As a response to widespread complaints about constant, standstill traffic on South Florida’s highways, the Florida Department of Transportation has approved a multi-billion dollar contract that will create an additional “Express Express Lane” that will give commuters the option of avoiding traffic for a “exorbitant fee.”The general public will lose one general purpose lane in order to accommodate the expressier lane, a loss an FDOT spokesperson says will be “more than made up for” by the gains of efficiencies commuters who chose to pay to use the Express Express Lane will see.
While many poor activists driving low-end Nissans or Hondas complain that South Florida’s gridlock has actually been exacerbated by the use of so-called “Lexus Lanes”, FDOT, citing Ayn Rand, disagrees, saying that giving the public the option of paying more to get where they want to go faster is really “the bedrock principal behind our democracy, and if you don’t believe that then you must be a communist, you communist.”
“I hate communism!” said an elderly Cuban man that never leaves 8th Street, who adamantly supports the new lanes.
Commuters wishing to use the Express Express Lane will have to register in advance and are subject to a credit check and must demonstrate they have an annual income of $200,000 a year or more, or have at least $1 Million in savings. Annual Express Express Lane fees are $4,000 on top of a per-use fee of $33. Other perks available for Express Lane Express Lane commuters includes access to American Airlines Flagship Lounges, free parking at Merrick Park, and an all-black Sunpass that actually works.

The Miami-Dade Police Department announced this week that they have begun to issue citations to drivers caught using their turn signals. The move is the latest in a longstanding effort to combat the rampant observance of traffic laws by visitors and transplants from other parts of the country.

“We’ve become concerned about the growing use of turn signals in the County,” said police spokesman Det. Alvaro Zabaleta. “They confuse local drivers and can lead to accidents, so we’ve come to the conclusion as a department that they must be stopped.”

Dennis Redgrave, a Michigan tourist visiting Miami last week was issued a $179 fine after signaling to turn left onto Biscayne Blvd. near downtown. “The police officer was irate when he pulled me over and accused me of ‘driving like a mad man,'” said a confused Mr. Redgrave. “I thought using blinkers was the law everywhere. I guess not in Miami.”

Miami-Dade Police director Juan Perez says ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. “This might be a tourist town,” he added, “but that doesn’t mean you can disregard local laws when you’re here.”

When confronted by a Plantain reporter with a copy of Section 30-287 of Miami-Dade’s municipal code, which states that signaling is a legal requirement when making a turn, Mr. Perez turned up his palms, tilted his head to one side and gave a bemused smile. “It’s an unspoken rule, smart ass. You don’t use turn signals in Miami. Not on my watch.”

An educational campaign, dubbed ‘Think Before You Blink,’ is underway to educate the public on the new traffic regulation.

“It’s a jungle out there,” said Detective Zabaleta. “We’re just trying to save some lives.”

by Daniel Jimenez   A startling discovery has been made by the Miami scientific community as the remains of the first road crew to work on the 836 were uncovered during current work on the 836. The fossils have already been dated as being over forty thousand years old, and likely neanderthal. The remains show the workers in what appears to be a relaxed position, with primitive tools around them; upon closer examination it was found that the majority of the tools showed practically no signs of use. Next to the remains was a slate with a line drawn over it, with a crudely scrawled 836 above it, which scholars believe may be one of the first work orders for the construction of the road.
The Plantain spoke with archeologist Nigel Beaverhausen about what the remains tell us about the past.
>Construction on the road most likely began in the paleolithic era
“Its utterly fascinating that these ancient cultures still dealt with universal problems like slow municipal construction. These may be the oldest workers we found working on the 836, but I do not believe they are the oldest. For all we know that road could be one of the first instances of man attempting to create a structure of any kind, and doing a poor job of it. It makes you wonder what future generations will think when they uncover the remains of our employees working on the 836, thousands of years in the future. Perhaps the road could conceivably be finished by then, but it seems unlikely.”
To get a layman’s perspective we spoke with a construction foreman, Dwayne Menendez. When telling him that the construction on the road most likely began in the paleolithic era, his response was:
“Yeah, that seems about right. My dad actually worked on this road, and I hope that one day my son gets paid by the day to work on it too. Kinda heartwarming when you think about it, it’s like a city tradition to just keep building this road. Will it ever be finished, who knows? Personally, I like to think this road will be incomplete right up until the moment the sun explodes and kills us all. Thinking about that helps me sleep at night.”
Ironically enough, the archeological discovery has caused a delay in construction on the 836 as they excavate the area to find more remains. When asked about the delay Mr. Mendez said, “Hey, I get paid either way. Take your time.”

A billboard warning drivers of the dangers of texting while driving caused multiple crashes since being installed over the weekend. The distracting sign displays a series of emojis followed by a lengthy explanation of what the emoji message means, followed by distracting bold type which says “WHAT COULD BE SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAVE TO READ IT WHILE DRIVING A CAR?
“I think the billboard is really irresponsible,” said Daniel Miranda, 19, who crashed his parent’s Mercedes after becoming distracted by it. “I was texting my brother when I was distracted by the billboard. I actually put down my phone down to try to make out what the sign was saying. By the time I finished reading it I had run into the car in front of me.”
The car Mr. Miranda hit was being driven by 33-year-old Esmeralda Felez-Smith of Kendall. The slow-speed crash caused no injuries to Ms. Felez-Smith or her car, but she nevertheless made a whole big thing about it, including refusing to pull her car over to the service lane because it was “a crime scene” and insisting on calling the cops to come and investigate.
“This has been so inconvenient,” said Ms. Felez-Smith of the fender-bender. “I was just driving in my car, texting my husband, when this kid just smashes into me out of nowhere. What is wrong with him that he thinks its okay to read a billboard while driving?”
The crash has drawn the ire of traffic safety groups who say that the increase use of anti-texting billboards presents a public safety hazard. Nadine Lopez, the President of Mothers Against Texting While Driving Billboards (MATWDB)says she plans to lobby Congress to pass laws outlawing the controversial billboard messages.

Residents of Downtown Miami Are Subjects of Science Experiment Gone Awry####By Lisa W. Hopper

Miami residents have been unwittingly participating in a large-scale science experiment. The water systems along the Biscayne/Brickell Boulevard Corridor have been laced with formic acid and a secret chemical that is slowly converting the residents of that area into ants. This is the belief of many who offer this justification–how else could residents continue to move single file in an orderly fashion through the lagging city infrastructure that was never meant to support such numbers of commuters?
Masterson Biyou, a worker at the Pawal Chemical Plant in Homestead, the maker of EFE-45, short for Experimental Formic Carbonycyclinethylpop Version 45, informed, “I’m coming forward because I don’t think it’s right. I’ve seen the photos. I can’t do that to another human being.” He is referring to the Pawal Chemical Research & Development Top Secret Photo Files. “When I saw the photo of that little girl accosting those picnickers at Miami Circle Park because they had a sticky sweet cake—one of those panatela borracha cakes—it was just awful. She tore them apart with her massive jaws.” Mr. Biyou also described a 20-year old young man with antennae as long as his arm and the same massive, crushing jaws. “Where is he going to get a job looking like that?! The poor boy! Maybe a bodyguard or a bouncer. Maybe….” Mr. Biyou trailed off, obviously deeply disturbed by the images.
>###How else could residents continue to move single file in an orderly fashion through the lagging city infrastructure never meant to support this many commuters?
The targeted area for the experiment is Downtown Miami, a 2.1 square mile area which includes zip codes 33128, 33130, 33131, and 33132, and which is home to approximately 200,000 men, women, children, and—now—ant people.
The Plantain Investigates
The Plantain attempted to reach the CEO of Pawal Chemical Company but was redirected to the legal department. Acting as the spokesman for the company, Berand Slotzmeyer, Esq., stated, “Pawal has a strong community outreach component. We really care about the local community. A couple of weeks ago, we insisted that our employees volunteer their free time to pick up the trash on our sponsored stretch of road, the block in front of our plant. Keeping the community safe and clean is what Pawal is all about. Last year after Hurricane Irma ravaged Homestead and greater Miami, we offered counseling to employees who had been previously traumatized by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Once they were identified as emotionally broken, we fired them but continued to pay for their next three therapy sessions as an act of goodwill. We have many such community and employee-oriented programs.”

Another Pawal employee who wished to remain anonymous reported that the hub of the area most greatly affected by experimentation lies within the concentric circles and byways leading to Brickell City Centre, referred to among Pawal employees as “The Ant Farm.” Brickell City Center manager, Fatima Rostas, explained as she scratched her thorax, “No, I haven’t heard of that term and it has nothing to do with the fact that we have revamped the dining venues at The Center to dessert-only establishments. We have many fine apparel stores, too, such as Banana Republic, Hormiga Hombre, Exoskele—to name a few. And home furnishing purveyors—Colony and Socialite. There’s something for anyone.”
Some Are Happy Being A Part of the Experiment
Other positive stories abound. One resident and frequenter of The Ant Farm is pleased with his new physique. Melvin Backshell told The Plantain, “I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I stopped juicing up with ‘roids. I can lift many times my body weight now, so I got a job with Waste Services–I lift twenty-five hundred pound dumpsters and empty them into dump trucks.”

Although Pawal continues to deny any knowledge of “ant people” or their part in creating them, a trip through Downtown Miami will quickly remove all doubts in the observer and leaves one with a feeling of having walked onto the set of the black and white classic horror film “Them” (1954, Warner Bros.) in which giant ants have taken over the city.
Lisa W. Hopper is a freelance journalist and guest staff writer for The Plantain. She lives just outside of Downtown Miami in zip code 33137.

The Plantain has learned that a tourist from Indiana has stopped in the middle of the Tigertail roundabout just outside of Coconut Grove and proceeded to let every car in existence enter.Albert Oldsman, a 64-year-old from Indianapolis, first drove onto the roundabout at 11.55 AM on Sunday and looks set to remain there until the end of time itself. I visited the scene of the incident to interview Mr. Oldsman through a small crack in his passenger window, who had this to say:
“Yesterday I made some kind of unfathomable error, and found myself on this hellish concrete ice rink,” he yelled over the howling chorus of a million car horns behind him. “In Indiana, our roads function at right angles. Our brains function at right angles. Whatever is happening here goes against everything I learnt at my church driving course.”
To the right of Albert’s car, a steady stream of expensive, leased vehicles were filing onto the roundabout in a neat motion. To the left, a scene not unlike the only interesting part of the movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ was playing out, as an infinite row of Miami residents stuck in this artificial traffic were expressing their dismay not just at being stopped, but at the knowledge that other people in other cars joining the roundabout ahead were somehow gaining a victory over them.
I asked Albert how he had gotten stuck, and if he still maintained hope that he would ever manage to stop yielding to every car in existence and one day exit the roundabout.
“I saw a young family in an SUV about to enter this vehicular pentagon of Satan, so I gestured to them to turn around and save themselves. Sadly, they took it as an encouragement to enter this madness ahead of me, and so has every car since. It pains me to think about. I couldn’t save them, but at least I can save the ones behind me.”
I suggested that Albert perhaps abandon his car and proceed on foot but he told me the rental charge on his VW convertible was “outrageous” and that he was “determined to make the most of it.”
By Angel Saxon

The Florida legislature held an emergency session this morning to vote on a law that makes twerking from on top of a moving vehicle a crime. The legislation was passed with little opposition and comes just two days after a video of a scantily-clad woman twerking from on top of a moving car was posted online.

“When I saw the video of that young lady popping her P from the roof of a moving car I was shocked,” said Representative David Richardson (D- Bald). “But we looked into it and found that there actually wasn’t a law on the books specifically prohibiting twerking, or any kind of sex dancing for that matter, from being performed from on top of a moving car. This legislation aims to change that.”

Under the new law, dancers caught twerking in transit face up to 2 years in prison.

The Plantain spoke to Mislaidy Alfonso, the woman seen dancing in the now-infamous video who we assume is from Hialeah, and asked what would possess her to twerk on top of a speeding car: “If I’m going to be honest, I did it for attention,” said the 19-year-old Miami-Dade College student/Instagram model.

The bill passed the House with almost unanimous approval and will be signed into law by Governor Rick Scott this afternoon. “I think this is a great example of how Republicans and Democrats can work together for the good of the people,” said the Governor in Parseltongue. 

The lone vote against the legislation came from Democratic Representative Cynthia A. Stafford who said she does not think the government has any place telling a woman what they should or should not be doing with their bodies, whether in a bedroom or on top of a used Infinity.

By Barry McGwire 

Drunken vagrant Carlos D. Michaels, 51, has been tapped by Miami-Dade County to head its Transportation and Public Works department. “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME,” slurred Mr. Michaels when asked to comment on his new position, adding “I DON’T KNOW YOU! I DON’T KNOW YOU!” as he took a swing at this reporter before tiring himself out and falling back asleep.

Mr. Michaels’ appointment is being universally lauded by those who know him. “Carlos is so  great,” said 25 year old Nadia Jeshri as she entered the Metrorail and greeted the vagrant as he peed himself. “Every time I get on the train and he is there it’s so exciting. It’s like I’m in New York,” said Ms. Jeshri as a urine soaked Mr. Michaels walked over to her seat to burp in her mouth and then comment on the size of her butt. “Such an authentic City experience,” gushed Ms. Jeshri as she turned her head to stare out the window and pretend like what just happened was no big deal, just like a real New Yorker.

Mr. Michaels is expected to bring widespread reforms to the Miami’s public transit system, promising to extend the metro’s hours so “people could get some goddamn sleep” and connecting downtown Miami to parts of Miami-Beach, which he admits he won’t even try to do  but says that it sounds pretty good before he started crying to himself and screaming for someone, likely from his past, named Myrna.

Mr. Michaels will begin next week and will be assisted by new Deputy Transit Director Man Nonchalantly Playing Trap Music On Speakers So Everyone On The Train Can Hear, and Undersecretary of Transit 28 Year Old “Teenager” Raising Money For His Football Team.

Public Transit Day is on Friday December 9! Meet Carlos and the rest of his staff by pledging to take the train. 

U.S. traffic fatalities rose 9% in the first six months of 2016, compared with a year earlier,” according to a Wall Street Journal article I read on my cellphone while driving north on the I-95 to my Wynwood loft after work.

According to the report, the increase in traffic deaths is a product of cheaper gas prices encouraging more Americans to use their cars, as well as the inability of most drivers from going more than a few seconds before checking their phones. The report noted that recent attempts to segregate cell users and texters in walled-off “texting only lanes” may have actually increased the risk of driving on South Florida’s roadways by causing distracted drivers to careen their vehicles into the ill-conceived and recently installed safety rails (see picture below).

Upon reading most, but not all, of the article I texted my friend Sara to ask whether she thought an article about the irony of reading a piece on increased traffic fatalities on my phone from a freeway was ironic enough to warrant a meta article written in the first person. She had doubts, but said I should explore the creative process, which I certainly appreciated.

Still on the I-95, I refreshed Facebook a few times after receiving Sara’s encouraging words, searched for and watched a video of a horse dancing to Carlos Santana, and then started composing this very article.

After a few minutes of writing, I had arrived at my destination and to my dismay found my car to be heavily damaged. It appeared that I had hit several cars, at least two cyclists, and a Key Deer on my journey home while I was lost in concentration writing this article. I was also a little high, but I get headaches, so that’s probably legal by now, right?.

As I walked away from my car, quietly pushing the potential consequences of my actions into the background of my consciousness, I contemplated calling the cops to report myself, but only so that if I were ever caught I could honestly say that I had thought about turning myself in. It was never an actual option, obviously, but the act of contemplation makes me feel somehow a little less culpable.

I then walked into my apartment, added hyperlinks and an embedded video of the Santana-dancing horse to this article, and posted it online wondering how many hits it would receive and just how seriously readers would take it.

Angry South Florida driver Lawrence Feinman reached his breaking point Thursday morning when during rush hour traffic he crashed his leased Toyota Camry into a tree on US1, causing even worse traffic delays. The accident was reportedly caused when the 51-year-old man lost control of his car while tweeting the following message to his 48 followers:

Mr. Feinman’s northbound drive from his Pinecrest home was already at a near standstill due to three Miami-Dade County service vehicles that forced traffic to divert from the far left lane in order to prune trees in the middle of morning rush hour. Already red in the face and late to a 9:30 am work meeting, Mr. Feinman turned on the easy listening radio station to calm his nerves, but found the soft 80’s rock did nothing to calm Mr. Feinman’s agitated state and in fact made him more angry.

By 9:50 am, Mr. Feinman had begun cursing to himself and wishing harm on those around him. After ignoring multiple calls and texts from Brett, his work supervisor who is 6-years younger than him, the self-proclaimed social-media-influencer decided to “make the city pay for it” by starting what he called “a twitter storm that Miami could never recover from.”

The impact of Mr. Feinman’s tweetstorm, which he dubbed “Twitter Storm Larry”, was short lived due primarily to Mr. Feinman’s relatively small social media following. Following his third consecutive unoriginal tweet complaining about traffic, Miami-Dade County’s tree-service workers, and that jerk in the Porsche next to him, the social-media-nobody lost control of his car and crashed into a tree. The accident caused two southbound lanes on US1 to be blocked by emergency service vehicles and even further backed up the northbound lane as four-additional Miami-Dade County tree service vehicles were forced to the scene to assist in clearing the fallen tree.

As emergency service workers assisted Mr. Feinman out of his vehicle, he reportedly asked the firefighters and EMS workers attending to him to “follow him on twitter”, telling them that they wouldn’t regret it. Paramedic Norman Babo agreed to exchange follows with Mr. Feinman, which Mr. Feinman was initially excited about but later regretted when Mr. Babo sent out pictures of Mr. Feinman, the accident, and the massive traffic jam he caused to his 22,000 followers with the hashtag #TwitterStormLarry.

By Juan Tauber