- Illustrations by Brian Sendelbach
Face it, you’re too broke to be a sexy anesthesiologist this year, and that Casey Anthony middle-part slut look you tried to pull off last year just got you laid and pregnant. No worries! As usual we’ve got you – or your face – covered with some ghoulishly frightening newsprint that you can call a costume. So just throw on a suit or a burlap bag (depending on your body type) and strap one of these nasties to your face. You’ll probably live to regret it!
Villagers of the damned
As if the horrors of being elderly weren’t scary enough – the pungent panties, the flailing orthopedic shoes, the ear hair! – the residents of far-flung Central Floridian retirement range the Villages have proven to be a much greater fright than the physical stereotypes that plague them. The Villages is like a pimped-out golf-cart crash full of sexually transmitted diseases and tax-evading developers that’s wrapped itself around an apathy tree. Its residents, who’ve long ago forgotten what it’s like to live in the real world, bristle at the notion of contributing to the maintenance fees required to keep a state running (“I don’t want to pay to educate your kids!” etc.). During the past year, the 84,000 creepy residents of the Villages have raised their wrinkled profile by acting as amped-up pacemakers for the Republican machine. Gov. Rick Scott revealed his budget there this spring, making sure that liberal concerns were unceremoniously axed from the proceedings. In fact, nearly every GOP presidential candidate Florida whistlestop involves a stop in the hellhole that time can’t forget and bad slogans go to die. Why? Because the affluence is deafening. In the Villages, nobody can hear you scream!
The vegan stew that ate downtown
Sloshing around in a cauldron of despair and poverty, downtown Orlando’s homeless population rode the Depression zeitgeist into the unpaid realm of global headlines this summer upon a frightening mix of good intentions and curry paste. It wasn’t so much that the malnourished masses were slouching toward vegan self-righteousness – that honor belonged to the unshaven folks known as Food Not Bombs doling out the do-gooder slop – as it was them giving in to the natural pull of civilized starvation. But to hear the frosted denizens of the downtown aristocracy tell it, the act of civil disobedience known as feeding people unearthed a new species of lawless zombie that smashed and grabbed at a lifestyle to which the polite and reasonable among us had grown comfortably accustomed. Television news stations ran with the city’s smear campaign, loosely detailing unsourced narratives of the walking dead embarking on a pissing, shitting and stealing spree. “Not in my boutique!” downtown denizens squealed. In the end, 27 hippies-a-feeding were arrested (only to be cleared later in a grand political gesture by the mayor) while the zombies were left to come back and eat stew – or you – outside City Hall another day. They will eat meat, you know!
The Devil’s advocate
Orlando is loaded with bloodthirsty ambulance chasers who put ego over legal in the name of household fame. Even former Gov. Charlie Crist is now marching in the endless parade of bottom feeders whose faces haunt your television set during commercial breaks. They want to suck your wallets until the insurance companies they claim to abhor yank them into some nefarious negotiating chamber that has “the client always loses” carved into the door. This year, though, the flaming stakes were raised with the schadenfreude soap opera of a certain “tot mom” and her smells-like-dead-baby trunk, which launched the careers of a new breed of courtroom showman. Attorney Jose Baez lurched into view, flashing his clueless mug into whatever news camera could endure it; his colleague, fright-beard Cheney Mason, crawled out of some legal lagoon with his middle finger outstretched, ready to ruin a sane argument’s chance of survival. That limp middle finger now rests in the rear of client Jim Greer, former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, who’s charged with fraud and money laundering. There will be nightmares. Big, conservative nightmares, we hope.
There is nothing scarier than the unknown, especially when that unknown is 99 percent of everything you do know. Cloaked in Guy Fawkes anonymity (well, sometimes) the permutation of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street movement into occupying just about anything – including a patch of grass next to the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce – meant that the enemy could very well be staring back at you in the mirror. It’s like an economic séance! Just say your own name three times in the dark and, oh my God, there you are! Initially dismissed largely as iPad-wielding hippies, the occupiers leered and groaned in the face of authority, anxiously anticipating police brutality and pepper spray. The very notion that this leaderless movement had come to life as a headless pseudo-political monster is enough to cause apoplexy and anxiety among those in power. “Give us your list of demands!” they screamed at the occupiers in a panic, only to realize that there really wasn’t a list of demands. Well, then, at least they’re less scary than the Tea Party. Carry on.