We were halfway to blackout, carelessly flipping channels on Wednesday night, when we stumbled across something that made us really uncomfortable. Way up the dial, on Spike TV — which we only watch for the homoerotic Ultimate Fighting, honest — a suggestively titled cop-schlock program called Real Vice Cops Uncut was spitting out its choppy reality, and they were doing it in Orlando!
Better yet, they were doing it with our old friends from the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, the morality cops who arrested three of our employees last October for selling ads they thought were naughty (and later dropped all the charges).
Their first scene was a business parking lot where two scofflaws were awaiting the arrival of a third, presumably to transact the sale of some recreational medication. Inside the unmarked cop cars, the MBI's crack agents detailed the value of the "dolphin stamp" on the "purple dolphin" variety of MDMA. Then, wearing black masks, they busted the guys, even pulling a switchblade out of one of their cars to show just how dangerous Ecstasy dealers are.
"They won't be dealing poison to my territory!" quipped one. No, sir! Next up was our favorite scenario: Two guys posing as johns took a room at a famous tourist hotel where the MBI often sets up shop and invited over a couple of escorts.
Within moments, it's a cop-hooker sandwich and giggles all around. Somebody mentions the potential cost ("I only have $900. Will that be enough for me and my buddy?") and the jig is up. Officers listening in from next door bust in and arrest the girls, but not before sitting them down for a little misplaced chivalry about how there is no such thing as a legal escort, and, oh, prostitution will get you nowhere. That's some nice TV, boys.
From the updates desk: As expected, the fine folks at Florida Hometown Democracy are refusing to go quietly into that good night `"Not over yet," June 26`. As you'll recall, the state denied the FHD-proposed growth-restricting constitutional amendment a place on the November ballot — although the group had turned in more than 800,000 signatures, the state hadn't deemed the requisite 611,009 of them valid by the Jan. 31 deadline — but the group pledged to fight on. On Aug. 6, a federal court in West Palm Beach heard oral arguments on FHD's complaints of inconsistencies in the state's petition verification process.
According to Sierra Club spokesman John Hedrick (via press release), things are looking up. "We believe the plaintiff's attorneys have shown a strong and compelling case where the state in many ways acted improperly in keeping the measure off the ballot and, therefore, we believe the only appropriate remedy for the more than 840,000 people who signed FHD petitions, not to mention the millions of Floridians who want an opportunity to vote on this measure, would be to place it on the November ballot," he says.
If the judge agrees, the amendment will be No. 10 facing voters in November, and the "Yes on 10" campaign will begin.
Remember in 2001 when the city put big plastic lizards all over the place, then auctioned them off to raise money for arts groups? This time, it's guitars. Gibson Guitar (which makes a truly awesome ax, if we do say so ourselves) has partnered with the city to create something called Orlando GuitarTown.
We've seen clearer press releases, but the gist, as far as we can tell, is this: The Gibson folks have picked 70 local artists, including Weekly contributor Andrew Spear, to create either 10-foot tall Gibson replicas or smaller Epiphone models. (Epis are versions of Gibsons.) Eventually, we gather — really, Gibson could use some better media people — they'll be sold off and the proceeds will go to the Downtown Arts District, the Parramore Kidz Zone, the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and something called Page 15, which apparently provides supplemental reading and writing help to Orange County school kids.
Which is great. Even better, it turns out N'Syncer Joey Fatone (pronounced "fat one") is on board too, as the "celebrity co-chairperson," which probably means exactly nothing. And our dear mayor has also endorsed the project, even going so far as to autograph the first giant six-string in town while flashing that goofy smile of his.
Gibson Guitars could take a lesson in press-release writing from the enterprising, slightly slutty folks at Dust Bunnies of Orlando (www.dustbunniesoforlando.com). Not just another maid service featuring girls (and apparently guys too, though their website doesn't say much about that) in skimpy outfits, Dust Bunnies has raised the bar, or so they say.
We quote: "Our maids have previous cleaning experience, great lively personalities and the charm and looks you would expect the women who waitress at Hooters or WingHouse to have. We use chemicals that are friendly to the environment."
Before you get the idea that Dust Bunnies employees are escorts with vacuum cleaners, know that the company explicitly states there is nothing illegal going on here — several times, in fact. These boys and girls go to your house to do one thing and one thing only: scrub your cracks and crevices.
Finally! We all get to see what Orlando's version of Carnegie Hall is going to look like. No more guessing. No more crappy artist's renditions as published in these very pages (see above). The future will be revealed Aug. 21 at a lavish party featuring cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, valet parking and the like. Too bad you're not invited until the next day — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 22 at the DPAC building, 455 S. Orange Ave. — which is when they're holding a community open house.
Will we have flying buttresses? Stained glass? Arches? Acoustically engineered performing spaces so that every one of us can hear every line of Cats? Soon we'll all know. We're so excited we've soiled firstname.lastname@example.org