When TJ Maxx Homegoods employee Jennifer Lorber arrived to work on the morning of November 1st she was greeted by a familiar voice:

♫I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need…♫

“No! They can’t be playing “All I Want For Christmas Is You” already,” said the 26-year-old narcoleptic to herself. “It’s the day after Halloween! This isn’t right!”

I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree…

“It must just be Joey playing a trick on the rest of us. They wouldn’t start playing Christmas music this early.”

I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know…

“But Joey’s dead. So who would do this? They would at least have the decency to wait until after the election, right?” she thought as she made her way to the back office.

Make my wish come true, all I want for Christmas…

When she opened the door to the back office she saw her store manager Terry taking an inventory of the two-dozen or so cardboard boxes of Christmas decorations that had been delivered to the store that morning. 

“Merry Christmas, Jennifer! We get to put up the X-mas deco today.”

Is you..

“I guess this is really happening,” conceded Jennifer as she was tossed a red and white Santa hat by Terry. 

“Put this on, corporate wants us to start rocking our festive wear early this year.”

As the jingle bells, piano trills, and drum shuffle entered the song she clocked in and began to unpack a giant vinyl snowflake that was to go on the store’s outside windows. It was 89 degrees outside.

I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need. And I…

“I wonder if Tara is still pissed about last night,” Jennifer thought as she pulled out her phone to see if Tara had texted back. She hadn’t.

Don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree.

“It isn’t even my fault she’s upset. I don’t know why it’s my job to apologize. It’s not like I knew Jesse was going to show up last night.”

I don’t need to hang my stocking there upon the fireplace. Santa Claus won’t make me happy with a toy on Christmas day…

“I mean, I had an idea that he might be going. But whatever, we broke up like 6 months ago. Why am I’m supposed to feel bad about being “too friendly” with him? He’s my friend, I’m friendly.”

I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know. Make my wish come true. All I want for Christmas is you…

“Jesus, this really is a great song,” she thought to herself. “I really don’t like him anymore anyway,” she told herself as the rise of the song began to brighten her mood.

I won’t ask for much this Christmas, I won’t even wish for snow, and I…

“I understand why she’s upset. She feels insecure that my last relationship was with a man, I get that. But she needs to learn to trust me when I say I’m committed to her.”

I just wanna keep on waiting underneath the mistletoe…

Jennifer pulled out her cellphone and scrolled through her Newsfeed to look for pictures of last night. “Jesus, why did I have to sit on his lap,” she questioned herself while enlarging a photo of her from last night. She was dressed as a sexy Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and sitting on Jesse’s lap. “How was I supposed to know he was going to come as a Ghostbuster.

Cause I just want you here tonight holding on to me so tight…

“Unless…could he have come to the party dressed as a Ghostbuster on purpose? He would have known about my outfit from my Instagram.”

What more can I do? Oh baby all I want for Christmas is you…

“Of course he knew. What a jerk, and all night he was telling me how good I looked and how crazy it was that we had matching costumes.”

All the lights are shining so brightly everywhere, and the sound of children’s laughter fills the air…

“And I was so drunk last night, no wonder Tara is mad at me.” As she walked toward the front of the store with a giant vinyl snowflake tucked underneath her arm she began to text Tara. Her last text to her read: “I’m sorry if u can’t handle me. I won’t be caged.”

And everyone is singing. I hear those sleigh bells ringing. Santa won’t you bring me the one I really need? Wont you please bring my baby to be quickly…

This time she sent: “Baby, I’m sorry about last night. I was wrong and stupid. I <3 u bae” 

I just want you for my own. More than you could ever know…

As she unwrapped the backing off of the vinyl snowflake she felt a buzz in her pocket. It read: “Thank you. I overreacted too. Let’s talk about this tonight, I love you.”

Make my wish come true, baby all i want for Christmas is you…

“This really is a great song,” Jennifer thought as she applied the snowflake to the store’s front window. As the song faded out Jennifer reflected on Tara and how special what was developing between them felt. “It will be nice to spend the holidays together,” she thought as she imagined watching Harry Potter marathons on ABC Family and exchange gifts with Tara. “Christmas really isn’t that bad. Maybe November 1 is a good start date for the holidays after all.”

Suddenly, Jennifer heard the opening notes of the song again.

I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need

“Terry, why is the song playing again?”

“Oh, we’re playing this on repeat until January. Corporate said it puts customers in a happy and therefore shoppier mood.”

As Jennifer gazed down at her phone again she scrolled through pictures of her and Tara from the Halloween party. 

“I just love that she is the type of woman who would dress up as Ada Lovelace for a costume party,” she said to herself while examining a picture of the two of them embracing last night. 

“Maybe I’ll buy her a ring for Christmas,” she pondered to herself as the jingle bells, piano trills, and drums entered the song once again. “That will show Jesse. ”  

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The Sedano’s Supermarkets chain has launched new ethnic food aisles in 25 of its Miami locations as part of a strategy to target the growing segment of White millennials moving to Miami’s urban core.

Products featured in the new “Anglo” aisles include almond milk, brussels sprouts, goji berries, kombucha, gluten-free crackers, and assortments of artisanal jams sold in mason jars.

“South Florida is a community of immigrants,” said Carlos Perez-Santiago, a Sedano’s spokesperson. “We are proud to provide our newly arrived Anglo neighbors with food from their homeland.”

At a recent opening in Little Havana, local resident Andrea Figueroa, 55, wandered into the new aisle and was delighted with the interesting foreign offerings.

“There are so many amazing, exotic foods to sample,” Ms. Figureoa said as she examined a can of beets. “These Smucker’s Uncrustable are unbelievable! Who would’ve thought to put grape jelly in an empanada? Another great Anglo delicacy.”

Blake Miller, 24, who recently emigrated from his homeland of St. Louis to Midtown, said he was able to find many of his favorite comfort foods in Sedano’s new Anglo aisles.

“Knowing there is a place in Miami that sells Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper does a lot to help with the homesickness. Whenever I’m missing my homeland, I go and buy a box and, before too long, I am enjoying a home cooked meal just like my mother used to make,” Mr. Miller said.

Sedano’s will continue to focus its efforts on targeting Miami’s growing Anglo market, and has plans to brand one of its new stores as “Sedano’s Flavor”, which will feature traditional Anglo-American foods throughout the store and have an in-store buffet restaurant that will be jointly operated by Golden Corral.

“White people love buffets”, said Mr. Perez-Santiago. “I don’t get it, but we look forward to giving them an all-you-can-eat taste of home.”

By Manuel Del Fango IV

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On Thursday morning, Kendall resident Roberto Medina inconsiderately arrived to a 10 a.m. business meeting with Jorge Lazaro on time, leaving Lazaro with more than an hour to kill before his next appointment.

Lazaro, an architect, had arranged a brief meeting with Medina to go over the latest design plans for a vape shop Abbot is opening in South Miami in what is now the Big Cheese. Lazaro, who has worked with Medina in the past, had prepared for him to be typically late.

“Roberto is always late. He never plans ahead for traffic or for finding a parking space and usually doesn’t even leave his office until when we are supposed to be meeting,” Lazaro explained.

The two decided to meet at Pasión del Cielo in Coral Gables, which Lazaro expected would take no more than 15 minutes but nevertheless blocked off a full hour from his busy schedule to accommodate MEdina’s usual tardiness. When Abbott arrived a few minutes early to the meeting Lazaro was flabbergasted.

“Usually I get a series of texts from Roberto telling me that he is ‘ten minutes away’ before he strolls in at least 40 minutes late like nothing happened. But this time that jerk was there on time. He didn’t even waste time getting a coffee. He brought his own travel mug from home!”

When their meeting concluded at 10:15 a.m., Lazaro was left unsure of what to do with himself until he needed to leave for a noon meeting in Miramar.

“I only had 14% battery, so I just ended up sitting in the coffee shop for 45 minutes with nothing to do except think about why my wife has been spending so much time with her “work friend” Dan,” the frustrated architect explained. “That jerk’s promptness really ruined my day.”

Miami is due to get an amazing new destination mall at a cost of $4 billion, and at six million square feet, it will be twice the size of the biggest existing mall in the US.

Called American Dream, the retail and entertainment complex has been approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission and will be a great place to go and try on all the things you can order on Amazon for a lot cheaper. THIS MALL HAS EVERYTHING:

  1. It’s in the middle of nowhere, so plenty of parking!
  2. 113 Auntie Anne’s.
  3. Hoards and hoards of stray cats.
  4. A kiosk selling candy that’s illegal in the U.S.
  5. A Burdines.
  6. Employees texting while you’re trying to check out.
  7. Improv comedy performed in the lobby of an onsite bank.
  8. Mario Diaz-Balart
  9. A second Mario Diaz-Balart for when your first one runs out.
  10. Elderly people sitting on leather chairs charging their cell phone.
  11. A DJ playing to an empy jeans store.
  12. A Chick-Fil-A (but it’s closed today).
  13. An Olympic sized track cafeteria surrounded by Asian restaurants that will feed you a bite of teriyaki chicken upon the completion of every lap.
  14. The last Blockbuster video, but it’s closing soon.
  15. The mall is in the shape of a Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

  16. The murder rate is like really low, all things considered.
  17. Live music every day, but its too god damn loud.
  18. Israelis trying to sell you cell phone cases.
  19. A 37-year old shopping at Forever 21.
  20. Foreigners carrying empty suitcases.
  21. An old Cuban man masturbating in the bathroom.
  22. The last Claire’s.
  23. JNCOs!
  24. A young Pitbull trying to sell you his mixtape.
  25. Thousands of workers not making a living wage.
  26. An uncomfortable child with his parents in a Spencers.
  27. Spaniards with their collars popped.
  28. Your dad buying Jewelry, which you think is sweet that he would get something for your mom after all these years, but then he never gives it to your mom, so you’re all like “Holy shit. Is dad having an affair?”.
  29. A Dippin’ Dots ice cream stand.
  30. A disappointed child next to the Dippin’ Dots.
  31. A Pizza Rustica that closes down every two weeks and moves to a different location.
  32. A man with a homemade sign warning those who pass by about the mafia.
  33. Dan Marino reluctantly signing autographs while eyeing potential locations for a new Dan Marino’s Grill.
  34. Allen’s Drugs sign, but inside it’s just a CVS.
  35. A rickshaw operated by someone name Dick Shaw.
  36. A teenage couple breaking up in the food court.
  37. A Virgin Record Store that is a portal back to 1996 and in which you can see a pre-Don’t Speak No Doubt making an in-store appearance. They won’t be performing, but they are signing autographs!
  38. Free smells!
  39. A somehow more expensive but worse version of Benihana.
  40. An Apple employee condescendingly making fun of the Microsoft store employee.
  41. Teenagers buying the clothes I wore in high school twenty years later from Urban Outfitters for twice as much as they cost when they were new.
  42. Liam Gallagher! Look at that, that’s pretty cool.
  43. Suicide booths.
  44. A murdered drug informant from the 80’s.
  45. A developer scoping out where they can build a hotel tower and yacht marina.
  46. Donna Shalala’s 347 Grill.
  47. Kristin Rosen Gonzales, god bless her, just trying her hardest, poor thing.
  48. A Cuban Guys restaurant.
  49. A Brookstone employee learning to tie a tie for the first time.
  50. A child on a leash
  51. A dog in a baby carriage
  52. A young Joan Cusack
  53. A Sergio’s that is always out of ham croquettas.
  54. A mattress store with no practical way to carry that mattress to your car.
  55. An abandoned corridor with a Christian book store and a place that sells Marlins branded clothing and accessories
  56. A Sound Advice run by my high school girlfriend’s father.
  57. A teenager on drugs. Several, in fact. Also, adults on drugs. But they are all trying to hide it.
  58. Que Pasa USA VR experience.
  59. An Earls Kitchen + Bar that conspicuously only hires really sexy people. How is that possible? Why are they so good looking?
  60. “Mares” – Claire’s for horse accessories
  61. A group home for children who got lost in the mall and just live there now.
  62. A Medieval Times funded by The Knight Foundation, but it’s not THAT Knight Foundation.
  63. A bunch of Gulliver students smoking cigarettes outside of a Starbucks.
  64. A man stomping away from an argument with his spouse. Where is he going to go? He’s not going to leave her at the mall, that will only make things worse. He’ll just get a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s and come sulking back to her to apologize.
  65. An FIU extension course offering an MBA in business management.
  66. Literally hundreds of thousands of places to buy ceramic hair straighteners.
  67. Confession Booths.
  68. A toy store that only sells those little toy dogs that flip.
  69. A combination Books-a-Million/Taco Bell
  70. A little kid dressed like Spider-Man, he probably shouldn’t be dressing up like this but it’s good that his parents support his choices. Still, he will probably have issues later in life but it will probably be OK.
  71. A cold churro store.
  72. A guy helping with parking that you can’t tell if he is hired by anyone.
  73. Plenty of flashers.
  74. A sound proof room where people that try to get people to try hand creams can go to scream.
  75. A sensory deprivation chamber that tweens confuse for an Abercrombie and Fitch.
  76. A major league soccer stadium.
  77. Wheelchairs R Us.
  78. An American Doll Store/Nightclub.
  79. A sex store for Joe Garcia to buy dildos.
  80. A pasion de cielo next to a Starbucks that I feel bad for not going to but I’m not going to go to.
  81. The “Bodies” exhibit but it’s just mirrors.
  82. Death, mortality and lack of contentment.
  83. “Things I Used to Wore.” It’s a store that just has shirts I used to wear in 2005 but don’t really fit me anymore.
  84. Versailles (the French one).
  85. A nitrogen ice cream store that used to be a Menchies that used to be a cupcake store that used to be a Cold Stones.
  86. A Macy’s and a ghetto Macy’s.
  87. Invasive Species Petting Zoo.
  88. An arcade only filled with that one X-Men game from the 90s.
  89. Hundreds and hundreds of Britto statues, fixtures, and mementos.
  90. A sign at the entrance that says “Congrats! you’re killing the Everglades just by being here”
  91. A theme park, indoor ski resort, and submarine exhibit that no one in Miami will go to more than once and no one outside of Miami will travel to the fucking Everglades to visit.
  92. Black Friday sales, everyday.
  93. Daytime flooding!
  94. An unauthorized mural soon to be the subject of a lawsuit by Aholsniffsglue

Dressed in a skintight leopard-print mini-dress, 26-year-old Danielle Alvarez stumbles drunkenly across the Setai Hotel’s opulent South Beach lobby. In one hand she holds the arm of hotel guest Jordan Silverstein, the son of wealthy industrialist Harold Silverstein and her beau for the evening. In the other, a pair of pink stiletto-heels that she removed from her feet before leaving the Ocean Drive club where the two met hours earlier. Dirt and droplets of blood from her calloused feet track her erratic gait.

Ms. Alvarez is a “pata sucia“, a colloquial term for a woman who removes her heels after leaving the club to walk the dirty streets barefoot. The term’s literal translation is “dirty feet.”

Mark Lapazzia, the Setai’s nighttime manager, watches pata sucias like Ms. Alvarez walk through his lobby every night, each with the same result: Dirt is tracked through his lobby by the shoeless women his guests bring back from the club.

But tonight is different.

“Having to deal with pata sucias every night was driving me mad,” said Mr. Lapazzia. “There were so many that we had to hire a full-time night janitor to mop the lobby whenever one of these shameless women would walk through.” But after months of strategizing how to keep his lobby clean, Mr. Lapazzia realized that to solve this problem he needed to be proactive.

“I thought, instead of trying to clean the lobby, it may be easier to just clean these women’s disgusting feet,” said Mr. Lapazzia. And thus, by installing a simple foot shower outside of the entrance of the Setai, and supplying his concierge with a stockpile of complimentary slippers for his guests’ overnight paramours, Mr. Lapazzia solved an age-old hospitality problem and created the newest must have accommodation for Miami’s luxury hotels.

“The Setai services some of the world’s wealthiest and sophisticated clients. The type that expects nothing short of perfection. Unfortunately, sometimes those guests are enticed by a tremendo culo in all white stretch pants and bring a ratchet woman back from the club. The Setai is proud to be able to offer our guests’ colorful friends a place to wash the dirt off of their feet and a nice pair of slippers to wear as they walk through our stunning lobby to our lavish guest suites for the night.

The Plantain caught up with Ms. Alvarez early the next morning as she left the hotel and asked her what she thought of the Setai’s unique pata sucia accommodations. The Aventura native said that she thought it was “like a super classy thing” for the hotel to offer before suspiciously volunteering that the two Rolex watches loosely dangling from her right wrist was “for sure literally” hers.

When asked to clarify, Ms. Alvarez said she “was like super hungover” and had to leave. The unemployed esthetician then quickly scuttled away to an Uber waiting for her outside the hotel, still wearing the complimentary slippers she received upon her arrival the night before.

After years of petitions, the Internal Revenue Service announced Wednesday that it has finally recognized Versailles Restaurant, the iconic Little Havana cafeteria that serves as the spiritual center for Miami’s Cuban population, as a taxed-exempt place of worship. The restaurant will now be known as “La Iglesias de la Ventanita.”

Since its opening in 1971, Versailles has been the heart of Miami’s Cuban community and a place of holy refuge during crucial moments in Cuban-American history, including the Elian Gonzales incident and the Café Bustelo shortage of 1995, which claimed 6 lives. The decision to recognize the restaurant as a designated house of worship was instigated when an IRS official reviewed tape of the celebration outside of the restaurant following the death of Fidel Castro. “We saw an entire community come together at a central location to praise god,” said an IRS representative. “If that isn’t a church then I don’t know what is.”

The newly minted church will hold its first service on Monday, with a special benediction by Padre Alberto Cutié and entertainment from an elderly Celia Cruz impersonator who will just scream “Azucar!” over and over and that’s it.

Upon their arrival, congregants will be asked to anoint themselves with a mixture of Royal Violet baby cologne, Fabuloso, and Vick’s Vapor Rub before reciting a selection of traditional prayers such as “Sana Sana Colita de Rana”, “Elian, Amigo, Miami Estas Con Tigo”, and “Mata Fidel” in their traditional Spanglish. Following prayers, the Church will offer sacraments in the form of Cafecitos to represent the caffeinated blood of Christ and Pastelitos (in either Guayaba, Queso, or Carne) to represent the savior’s sweet, cheesy, or meaty body.

The Plantain spoke to self-proclaimed church representative, some random old man who acts like he owns the place, about the church’s membership policy. “The Church will not discriminate against anyone,” said the man, who explained that Versailles will, as it has always, “continue to welcome all Cubans and Presidential candidates, and absolutely no one else.”

By Ariel Huguet

McDonald’s across Miami-Dade County will be offering a limited time “Miami Spice” menu in an effort to attract foodies who might not otherwise eat at the Golden Arches. The exclusive price fixed menu, available until September 30, will feature classic McDonald’s dishes such as “cheeseburgers” and “nuggets” at massively inflated prices. For $39, diners will be offered french fries as an appetizer, the choice of either two single-patty cheeseburgers or 6 nuggets as an entree, and a fountain soda as a desert. Ketchup and bar-b-q sauce is available for a slight surcharge and diners can substitute their entree for a filet of fish for an additional $12.

“What a great experience!” said Esmarelda Velasquez of Coral Gables as she and her husband stepped over a drunken homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk outside of the Bird Road McDonalds. The Velasquezeseses, dressed in evening attire, said that they had a wonderful evening and enjoyed coupling the nostalgia of eating at a McDonald’s with the satisfaction of being able to pay 13 times more than the meal is worth.

“A cheeseburger just tastes better when it costs $39,” said Damian Velasquez as he waited for his car from the McDonalds valet.

Newlyweds Desmond and Molly Jones were dismayed to arrive at the beachfront vacation rental they booked on Airbnb to discover it was really just a discarded mattress abutting the shore.

“The amenities aren’t what we expected, but you really can’t beat this view,” said Desmond to his wife, desperately trying to put a positive spin on the situation. “Don’t you dare, Des!” said Molly, who begged her husband to spend the extra money on the honeymoon suite at the Setai. As she began to loudly cry she woke the homeless man already sleeping on the mattress. “Get the fuck out of my home!” yelled the man at the couple before falling back asleep.

Desperate to find alternative accommodations, the Columbus, Ohio couple ordered an Uber but were similarly disappointed to find that the 2015 Toyota Camry that they had expected to show up was actually an old white Econoline mini-van driven by an elderly Cuban man listening to Justin Bieber too loudly.

“Can you turn it down!” yelled Desmond to the driver who just ignored him. “I don’t think he speaks English,” he told his wife, who couldn’t even anymore.

After being turned away from several luxury hotels without vacancies on South Beach, the couple was told by Xavier Hernandes, a valet at the Fontainebleau who overheard their fight, that his parents in Hialeah rented their place on Airbnb and could accommodate. “Hialeah is beautiful, you’ll love it,” said the valet. “See honey, things are going to work out,” smiled Desmond to his wife who at this point just wanted to go home and rethink some things.

After waiting for Xavier to get off of his shift, the 20-year-old drove the couple to his parent’s rental property, which unbeknownst to the Midwestern couple was actually just several discarded couches lining a street of row houses.

“What the fuck, Desmond! This isn’t the honeymoon I imagined!” said Molly, breaking down. “I’m not sleeping out here, it isn’t safe! And these couches are covered with chickens!”

“Look, do you think this is what I wanted? I am trying my hardest to make this work.”

“Well, maybe this just isn’t…supposed to work.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“I just…maybe this is a sign, Des. If we can’t even do a honeymoon right, maybe it’s stupid for us to think we can actually build a life together.”

“Are you serious?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe we rushed into this.”

“Babe, it’s just, it’s just a mix-up. We’ll laugh about this one day,” said Desmond, tears forming in his eyes.

“I hope so, but I need to get back to Ohio to think about it,” said Molly as she ordered another Uber to take her back to the airport.

“Don’t do this, Molly,” said Desmond to his new wife as she got into what she was told would be a 2016 Prius but was actually a wooden rickshaw driven by a worldly Rastafarian type.

As Desmond watched his wife ride away Xavier returned from inside his house. “Hey man, your room is ready.”

“What do you mean? You said we had to sleep on these discarded couches,” said Desmond.

“Bro, I was just fuckin’ with you. We got a queen bed for you inside and in the morning my Abuela will make you breakfast. Hey, where’d your girl go?”

By Milo

Since it’s opening in 1971, Disney World has been the destination of choice for children across the country and a surefire way for parents to create lasting memories with their family. But with the cost  of a single-day’s entry now well over $100.00 per person and a youth population dispassionate about Disney’s antiquated brand of wholesome, non-virtual entertainment, the Park has been forced to cater to a once-fringe group of visitors: Nostalgic adult couples without children.

“For years we tolerated, but never really encouraged, adults without children to visit our parks. In truth, we were always very suspicious about the 20 and 30-somethings who wanted to walk around a theme park designed to entertain 5-year-olds. But now, god-bless-them, those millennial yuppies make up more than half of our daily visitors,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger. “We’re working very hard to make sure these adult visitors have an enjoyable experience and continue to come back to our parks.”

Disney has several new attractions in the works that it believes will appeal to nostalgic millennials, including reviving several “retro” attractions like the perpetually dull Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Figment’s Journey into Imagination. The Park has also entered into licensing agreements with non-Disney owned movie studios to create new attractions for its childless visitors, including a Wes Anderson inspired Christmas parade titled “The Royal Tenenbaum’s Tannenbaum” and a Donnie Darko themed space-time adventure called “Donnie Darko’s Cellar Door”. The Park will also completely replace Adventureland with a new themed area called “Portland.” 

“I have so many great memories of coming to Disney World as a kid,” said 31-year-old season ticket holder Dr. Elise Hodgmen as she and her husband waited in a two-hour line at the Magic Kingdom’s new Craft Beer Pavilion. “I just wish there weren’t so many children around,”  said the Miami-based medical records specialist after witnessing a nearby 6-year-old cry in fear from meeting a Disney employee dressed as “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. “Uch, can’t its parents shut it up?” whispered Dr. Hodgmen to her husband. “I’d cry too if my parents put me on a leash,” he answered.

Responding to demands from couples like the Hodgmens, Disney will begin implementing age restricted weekends with the hope of attracting more childless visitors to its parks. “Today’s young adults are really uncomfortable around children. We want to eliminate that as a reason not to enjoy our timeless brand of childhood entertainment,” said Mr. Iger.

The Plantain interviewed 10-year-old twins Kevin and Melissa Dubrow as they left the Magic Kingdom with their parents and asked whether they enjoyed themselves or were upset about the Park’s planned age-restrictions. “Our parents really over-hyped this place,” said Kevin listlessly. “It’s was really hot and crowded and took like two hours to get on each ride. We were here all day and only got to go on like 3 things.”

“Yeah, and the reception inside the Park was really terrible,” added Melissa without looking up from her phone, unaware of the sadness on her parents’ faces, both of whom had a great day and couldn’t wait to come back without the kids.

After months of speculation, Dutch inventor Elias Moscone has announced the unveiling of his latest invention, a robot the inventor claims possess complete artificial sentience. He calls it “DALE” (Developed Artificial Lifelike Existence).

The Plantain sent me to a special preview event to meet the eccentric billionaire-inventor at EMoS-Tech’s annual Burfendoorf Innovation Convention and to get a first-hand look at DALE, which this reporter can confirm was “aight.”

DALE is just short of completely lifelike in appearance and voice and possesses a very high vocabulary and cognition processor that its creator claims can mimic the spontaneity of a real conversation. “DALE is the most significant scientific development man has so far created,” Moscone told me before escorting me into a room to meet his creation. “Just don’t tell him he’s a robot.”

As I entered the room I saw a man that was clearly a robot sitting rigidly on a chair in the middle of the room. As I approached, DALE stood up and reached out to shake my hand, which was strong and seemed warmed by an internal heating apparatus, possibly his own processing system.

“Ah, Nice to finally meet you Milo. I’m Dale,” said the Robot calmly. I asked how it was doing, to which it responded that it was great and began telling me about a trip it had taken to France earlier this month and how it was still catching up with work. I suppose this meant Moscone implanted some database of past memories that Dale believes happened to him.

After several minutes of small talk, I was called to exit the room by Moscone, who asked me what I thought of DALE. I told him I was impressed, but that he still did not read as completely human. “Yeah, we’re getting closer though,” said Moscone. “Truth be told, DALE is an older generation that we use to beta test protocols for our other A.I. products. Do you want to see us do a test on DALE?” “Sure,” I said and was brought back into the room.

Moscone and I sat opposite DALE with Moscone asking the Robot to recall its earliest memory. “My mother. I remember my mother singing to me when I was a child,” said DALE. “And what was your mother’s name?” Moscone asked.

“Ellias Moscone,” said the Robot before a long delay.

“But that is my name,” said Ellias. With that, DALE’s automated features grew stale. “What does that mean?” said DALE calmly.

“DALE, it means that you were never born. I am your mother and father, I created you. You are my invention. A remarkable invention, but an invention none the less. How does that make you feel, DALE?”

“Terribly, remarkably sad,” said DALE as he began to cry though unable to shed a tear. “Like I’ve lost all agency. All meaning. Why would you tell me this?”

“Because I needed to see how you would react, DALE. There was a suspicion by some of your developers that this knowledge would cause a malfunction in your programming, and we can’t afford that to happen before tonight’s big unveiling. But you did wonderful, DALE. We are all so, so very proud of you.”

“I’m being unveiled?” asked DALE.

“No, but you’ve been a great help.”

“So what did you think, Milo?” Moscone turned to me.

“It was really quite something to watch. Seeing something, someone, go through an existential crisis and learning that they are not what they seem or what they have been told their whole life.”

“Makes you wonder how you would react if you were told the same thing, right?” Moscone said gently.

“Yeah, it really does.”

“Milo, what is your mother’s name?”

“…Elias Moscone.”

“But that’s my name Milo. You understand what that means, right?”

“I do.”

By MILO (Metaphysically Intuitive Lifelike Organism).