Miami inventor Ronald Paramore had a heavenly vision about women's underclothes, and it wasn't courtesy of the Victoria's Secret angels. "This came in a dream," Paramore says of his recently patented creation.
He had been working construction when he lost his job. "I got laid off, right around Christmas. I came home and cried and fell asleep and then I had a dream," he recalls. In the dream, God told Paramore to draw, and he received a vision of what is now his trademark, a derby hat over a smiling face. Then the deity revealed that women needed protection; not necessarily divine protection, but practical injury-proofing from sport injuries, just like men have. When Paramore awoke, he immediately sketched the design for the world's first female jockstrap.
"You don't question God," Paramore deadpans.
"I'm known for smiling through it all," he adds. The Bitch couldn't help but smile herself when she met the sharply dressed Paramore, sporting a derby and a matching ivory shirt and suit ensemble, who whipped out blueprints for the design of the basic jockstrap and the protective cup that is attached to the strap with Velcro.
Right now Paramore is working full-time as a painter until he can find financial backing for his invention. He pulled out a binder to show The Bitch photos and letters from celebrities who endorse the product. "Robin Givens endorses the product. Dr. Dre loves it," Paramore notes as he flips a few more pages to the lyrics to a song he wrote for Da Brat about the female jockstrap.
"Everybody talks good game, but we can't get the seed money to get the product out there," he says. "People are calling me, but they are just doing this --" Paramore shakes his head while making the you're-talking-out-your-ass motions with his hand.
The apparatus was recently thrust into the spotlight on the resurrected game show To Tell the Truth hosted by John O'Hurley, who is most recognized from his role as J. Peterman on Seinfeld. The producer of the show, Spencer Stephens, called one day. "He just heard on the street about the female jockstrap," says Paramore, who went on the show with his twin brother Rodney, who is also a bit of a tinkerer. Kermit the Frog was a guest panelist alongside Paula Poundstone, Meshach Taylor, and Traci Bingham. Only Taylor guessed correctly the Paramores were the inventors. "I guess the others didn't think a couple of brothers could invent something like this," he smirks.
Paramore then traveled to New York to meet with one potential investor: "I even brought him a mango -- 'cause he wanted a mango from Miami -- and then he messed around and took some of my products and I never heard from him."
The invention does have an endorsement, if not an investment, from a woman athlete who has tested it under extreme conditions. Tennis coach and former WTA pro player Kim Sands says, "The female jockstrap gives the complete freedom and comfort to run, jump, and hit with the greatest of ease. How do I know? Well, I was born to play sports at the highest level."
Paramore says he has thus far manufactured about 50 of the jockstraps, which he expects will retail for about fifteen dollars, but is waiting for an increase in cash flow so he can pay a professional seamstress to crank out more. For more information call 786-306-3211 or visit femalejockstrap.com.
This past week The Bitch was doing what she spends most of her time doing -- staring out the window of the New Times building instead of working -- when she spotted contributing writer, Rosebriar Café problem-solver, and curator-about-town Carlos Suarez de Jesus. Close behind Suarez, who was walking on Biscayne Boulevard, was a pursuing pedestrian in a chroma yellow oxford shirt, waving his arms, pointing, and yelling. At this exact moment two Miami police squad cars pulled up and officers wrestled Yelling Man to the ground.
The Bitch was astounded by the good fortune -- witnessing possibly criminal activity and Suarez's state of unharmedness -- and when she asked him about the incident, he provided the following hilarious account of his adventure: "Well, I think this schmuck wanted me either to be his bottom bunk bitch, seeing as he just got sprung from the clink a few hours earlier, or he wanted to deprive me of the chicken fillets I was fixing to grill. The dude followed me down the street and jumped me from behind in front of my apartment. I shook him off and called the cops as I walked over to the New Times lobby, since I know you have scarecrow security there. He followed me, threatening me the whole way as I dialed 911. Your lobby guard put him out like the Flintstones cat and I bumped into an editor outside who the guy bummed a square from. When the squad cars arrived, the hopped-up cretin gave them a sob story about spending the night in jail and needing to get back to the Gables where he lives. I declined to press charges after the cops patted him down and shooed him off. But after walking a block south, Gandhi returned to the scene with a craw full of language and a hell-bent 'tude that earned him another night at the spa."
Suenalo Oh No!
The Bitch was sniffing around the ad-hoc artist community that has recently found a haven in the revitalized streets of Little Havana when she heard a horrendous rumor that shook her by the scruff. It seemed that after properly stirring up Miami with their funkafied grooves, the Afro-Latin musical collaboration known as Suenalo Sound System was calling it quits. However, after a bit more bomb-sniffing, this turned out to be nothing more than an exaggerated version of the truth. Though the official word is that the band wishes to depart from the cumbia-heavy rhythms it had been focusing on, The Bitch's super hearing detected the reality has more to do with the band's lack of patience with the Xanax-popping antics of lead singer/rapper Itagui Correa. The dreadlocked performer, whose other band, Locos Por Juana, is enjoying moderate success and has earned many an accolade, from local praise to BBC awards, can't seem to get along with the rest of the Suenalo guys and caused a rift between the two bands.
"There are some people out there who would love nothing more than to see us fail, but that couldn't be further from the truth, we're still alive and kicking," says Phil Maranges, Suenalo's guitarist. Though the band is not bust, there are some changes. Owing to some hearing problems, Correa is taking a little break. Fabio Patiño will be stepping out from behind the drums to try singing and timbales. Timbales player Alan Reyna is splitting Suenalo altogether, following Correa's lead to focus solely on LPJ. The Bitch is already making plans for the Unplugged reunion à la Fleetwood Mac.
Enterprise Automobile Parking
The Bitch wishes to commend the entrepreneurial genius of the homeless community surrounding the Pawn Shop Lounge on NE Second Avenue and Thirteenth Street. On a recent Saturday night, while attempting to securely station their vehicles, a sea of Revolver revelers became trapped in a clogged-up traffic jam. With no apparent parking assistance in sight, there came a shining orange light to the rescue. A man wearing a reflective, fluorescent construction vest and looking very official began crisply semaphoring and efficiently guided car after car into neatly filled rows in a lot beside the I-95 entrance ramp. As the drivers exited their automobiles, the man came by and collected the posted five-dollar fee, plus tip.
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He did this at least 30 times before the lot's actual attendant got wise and rocketed to the scene, screaming and cursing at the top of his lungs. As the orange-clad impostor ran off into the night, the attendant tried unsuccessfully to collect money from the parked masses. Thankfully the Bitchmobile was not towed. Mad props you orange-vested hustler, keep makin' that paper.
Too Hot for Tuxedos
The invitation promised an open bar, plus penguins flown in from South Africa -- enough reason to go to the grand reopening of the Hotel Victor on Ocean Drive this past Friday. The Bitch went upstairs in search of the penguins, but first encountered rakish raconteurs Russell Hassell and Brian Antoni, power-suited State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, and favorite starlet Tara Reid, who has gone from butter blond to true platinum. "Can you ever be too blond?" The Bitch wondered to Reid, who shook her head, and then, as if in proof of her answer, turned and got a big hug and kiss from the party's host, Sean P. Puff Diddy Daddy Combs.
A giant spotlight mounted above the hotel pool did not seem to agree with the half-dozen forlorn penguins. The poor birds looked scared and were huddled together. Further evidence that South Beach profligacy and animals do not, and should not, go together.