Miami's top news stories of 2011

Dude, where's my city? Miami wakes up with a pounding headache.

So while Chris Bosh tries to claw out of the hole, five miles — as the bullshit flies — to the west, workers put the finishing touches on the world's largest and most expensive Slap Chop. It gleams like an untreated anal wart off the Dolphin Expressway: the Miami Marlins' unnamed future home, a convertible dome paid for almost entirely by taxpayers. Because around these parts, what follows "Take me out to the ballgame" is "and plug me in the forehead with a bolt gun."

With interest, this fuchsia PT Cruiser of stadiums will cost us $2.6 billion. At a time when barrels-with-suspenders are haute fashion in Hialeah and Kendall, the Marlins are even putting citizens on the hook for parking garage taxes totaling millions a year — a development our short bus full of county commissioners didn't calculate.

Even as federal agents — who at this point might consider setting up a pneumatic tube to South Florida for delivering subpoenas — investigate the criminally bad stadium deal for possible corruption, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has spent hundreds of millions on high-priced free agents such as the Mets' Jose Reyes. Loria is tossing around the public's cash like Rick Ross at King of Diamonds.

Laugh now, Jeffrey. If God is a taxpayer, you'll spend eternity watching Miami Social reruns while seated on the pointy end of a Romero Britto palm tree statue.

Chris Bosh finally hoists himself out of the dirt pit. He lies on his back and gasps. He has a split lip and two black eyes, is covered in grime, and appears to be near tears.

In other words, he looks like he just played a Tuesday-night exhibition match against the New Jersey Nets.

He finds his vehicle — a Rolls Royce Phantom with a B0YW1ZARD vanity plate — sitting dented on the shoulder of the MacArthur Causeway. The back seat is hopping with psychedelic frogs (prolific breeders) and strewn with champagne bottles.

As he starts the engine, he hears an urgent thumping in the trunk. "LeJohn and Wayne!" he screams, giddy like a Hogwarts first-year as he rushes to the back of the car.

But when he pops the trunk, instead of his friends, a sleek, slippery, and totally nude man leaps out. He wraps his hairless thighs around Chris Bosh's neck. "You gonna fuck on me?" he screams shrilly, beating our unsuspecting protagonist with a tire iron.

Gaunt, jaundiced, bald, and leering, this terrifying stranger looks like a survivor of a nuclear apocalypse. Ranting about something called "Obama rail," he suddenly leaps to the ground and sprints away.

A serious question, Florida: How — besides the effects of some statewide 37-second keg stand that's been wiped from our memory — do we explain Gov. Rick Scott? At least other states' dumb-as-bricks governors (see R. Perry, S. Palin) have a Sling Blade-esque simpleton's charm. Scott, meanwhile, is as charismatic as a gulag-keeper and smells, we imagine, like the burnt circuits that animate his limbs.

During his rookie year in office, the "Madoff of Medicare," whose company was once forced to pay a $2 billion fraud settlement, brought those same fiscal smarts to his position as shah of Florida. Among his first acts: Reject $2.3 billion — hey, that's almost a baseball stadium! — in federal funds for a high-speed rail system. Even Republicans turned on their beady-eyed leader after that one. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle sued to force Scott to accept the cash, but it ended up going to Massachusetts ("Thanks, brah!") instead.

Then there was the bill Scott passed mandating drug testing for welfare recipients — which benefitted a company owned by his family. That's not to mention New Times' revelation that the guv's own brother received welfare in Texas without being tested. Which means Scott is hated even by his loved ones.

The peach-hued muskrat-in-chief wasn't the only Tea Party debutante we discovered in power upon waking from our absinthe haze. Let's not forget Rep. Allen West, who spent most of this year's workdays antagonizing Muslim-American advocacy groups on congressional stationery and rewatching Patton. Oh, and Sen. Marco Rubio, who... well, he did fend off accusations that he lied about being the child of Cuban exiles. Hey, you try accomplishing more than that while simultaneously keeping your boyish hair perfectly parted.

Of course, not all decisions we make while drunk are bad. (Or so the purveyors who advertise in the back pages of this publication would have you believe.) In the maelstrom that was 2011, we did revoke the lapel flags of a couple of county politicians who were treating the Stephen P. Clark Government Center like their own personal palm-greasing Kremlin.

In a Jackie Chan moment, we booted two bad guys with one kick. Righteously wrathful billionaire Norman Braman — whom we can only assume keeps a pet tiger and dances to Phil Collins in his Indian Creek Village mansion — made a million bucks rain on the effort to recall Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, a grim stooge who increased taxes, gave county workers raises, and supported the aforementioned Hindenburg of a stadium deal. Also recalled was Natacha Seijas, a contemptuous, toad-like figure who had ruled with a Crisco fist for 18 years.

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