A pack of mutant tegu lizards attacked more than two dozen young children at a playground in a Pinecrest  early this morning. The attack not only sends shockwaves to parents throughout the southland, but also represents a startling discovery for Florida’s biological and environmental communities. 

The Plantain spoke with biologist Dr. Fran Macaroni, who was surprised by the lizards’ uncharacteristically aggressive behavior and size. “Tegu lizards are omnivorous, but usually no longer than 2-feet long so they are not a threat to humans. These creatures are much bigger and more vicious than an average tegu,” said Dr. Macaroni. When asked what prompted the attack, the biologist commented that “the tegus seemed to have committed this morning’s attack…in cold blood,” before immediately apologizing  for the insensitivity of her joke in light of the many children killed in the day’s assault.

Witnesses to the attack reported some lizards as being over 15 feet long and weighing several hundred pounds. Florida’s Department of Natural Resources issued a statement that its scientists believed the abnormally large reptiles are the result of a localized leak from the cooling canals around FP&L’s Turkey Point nuclear power plant

The massacre has been a source of controversy among Pinecrest’s residents, with many demanding the implementation of a tegu eradication program.  Responding to their demands, Governor Rick Scott announced that the State had allocated funds to eradicate the tegu population by dropping napalm over the affluent residential community. Calls to the Governor regarding whether the decision was influenced by the fact that Rick Scott’s wife owns a chemical weapons plant went unanswered.

Dr. Macaroni also said that the attack raises serious concerns for many Floridians: “Initial population surveys are greater than we expected with about 10,000 in the last Turkey Point census. With the reptiles growing to abnormally large sizes, you have to believe that they will begin to adversely impact native flora, fauna, and elementary schools.” 

But for Hal McClintock, President of Florida’s tourism board, the tegus are the biggest threat to Florida’s tourist Industry. “The optics of the tegu attack are very bad. Many tourists come to the state with their small children and most expect to be able to return home with them.”  

After a video of Hillary Clinton surfaced Sunday morning of the Presidential candidate fainting outside a 9/11 memorial, Republicans have renewed criticisms that the former Secretary of State is not healthy enough to become President. In an effort to quash persistent rumors about her health, Ms. Clinton submitted herself to an intrusive, multi-hour physical examination Monday evening that revealed the 68-year-old grandmother suffers from pneumonia, the beginning stages of osteoporosis, seasonal allergies, and 30-years of relevant Presidential experience.

Secretary Clinton’s physician, Dr. Norman Bano, explained to The Plantain that the presidential candidate’s immune system had weakened recently from the prolonged lack of rest and hydration caused by this unusually long campaign season.

“The woman has been under a spotlight over a year without a break. I’d like to see anyone go through such a long and stressful campaign without getting sick,” said Dr. Babo. When questioned whether that is precisely what 70-year-old Donald Trump had done, Dr, Babo scoffed, saying only that Secretary Clinton was as healthy as a 68-year-old pneumonic horse.

As her campaign tries to dismiss health concerns about Secretary Clinton as mere conspiracies, the candidate has not helped to ease anxieties by refusing to release her medical records to the public and engaging in what some are calling an “unhealthy obsession with privacy.” Following Sunday’s fainting incident, however, Secretary Clinton agreed to release her medical records and, on doctor’s advice, take a week off from the campaign to rest. She will be replaced by the actor Kevin Klein during her brief sabbatical.

“I’m really excited to play Secretary Clinton,” said Mr. Klein, donning a blond wig and a navy pantsuit. “I’m looking forward to exploring the duality of her personality. To some, she is the bedrock of American politics, a feminist icon, and the most qualified person to ever run for the Presidency. To others, she is a dishonest Warhawk hellbent on obtaining power at any cost. I think I’m going to be able to bring both sides of her personality to this production.”

The Academy Award winning actor landed the role of the Democratic Presidential candidate after campaign advisor John Podesta stumbled across the actor’s 1993 political comedy “Dave” on TBS late Sunday night, a movie which starred Mr. Klein as a Presidential lookalike tapped to be the acting President after the real commander-in-chief fell ill.

Coinciding with the start of Mr. Klein’s performance as Hillary Clinton, the campaign also released several hundred pages of medical records, a copy of which was provided to The Plantain for review.

The nearly 400-page document contained a one-page medical memorandum about Secretary Clinton’s health, a full copy of Mr. Klein’s medical records, which revealed that the actor had recently been diagnosis with pneumonia (which he says he caught from Secretary Clinton while researching this role) as well as mild hypertension and an elevated heart rate. The record also contained a full copy of Secretary Clinton’s 2014 memoir “Hard Choices”, with sections of the book documenting about the candidate’s foreign policy experience highlighted in yellow, as well as a signed letter of recommendation for the Presidency from Henry Kissinger.

I don’t feel no ways tired,” said method actor Mr. Klein in faux southern drawl before setting fire to his personal laptop and cellphone and attending a $15,000 a plate fundraiser held in Secretary Clinton’s honor. “Champion of the masses or crony for the 1%?” said the actor whimsically before adding “I guess we’ll let the voters decide…The Academy voters, am I right!”

Taking a cue from NFL Players like Colin Kaepernick and Adrian Foster who have refused to stand at attention during the singing of the National Anthem as a protest for the systemic racism prevalent in the United States, Monica Armando’s entire fourth-grade class at Coral Reef Elementary staged a similar protest and refused to stand during the school’s mandatory recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance Monday morning, an act of defiance that has resulted in the entire class’s suspension. 

The protest was reportedly organized by 9-year-olds Daisy Clark and Jefferey Douglas and inspired by the pair watching several members of the Miami Dolphins refuse to stand for the country’s anthem during Sunday’s football game. The two organized the protest for a project Ms. Monica assigned their class that required them to “do something that celebrates your freedom as an American” during the September 11th weekend. 

“I was over Jefferey’s house to work on the assignment when the football game was starting. Jefferey’s step-dad was sitting on the couch during the singing of the National Anthem and complaining about how disrespectful it was that the millionaire players refused to stand. When we found out that they were protesting how black people are still treated worse than white people in the Country, we thought the protest was a very powerful example of someone using their freedoms to help others,” said Daisy, who likes Jefferey, but doesn’t like-like him. 

“We had just learned that heroism means doing something hard to benefit someone else the other day in class, and about how as Americans we have the freedom to say whatever we want, so we thought it would be a good idea to join their protest as part of our assignment.” added Jefferey, who like-likes Daisy.

The pair started calling their classmates, all of whom agreed that the next morning they would sit silently in their chairs during the daily reading of the Pledge of Allegiance, and if asked why they were not standing they would say that they refused to pledge allegiance to a country that has not and does not treat all of its citizens equally under the law.

Unfortunately for the students, the following day’s protest coincided with a school-wide assembly to celebrate local first responders and military veterans in honor of 9/11. Sitting in the school’s large auditorium, with dozens of uniformed local heroes standing in front of them, the intended patriotic act of Ms. Monica’s students appeared as an act of disrespect to onlookers. 

The Plantain spoke to the School’s volunteer librarian and World War II veteran Edward Morales about his thoughts on the students’s protest. “I was disgusted. Absolutely disgusted,” said Mr. Morales in full military dress, who was himself organizing a protest for later in the afternoon during which Jefferey and Daisy’s gym uniforms would be set on fire. “I didn’t nearly give up my life fighting for Democracy against a totalitarian regime just so children in the United States could chose not to declare allegiance to the United States. That isn’t what democracy and freedom means,” added the elderly veteran without irony.  

Following the pledge, the School’s irate principal announced that all students who did not stand for the Pledge were suspended for a week and required to write a 1000 word essay on the importance of symbolism to a democratic system. 

The punishment came as a shock to the protesting students, many of whom began to cry from fear of their parents’s reaction to the suspension. This was especially true for Henry Santiago, a wheelchair bound 5th grader who did intend to participate in the protest but was nevertheless suspended for failure to stand. “Democracy requires bright line rules,” explained Doug Malone, a Coral Reef administrator and former Army reservist. “Patriotism knows no disability.”

As for Ms. Monica, who has been suspended with pay pending an investigation into what some are calling an un-American assignment, she said that she is very proud of her students. “Our Country was founded on the belief that symbols or blind political allegiances are not as important as the free flow of thought. A protest organized by American children against the inequalities that have and continue to plague our country is the most patriotic thing I can think of.” 

Juliana Obando, a four-day old mosquito from Hialeah, is at the center of a County-wide controversy after she was caught by the Florida Department of Agriculture last week and tested positive for Zika, and also Gonorrhea.  

Florida’s Agricultural Commissioner Adam H. Putham said that his team is working hard to contain the outbreak, which he described as challenging because Juliana was “acting like a real whore”:

“Our initial investigation reveals that Ms. Obando likely caught Zika, and Gonorrhea, from a visiting university student from São Paulo who failed to use DEET. As Ms. Obando bounced indiscriminately from the arms of many sweaty South American tourists, the viruses likely spread.”

The Plantain spoke with Ms. Obando and her father, Retired Navy Colonel David Abreu Obando, and was surprised to find the young culicidae cavalier about her promiscuous and free spirited behavior.

“Why would I be sorry?” asked Ms. Obando defiantly. “I’m a mature, intelligent, and proud Mosquitx and am free to suck fluids from whoever I want.”

“Juliana!” said Col. Obando with force as his daughter buzzed above their pool of standing water. “Where is this coming from? You were not raised this way!”

“Of course I was, Papa! I learned it from you, we all knew you were stepping out on Mom before she died. She knew it too.” 

The color in Col. Obando’s face drained as he remembered his wife, who died tragically the day before last at the hands of a rolled-up newspaper. Juliana continued: “And what about the way you always joke with Ramone about all of his girlfriends. Like you’re always so proud of Ramone. How is me enjoying my own life any different?”

“It just is, Juli! You are my daughter.”

“Yeah, Juli. Stop being such a  slut,” said Juliana’s club-promoting brother Ramone.

“Shut up!” Juliana and her father shouted at Ramone at once.

“I shouldn’t have to live by different set of rules and standards just because I was born with less flagella on my antennas than Ramone.”

“Juliana, I’m not arguing with you, but as long as you are living under my…”

“Well maybe I’ll leave then,” she interrupted her father.

Col. Obando stared at his daughter, remembering her birth as if it were only last week, which it was. He sighed deeply, realizing that he would not be able to protect her forever. “Okay,” he finally said after a long pause. “Just promise me you’ll be careful. I can’t stand the idea of losing you too.”

“I will,” said Juliana, surprised at her father’s concession. They hugged.

“I can’t believe you’re really okay with her being a slut,” said Ramone, ruining the moment. 

Shut up” shouted Col. Obando and his daughter in unison.

By Samantha Alvarez

Martin Alvarez and his 8-year-old son were involved in a minor traffic accident Tuesday night at the intersection of NW 87th Avenue and NW 58th Street when Thelma Mendez, a 42-year-old office assistant from Doral, rear-ended Mr. Alvarez’s Mitsubishi Galant while texting her husband “what do u wnt 4 diner?” Following the accident, Mr. Alvarez exited his vehicle in order to inspect the damage. As he approached Ms. Mendez’s leased Mercedes-Benz S-Class to make sure she was not hurt, the mother-of-three rolled down her window to launch an expletive riddled tirade at Mr. Alvarez, blaming him for being a “pinche idiota” that “did not pay enough attention.”

“I didn’t understand why she was so angry at me”, Mr. Alvarez told reporters. “I was stopped at a red light when she hit me and there was no damage to either car. My son was really worried that she was going to become violent.” Ms. Mendez could not be immediately reached for comment as she was driving home, but responded via text:

“i hit some car bt no damag. Picked up chickn kitchen, will b home soon.”

“srry wrong message. No comment”

“I would hate to think that my parents didn’t get their money’s worth,” said 31-year-old Brickell newlywed Katie Murray of her lavish early summer wedding. “But the truth is, I’ve known for a while that Josh isn’t for me. We had been together for 4 years, and I had just turned 30, so when he asked me to marry him I was excited and said yes. Then it was just a whirlwind and before I knew it we had a guest list and a venue and I couldn’t back out. I’m hoping for the best, but I don’t think I can last more than two years.”

Mrs. Murray and her new husband Josh adopted 5-month-old beagle, Lola, immediately after returning from their underwhelming honeymoon to Sandals Montego Bay in Jamaica.

“The trip was pretty awful,” said Josh, 33. “We didn’t even have sex. Plus it rained the entire time. But in between fights we agreed that we couldn’t do this alone and decided to get a puppy. I wanted a corgi, she wanted a dachshund, and we settled on a beagle. Marriage is about compromise.”

“We’ll be able to tolerate each other for about another year and a half before we have some blowout argument that ends in our breakup. I’m already planning an affair,” said Josh with a grin.

“Oh me too,” agreed Katie.

“What the fuck, Katie? You’re planning an affair? Is that why you’re at Orange Theory all the time?”

“Josh, you literally just said you were also planning an affair.”

“I know, but it’s different when you say it.”

“That’s sexist, Josh,” replied Katie as she turned her back toward her husband.

“Anyway, we adopted Lola to take the focus off of our glaring inadequacies as a couple. At this point, I’m interested to see who wins the argument over who will keep the dog,” Josh said as he smiled and pet Lola’s head. “Oh yeah, that’s going to be a real bad fight,” Katie agreed, both laughing.

Local spinning instructor, Teresa Sledge, reported an increase in Katie’s attendance since she returned from her honeymoon. “She is always in here. I can tell she’s preparing her body to be single again. She’s the type of girl that will want to be on and off the market quickly to avoid confronting her personal problems,” said Ms. Sledge, herself a divorcee who started spinning after discovering that Michael, her husband of 6-years, had reconnected with his ex-girlfriend and now wife Deviana on Facebook. “It’s called sublimation!” said Ms. Sledge, unsure if she was using the word properly.

Josh reports, however, that he has taken a contrary approach, deciding to pursue a regiment of weight gain and depression to better bargain for ownership rights to the dog in the impending breakup.

“Lola’s my little pal. I’m going to need her,” said Josh.

“Over my dead body,” replied Katie to her fornow husband.

In an exclusive interview, the Plantain asked Lola how she felt about her owner’s eventual breakup, to which the puppy licked this reporter’s finger, said that she didn’t like being used as a pawn in her puppy-parents’ sick relationship, and then proceeded to pee in the corner of the couple’s apartment.

“Oh I guess it’s my job to clean this up,” Katie said to Josh as she went to grab a roll of paper towels from the kitchen.

“Do you want me to clean it up?” asked Josh unenthusiastically.

“No, you don’t do it right,” said a defeated Katie before bending down to scratch Lola’s puppy head and saying to the dog in a shrill sing-songy voice, “oh I can’t stay mad at you, no I can’t. You’re so cute, yes you are, yes you are. You’re the only one I love,” as Josh raised the volume of the television to drown out his wife’s song and his own inner thoughts.

By Joseph Powell

Antoine Jackson, a 17-year-old African American honors student, was shot by police Thursday night just for even thinking about eating another human’s face.

The incident occurred as the teenager was walking home from a neighborhood park with friends. The group began to discuss the recent news that a 19-year old Florida man was arrested after he was found cannibalizing the face of a man that he stabbed to death.

“We were just walking home from the park and my buddy Tiki mentioned that the police didn’the use deadly force to stop the kid from continuing to eat that dude’s face. The last thing I remember is saying rhetorically that “I wonder what would happen if the police found me eating someone’s face” and all of a sudden I felt a tremendous amount of pain. I later found out I had been shot.”

Mr. Jackson was shot by Officer Jon McNaughton who wrote in an incident report that he had overheard the teenager’s conversation and had determined Mr. Jackson’s rhetorical question to constitute a terroristic threat warranting the use of deadly force.

Dexter Oliveira, an 18-hour-old Zika carrying mosquito, is seated outside of Panther Coffee’s Wynwood location. “My friends call me “Buzz”, he says as he takes a sip of his chai tea latte, “but it’s like an ironic nickname, you know?”

Buzz is new to Wynwood, having arrived this morning after receiving word from his Brazilian cousin Rodrigo about the culture and entertainment Miami’s art district has to offer, as well as the ready availability of feasting spots on the exposed backs, thighs, and navels of the district’s native hipster residents.

“I think Wynwood represents a wonderful opportunity for mosquitos like Buzz and me,” said Rodrigo, the son of a wealthy Brazilian industrialist mosquito who was raised in a palatial larval housing outside of São Paulo. “We look forward to helping Wynwood grow,” Rodrigo said before detailing his first local business venture: a luxury blood juice bar. “We will offer the community a completely organic, non-GMO assortment of different blood types,” said Rodrigo, adding “$11 a cup, $20 a pint.”

But not everyone is happy with the arrival of Buzz, Rodrigo, and their fedora-wearing compatriots. Local resident Cassandra Davidson, who moved to Wynwood 8-months ago after graduating with a degree in marketing from Vassar, says the recent wave of mosquito immigration threatens to change the historic character of her neighborhood.

“I’m not racist, but these mosquitos come here and bring disease and have absolutely no respect for the culture or community we built,” said Ms. Davidson, “They aren’t even learning to code.”

Ms. Davidson and other Wynwood residents also worry that the influx of wealthy mosquitos will raise housing prices and force her and her neighbors to leave their community. Several developers have already begun planning major developments that they hope will attract more Zika carrying mosquitos to Wynwood, including a 33-story luxury condominium and retail space which will house several billion mosquitos.

“It isn’t fair. This is our home,” said Ms. Davidson as she unconsciously clutched her purse as 33-year-old African American Darnell McClintock, who had lived in Wynwood his entire life but was forced out after his landlord tripled his rent three-years ago, walked passed her table. “It just isn’t fair.”

A South Florida man playing the newly launched Pokémon Go caught more than he expected when he stumbled across a white police officer beating an unarmed black man.

Felix Katcher was walking through his Homestead neighborhood trying to catch a Diglett on the mobile game when he happened upon a white uniformed police officer attacking an unarmed black University of Miami medical student.

“As I was searching for the Diglett, Pokémon Go’s server must have gone down. I kept trying to restart the app and I guess I accidentally opened my camera. At first, I thought I was watching a Wartortle battle the Diglett I was after, but then I realized what I was seeing.”

Mr. Katcher uploaded the video to Facebook seconds after he realized what he had recorded.

The video comes less than a week after the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both of which were captured on video, sparking this month’s nationwide outcry that #BlackLivesMatter. Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile’s murders prompted protests across the country, including one in Dallas where several police officers were also tragically killed.

Pokémon Go was also launched last week and has become the most downloaded app in America, compelling adults like Mr. Katcher to meander aimlessly as they try to “catch ‘em all”.

In a statement from the Homestead Police Department, Sargent Gary Davis said that the unnamed white officer’s violence was justified. “The suspect had clearly pulled out what appeared to be a gun and our officer responded in accordance with his training,” said Sargent Davis who had not yet seen the recording.

Leonard Johnson, the victim of the attack, denies that he was attempting to garnish a weapon, stating that he was himself merely pulling out his phone to check the area for Pokémon when the Homestead police officer spotted him. “I was only in the area because I was told I could catch a Dragonair around there. If it wasn’t for Pokémon Go this wouldn’t have happened,” said Mr. Johnson, “also, if I wasn’t black.”

In an exclusive interview with the Plantain, Mr. Katcher’s Squirtle, who was also witness to the attack, said: “Squirtle Squirtle, sad Squirtle. Stop killing black people, Squirtle Squirtle.”

Mr. Katcher has received praise on social media for posting the video but insists that it was not his intention to start a conversation about race. “I was only focused on catching that Diglett,” confessed Mr. Katcher. When ask​ed whether he was aware that the object of Pokémon Go was to catch “ALL” of the Pokémon, and not just Digletts, the 32-year-old said: “Well obviously, but I’m not going to ignore the Diglett that is in front of me that desperately needs catchin’ just because there are also other Pokémon in the world.”

BY Joey Ganguzza of Villain Theater

There’s something strange in dozens of South Floridia’s waterfront neighborhoods: Huge colonies of algae have blanketed their beaches with thick green blooms of a smelly ooze-like substance.

And it don’t look good.

But who you gonna blame for the environmental disaster? According to documents uncovered by The Plantain, an aging dike that went unrepaired as part of an “immersive promotional agreement” between Columbia Pictures and Florida’s Department of Fish and Wildlife to promote the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot.

The documents reveal that the film studio contracted with the Fish and Wildlife Department after one of the film’s producers read a newspaper article discussing the Department’s plan to renovate a long-ignored dike outside of Lake Okeechobee. The article said the improvements were necessary to prevent blue-green algae colonies, which produce a putrid green, sludgelike substance similar to the “ectoplasm” material from the Ghostbusters franchise, from infiltrating Florida’s coastal waterways.

The Department received $1,200 in exchange for delaying the scheduled dike repairs until after the film’s July 15 release date, at which time the film’s stars would join members of the Department’s newly-branded “Algae Busters” unit to pour algaecide into the waterways during a taped segment for The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

What was initially projected to be a relatively small blossom, however, grew exponentially do to unexpectedly strong winds. As a result, large portions of Florida’s south eastern coast are now covered with the smelly green sludge.

“It appears that the thick discharge and putrid smell was caused an aging dike that didn’t get enough attention,” said Florida’s Governor Rick Scott in a statement viewed by many as homophobic. “The State regrets entering into this agreement with Columbia Pictures and is working diligently to contain the algae.

For their part, Columbia Pictures has provided waterfront residents with free tickets to see the movie, Ghostbusters branded towels and thumb drives, and face masks to help block out the putrid smell emanating from the algae pods.

But for residents like Sidney David Schroeder, the free swag is not enough.

“It’s a goddamn shame,” said the 33-year-old Game Stop employee who has lived in his parents’ waterfront home his entire life and remembers playing off its now-algae infested dock fondly. “It’s like they have set out to ruin my childhood.”

When asked how the algae blooms were “ruining his childhood,” Mr. Schroeder explained that he was referring to the new Ghostbusters movie, stating “I mean female Ghostbusters? That’s not a thing! They are literally raping my childhood. It isn’t right.”

When pressed whether the recent algae growth had any effect on his youthful memories of playing in the water, Mr. Shroeder said “of course not. Nothing could tarnish those memories or how much joy I experienced at the time. Memories are not so fickle.”