By Ángel Saxon
Universal theme park in Orlando will be opening an exhilarating new ride based on the infamous US-1 highway in South Florida, it has been announced. Representatives of the much loved family friendly park have officially confirmed the news after months of excited rumours and rumblings amongst theme park aficionados.
“We’re thrilled to finally confirm this breathtaking new addition to our lineup of attractions,” Tom McPlainsuit, a representative for Universal, told The Plantain. “Our audiences have been clamouring for a new thrill ride at our property, and this one really delivers,” he added.
“As with all our licensed properties, we aim to bring both the fun and the authenticity for our audience, which is why US-1: The Ride is a spinning rollercoaster operating at breakneck speed. Much like the real US-1, guests to our park will be tricked into believing they are in control of the ride, but this will of course be a very complex illusion.”
>”We made sure that the ride experience has all the adrenaline of the real thing.”
“We’re very excited about this new property as it contains groundbreaking new elements for a rollercoaster thrill ride. Guests to our park will step into specially leased carts mocked up as overpriced German cars, and will be submerged in an exciting and also terrifying world played out by other carts operated by an advanced AI.”
“The ride will effectively be randomised each time, with an assortment of hazards playing out around the riders including random heavy braking, simulated drunk and/or texting drivers, mirrorless and signal-free merging, zero lane discipline, peacock interaction events and of course, a faint but very genuine and impossible to ignore sense of death – we made sure that the ride experience has all the adrenaline of the real thing.”
We stopped Mr McPlainsuit in the middle of his breathless pitch to confirm if he had just said that riders actually faced a real risk of death on the new ride.
“As I was saying, this ride is as authentic as it gets,” he added, winking. “We’ve literally thought of everything. We even scrimped on every cost to make sure the construction and build of the ride is as flimsy as possible. The actual feel of the ride itself is awful, I want to assure all fans of US-1 that.”
After the disastrous launch of Universal’s “The Fast and the Furious Ride” which closed two days after it opened, Universal Orlando will be hoping that their new US-1 ride will represent a win for them.
“They didn’t realise how boring the people of South Florida would find a Fast and the Furious ride,” an anonymous source at the park told The Plantain. “They’ve finally accepted that a ride based on the real driving experience in South Florida is far more electrifying than anything The Fast and the Furious franchise depicts.”
Ángel Saxon is a staff writer for The Plantain.

By Ángel SaxonStarbucks plans to forcibly remove black coffee from its menus in all 13000 locations across the US, it has been reported. The news caused an uproar on social media, where commenters took to their keyboards to decry what they saw as blatant colorism.
“You’ll notice lattes and frappuccinos seem to be exempt from this new policy!” a Twitter user anonymously told The Plantain. “And why does it have to be forcible? If they have an issue with black coffee, couldn’t they just sit down like adults and clear it up over a nice cup of… well, you get what I mean.”
>“Black coffee has just been sat quietly on the menu, not doing much”
The Plantain asked Starbucks’ CEO, Kevin Johnson (2017 winner of Time magazine’s “Whitest Name” and “Whitest Face” award) if there was any merit to these criticisms.
“Absolutely not!” he insisted, his eyes darting around the room, his fingers drumming an erratic beat on the table. “It’s all very reasonable and above board. Our customers are increasingly more interested in drinks like the white chocolate macchiato, the soy latte, the non-fat frappuccino… these are the ones that make us the real money,” he gestured, his hands shaking into a frenzy.
“Black coffee has just been sat quietly on the menu, not doing much. Sure, it hasn’t necessarily done anything wrong, but it isn’t bringing in a real profit, and we’re worried that its bold presence on the menu makes our decaf latte drinking clientele uncomfortable,” he jittered, attempting to adjust his glasses but instead scattering them onto the floor.
When pressed for further explanation, Mr. Johnson brushed our reporters aside:
“Look, I would love to answer more of your questions, but I simply must hurry down to Starbucks for a hit of that neat, sweet coffee.”
The Plantain tried to ask him about the accusations of colorism, but Mr. Johnson bolted through the door, shaking and muttering something about “mandatory caffeine sensitivity training”.
Ángel Saxon is a staff writer for The Plantain.

By Ángel SaxonIn a controversial move, the National Rifle Association has announced it will be handing out see-through guns to students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in an effort to combat the recent initiative requiring them all to wear clear plastic backpacks.
“Forcing students to wear these backpacks is a complete violation of their constitutional right to bear arms,” Billy Buckshot, the ‘Senior Talkyman’ at the NRA told the Plantain. (“Provided those students are of course 18,” Billy’s lawyer forced us to add to the article). “It’s already hard enough for the average high schooler to hide an AR-15 behind their Trapper Keeper when going through their school’s totally normal security checks which all countries totally have. Add in this clear plastic bullshit and it gets seriously tough for the little patriot tykes to exercise their right to dual wield pistols in swimming class.”
>“It’s already hard enough for the average high schooler to hide an AR-15 behind their Trapper Keeper”
The solution? According to Billy Buckshot, see-through guns.
“At the NRA, we’ve always believed in fighting fire with fire, and more specifically, fighting anti-gun fire with gunfire. That’s why we’ve introduced these amazing see-through guns, developed with our partners over at Windex, to help these poor students conceal their carry more effectively.”
The Plantain spoke to a student from the school, who asked that we not identify her by her real name, only her Instagram handle.
“Yeah, it’s pretty crazy. I was walking into school the other day when this weird looking white dude handed me a see-through fucking gun,” said @thehottesttopic. “I was all like, what the fuck do I need this for? He said, ‘just in case you run into any suspicious looking people.’ I was like, dude, the only suspicious motherfucker around here is you! He was all like, ‘I’m one of the good ones’ and then gave me a wink that made my skin crawl into a pretzel.”
But did the clear gun at least make her feel more safe?
“Fuck no! I got rid of that shit immediately. I traded it for a non-see-through backpack. Those things are so hard to come by now, the black market for them is insane!”
Ángel Saxon is a staff writer for The Plantain.

By Dirk O’Dowel####Land Dispute Sours Sweetwater
In a shocking turn of events, the disagreement between the Miami-Dade Youth Fair and Florida International University (FIU) has reached levels of violence unheard of over small land disputes. It’s no secret that both harbor ill feelings, as FIU has sought for many years to expand into the land commonly used by the Youth Fair.
Tensions came to a head yesterday when FIU security guard Anthony Jacobs was gunned down as he was leaving the university campus after completion of a work shift. The gunman is unknown. However, nailed to Jacobs’ chest were several leaflets for the Youth Fair, an indicator of who may have been responsible. One of the Youth Fair’s representatives, Tony Gulachi, told The Plantain, “I don’t know nothing about that security guard–but seems to me we live in very dangerous times. You know, when certain organizations feel threatened, they act out. Can’t be helped. Maybe if the university wasn’t so keen on taking what’s ours, stuff like this wouldn’t happen. Who knows?”
> “You fuck with us we come back tenfold!”
The news has become a heated issue at FIU with many calling for retaliation. “Those cocksuckers think they can do this and get away with it?!” said Elizabeth Bejar, FIU Vice President of Academic Affairs. “This is motherfuckin’ FIU. You fuck with us we come back tenfold! I pray to god the cops don’t get to the killer before we can–because this is personal. Blood has been spilled, and this shit ain’t over ‘til we spill some of theirs!”
Clearly relations between the two Miami institutions are strained, yet local residents seem oddly oblivious to it. Prior to his strange disappearance, The Plantain spoke with local homeowner Ricardo Miro who stated, “Are you people crazy, are you trying to get us both killed?! I didn’t hear anything! I didn’t see anything! Do not use my name! Okay?! Do not use my name!!”
It seems the two sides cannot find a compromise, as FIU is insistent on claiming the land the Youth Fair has used since 1971. “We get what we want. It’s just a matter of time,” said FIU President Mark Rosenberg. “What happened to Security Guard Jacobs was….unfortunate. It will be dealt with, I can assure you. His family, in the meantime, will be taken care of—FIU protects its own. I’m sure the Youth Fair thinks this was a wise choice, but they will learn what a mistake it was…a very grave mistake. You see, the Fair is the past–they’re over. We are the future–and you can’t fight progress.”
Authorities have cautioned residents of Sweetwater and Westchester to stay clear of the university and the fairgrounds after dark until further notice, and to try to ignore the sound of gunshots.

Hi, we are the Plantain.Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Tropical Community. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that the Plantain produces.
But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.
More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.
Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’
>…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.
At The Plantain, it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.
But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to your email and messaging We value your comments. We will respond back to you.
We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual…
We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.

Lighting the Way to a Brighter Miami with Cuban Candles####By Lisa W. Hopper

City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (Rep.) wants to tackle Miami’s unemployment problem as one of his first important initiatives since taking office, seeking, in part, to wow those who felt that his only mayoral qualification is that he’s “daddy’s little boy”—daddy being Cuban-born Xavier Suarez, corrupt former Miami Mayor from 1985 to 1993 and 1997 to 1998, nicknamed “Mayor Loco.”
In a press conference held earlier this week, Francis Suarez announced his plans to have 10,000 trabajo candles sent from Cuba utilizing Agencia66 Envios a Cuba, a Miami-based shipping business owned by his sister.
Trabajo Candles On the Way
Employment spell candles, or trabajo candles, as they are called in Miami’s Hispanic community, are 9-inch votive candles found in a shop called a botanica, which literally means “herbs.” This name because the shops not only carry candles, but also other items—herbs, anointing oils, bath salts, incense, animal skulls, bones, and perfumes—associated with a brand of spirituality bordering on the superstitious, brought to the Americas from Africa along with the New World’s other great affliction, slavery. These pseudo-religions are called Santeria in the Latin community and voodoo in the Haitian neighborhoods, and their high priests, operating out of churches or botanicas, are colorful characters offering incantations, readings, and special concoctions. The candles ordered by Mayor Suarez are green, a color associated with luck and money; the glass exterior has a silkscreened print of “San Jose”—Joseph, the patron saint of workers.
travay vodou chandelle
Haitian botanicas offer work candles called travay vodou chandelle.
For the less adventurous, trabajo candles may be found in one of Miami’s 28 locations for Navarro Pharmacy, only just recently purchased by CVS Pharmacy. Based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, CVS headquarters Public Relations Manager Janice Watson says, “We tried to remove the magic candles from our Navarro shelves in an attempt to move Miami from the ignorant Dark Ages to the present, but the locals were having none of that. Priests from Santera Local #452 Hialeah went ballistic–they left coconuts and dead chickens in front of our stores until we promised to put the candles back on the shelves. We did.” Almost fired for mishandling this incident, Ms. Watson admitted to lighting a job candle and placing a white flower in a glass of water in order to save her six-figure salary position with CVS.
>###… they left coconuts and dead chickens in front of our stores…
Yoboluja Castro-Pena, Santera, and purveyor of the Saguesera Botanica and Pet Shop located in Little Havana, explained, “You canna make Babalu angry. Babalu is powerful god. If you give to Babalu—maybe a flan o bocadito, Babalu will give to you. Also San Jose will answer your petitions if you pack in a lunchbox lonchero a sanwish de queso.”
Help for the Unemployed
There are 2,668,200 nonfarm employees in the South Florida tri-county area; however, Miami’s current unemployment rate hovers around 4.5%, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. A spokesperson for Mayor Suarez’s Cuban Interests Office, Ricalada Espinoso, said, “These aren’t just any candles. These candles are specially-prepared by real Cuban santeras. They contain tobacco, a valueless Cuban peso, and like 5 tubs of lard.”
Funding for the candles is provided by the City of Miami Children’s Lunch Program. Once the candles arrive in Miami, there will be an Official Lighting Ceremony hosted by Mayor Suarez. Jobless persons arriving at either the Unemployment Office or Palacio de los Jugos will be handed a frita and a candle. “This will resolve Miami’s unemployment problem,” says Mayor Suarez.
Lisa W. Hopper is a freelance journalist, which means she doesn’t have a real job; however, by burning a trabajo candle she was able to snag this guest staff writer position with The Plantain on a probationary trial basis. Her priest and great friend told her, “Mwen pral limyè yon travay vodou chandelle pou ou. Moun sa yo ki bataards bon mache yo pa pral peye ou yon bagay.”
“I remember when the candle shop burned down. Everyone stood around singing ‘Happy Birthday.’”—Steven Wright
Miami bath salt zombie victim five years later–click here for reporter Lisa W. Hopper’s interview with ex-homeless man Ronald Poppo, dubbed Mr. No Eyes Without A Face.

By Angel SaxonA local Boca Raton woman sat down for a huge, indulgent egg supper, moments after finishing her all-day shift protesting a local abortion clinic, it has been reported. Caroline Nosybody, a self-confessed “top-tier Christian” admitted to dashing home, running to the fridge to fetch a carton of specially ordered, fertilized eggs and excitedly cracking them on the side of her pan, before licking her lips in anticipation as the scrambled cells inside started to fry into a baby smooth batter.
“Jesus fucking Christ, I have been waiting for this,” she was heard to utter. “Sorry Jesus”, she added under her breath.

“I am fucking starving. Nothing quite works up an appetite for eating things that were nearly, but not quite born like trying to suppress the right of others to nearly, but not quite give birth.”
The Plantain asked Mrs. Nosybody if she saw any kind of hypocrisy in eating non-consensual avian abortions while protesting self-determined human abortions, and she had this to say:
“Fact is humans are more important than birds. Every human knows this”, she said, through thick, hot mouthfuls of creamy, well spiced bird fetus.
“The Lord God—God rest his soul—made us in his image—and you’ll notice I don’t have wings—or a beak. If you’re saying I should care about bird abortions, that’s like saying maybe God was a bird himself. And if I was made in his image, what does that make me? A chicken!? Are you calling me a chicken?!” she spat.
> She saw no hypocrisy in eating non-consensual avian abortions while protesting self-determined human abortions.
The Plantain caught up with Meraises Rodriguez, a young woman who had visited the abortion clinic earlier in the day and who was turned back by the exuberant protesting of Mrs. Nosybody, to ask her if she thought there was any hypocrisy in Mrs. Nosybody’s actions.
“Wait, she went right home and ate some damn eggs? You’ve got to be kidding me. She scared me with all this talk about my soul and morality and giving unborn life a chance, and then, right afterward, she chowed down on the unborn souls of at least four beings!?” she asked incredulously.
Ms. Rodriguez continued, “You know, I wasn’t even planning on eating my baby! I mean, I hadn’t definitely decided one way or another, but I can say I almost certainly wouldn’t have! Now, I’ve got half a mind to march right back to that clinic and get the damn abortion after all, and maybe then abort the next pregnancy, too, just for good measure!”
When The Plantain attempted to follow up with Mrs. Nosybody, she said that she was too busy preparing for a sponsored road trip to Washington, D.C. named “Eggs, Not Abortions,” paid for by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and their affiliated egg lobbyists. She says she plans to unite with fellow activists to hand out omelets as they protest at area abortion clinics while she is in town.
Angel Saxon is a staff writer for The Plantain.

By Lisa W. Hopper#### Ineffective Gay-Stop Therapy Banned in Broward and Palm Beach Counties
This January, both Broward County and Palm Beach County passed legislation banning conversion therapy seeking to cure LGBT minors suffering from same-sex orientation and confused gender identity. This controversial therapy works by taking a person’s gayness and replacing it with religion, self-hatred and like, a lot of suicide. Miami-Dade County rejected the ban in October 2017 in a 7 to 4 vote by commissioners. Here in South Florida, with a population of 6.7 million, That’s a lot of lost gayness.
Knerst Flagbord, who fled Denmark because he says, he “grew tired of gay-infested Scandinavia” stated, “I agree wid dee now deceased—God rest his soul—Pastor Fred Phelps of Kansas’s Westboro Baptist Church in his anti-Muslim, anti-Jew, anti-U.S. soldiers and politicians, and-especially—his anti-homo progrom and his war cry—‘God hates fags’. That’s why god punishes dee gays by making dem slaves to high standards in dee arts and fashion.” Mr. Flagbord, dressed in short shorts, flip flops, and a T-shirt imprinted with a bow tie and the Tequila Baba logo and slogan ‘Tie one on with TB’ was protesting outside the Fort Lauderdale Courthouse, upset by the recent ban. “If I find one of my kids is a homo, I’m going to fight like hell to fix dat. Now I’d have to drive all dee way across dee county line to do dat.”
> “God hates fags!”
Conversion Therapist Catsum Waller, whose gender identity could not be determined, of The Perversion Conversion Center of Boca Raton says banning the therapy is providing a disservice to troubled LGBT youth. “Teens have a right to be able to talk to me about their sickness when their parents pay me to make them stop being gay. And I have a right to practice as an unlicensed therapist as only I know best. This is an outrage!”
> “Teens have a right to be able to talk to me about their sickness when their parents pay me to make them stop being gay.”
Miami-Dade County practitioners are satisfied with Palm Beach and Broward’s decision to ban conversion therapy. “This is great news indeed! Finally, a move to even the playing field. Now all the gays that want to get fixed will be driven into Miami for our conversion immersion shock therapy workshops, driving up our client base. Fabulous! Absolutely fabulous!” said Babs Vera of Vera and Vera Counseling Services.
Not everyone agrees though. Phyllis Watson of People Resisting Incredibly Dumb Endeavors (PRIDE) says, “’If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’—that’s our viewpoint. Being gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender has been accepted as normal in most of the civilized world. Hell, the mental health book hasn’t listed homosexuality as a psychological disease since 1973!” Ms. Watson is referring to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), a manual used in mental health care services for diagnosing diseases of the mind.
A nineteen-year-old gay boy wishing to remain anonymous said, “My parents sent me to anti-gay therapy. They tied me to a chair and made me watch straight sex how-to videos and porn. I vomited profusely. I went right out afterward and (explicative) my boyfriend. It’s all just so senseless, you know?”
Langston Welles agreed to be interviewed regarding the success of his conversion therapy. “Yes, the Church of Mormon was offering $10,000 to anyone completing their conversion program. Oh, yes, honey, it worked. We used that $20,000 as a down payment on this penthouse with sweeping views of the Intracoastal Waterway.” He sashayed across the room to retrieve a candelabra he says was given to him by Freddy Mercury just before his death. Jonathan, his platonic housemate, clad in a fetching satin bathrobe, declined to be interviewed regarding the effectiveness of his Mormon conversion therapy provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Miami-Dade County Commissioners will be putting off a meeting to vote again on the issue for as long as they can.
Lisa W. Hopper is a freelance journalist and guest writer for The Plantain.
The Gay8 Festival takes place in Little Havana on February 18, 2018, celebrating LGBT Latinos and Friends from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Calle Ocho.