green light texting and someone honks at you, throw up your hands and be like “Wha’?! Wha’?! Wha’ da fuck?!” Then calmly finish your text. This will ensure that you’re not texting and driving farther down the road. If on the highway, only text in designated lanes. Safety first!
  8. When transporting tall stacks of mattresses or wooden palettes on a pickup truck, remember to secure the pile with a thin piece of twine.
  9. If you’re a male between 16 and 90 years old, slowing your car to a crawl on a busy street is only permitted if you’re trying to check out a tremendo culo in white stretchy pants.
  10. Speeding up when pedestrians cross the street will help stimulate cardiovascular fitness in the community. Do your part against our nation’s obesity epidemic.

A 4-inch glory-hole located between the first and second stalls of a Doral Chick-Fil-A men’s room is receiving increased attention from Yelpers.

According to Yelp reviewer GuapitoKendall, “if you’re into the classic hole-in-the-wall experience, this g-hole is for you. So worth the wait!!!”

Another Yelper called ChocolateBunnyRabbit raved that “Anonymity meets accessibility at the Chick-Fil-A Glory-Hole (CFAGH). I came for the waffle fries, but stayed for dessert.”

The Plantain reports that some diners have even taken their food into the stalls, as evidenced by the frothy trails of what appears to be Polynesian sauce on the tile immediately outside the main attraction.

Miami’s most glorious hole can be found on NW 36th St., between the TGK Jail and the Metro West Detention Center. Patrons can receive a helping of greasy-lipped mouth love Monday through Saturday, 6:30 am – 10 pm (closed on Sunday).

When asked if the Doral Chick-Fil-A would be installing more hole-enhanced stalls due to increased demand, shift-supervisor Guillermo Villalobos shook his head and muttered, “…man…Popeyes don’t have to deal with this shit,” before leaving the store for a smoke break.

UPDATE : Following our initial report, Chick-Fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy issued the following statement:

“In furtherance of Chick-Fil-A’s national expansion and as a result of recent Supreme Court decisions, the company has evolved on certain social issues. However, progress is slow. Accordingly, though we do not endorse the type of behavior reportedly taking place in our restrooms, we take solace as a company from reports that the customers patronizing the hole in our men’s room were all identified as male at birth.”

At a press conference on Thursday, Miami’s “LED Dancer”, who has gyrated her hips above the InterContinental Hotel since 2012, announced her retirement.

The completely digital creation, named “Laura E. Diaz” by her programmer, lover, and the hotel’s I.T. director Darren Scott, suffered a spinal injury Memorial Day weekend after falling from the InterContinental Hotel’s 35 floor LED wall during a ten hour shift of digital gyrations. Eye-witnesses report that the dancing image laid motionless for several minutes before being resuscitated by a visibly distraught Mr. Scott. The cause of her fall is believed to be a programming error.

Although her injuries are not life threatening, Ms. Diaz can no longer perform due to mobility issues preventing her from moving her neck, back, as well as other more intimate body parts.

“It’s a tragedy,” said an emotional Mr. Scott. “I blame myself.”

In a press-conference, the coded series of thousands of LED lights said that she has decided to dedicate her post-dancing future to helping domestic violence victims and will begin taking online social work classes through Miami-Dade College in the fall.

In a statement, the Hotel thanked Ms. Diaz for her service to the community and wished her success in the future. The hotel, who has since parted ways with Mr. Scott, is looking for a new I.T. director to create a replacement dancer.

When asked by the Plantain why he left his former job with the InterContinental, Mr. Scott said that he could no longer ethically create another dancing vision for Miami’s skyline.

“I’ve seen the dangers of playing god,” said Mr. Scott. “I won’t do it again.”

On Thursday, the City of Miami Commission unanimously passed a resolution to officially name the neighborhood between 79th and 54th streets and NW 6th and NE 2nd Avenues as “Little Haiti”. To most, officially recognizing “Little Haiti” is a no-brainer and a symbolic gesture that acknowledges the impact Haitian immigrants have had on our community.

But for very very white real estate developer Phillip E. Breckinridge, the idea of officially naming the land that has been known as “Little Haiti” for 40 years “Little Haiti” is a travesty and bad for business. He believes the area should be known by its original, non-ethnic name “Lemon City”.

“We need to respect the history of the area,” said Mr. Breckinridge who purchased several investment properties in the Haitian community around 5-years ago and has watched his property’s values stagnate due to the continued presence of Haitians, Bahamians, and African Americans in the area.

The area was initially called Lemon City in the 1800’s when it was founded by several families of Lemons. Starting in the 1970’s, however, the community became universally known as “Little Haiti” after a wave of Haitian immigrants emigrated to the neighborhood and began to build the rich and vibrant cultural community it is today.

Speaking before the City Commission, Mr. Breckinridge and representatives of his all-white group Developers Objecting to Unnecessary and Costly Historical Enactments, or simply “DOUCHE“, asked the City Commission and the people of Little Haiti to “respect history” and continue to leave the impact of Miami’s Haitian community unrecognized.

When asked by the Commission to address criticisms levied at him and other DOUCHEs that their objection to Little Haiti’s recognition was really an effort to minimize the ethnic identity of the neighborhood in order to hasten gentrification and increase property values, Mr. Breckinridge balked.

“There is really nothing racist or nefarious at all about our objecting to the name “Little Haiti,” replied Mr. Breckinridge before mentioning that he had “a ton” of black friends.

“This is about respect for history,” said Mr. Breckinridge who noted that he also supported similar proposals to force people to start calling things by their former, out-of-use names, including one that would cause Mohammad Ali to be renamed “Cassius Clay”, and another that would change the name of New York to “New Amsterdam”. “This is about tradition.”

After the vote, an enraged Mr. Breckinridge returned to the area now officially known as Little Haiti and, in a last ditch effort, began to spray paint the words “LEMON CITY” on every sign, wall, or marker he could find. When confronted by the Plantain, Mr. Breckinridge said that he would never stop his efforts to have the land renamed Lemon City, noting that in order for him to get a reasonable return on his investment he needed at least a 40% increase in white residents to the area over the next 3-years. “White people just don’t want to buy luxury condos in a place called Little Haiti,” said Mr. Breckinridge candidly. “It’s nothing personal.”

A Miami-Beach shark has been spotted using the City’s free trolley system to get around town after the City’s flood pumps polluted the city’s water with poo.

“The City can’t possibly expect me to swim in shit,” said exasperated shark Jeffrey Kleizenberg when the 1200 pound great white was asked why he was waiting at a trolley stop in the South of Fifth neighborhood.

Mr. Kleizenberg, who has lived underwater near an ever-depleting Coral Reef in Miami Beach since the mid-1970s’, says he is considering legal action against the City to cover the decrease in his property’s value caused by the flood of excrement from mainland residents.

“I can’t believe the chutzpah,” said Mr. Kleizenberg loudly to his disinterested son Kirk from his cellphone. “I’ve been putting up with the City’s shit for years, but this is really out of hand.”

Local math teacher Monica Gonzalez, known to her students as “Ms. Monica”, has transformed her second grade classroom into a CrossFit gym.

Ms. Monica’s decision came after Miami-Dade County Public School’s Chief Academic Officer Mary Rodero informed teachers that it was incumbent upon them to integrate physical activity into their lesson plans.

“While we believe that children benefit from sitting at desks for endless hours of test prep and drills, at some point the blood is going to pool at their feet,” said Ms. Rodero. The administrator then issued a challenge to teachers to make their lessons address both their students’ intellectual and physical needs. “For all of the children in our school system who aren’t highly medicated, it can be tough to sit still for up to six-hour at a time preparing for mandatory state testing.”

Unfortunately, explained Ms. Rodero, it is impossible for the county to mandate something that was compulsory for decades, like recess. “This is the age of Common Core. Our kids have to compete with the Chinese. If we bring back recess the next thing you know parents are going to demand we bring back art and music instruction, subjects that have absolutely no impact on our schools’ ratings.”

Ms. Monica’s classroom (or “box”), now referred to as Crossfit CommonCore, is now strewn with mats, kettle bells and wooden boxes.

“Over here I have some tractor tires for them to roll around the room that we also use for geometry lessons. I have chin up bars which we use to practice our counting. And on these mats we do high intensity reps of cardio exercises while they recite their times tables.” Each desk now boasts a set of free weights along with the Common Core workbooks. “They can fill out the answers as they do bicep curls with their non-writing arm,” said Ms. Monica proudly.

Second grader Elsa Santiago says she is getting used to the system. “I can already do this many [she held out 4 fingers]push-ups,” said the out-of-breath child. When asked what her favorite exercise is, the 7-year-old said “burpees” with a giggle. “I can do about 30 before I start to get a tummy ache.”

When asked if it wouldn’t have just been simpler to let the children out on the playground for 20 minutes every day, Ms. Monica explained that it wasn’t an option.

“Taking 20 minutes away from classroom time would limit the amount of busy work the kids could complete. But then again, we could always send it home to the parents as homework.”

By Altagracia/Photo by Karen Castillo Farfán/NPR

After numerous scowls from his wife, Homestead air conditioning technician Austin Carter vowed to “someday really soon” clean his black, algae-filled swimming pool that reports suggest is a popular swing spot for Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes.

Mr. Carter, 46, who told a Miami-Dade mosquito control officer that he’s been “super busy with life stuff,” says he’ll probably start cleaning the pool this weekend, but if not, then most definitely next weekend if it’s not raining or too hot.

Seth Werksman, a 9-hour-old local mosquito whose buddies recently high-fived him for giving a nearly lethal case of Zika to a local 12-year-old, said people should take it easy on Carter.

“Austin is such a kind, hospitable man,” said the mosquito, perched atop a dead, floating palm frond. “Not to mention his blood has this delicious blend of Coors Light and hints of locally grown avocado.”

UPDATE : After weeks of asking her husband to clean the pool, Mr. Carter’s wife Evangeline, reportedly frustrated by her husband’s failure to even minimally participate in the management of their household, has taken it upon herself to clean the diseased mosquitoes from their pool.

“I had a few minutes to spare between taking care of the kids, working a full time job, cleaning the house and preparing dinner, so I just decided to do it myself,” said Mrs. Carter as she longed for her college boyfriend Geoff and wondered if he would have given her such trouble about completing a simple household task.

[Photo: Daniel Doyle]

Hialeah resident Ernesto Anaya didn’t expect to make one of the greatest botanic discoveries of the century, let alone make it in his own backyard. But the 66-year-old Cuban émigré did just that when he rolled out a broken dishwasher into the corner of his yard and spotted a peculiar looking bush that featured bushels of berries ornamented with two rows of patterned linear seeds.

“I had never seen or tasted anything like it,” said Mr. Anaya, who described the taste of the berry as having the “sweetness of guava combined with a sour aftertaste reminiscent of Mojo Criollo.”

Soon, Mr. Anaya began selling the berries, along with papayas and avocados picked from his neighbors’ yards, along the on-ramp to the 826. He marketed them as “Guayaberries”, because he thought their seeds looked like the stitching pattern of a guayabera shirt.

“This is an absolutely amazing example of imposed pomological modification and a major breakthrough in both the fields of botany and evolutionary ecology,” said University of Miami botany professor Dr. William R. Saperstein, who visited Mr. Anaya’s roadside sales post after he was brought a guayaberry by one of his doctoral student.

“The Guayaberry’s unusual taste and look is a result of the unique composition of the soil in Mr. Anaya’s backyard,” said Dr. Saperstein. “It appears Mr. Anaya’s wife had been dumping her husband’s discarded cigars butts, as well as oil runoff and pork-remnants from their yearly Noche Buena celebration in the “esquina basura” of their yard for years. Those influences interacted with several variations of berry indigenous to Hialeah, and ultimately culminated in this new species of fruit.”

As for Mr. Anaya, he remains skeptical about his newfound attention and about the potential millions that could come to him because of his discovery.

“I’ve learned not to get too excite about such things. We’ll see what happens.”