Officer Flex

Police veteran pumps for glory

SAT 11/29

Miami-Dade County police Ofcr. Clarence Coffee has probably seen it all in his 31 years of active duty. Today muscle fans will see nearly all of him as he sports a Speedo in his first bodybuilding competition. The 51-year-old father of 5, in a tribute to his recently deceased sister, is entering the 2003 NPC South Florida District Bodybuilding Fitness and Figure Championship. Coffee, a SWAT negotiator, routinely gulps 11 eggs for breakfast, Rocky style, as part of an austere regimen that began 8 months ago. The 160-pounder, who can bench-press more than twice his weight, will join other hopefuls in an event that could mean a ticket to national competition. The prejudging begins at 10:00 a.m. The finals start at 7:00 p.m. at Milander Auditorium, 4800 Palm Ave., Hialeah. Admission costs $10 and $20. Call 305-823-8346. -- By Victor Cruz

Juicy Fruit

SAT 11/29 For an exhibit in South Florida, horticulturist Richard Campbell trekked to foreign lands and ate fruit. He saved the seeds from such exotics as the tarap (a spiky green basketball stuffed with banana-peach-flavored balls) and salak (an oval with snakelike skin and a sweet, oily flesh). The seeds and tree branches Campbell brought back from Borneo, Thailand, Malaysia, the Amazon, and other regions were used to cultivate exotic fruit trees on display at the William F. Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion at Fairchild Tropical Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables). Among the assortment: the bright-hued gamboge, the sweet-oniony durian, and the tutti-frutti-flavored champedak. Want a bite? Campbell, senior curator of tropical fruit for the garden, says samples are available only during tasting tours. The pavilion opens at 9:00 a.m. Admission is $10. Call 305-667-1651. -- By Patti RothOuting

Getting skinny

FRI 11/28 Just in case you were feeling good about yourself, Metrozoo's suggesting, "You walk off those holiday pounds." In other words, you're becoming the fat pig they'll roast at a Cuban Noche Buena. The good folks at Metrozoo, being the considerate calorie counters they are, will provide a "Turkey Trail" detailing calories and grams of fat according to food. The park will be sectioned off with mile and half-mile markers so you know how much to walk to get back to size 6. The trail is open at Miami Metrozoo (12400 SW 152nd St.) today through Sunday, November 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free with zoo admission. -- By Humberto Guida

 
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