It was 27 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 27 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.”

In the suburbs of Coconut Grove, 17-year-old Ethan Dwyer is contemplating life on the cusp of adulthood and wondering if there is more to it than one day being identified as “Florida Man.”

A pejorative distinction in American society, the term “Florida Man” has become synonymous with the type of preternaturally bizarre behavior displayed by the State’s most inept, and often highest, residents.

Florida Man Hiding from Police in Canal Loses Arm to Alligator

Florida Man Covers Himself in Ashes, Says He’s a 400-year-old Indian, Crashes Stolen Car

Florida Man Tries to Steal Python, Puts it Down His Pants

“I just don’t know if this is something I want for my life,” said Ethan after coming to the horrifying realization while sitting in his AP Philosophy class that soon, he too, would be a “Florida Man.”

“We were learning about what Seneca said about The Shortness of Life and about Nietzsche’s Will to Power, and it struck me: Maybe I didn’t need to be a “Florida Man” after all. I could just leave.”

But the decision is not an easy one, Ethan admits. “I’ll be the first to concede that Florida is kind of gross, but it is still home and will always be part of me. I would miss it if I left.”

Ethan’s father, Dr. Harold P. Dwyer, is insistent that his son leave the state after he graduates high-school.

“The last thing I want for my son is for him to have to call himself a Floridian,” Dr. Dwyer said while thumbing through the latest copy of The National Review. “Nothing but meth heads, snake people, and hurricanes around here,” said the Boston native who moved his family to Florida 5-years ago and has watched with horror as Ethan started to adopt what Dr. Dwyer considers to be “Floridian traits.”

“When we first moved from Massachusetts, Ethan was a perfectly normal boy. But being exposed to over 5-years of Florida rubs off on a kid,” said Dr. Dwyer with remorse. “At first I ignored Ethan’s insistence on wearing cargo shorts and his affinity toward rap-metal, but when he asked us to buy him a snake I knew he was in real danger of becoming a “Florida Man”. He needs to get out before its too late.”

“I guess I’ll buy some skinny jeans and try to move somewhere with a lot of culture like Brooklyn or Portland,” Ethan said while staring dejectedly at his newsfeed. “Maybe then I’ll be the type of cultured intellectual my dad wants me to be.”

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Antoine Jackson of Liberty City wonders if there is more to his existence than hoping that the police never confront him or his loved ones about anything ever.

A report by me, looking around Ceviche 105 right now, confirms that 97% of white diners in Peruvian restaurants will order the Lomo Saltado.”Easy access to foreign flavors is just one of the reasons why I love Miami,” said 33-year-old architect David Johnson as he confidently ordered his meal of steak, french fries and rice after feigning interest in the restaurant’s many authentic Peruvian specials.
“Oh, I had octopus last night,” he lied to the waitress. “I’ll have the lomo saltado, por favor.”
The Plantain spoke to Javier Ortiz-Saperstein-Smith, a recently laid off employee with Miami-Dade County’s economic development office, who confirmed that together with Cuban shredded beef staple Vaca Frita, the Lomo Saltado make up roughly 65% of Miami-Dade County’s total hospitality revenue.
“White guys really love beef, rice, and french fries,” said Mr. Ortiz-Saperstein-Smith, who noted that he personally believes that mixing rice and french fries is too starch heavy. He isn’t wrong.

It’s summer again, so South Florida locals can once again expect 6 months of apocalyptic temperatures, thickets of humidity, and uncontrollable rain showers that only occur during those brief moments of your day when they are forced to step outside.

“This weather is going to be really miserable,” said the Plantain’s chief meteorologist Reina McCloud as she swatted a mosquito away from her frizzed hair. “Our Doppler Weather model predicts daily showers localized to your lunch break and commute home. If that weren’t bad enough, we are also expecting another four straight months of humid 90-plus degree weather that is going to make you want to literally die,” said the 26-year-old climate scientist as she began to prepare for the round-the-clock “Hurricane Watch” for a storm developing off the coast of Africa that have no likelihood of ever reaching South Florida.

But not everyone is upset about the temperature increases.

“The weather is just the price we pay for being able to avoid the cold during the winter months,” said overly-cheerful accountant Paul Notowitz outside of a Coral Gables Publix. “The trick is to have a job that lets you work indoors and provides you with enough money to keep your home and car reliably air-conditioned,” laughed the accountant as 17-year-old bagboy Antoine Jackson loaded bulk packages of Gold Bond powder and bug repellant into Mr. Notowitz’s Lexus.

As our interview with Mr. Notowitz wrapped up it started to rain. The 46-year-old professional entered his car and flashed Mr. Jackson a smile and thanked the young man for his help, jestingly advising the teenager to “try to stay dry.”

“I’ll do my best,” replied Mr. Jackson as he wiped away perspiration from his upper lip. The teenager then sighed, reentered the Publix to end his shift, and then walked in the downpour to the University Metrorail Station in order to make the hour-and-a-half return trip to his Liberty City home.

At a press conference Thursday morning, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber announced that his office has issued an executive order declaring brunch a basic human right for all Beach residents.

“In times like these Americans need to remain committed to our core principles of civil liberty, equality, and bottomless mimosas. I only wish I could guarantee brunch to every man, woman, and child in our State,” said the Mayor who is expected to run for Governor next year on a platform of economic and ecological reform, gun control, and universal access to brunch. “Everyone deserves to have some eggs benedict with cayenne peppers late on a Sunday morning,” he added.

Residents responded enthusiastically to the news, with many taking to the streets to celebrate what is being referred to as “The Brunch Declaration”.

“I can’t believe I lived to see this”, said 38-year-old bike messenger Joseph Gonzalez. “You live your whole life hoping against hope that the world sees the light, and suddenly it happens. My children will now have access to a future I never did”.

But not everyone is happy with the declaration. Local restaurateurs questioned whether Mayor Gelber’s declaration meant they could no longer charger patrons for brunch, or if this meant that Miami Beach’s government would subsidize the costs of the meals. The Mayor’s office has yet to respond to inquiries from The Plantain.

For brunch activist Michael Roman, Mayor Gelber’s Declaration is a step forward, but by no means a complete victory. “We will not rest until the entire world has the right to enjoy a drunkenly decadent meal between the hours of 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM at taxpayer expense. We cannot stop to congratulate ourselves until #brunchrights are enjoyed by all.”

The Plantain caught up with 17-year-old Liberty City resident Antoine Jackson to gather his thoughts on the move for equal-brunch rights. The high-school senior told the Plantain that he was happy for the residents of Miami Beach and hoped to one day enjoy a brunch on Miami Beach, but couldn’t talk long because he had to walk to a convenience store eight-blocks away from his home to pick up a box of generic Cinnamon Toast Crunch for his siblings to enjoy before school.

“It’s so fucking hot I need to bring a change of shirt,” said Mr. Jackson before adding “I hope the Miami Beach residents enjoy their free meal though.”

By Daniel Jimenez

Kendall, Miami’s restaurant-studded enclave that rose in popularity in the 1980’s and 1990’s as an affordable housing solution for the burgeoning Yuppie community, has been voted The Number #1 Suburb in America to Raise a Family. But residents see it differently.

Rosita Juana Eserbas, 84, says, “I’d say a more accurate designation is ‘The Number One Place to IGNORE Family.’ After my husband died, my son moved into my 3-bedroom house with his wife and kids, telling me that I should live with family and didn’t need all this space. The next thing I know, they moved me out of my own home into this tiny condo, and now I never see any of them.”

Kendall area high schools have reported to the Miami-Dade School Board that in recent years the number of kids seeking meetings with school guidance counselors has risen, 63% in the last year alone. And what do the counselors report as the main reason for seeking sessions with them? Attention. “These kids are basically living alone,” reports Cantlissa Ennimore, a guidance counselor at Kendall West High School. “Their friends are always on their phones. Their teachers—also on their phones—assign them work requiring internet research and intranet-based learning modules. Both of their parents work and their siblings are locked in their rooms playing video games. These kids are starving for human contact and attention.”

Kendall’s Number #1 ranking came from a study released Thursday from The Wellsley Berpshire Institute on Family, touting Kendall as being the idyllic, ideal suburb. A recent episode of the TV series This Old Townhouse also mentioned Kendall as a haven for the bargain-shopping DIY multitudes due to the vast numbers of run-down cookie-cutter condo community units available for purchase, remodeling, and flipping for a quick buck.

Residents declare that Kendall is nothing but a bunch of people jammed together in a box-like, rat maze, with lots of great restaurants, a couple of movie theaters, and some stores.

Uber Eats driver, Haspo Usten, 36, says that the majority of his business consists of making deliveries from Kendall restaurants to customers often just around the block from the dining establishment. “Half the time, I don’t even see the people I deliver food to—I just see a hand sticking out of the townhouse door reaching for the bag of food. It’s not hard to steal French fries or a half a sandwich from a hand,” Usten says, wiping his mouth with his sleeve.

There is a general consensus among those living in Kendall, that—if it wasn’t for rush-hour traffic jams on work days—there’d be no way of knowing just how many people do live in Kendall. As for the rest of Miami residents, they never go to Kendall and mostly ignore the whole area.

By Lisa W. Hopper , a freelance journalist and staff writer for The Plantain. After writing this article, she stopped having her meals delivered, has taken a vegan cooking class, and now prepares her meals at home. She lives in north Dade County and has only ever gone to Kendall to interview residents for this article. She plans never to go there again—the traffic was terrible.

I am heartbroken about Notre Dame. It’s really been terrible for everyone to watch the cathedral burn. Especially for me, because I have been to France. You haven’t been to France? Well, you should. Even though it won’t ever be the same again. Not without Notre Dame, which I have seen, by the way.France is such an amazing place with an indescribable je ne sais quoi, which is French by the way. I don’t “speak” French per se, but I picked up quite a lot during the 10 days I spent there in middle school and can still pretty much watch Amélie without subtitles and still know what’s going on.

I guess Notre Dame burning just isn’t as terrible if you haven’t seen it in person. Here, let me show you a picture of me standing inside the Cathedral from my trip. Now you get it. I really was there. The place was special to me. You understand that, right? Also, while I have you, let me show you some pictures of me last weekend at Coachella. I go every year, it’s a really spiritual experience.

Goat yoga? That’s so 2017. Miami’s next hottest fitness trend is alligator yoga.The brainchild of a double-amputee Jerome “Gatorbait” Villanova, South Florida residents are paying big bucks to stretch and meditate in front of his certified yoga therapy gators.
“I came up with the idea after reading about that goat yoga trend and realizing that I could use some money and that people will pay for just about anything,” said Gatorbait before unleashing several full-grown alligators on a class of hipsters and housewives.
“It’s super relaxing to just be around such majestic creatures who are as old as the dinosaurs,” said 33-year-old aromatherapy curator Christine Johnson of Brickell shortly before being killed. “Oh my god, why on earth did we think this was a good idea? Why couldn’t we just do regular yoga?” said Ashton Bunfield right after his own maiming.

Miami Dade College students will soon be able to drive down Bird Road in their stepfather’s Corolla with a little more pride. The college announced that it has redesigned its parking decals to look more like the University of Miami’s, an effort the college thinks will encourage more students to attend their institution by eliminating the stigma attached to having a MDC decal on their car.

“This remodel could change a lot of people’s lives,” said Miami-Dade College President Eduardo J. Padron, who suggested the decal redesign after a valet attendant chose to assist an 18-year-old with an S-Class before him, a decision he believes was based solely on his parking pass. 

In addition to increased valet attention, initial research suggests these new decals could also result in Miami-Dade College students getting towed 100% less than they did with the old decals. Students can also expect an average of three fewer middle fingers directed at them when they drive down I-95 (although an average of two more middle fingers when they are north of the I-4 corridor or anywhere in Ohio). 

Armando Rodriguez was one of the first students to get the new decal and is very happy with the results. “I went on my first date since getting into MDC,” said the Miami-Dade College Sophomore who definitely plans on transferring. “I’m pretty sure she is also a MDC student, but she only agreed to go out with me because she thinks I go to UM,” said Mr. Rodgriguez. “I’m trying to get a fake UM student ID and sublease a condo in Brickell before our next date, if you know anyone.”

Not everyone  is happy with the remodeled decal. University of Miami students are very upset that people who are of a lower economic status will be treated like they have the same money, privilege, and sophisticated drug habits as UM students. “MDC students obviously want to be us, but they need to find their own thing. Next thing you know they’ll be wearing tank tops every day no mater what the weather or occasion like us too.” 

UM Junior Lawrence Lauren expressed his own concerns: “I hope these Miami-Dade College students just keep in mind that I’m better than them. Not academically, but because I have more money than them.”

Despite these objections, many are applauding the redesign. “The decal is finally letting our community college students feel comfortable in their community,” said President Padron. “Statistically, every single resident of Miami goes to Miami Dade College, so we think this decal will make a huge impact.”

Miami-Dade College students can pick up their new “UM” parking pass from office services. Similar parking decal redesigns are planned at Florida International University, which will introduce its own “FIUm” parking decals next semester, and at the University of Miami itself, where starting in 2020 students will be able to chose parking decals designed to look like popular “reach” schools Georgetown, Harvard, and NYU. 

Kyle Rambo