A Miami-based bakery owned by Joseph Rutherford will go before the U.S. Supreme Court today to decide whether Rutherford, a devout and very boring Jehovah’s Witness, can decline to make a birthday cake on account of his religious beliefs.The case arose late last year when Kendall residents Jeffrey and Amelia Amarillo attempted to commission a cake for their daughter Bethany’s 8th birthday from Mr. Rutherford’s bakery “Where the Knead is Greater.” Mr. Rutherford, a lifelong Jehovah’s Witness, refused, telling the couple that his religion does not allow celebrations or birthdays. “Get the fuck out, really?” asked Jeffrey to Mr. Rutherford, who is always serious.
“I don’t believe in celebrating birthdays,” said Mr. Rutherford, who has no idea how old he is. “Happiness is a pagan concept.”
Mr. Rutherford politely told the couple that he would make them a cake if they promised not to eat it in connection with any happy event or in celebration of anything. The couple, who really just had to get to Party City and didn’t have time for this shit, agreed and then surreptitiously served the vanilla sheet cake to their daughter and her friends at a female Ghostbusters themed party that night. When Mr. Rutherford found out he was irate and sued, arguing that serving his cake to happy children upset Jesus or whatever.
“They told me the cake was just for dessert!” said Mr. Rutherford of the cake he made featuring a frosting rendition of Leslie Jones yelling about something (you know her shtick). Now, Mr. Rutherford is hoping Bethany’s parents will get their just deserts at the Supreme Court.

While the country settles into the acceptance that reality is what it is, American families are preparing themselves for that most hallowed and stressful of this nation’s traditions: Thanksgiving. Flights are booked, turkeys are getting goosed, and pharmacies across the nation are unloading Halloween candy at deep deep discounts.

This Article is Brought to You by Halloween Candy in November: 

Halloween Candy in November: What, you’re too good to eat a skull shaped Peppermint Pattie after Halloween? It’s 60% off, get over yourself Derrick.

As the seasonal dread starts to bubble up and we prepare for the yearly nag about how infrequently we call our moms, the Plantain has written a script to help you brace for the love/hate that is an annual family get together. Just memorize your line, put on your best face, and let it all flow over you:

Editor’s Note: It has been brought to our attention that this “script” really works best if you’re coming from a middle-class white, probably Jewish, but not like really Jewish family. You know, the good type of Jewish where you get to both feel bad about yourself and eat bacon.

Everyone is seated a little too cramped around the table. There are three sets of Pilgrim Salt and Pepper shakers because your Mother keeps forgetting she bought the same set from Publix the last two years. Is her forgetfulness a funny quirk or a cause of concern as she ages, you wonder.  

Mom: (clinging to the delusion that everyone is here because they want to be) Well, isn’t this wonderful?

Dad: (drunk (off of his own delusions that he is the respected paterfamilias and also alcohol)) Sure is.

Your Millennial Sister Karen but who pronounces it “Ka-Rin” for some reasons and really loves correcting people who mispronounce her name by pronouncing it correctly: This whole holiday is based founded on a tragedy, you know. Why should we celebrate the deaths of Native Americans? Standing Rock, you know. Standing Rock.

Racist Uncle Dan: (too loudly) They had their chance. This is Trump’s America now!

Bubbe Ruth: (old) Where’s poppa?

Racist Uncle Dan: (too loudly, but lovingly) He died six years ago of bowel obstruction, Mom!

Free Market Uncle Ted: I sure do miss him, but I am thankful for the vast inheritance he left me.

Free Market Uncle Ted’s Evangelical Wife Susan: (too sweetly) You say that every year, honey. This year, for a change, I’m thankful for the defunding of Planned Satanhood. And for Jesus. Thanks, Jesus!

Jesus (telepathically from Christian Heaven to Susan) You’re welcome, My child.

Free Market Uncle Ted’s Evangelical Wife Aunt Susan: (out loud) You got it, big guy!

Bubbe Eileen: (old) Who is she talking to?

Free Market Uncle Ted: Jesus Christ.

Bubbe Eileen: (spits three times) Don’t say his name! It’s a shonde!

Bubbe Ruth (old) Is Shonda here? She steals from me!

Jesus (telepathically from Christian Heaven to Bubbe Eileen) You’ll get yours soon enough, ya old coot.

Hitler (also in Christian Heaven, but directly to Jesus) Jesus honey, come back to the sand pit! It’s your serve!

Jesus (to Hitler): Coming! Hey Addy, did you see they are already starting to celebrate my birthday on earth! You seem to be making a comeback as well!

[Back on earth]

Your Millennial Sister “Ka-rin”: Aunt Susan- you said that LAST year! See? I Tweeted all about it. (Shows phone to everyone) SEE?? “#Thankshitty2016: Crazy Aunt Susan is all Jesus-y. #SurpriseSurprise #KillMe.”

Free Market Uncle Ted’s Evangelical Wife Susan: (too sweetly) Now “Karen”, don’t be a cunt.

Your Millennial Sister: It’s “Ka-rin”!

Mom: “Ka-rin”! You get that thing away from the dinner table- you know the rules! Listen to your father! (Smacks Dad’s shoulder)

Dad: (drunk) Sure is.

Racist Uncle Dan: Someone pass me the turkey and potatoes and gravy and stuffing.

Free Market Uncle Ted: So who wants to talk about that election, huh?

Collective sighs of varying consistency around the table. 

Mom: (sweetly) I hear Sarah Palin’s back. How about that? Tina Fey must be happy.

Your Millennial Sister: (hyperventilating rage) Can you believe this insanity? Trump’s going to oppress every minority and popularize chauvinism and kill our rights to free speech and deregulate every environmental protection every because he’s convinced climate change is a hoax!

Free Market Uncle Ted: But he is great for Israel!

Your Millennial Sister: It’s the Apocalypse!

Jesus (telepathically from Christian Heaven to Susan) The rapture isn’t for another 11 years, Sue. You’re good.

Evangelical Aunt Susan: (knowingly) Don’t be so dramatic, “Car-ren”? This isn’t the apocalypse.

Hitler (to Jesus in Christian Heaven): Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ! Get your head in the game. Brittany Murphy and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are one set away from match point!

[Back on Earth]

Bubbe Ruth: (old) Is Shonda here, yet? She steals from me, you know.

Dad: (drunk) Sure is.

Racist Uncle Ted: Not for nothing, but America won’t be great again until the Mexicans and Kurdish and Zoroastrians and those goddamned Cameroons are all–

You (interrupting): If you all will excuse me, I’m just going to go celebrate marijuana’s legalization. I’ll be back in a few minutes, save me some yams!

Everyone from the Plantain wishes you the fortitude to survive Thanksgiving and the upcoming War on Christmas.

The Miami Lakes town council approved a plan Tuesday night to build a wall along its southern border with watchtowers, electrified fencing, drones, and guard dogs–and they want Hialeah to pay for it.Miami Lakes mayor Manny Cid, who previously sent an actual letter to then-President Barack Obama requesting “an independent zip code” from Hialeah, wrote in a controversial Miami Laker newspaper editorial that the existing moat and walled-off, six-lane Gratigny Parkway are insufficient to keep out “the loudmouths, cheapskates and terrible drivers of Hialeah.”
“And some, I assume, are good people,” the Mayor added, not really meaning it.
The proposed wall along Northwest 138th Street–or as its curiously referred to in Hialeah, West 84th Street–would allow only those with work permits to cross. Advocates associated with the Casavana restaurant in Miami Lakes extracted the work permit concession after threatening to cut council members off from purchasing Cuban coffee, croquetas and empanadas.
At the Beverly Hills Cafe in Miami Lakes, resident Rhonda Schmidt, 58, decried the influx of Hialeahans as she ate a chicken taco salad.
“Those people come over all the time to run amok and go to our restaurants on Main Street,” Schmidt said. “That is OUR ‘On The Border!’ Get your own damn ‘On the Border!'”
In Hialeah, demand for crossing into Miami Lakes has actually waned in recent years after the much-heralded opening of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and other popular restaurants on West 49th Street.
“We don’t need to go to Miami Lakes anymore to eat their super fancy food,” said Hialeah resident Caridad Arcia, 32. “Now I can go to the Chili’s at Westland Mall anytime I want.”
By Manuel Del Fango IV

In a new effort to generate buzz with young Jewish families, one synagogue in Aventura is now offering a Rosh Hashana ticket package that includes a kosher hot dog, chips and a drink.”Judaism is still cool. Our morning minyans are totally lit,” said Rabbi Jeff Lewicki before casually asking if we listened to Matisyahu and noting that the Rosh Hashana apples this year are organic and ethically sourced.
The hot dog idea isn’t the only one pitched by the synagogue’s board to draw in younger community members. Other temple members have suggested Snapchat live stories as services, handing out participation trophies for attending services and serving avocado toast at morning minyans.
By Manuel Del Fango VI

Irate Coconut Grove residents stormed Miami City Hall early Monday morning following catastrophic tree upheavals from Hurricane Irma. The clouds had not yet cleared from the weekend’s tussle with the gigantic storm system, whose outer bands hit Miami with marginally hurricane-ish wind gusts capable of knocking over the occasional fence and utterly crippling Florida Power and Light’s entire infrastructural grid. The line to get service at City Hall trailed out the council chambers, through the building’s entryway, and up three blocks, causing major roadway blockage as aggravated constituents intermingled with drivers fighting over depleted gas rations at the Marathon station on Bird Ave.Outside Commissioner Ken Russell’s office in City Hall, Grove homeowners rallied against what they uniformly declared was a failed government incapable of prioritizing their rights. The commissioner’s jurisdiction over the eccentric Grove neighborhood is matched by his quirky popularity for having advanced yoyo skills and an artistic inclination toward woodworking from local growths.
“I’ve got a bone to pick with Ken Russell,” shouted South Grove gadfly Randy “Banyan Jesus” Whitehead to any reporter willing to take his statement (The Plantain being the only news service dedicated to giving him his voice). “Where’s Commissioner Tree-Guy and why hasn’t he put my Gumbo Limbo back up?”
The coalition of disenfranchised Groveites argued amongst themselves for five hours in a prolonged fit that clearly wasn’t staged to take advantage of City Hall’s generator-powered air conditioning—which, as of Monday afternoon, was the only functioning unit in a 72 block radius. Instead, the small platoon of agitated residents generated a tally roughly three hundred pages long, listing neighborhood foliage lost to Hurricane Irma, itemizing fallen trees by species, address, nickname, and lineage.
Commissioner Russell attempted to soothe his constituents by casually removing his button down shirt and shepherding them in the circular driveway in front of City Hall and addressing them through a megaphone:
“We are all heartbroken, but we need to remain neighborly,” said Russell. “We cannot control the weather—your city didn’t take away your trees. It was a hurricane—an act of God.”
“BLAME GOD!” exclaimed Patricia Dunfirth, an indigenous art gallery owner and North Grove resident of 33 years. “Where were His permits?”
The crowd immediately broke into chants of “GOD HATES TREES” amidst calls for citations against the Almighty for illegal tree uprooting. Petitions were issued demanding an official proclamation condemning the Lord for sending the storm that knocked down beloved flora.
Russell, meanwhile, returned to his office to coordinate with his staff on Hurricane Irma recovery efforts, including several projects which may restore some of the lost foliage. Prior to the storm, the commissioner collaborated with local organizations to launch an ironically-timed $4 Million funding allocation for the Million Tree Project—a program attempting to plant an eponymous 1 million trees in Miami-Dade County by 2020.
An unnamed source from within the commissioner’s office claimed to have overheard Russell mutter under his breath: “Maybe we should make that 2 million trees…”
By Bradford J. Treacle

An FPL spokesperson promised Miami residents still without power from Hurricane Irma that it will do its best to restore power before the inevitable outages related to Hurricane Maria, expected to come next week.”There is another hurricane? Are you fucking kidding me?” asked Coconut Grovite Damien Lucas before grabbing his phone so he could threaten to sue FPL and write a dozen or so strongly worded posts to the many Grove Facebook community groups he is a member of.
The extended time without power has caused many to question FPL’s preparedness and whether requiring the utility to bury its power lines would make it easier for Miami to withstand major storms. But the Utility rebuffed such suggestions, arguing that just because the majority of outages from Irma were caused by trees knocking down exposed lines doesn’t mean protecting those lines would have helped at all. When asked to explain why that was the case, the representative smiled for a few seconds before faking a phone call and telling this reporter he would “be right back” and then excusing himself to a restroom after which he quickly escaped from a window, could be heard shuffling off to a car, revving the engine, and skidding off quickly. You know, like in a cartoon.

Darnell and Lisa Morales decided to divorce Tuesday evening after spending more than 72 hours together without the air conditioning, internet, or television needed for their marriage, and society in general, to remain civil.The Morales’ 11-year marriage is the latest wreckage caused by Hurricane Irma, which has reportedly already caused upwards of 250 break ups, 180 called-off-engagements, and 110 divorces, numbers that are expected to rise dramatically after your spouse finds out how much it will cost to remove that fallen tree. You know, the one they asked you to trim months ago!
As for the Moraleseseses, the tension began to build between the normally blissful couple the Wednesday before Irma hit. Darnell insisted the couple “ride out the storm” at their South Miami home while Lisa wanted to leave and “not just willingly stay in the path of the biggest fucking storm to ever hit Florida.” Ultimately, however, Lisa capitulated to her husband and agreed to “wait here and just needlessly suffer, Darnell, even though we don’t have to, if that’s what you really want.”
“It will be an adventure,” Darnell told his wife after she passively agreed. “We’ll be fine, you’ll see.”
After spending several days nervously watching local news reports about the storm in their shuttered and darkened home and failing to pick up literally any useful emergency provisions from crowded stores, the couple fell asleep in each other’s arms Saturday evening only to be awoken by the sound of a large tree falling in their backyard.
“I guess the powers out…” said Darnell as he turned on the one flashlight he found buried in his kitchen’s junk door. “Let’s go back to sleep,” he said to his wife, who obliged but was quietly freaking the fuck out inside about how loud the winds were. It was really scary.
By the next afternoon the couple’s cell phones had run out of juice so they spent the day quietly staring off into the inactive TV, flipping through but not really reading magazines, and eating literally every snack they had in the house.
“I feel so disgusting,” Lisa told her husband as she ate a fourth bag of Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies. When the winds began to calm Sunday evening the couple went outside to survey the damage.
“It’s not as bad as it could have been,” Darnell said as he looked over their yard which contained several down trees. “We might not get power back for a while” Darnell said as his wife just took it all in.
Without the internet, television, or junk food to distract them from each other’s faults, the couple, who was also wildly uncomfortable from more than 24 hours without AC, began to slowly resent each other.
“When do you think the power will turn on?” Lisa asked Darnell for the thousandth time.
“I don’t know, babe! Not for a while. Can we just try to relax? I have a headache.”
“So do I! It’s because we’re dehydrated and its like 100 degrees in here.”
“Yeah, I know. What do you want me to do about? I’m suffering too.”
“I don’t see why we couldn’t have just left like I wanted to. We could be in a hotel in Ashville right now.”
“Can you stop bringing that up? We’re here. I wanted to be here in case our house got damaged.”
“Why would you want us to stay in a house you were worried would be damaged? It makes no sense, we may not get power back for a month!”
“Lisa, I can’t right now. Can you just fucking stop!”
For the next several hours the couple took turns sucking on the already melting ice from their freezer and putting wet towels on their head.
By Monday evening they finally left the house to just sit in their car’s AC, where they were able to charge their phones briefly. Without cell phone service or internet, however, the two just sort of scrolled through pictures and ignored each other as they stared into their devices; Lisa angry she was forced to stay in these conditions by Darnell, Darnell angry his wife was making him feel so badly about what he knew was a stupid decision.
“Let’s just sleep in the car tonight with the AC!” said Darnell.
“We can’t sleep in the car, we’ll die of suffocation.”
“What do you mean? Not if we are not parked in a garage, right?”
“No, I think its dangerous even if you are parked outside.”
“No…?”
“Do you want to risk it?”
“Fuck!” screamed Darnell, as he typed in “Will I die if.I sleep in my car” into Google but couldn’t get any service to find out whether he would or not.
“Fuck!!!!” he screamed again at the thought of spending another night sweating in his dark and humid house.
“This is why I wanted to leave!”
“Lisa, enough! I get it. Can you just stop telling me this every 10 minutes and making me feel bad.”
“You’re scaring me. I’m going inside,” said Lisa as she left her husband to contemplate whether he should sleep in his car, and potentially die, or return to the wretchedly hot home and sweat through another night. He briefly cried to himself before deciding to go back inside.
The next day the couple barely said a word to each other. They took a drive around the neighborhood to awe at the many down trees but found most of the roadways around their house blocked or flooded and no stores open to provide air condition or cold drinks.
“I know this isn’t ideal, but I’m sure we’ll get power back soon,” said Darnell as his wife looked off in the distance and quietly cried to herself.
“Why did you make me go through this? I hate this!” Lisa said to her husband.
“We’re in an air conditioned car! What more do you want right now?”
“I want to not be in the middle of this fucking disaster area! God, I hate you so much right now!”
It was the first time she ever said that to him, and it hurt him to hear and her to say. “You don’t mean that,” he said and quietly drove back to the house.
For the next 24 hours the couple alternated between rehashing this argument and several other dormant arguments from throughout their years together that both had thought were resolved but apparently weren’t. By Tuesday late afternoon Darnell finally said:
“So if I’m so awful and don’t listen to your feelings then why are we even together? You don’t have to be with me, Lisa.”
“Maybe I won’t then.”
As the words left Lisa’s mouth the couple stared at each other, both surprised as what the other was saying and how easy it was to say it. Was it possible this is what they really wanted? Would they be better off separated? At least for a while? They had been together for so long, maybe this was for the best.”
“What are you saying?” Darnell asked his wife, his heart racing.
“I don’t know. I think I may want a…” an electrical buzz stopped Lisa mid-sentence. “What was that?”
“I don’t know. What were you going to say?”
“I was saying that I think I may want a…” suddenly another loud electrical buzz sounded, followed by the lights turning on and the sound of the air conditioner kicking in.
Darnell and Lisa stared at each other silently in a moment of elation before running toward each other in a loving, but disgustingly sweaty, embrace.
“WE HAVE POWER!” the couple screamed in unison as they danced around the house. After a few more moments of unadulterated joy, Darnell stopped his wife.
“Wait, what were you going to say? Do you want to get a divorce?”
“No! Of course not, I was just hot. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Milo

It was 25 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 25 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.”

After the announcement that white nationalist Richard Spencer plans to appear at the University of Florida in September, some campus jean shorts enthusiasts rejoiced that they were no longer the most universally loathed group to be associated with the school.

“We weren’t sure Spencer was coming. He wanted to speak at Vanderbilt but had been waitlisted. Luckily, UF was his safety school,” said Truman T. Vinsant, president of the campus’s Jorts, Oakley Sunglasses and Flip Flops-with-Socks Coalition. “It will be nice to get the heat off of our backs for a minute.”

“I’m also looking forward to hearing Mr. Spencer speak,” said the young white man, which was initially surprising but made sense considering the man’s outfit, mullet and dead eyes.

On Sept. 12, media organizations are expected to descend upon Gainesville to document the hate speech/melee/complete shitshow of humanity, despite UF president Kent Fuchs’ plea for everyone to please stay the hell out of Gainesville.

The university has been on the national stage in recent years for mixed reasons, from multiple sports championships to spawning mediocre minor league baseball player Tim Tebow to said preoccupation with jorts.

However, jorts-wearers aren’t out of the woods yet. A producer for CNN told The Plantain she’s hoping to get footage of what she described as “the motherlode of human filth”: jorts-wearing neo-Nazis.
The Plantain attempted to introduce the CNN producer to Davis. However, he insisted that he wasn’t a “neo-Nazi” but rather a member of the “alt-right,” which he said was somehow different but couldn’t explain why.

By Manuel Del Fango IV & Milo

Beware, bloodsuckers: Miami-Dade County has a new weapon in its arsenal to combat the ever-growing hordes of mosquitoes responsible for spreading the Zika virus across South Florida.Beginning in August, the county began spraying lavender Fabuloso cleaning solution from airplanes in an effort to obliterate the local mosquito population once and for all.
Fabuloso, a flowery-smelling neon purple cleaning solution, is reputed by many area residents to cleanse any kind of malefactor present in a home, including bacteria, viruses, small insects, residue from gossipy visitors and evil spirits.
Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control Division spokeswoman Jessica Clark said Fabuloso is predicted to be the department’s most effective chemical yet.
“In our testing, as soon as the Fabuloso touched the mosquitoes, they immediately sizzled and melted into a tiny ball of insect guts and half-digested human blood,” Clark said. “We’re really excited about this.”
Eugenia Rodriguez, 82, of Miami’s West Flagler neighborhood, eagerly watched the sky as she awaited the latest spraying so she could wash her porch floor at no expense.
“I love all these new sprayings,” Rodriguez said as she eagerly held a wooden pole wrapped in an old towel. “My skin gets all tingly every time — from the excitement, I suppose.”
By Manuel Del Fango IV