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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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"Remember that building I told you about a few years ago?" the mayor smirked as we tried to cram a sworded mini-burger in his face hole. "You know, that performing arts center you said would never be built?"

"Oh, yeah," we demurred. "Congratulations on your new tent!"

The mayor was then rushed onto the stage, leaving us standing there, alone and sorta sober, with Kathy Ramsberger. Even our pariah hat and martyr shoes couldn't save us from the awkwardness that was about to unfold, not that we wanted them to.

"I probably shouldn't say this," she said (and probably shouldn't have). "But even though my kids and I all want to punch you in the face …"

O. M. G.

"… your reporting on DPAC has been the best reporting in town. You obviously know what you're talking about; I wish the other outlets were as thorough."

Acknowledging that this is just the cutting-room floor fodder from the first draft of the One Minute Manager – if you can't ruin them, pretend to love them – we smiled, shook her hand and scuttered off for some booze and line dancing that we'd rather not talk about ever again.

Wait, what just happened? Oh, yeah: 
performance art. We are the performing arts center. Happy now?

If there's one thing we respect aboutGovernor Rick Scott, it's that he professes his evil openly, proudly and in settings consistent with his ideology. Take his visit to Orlando on June 23, which was located 
in a chilly, cavernous ballroom in the northeast corner of the airport's Hyatt Regency hotel (the wing with a stunning view of the concrete). There, the governor emerged from behind a black curtain to address a 4-by-7 block of geriatric constituents. The edges of the room were lined with a small army of whispering suits and a few reporters who had been selected for the invitation-only event. (We rode into the room on the back of a miscommunication between Scott's Tallahassee office and his regional office.) The governor was to officially sign Senate Bill 1128, which, among other things, limits the power of local governments to divert surplus pension funds for non-pension expenses. Scott was also to sign the infamous SB2100 for a second time, kindly 
reminding teachers and other public employees that yes, their paychecks would be 3 percent smaller next year so that their pensions could remain the same size. (Days earlier, the Florida Education Association teacher union filed a lawsuit in Leon County Circuit Court to overturn the law.)

Among the introductory speakers was vice president of pro-business lobby Associated Industries of Florida, José Gonzalez, whose beard evidently posed a challenge to Scott's sensibilities: "He's going to shave next time,"Scott quipped. "Well, you know what I say: happy wife, happy life," Gonzalez answered, to which our governor agreed, and everybody in the room looked either at the ceiling or the floor. Meanwhile, in the conference room next door, one could faintly hear the New School Investors Academy employing the band Queen as a motivational supplement to their "6 Quick Cash Strategies To Buying Real Estate With No Money, No Credit, No Experience Needed!" seminar.

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