Following a year of extraordinary turmoil, tragedy, and death, the world has agreed to take a mulligan on 2016 and start it over again on January 1st.

“We got off to a bad start when David Bowie died on Jan 10 and were never able to recover,” lamented United Nations calendar director Seth Plate. “Then Hillary lost and we all learned about Aleppo and Alan Thicke and at some point we just collectively realized the best thing to do was try again and hope for a better 2016 next year.”

The emergency resolution comes after a particularly terrible final week of the year that saw singer George Michael and Princess Leia Carrie Fisher die, causing the world’s population to throw their hands in the air, mutter “fuck it” to themselves, and agree to try to end 2016 as quickly as possible and try again later.

 “Well sure, 2016 has been bad, but is it really the worst year ever?” asked local Game Stop employee Brett Cavanon. We then let him know that Carrie Fisher’s mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, had died less than 24-hours after her daughter, causing the 28-year-old man to yell “oh god, are you kidding me?” and crawl into a ball.

Details regarding the reset are still being worked out, but reports suggest that the UN, in conjunction with Industrial Light and Magic, plans to resurrect all of the celebrities lost to 2016, as well as Robin Williams, even though he died in 2014, because that was just the fucking worst.

“Does this mean we have to go through that whole god-damn election again?” asked an apprehensive United States.

In a resolution passed by the Obama administration and supported by both houses of Congress and the cast of Hamilton, President Obama announced that the U.S. would be holding a new presidential election, but noted that he had taken precautions to ensure things would be different this time by signing an executive order that prevents either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton from running again, a decision that Donald Trump called “totally corrupt” and Hillary Clinton described as a “total affront to our Democra…oh, who am I kidding? Let’s put up somebody who can win this time.”

Critics of the reset worry that starting 2016 over could actually extend the bad luck associated with the cursed year. “Wouldn’t it be better to reset to a year we know was great? Like 1993,” said James Ireland, who noted that Pearl Jam tickets were much cheaper back then and that those AOL chat rooms could be pretty fun.

Despite concerns, the reset is supported by all but a fringe group of anti-Castro Cubans who have taken to the streets to denounce the decision. “It took us 90 years to get rid of that bastard, we don’t want to risk bringing him back,” said Miami native Jorge Collazo, who added that though he stands by his opposition to the reset he is very much looking forward to having Prince back.

After returning to his North Pole home following another all-night shift of delivering presents to the world’s children, Santa Claus has decided that he is just too old for this shit.

“It’s just so much work,” said an exasperated St. Nick as he peeled off his sweat drenched robe. “There are so many more children now than when I started,” he said, noting that he now spends nearly half of his time in Asian and South American markets. “And they all want iPhones! Every single one! That’s really eating into my margins.”

Papa Noel also cites growing health concerns, including diabetes and gout as making it more difficult for him to physically traverse the globe. “All of those cookies finally caught up to me, I guess,” said Father Christmas as he took a seat next to his third wife Kim.

“The truth is, this has been getting harder for me for a while. I need to focus on me from now on and spend some more time with Kim and the grandkids before I put myself in an early grave.”

When asked how children around the world would receive presents on Christmas morning in his absence, Santa Claus said someone else would step up and take over, stating that he plans to talks to Jesus about filling in.

 When asked for a comment, Jesus said he had not been contacted about the job yet, but was disinclined to do it because he doesn’t want to work on his birthday

At least six were killed yesterday in the War on Christmas after a TJ Maxx Homegoods employee wished elderly members of a church group touring the store for seasonal throw pillows “Happy Holidays” as they exited. “It’s “Merry Christmas” said 87-year-old Westchester native Darleen Hitler-Smith in unison with 5 of her octogenarian friends before the group keeled over and had to be cleaned up by store clerk Jennifer Lorber who is like so over this job and literally can’t even anymore.

Ms. Hitler-Smith and her church friends are the latest casualties in this year’s War on Christmas and the first since it broke that hundreds died last week after finding out that a black man was cast as Santa Claus at the Mall of America. “But Santa is WHITE, everyone knows that!” cried Loreen Day of Minneapolis, Minnesota shortly before her head literally exploded, also causing quite the mess.

“It’s time to Make America Christmas Again!” said Christmas advocate and Grand Dragon Daniel Weinder while wearing a shirt with the same slogan. Speaking to the Plantain at a Starbucks Coffee that has been decorated in Christmas decorations and playing the soundtrack to the Charlie Brown Christmas Special on loop since before Halloween, Mr. Weinder said that phrases such as “Happy Holidays” and mall Santas that deviate from the way Coca-Cola executives envisioned him in the 1950’s could threaten the very viability of the holiday.

“I just don’t think people will want to celebrate Christmas if they don’t hear “Merry Christmas” from every minimum wage clerk they encounter or if they have to have their children sit on a black Santa’s lap,” said Mr. Weinder of the holiday literally everyone, including the Jews, loves because it gives them a week off of work and that Mariah Carrey song.  

The Plantain spoke to the real Santa Claus at her North Bay Village home and asked what she thought of all of the controversy. “Oh it’s so silly. Christmas is about spending time with family and buying gifts for coworkers you don’t like. It doesn’t matter if you say Happy Holidays or what people think I look like,” said the elderly Asian woman.

Wearing a light jacket and a really cute knitted beanie she’s had since high school, Jessica Rodriguez stepped out of her Downtown Miami office, took a deep breath of the cool air, and for a moment was able to put the fact that the world was so damn awful outside of her mind. “The weather is so nice today,” said the young architect to herself just before an elderly man screamed at the second-generation Cuban-American to go back to Mexico.

Brushing off the vituperative stranger, Ms. Rodriguez walked a few blocks to her favorite local cafe for a hot chocolate, but it had closed down. “Commercial rent increases really do make it difficult for mom and pop stores to stick around,” she thought to herself before remembering the wonderful weather. There was an Au Ban Pan several blocks away so she headed there instead.

“One soy hot chocolate, please”, said a smiling Jessica to a 35-year-old barista with a nose ring who rang her up but otherwise refused to acknowledge her existence. Undeterred, Jessica swiped her card and flashed the barista a kind smile. “Yo, you need to insert the chip,” said the barista curtly in response. “Oh, of course,” Jessica responded as she inserted the chip. After she paid she gave the barista a $2 tip. “He needs it more than me,” she thought to herself and then waited 15 minutes for her drink to arrive. 

As she walked back into the pleasant outdoor breeze, Jessica sipped her hot chocolate and realized it was not made with soy after all. She briefly considered asking for a new cup, but thought better of it because diarrhea can be nice sometimes and she really didn’t want to have another rude interaction with that barista. The hot chocolate was delicious though.

Jessica enjoyed the several block walk to the Miami-Dade County Book Fair. Along the way she almost got hit by a car only twice and was very happy to have had her headphones in so she could politely ignore the many homeless people who begged her for money. Pretending not to hear or see them, she saw one in an ill-fitting military uniform, which she figured must be fake. “Our government wouldn’t let real veterans live on the street,” she thought. Another had literally no nose and held a sign identifying himself as “Cancer Bob.” “Well, at least those people get to be outside on this gorgeous day,” she told herself as she tucked her purse under her arm and looked down at the sidewalk as she passed Cancer Bob.

When she arrived at the Book Fair, Jessica admired the vendors selling old copies of books and perused them knowing full well she would not buy any. She hadn’t actually read a full book since high school, and even then it was just the Cliff’s Notes of Brave New World.

She passed by a WLRN booth and was asked if she would be interviewed. She excitedly agreed and was asked what her favorite book was. “Brave New World,” she said trying to recall the name of the main character, which she couldn’t. “And why is it your favorite book?” asked the interviewer, to which Jessica nervously replied, “It just really was ahead of its time and is super inspiring” before adding “I do have to get going, though. Thanks! Bye!”

Walking through the fair, she then saw David and Gail riffling through a pile of old books at the Booklegger tent. “OMG! So good to see you!” she said to her friends, who she didn’t actually know too well or particularly like. 

“Isn’t the weather just amazing?” she asked.

“Yeah, it’s nice. I guess. Did you hear Donald Trump picked Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General?” said David.

“Oh yeah, I saw something about that. That’s bad, right?” sighed Jessica.

“Are you kidding? He was too racist to be a federal judge and now he is the Attorney General. I can’t believe that fascist is putting all of these racists in the government,” said David.

“It’s not like there haven’t always been racist in our government. He is really no worse than Obama,” said Gail.

“Yeah, totally. Anyway, I love the Book Fair, I just was interviewed about my favorite book: Brave New World. It was pretty cool,” said Jessica, pivoting the conversation to a more pleasant topic.

“That book is crap,” said Gail, herself changing subjects to a backed drain pipe down the block that was sputtering sewer water into the street. “It’s going to be a Brave New World in a few years when this whole shithole is underwater,” she said and she lit up an American Spirit. “Climate change is a real problem. It’s why the housing market down here is crashing again. It wouldn’t be surprising if we had another recession in Trump’s first 100 days. I mean, he picked a climate change denier to lead the EPA,” said Gail as she flicked her cigarette into the street. “This is why we needed to elect Jill Stein.”

“Yeah, anyway, I got to get going,” said Jessica, her stomach beginning to rumble from the whole-milk hot chocolate.

Jogging desperately toward a McDonald’s to use a bathroom, she was told by another old man to get out of the Country. When she finally made it to the McDonald’s it was filled with dozens of black teenagers. “They really shouldn’t be eating this crap,” she told herself as she limped toward the bathroom. There were three teenage girls waiting in line ahead of her, each casually staring at their phone and occasionally taking Snaps and playing with the filters.

It took about 10 minutes for the girls ahead of her to cycle through. When she finally arrived inside the bathroom and depants she pulled out her phone so as to occupy her mind during the act. “Fuck, only 4% battery,” she said to herself but nevertheless started to scroll through her Facebook page.

After several minutes a teenage girl started drumming on the door for her to finish, but she wasn’t close. As she scrolled through her newsfeed she saw story after story about what was going on with the Trump administration and the people he was picking to help run the Country.

The drumming on the door got louder.

“Hey, you taking a shit in there or something? I gotta pee, bitch,” laughed a young voice from outside.

As Jessica strained to finish, she read several posts about the god awful state of the world, the rise of white nationals in the Country, how Antarctica is hotter this year than any year in history, and that Sharon Jones had died

“This wasn’t supposed to happen,” she said to herself, farting. “The election is over. Obama is still in power. The weather is beautiful. Lauryn Hill is coming in December. This was supposed to be a happy time and a relief from all the bad to come in January” she said to herself when her phone ran out of battery.

As she sat there in silence, with no distraction, she could hear the girl outside the door making fun of her. “She’s been in there forever. Someone better call the health inspector.”

As she finally finished she wiped and stood up to walk outside. The sink in the bathroom was broken. Typical.

Jessica left the bathroom and passed the group of snickering teenagers.

“Ain’t she going to even wash her hands, damn!” said one to her friends.

As she walked out of the McDonald’s she recoiled from the smell of oily fries and tried to once again put all of the awful things she had been hearing and reading about out of her mind

“Is the world really this bad,” she asked herself. As she stepped outside the nice breeze once again smacked her. “No, it really isn’t that bad,” she thought, readjusted her knitted beanie, and said out loud, “I love Miami in the Winter.”

It’s GIVE MIAMI DAY! Which means your friends are pressuring you to donate your hard earned money to a bunch of charities and non-profits who want to selfishly spend it on making the community you live in a better place. Those jerks. 

Last year Give Miami Day raised over $7.1 million and this year the communists behind the plot expect to raise even more. To get to the bottom of this, the Plantain searched through the more than 600 registered Give Miami Day nonprofits to find the worst ways you can spend your money: 

1) Zapatos para pata sucios – Established in 2014, this non-profit goes to popular Miami nightclubs and less popular gas stations and provides shoes to pata sucios. “This is like a super important issue,” said a bunion on the bottom of this very attractive red head’s left foot as she stumbled across Alton Road at 1:30 AM. 

2) Gulliver School – The exclusive private school is seriously seeking your money with the hope of raising enough for an onsite valet so Marissa doesn’t have to walk too far from her Spanish Class to her S-Class Mercedes so she can get to the Starbucks on 67 and US 1 in order to surreptitiously smoke cigarettes and tell her friend how her step-mom was being like such a bitch last night. 

3) Sweaters for South Florida – Non-profit established by your coworker who insists anything under than 77 degrees is “sweater weather”. Founder Xavier Johanson says that though SFSF will do absolutely nothing at all (so don’t even ask) to help reduce South Florida’s homelessness problem, they will make sure that all of the homeless people that line up South Florida’s streets are balmy and never even the slightest bit cold. 

4) The Gloria Estefan Medical Fund – The Miami Icon and Stage-4 Conga survivor has set up a fund to help those diagnosed with the fire of desire turn the beat around and get back on their feet. 

Know of any more nonprofits that need to be identified? Email theplantainanswers@gmail.com. 

And DONATE TO GIVE MIAMI DAY

And 

As she does every day, Abigail Braman woke up Monday morning at 7:45 AM, spent several minutes staring at the ceiling contemplating her life decisions and preparing herself for another day of work. Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she reached over to grab her cell phone from her nightstand and delete the seven to nine pieces of junk mail (usually from the Clinton campaign, William Sonoma, or the Democratic Party) that accumulates in her inbox every night. As she returned to her home screen, however, she noticed something unusual. “Oh my god!” said Ms. Braman out loud to herself as she stared at her screen. “It’s sweater weather!”

The 27-year-old paralegal jolted out of her bed and ran outside her home to see if it was true. As soon as stepped outside the crisp air smacked her face. She took a deep breath and enjoyed the sounds of birds chirping. Had they always sounded so beautiful? She looked around her neighborhood and noticed several neighbors enjoying the unexpected breeze. It was 71 degrees in Miami and today was going to be a wonderful day.

Walking into her closet Ms. Braman could hardly contain herself. As she reached toward the back to search for her winter clothing she thought of the last six months of unbearable heat she endured and the feminine dampness, hair frizz, and mosquito bites that came with it. She dressed in a sleek black long sleeve thermal from Banana Republic that she layered with an opened red flannel jacket from H&M and a green camouflage army jacket also from Banana Republic. Before she left for work she grabbed a gray checkered scarf she bought several years ago for a “girls trip” to New York and a knitted American flag beanie that she purchased on that trip. As she took one last look at herself in the mirror before she left she smiled. “You look cute!” she said to herself before taking a selfie of her outfit and texting her mother in Virginia.

On her way to work she stopped at a Starbucks for a celebratory Peppermint Hot Chocolate. It was 75 degrees. Abigail stood in line and admired the very expensive Canada Goose jacket worn by the woman in front of her.  “Starbucks always tastes better in a red cup!” she posted to Twitter while she waited an unreasonably long time for her drink.

When she arrived at her downtown Miami office at 9:00 AM it was 79 degrees. “Can you believe this weather?” asked a lightly sweating Abigail to office assistant Nancy Randazo as she removed her scarf and beanie. “This is why I live in Miami!” said Abigail with excitement before returning to her desk and pondering, as she often does, whether she should have moved to California with Heather and David after college. “What’s so great about San Francisco anyway?” she thought to herself before searching through Heather’s Instagram for 11 minutes. 

At noon Abigail joined Nancy and Javier, one of her firm’s office service workers, for lunch at a nearby Greek restaurant across. After putting on her jacket, scarf, and beanie once again, Abigail entered the elevator and rode to the lobby with several of her firm’s attorneys. As she walked in she smiled politely and whispered “hi” to the three men she has worked with for nearly 4 years and then stood silently in the elevator as she stared down at her phone. When they arrived at the lobby the male lawyers insisted she leave first, which she did.

During lunch, Nancy gave Abigail and Javier a comprehensive update on her son’s SAT preparation and Javier told a funny although possibly made up story about running into an ex-girlfriend over the weekend. The restaurant itself was decent, although more expensive that she anticipated. They charged for soda refills, which she wondered if that was normal in Greece. As she, Nancy, and Javier walked back to their office it was 84 degrees. “Still sweater weather,” she said to herself as she wiped away a few beads of sweat that developed on her upper lip.

For the next several hours Abigail alternated between proofreading a long brief for one of her firm’s partners and scrolling through Pinterest for pictures of architecturally significant gingerbread houses. At 3:15 PM she received a phone call from a lawyer named Steven who asked that she leave the office to pick up a docket of files from the Circuit Court. She redressed in her winter outfit and began to walk the 6 blocks to the Court. It was 88 degrees.

When she arrived at the courthouse steps she was out of breath and could feel sweat dripping down her back.  Entering the Clerk’s office, she removed her beanie to reveal a mess of oily hair that was half tamped to her head. By the time she left the Court for the return trip it was 91 degrees. It started to rain down on her when she was a block away from her office. 

The rain had dampened the papers she had retrieved from the Court. When she returned to her office she noticed two missed calls from Steven. She walked the documents to his office. “Oh Abi, it turns out the files were online so I didn’t actually need you to go,” said Steven without a thank you. “Oh not a worry, it was nice to be outside in the cool weather,” replied a soaked Abigail. As she walked back to her desk she noticed her own smell. Luckily she kept a travel size bottle of baby powder to combat groin sweat, a remedy she was worried may cause cervical cancer but was willing to risk it today considering the smell that had developed.

At 5:00 PM she left her office. The temperature had dropped to 89 degrees and as Abigail sat in traffic she started to once again through Heather’s Instagram. “I can’t believe she didn’t ask me to be a bridesmaid,” said Abigail to herself as she turned her car’s air conditioning higher. “It’s so god damn hot,” she defeatedly admitted. 

After an hour and fifteen minutes, Abi arrived at her home. She removed the soaking thermal and flannel she had on all day and placed her jacket back into her closet. As she resided herself to her couch for the night, Abi started watching a documentary about the murder of Jon Benet Ramsey before deciding to see what The Walking Dead was all about. After two episodes she didn’t see the big deal and put on a TBS marathon of Friends re-runs. She fell asleep about halfway through The One Where Joey and Rachel Kiss with a lollipop in her mouth.

She woke up at 1:45 AM and after washing a few dishes returned to her bed at 2:20 AM. She briefly considered showering but was too tired and decided she would just wash her armpits, neck, thighs, and knees with a wet terrycloth in the morning.

As Abigail Braman plugged in her phone for the night and laid back in her bed she checked the next morning’s weather report:

Low of 87 degrees/High of 92.

“Fuck”.

Residents across South Florida are anxiously awaiting to see how Hurricane Matthew will impact their week. The Category 4 storm is currently bombarding eastern Cuba and parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti with winds of up to 145 miles per hour. Expected to make landfall in the U.S. on Thursday, many South Floridians are beginning to prepare for impact, but not my husband Tom who refuses to take the threat seriously or even engage in a conversation about possibly leaving town for my parent’s home in Naples. 

“Let’s just play it by ear,” he keeps texting me when I ask when he will hang the shutters I spent all morning dragging from our shed to the base of the windows to which they need to be adjoined. When  I tried to engage in a serious conversation about how we intend to keep our family safe last night, he only responded that the storm “can’t be as bad as people in the media want you to think it is” as he aimlessly scrolled through his phone while half-watching an episode of MTV’s Catfish. “What’s going to be really bad though is what Wikileaks is going to release about Hillary Clinton on Tuesday morning!” 

Television meteorologists like the Plantain’s own Raina Tornado Sanchez-Typhoon predicts the storm’s center will remain east of Florida’s coast, but still advises residents to panic. “The storm’s path is not good news by any stretch of the imagination,” said Ms. Sanchez-Typhoon, who nevertheless relished the excitement and drama a potentially life-threatening storm creates: “A storm like this certainly makes for good news!” 

“If you can get people excited or fearful or concerned about something then you’ve done your job as a news anchor,” said the anchorperson before verbally saying the phrase “Hashtag Prayers For Haiti, Hashtag Blessed.”

For many South Floridians, the threat Hurricane Matthew poses to the United States in just a couple of days is just starting to seem real. “I’ve been watching the storm grow in intensity and its movement get nastier and more violent for some time. I guess I was concerned with how it was really laying into all of those Hispanic and brown people, but now that it may make its way to the United States I’m really scared. I don’t know what any of us can do at this point,” said Miami resident Jason Ireland speaking in a metaphor.

The Plantain reached out to Hurricane Matthew for a response to the shock Mr. Ireland and others like him have expressed regarding his impending plans for the United States, to which the giant blowhard responded: “I’ve been clear since the very beginning folks, I said I was going to build a giant storm movement the like of which the United States has never seen before. I told you I was going to build a tremendous eye-wall, and I did it folks. They say my eye-wall has winds of up to 145 miles per hour, I think its faster to be honest, but okay. Now I’m coming to the United States, and like I predicted the entire time, I’m going to get there thanks to Florida.”

By Deborah Lee Wilcox-Hazelbaum

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.”