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COLUMN

Happytown

The week in which the mayor got all crabby with Florence Henderson, The Daily Show got all pissy in Tallahassee and Santa got all drinky in front of the kids. Everything itches!

Photo: Billy Manes, License: N/A

Billy Manes


Here’s the story of a crazy citythat was bringing in some leggy, lovely girls. Actually, on Thursday, Dec. 8, the bevy of leggy ladies shuttle-bused to the Orlando City Hall rotunda in the name of vapid pageantry wasn’t the real story at all, something easily evidenced by palpable pant-tent excitement of the all-male media types assembled. Sure, the parade of hair extensions and stenciled sashes and Botox representing the hollowed head of the 2011 Mrs. World Contest – the finals are being held at Westgate Resorts on Dec. 15 (today!) – was a sight to behold. The pageant is, after all, a venue for antifeminism of the beauty, brains and “opinions about marriage” variety, so you know, world peace! But the real draw for men of a certain age was the presence of the original Carol Brady of The Brady Bunch, Florence Henderson, petitely presented in a green pantsuit without a drop of Wesson cooking oil to cloud her ageless radiance. Henderson was in attendance because she’s hosting the pageant and she was to receive a key to the goddamned city! The key giving was pantomimed as a secret (although it was in the freaking press release announcing the event), so she feigned elegant surprise at the mayor’s lock-picking generosity.

“Will this get me into your mansion?” she blinked as much as her pulled face would allow.

“My office,” Mayor Buddy Dyer blushed uncomfortably. “I’ve had a little trouble with people showing up at my house lately.” Oh, Occupy jokes. Occupy my office, Brady lady!

And that’s not even the real joke. There are several! Ready? Go! First off, the pageant is being held at Westgate Resorts, meaning that CEO David Siegel was awkwardly in attendance to glower at the ladies – and we use the word lightly, because Mrs. Venezuela was clearly a man.That’s funny because wasn’t it just a few years ago that Siegel was involved in a $5 million sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee? And, speaking of mansions, isn’t Siegel currently selling his unfinished 90,000-square-foot Versailles monstrosity in Windermere for $75 million because of hard times? Take my wife! Please!

And then there’s Florence (whom we love, by the way; “You have a very distinctive look,” she squinched when posing for a picture with us). Florence has a history with mayoral trouble, something she’s junketed to death since the September release of her autobiography, Life Is Not a Stage. We pulled city spokeswoman Heather Fagan aside to see if she had any inkling of the television star’s torrid past. Turns out Fagan had Googled Henderson to death – something that is apparently customary in the bequeathing of magic city keys – and hadn’t, erm, come across anything fishy.

“You do know that Florence Henderson had an affair with former New York Mayor John Lindsay in the 1960s, right?” we stifled a giggle. “He gave her crabs!”

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