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COLUMN

Happytown

In which we playfully crash the bejeweled intentions of the Dr. Phillips Center's tent party and then try to get all up in the face of evil Gov. Rick Scott. We will survive!

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Happy days are here again!Casting off all of those frayed designer frocks from last season (and the civic shambles that they implied), the Botox-brow brigade, known collectively as the Concentric Circles of DPAC Optimism, convened June 23 for a wagging finger ragtime dance in honor of Orlando's latest and most confounding erection. Well, not so much for the erection itself as for the giant air-conditioned condom/tent strung up to mark its intended 2014 opening. We won't go too heavily into the details here – it was an event, it happened – mostly because we've already lost three of our fingers rattling off our distaste at the very notion of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and its great misnomer problem (see "Groundbreak day," June 23). Also, it gave us a wicked case of "Who'd-I-fuck?" hangover regret. But, like most gluttons and addicts, we decided to go ahead and throw ourselves into the proverbial fire and suffer until we felt something – anything – on that fateful Thursday evening. We were looking for trouble.

At first, it didn't look good. The fact that you couldn't even hear the string quartet provided by the Orlando Philharmonic over the gabbing guffaws of the growing crowd almost sent us running right back out of the entry point (which was lined, for no reason, by small children in DPAC T-shirts). Then there was the issue of there being no alcohol provided for the general public portion of the festivities (that came later at the VIP after party). Worse, there were ever-so-tiny hamburger sliders on even tinier swords with even tinier pickles attached. We ate one. It was frozen.

Instead of just leaving like any sane persona non grata might, we made a (semi)conscious decision to ride this one out. Why? Because our extremely persuasive lady- friend Shelby, a gorgeous realtor and DPAC supporter, sucked us in, that's why. And seeing as our hair and nametag would not support any kind of undercover investigative operation, we decided to just overtly rain on the booster parade, like we always do. "I'm so happy this is all happening," at least three people whispered in tongues. That's just what they said in Jonestown, right?

It didn't take long for things to take a whimsical turn. Some zoot-suit riot in a fedora approached Shelby and demanded 
an audience with DPAC Queen Kathy Ramsberger; he wanted to donate $10-$20 million, he said ambitiously, and this was not a "business card situation." Uh-oh.

"Will you help me find Kathy?" Shelby blinked her eyes exactly three times.

"We hardly think that we're the person that Kathy probably wants to see right now," we said, pretending to be a "we." And then the night turned into a movie.

Ramsberger was fetched to immediately dismiss the false donor while we were somehow shoved into the dwindling midsection of Mayor Buddy Dyer. (Apparently, says Shelby, the entire city staff is on some weird diet right now! Gossip!).

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