Dave Barry’s scariest things about South Florida
BY DAVE BARRY
SPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD
THE FIX-A-FLAT BUTT
This is the scariest body part in South Florida, which is saying something. This may be the only butt on earth that has a measurable effect on the tides:
It belongs to a transgender individual, currently female, named Oneal Ron Morris. Morris allegedly ran an illegal buttocks-enhancement business in which she injected women’s buttocks with Fix-a-Flat, cement, mineral oil and super glue. Medically, this did not turn out to be a good idea; Morris is currently in Broward County Jail, facing charges of manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license. Her butt is in there also. Presumably it has its own cell. God help us if that thing ever gets out on parole.
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MIAMI
This a group of real South Florida housewives, with “real’’ defined as “Botoxed beyond recognition,’’ and “housewives’’ defined as “women who never do housework.’’ They are, by their own admission, fabulous. They star in a reality TV show — kind of like Jersey Shore, but without the intellectual depth — wherein cameras follow them as they go about their daily activities while wearing enough makeup to cover the deck of an aircraft carrier to a depth of 18 inches. You get the impression that all these women ever do is go to lunch and make catty remarks, but that is unfair; they also sometimes go to dinner and make catty remarks.
These women are not just shallow: They are deeply shallow. Do not get in their way.
These are large constrictor snakes that originally were kept as pets by people who were clearly drunk out of their minds. What happens is, at some point these people sober up and say, “My God! I’m living with a giant carnivorous snake!’’ So they release their pythons in the Everglades, where they eat everything they can strangle and hook up with other pythons and have wild python sex. Recently researchers caught a pregnant female Burmese python that was more than 17 feet long and contained87 eggs. She was the Octomom of pythons. And there are thousands more of these things out there, chomping away on the native wildlife.
What happens when they’ve eaten all the other animals in the Everglades? They’re going to come hunting in Miami, unless we stop them. Maybe we could put billboards in the Everglades with snake-oriented diagrams on them explaining, using arrows and simple pictures, that the people over on the Gulf side of the state are meatier and slower-moving.
THE GOLDEN GLADES
This is even scarier than the Everglades. It is a massive interchange, apparently designed by highway engineers on crack, that connects all the major roads in South Florida, as well as, at one point, we’re pretty sure, the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It is the Bermuda Triangle of interchanges: Once you enter, you can never be sure what will happen to you. Years ago an elderly couple, attempting to drive from Aventura to Kendall, entered the Golden Glades and were never seen again. Local legend has it that, on certain dark nights, if you listen carefully, you can hear them driving around in there, arguing about which exit they should attempt next.
MIAMI WOMEN’S SHOES
Miami women are on the leading edge of the scary national fashion trend of wearing “platform stiletto’’ shoes. These are insane and unattractive contraptions, like miniature oil derricks made out of leather, that women strap on and then attempt to walk around in. The range of women wearing these shoes is limited: They can stagger only about 15 feet before the pain becomes unbearable. But during those 15 feet, because of their unnatural altitude, they are highly unstable. They can easily stumble, and if you get in their way their heels can pierce your foot like an ice pick going through a Twinkie.
SANTA’S ENCHANTED FOREST
This is the big mass of lights you see glowing at night alongside the Palmetto Expressway. It looks festive; it will draw you in. “Looks like fun!’’ you will think. “A Christmas-season delight for the whole family!’’ Hours later, when you stumble out, broke, exhausted and queasy from eating foods that are essentially sugar fried in grease, then going on festive holiday rides with names like Death Vomit, you may change your mind.
But by then it will be too late.
ANY FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES CENTER
Even the parking lots of these places are scary, because they’re filled with people who are learning to drive, which means they’re below-average drivers even by South Florida standards. But the true horror is what goes on inside. It’s like eternal damnation, except it takes longer. You will find people who have been waiting to see a clerk since the Carter administration. All of these people, when they finally get their turn, will have problems with their paperwork. And all of them are ahead of you.
MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The good news is: They have built a lot of new stuff.
The bad news is: It’s still Miami International Airport. So it still has the relaxed, friendly, helpful, welcoming ambiance of the Death Star. Also, for some reason the interior temperature is permanently maintained at 48 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that if you’re dressed for Florida — which is likely, since this is Florida — you will freeze. On the other hand, if you leave the airport via taxi, the interior of the taxi will be 127 degrees, and it will smell as though the previous passenger was a musk ox. And not a healthy musk ox, either.