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BOO 2011

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Photo by Jason Greene

Local Color - Staff Picks

Best exploitation of a ladypart

Susannah Randolph’s uterus

Nobody saw this coming. While the Republican legislature was pretending to ride high on its rodeo hog – chewing the beef jerky of “jobs, jobs, jobs” while quietly assuring the dulled synapses of an underpaid public that this smirking wingnut majority would not be abused in the name of a conservative social agenda – that very same majority was crafting a record 18 pieces of spiteful invective aimed directly at the crotches of Florida’s womenfolk. A palpable panic (or a rolled eye of ennui) rattled through the increasingly subjugated left, liberal legislators and constituents alike developing nervous tics, and this, the dumbest of states, seemed almost resigned to its destiny of becoming the flyover red state that nobody actually flies over.

That is until Orlando – or rather State Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, and his activist wife, Susannah – finally said something. That something, it turns out, was a scientific term, an apparently disgraceful reference to female anatomy: “uterus.”

Rep. Randolph sneaked a retaliatory reference to his wife incorporating her uterus into a floor debate involving corporate deregulation (because then those lauded laissez-faire economics might actually apply) and unwittingly set off a flurry of fainting spells among the more uptight in the conservative ranks. House Speaker Dean Cannon chastised Randolph and tried to diminish him as an Alan Grayson-lite troublemaker. At issue, according to Republicans, were the unblemished intellects of the pubescent pages scurrying around the state capital, their ears burning at the mere mention of a reproductive organ. The language was considered “inappropriate” by Republican leadership, mostly because “Republican leadership” is another term for “puritanical prudes.”

The confrontation gained national attention – a good thing for Florida, for once – and Susannah’s uterus became something of a micro-celebrity: the sort Facebook pages were named after, the sort that inspired pink “uterus” buttons and protests in Tallahassee. The ACLU even launched a website, incorporatemyuterus.com, where Mrs. Randolph did just that, calling her private innards the “Pink Free-Speech Zone” – an act that later resulted in the appearance of a plushy toy playfully named “Mulva.” It may have been one of the more absurd moments in this surreal spring session – the Associated Press went on to call Randolph’s uterus a “runaway hit” – but it was also the best. And that’s saying something.

 

Best election cycle that could’ve been a theme park

Florida midterm elections

Forget Halloween Horror Nights; last November, the Sunshine State brought out the real creature feature in the form of its political hopefuls, all of whom seemed to have been summoned to the state via gypsy curse. You had lumbering billionaire Frankenstein Jeff Greene, shiny-headed Superman villain Rick Scott, impeccably preserved mummy Charlie Crist and, well, whatever the hell Kendrick Meek was supposed to be. This high-stakes fright night didn’t end with a parked-car makeout session, though. Instead, Scott stuck around to keep us screaming for at least another four years. We want to wake up!

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