Despots in South Florida, Riding Bikes, Drinking Booze, and Wearing Tampons

Life on these subtropical shores is dangerous. Maybe you're saying, "Dude, that's the past. I got a place out on the Beach. And I go walking barefoot down back alleys at midnight. Nothing happens. It's totally safe."

Wrong, goof. Like staff writer Tim Elfrink points out in this week's cover story "South Florida Living, Butcher Style": "Forget Epcot. Screw the Wizarding World of Harry Potter... This is South Florida, muchacho, the retirement home of army strongmen, torturers, and every other unsavory character from the Southern Hemisphere."

So next time you're enjoying the hot night street on your feet, watch out! Gerardo Machado, Telmo Ricardo Hurtado, or Prosper Avril might be right around the corner waiting to abduct your ass.

One way to effectively evade a kidnapping attempt by evil dictators and their henchmen: Stay indoors. And if possible, avoid cigar shops, public washrooms, gun ranges, puppy boutiques, and the Walgreens feminine hygiene aisle. These are places where mass murders and war criminals can often be found. Instead, go see a Broadway show like Pandemonium:

Rat-a-tat-tat! Crash! Boom! No, it's not a ten-car pileup on I-95. It's the latest ear-candy extravaganza from the creators of Stomp, who have put together another show full of inventive uses for everyday stuff ... This might be your only chance to hear the squonkaphone.

But start wandering through the "Speed Limits" show at the Wolfsonian and your chances of bumping into, say, Benito Mussolini's zombified corpse are maybe 20%. Why? Well, this exhibition is all about Italian futurism and the OG members of that movement were big fans of the Fascist way, thinking it would help drag 1920s Italy into the 20th century. In fact, the founder of futurism, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, was one of Mussolini's earliest sidekicks. Fasci di combattimento!

Even though international bad guys are a very real, very big threat in Miami, it'd be extremely irrational to never deviate from Cultist's "stay indoors" advice. You just have to pick your spots and this Saturday's Edible Landscapes tasting tour at Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a certifiably safe outdoor excursion. (Fact: Three in every four dictators is afflicted with severe hay fever.) Your only worry: Poison berries and the like.

Oops... Castor beans? Vomiting, diarrhea, corroded esophagus. Glory lily? Fever, shock, organ failure. Chinaberry? No biggie, just stomach cramps, shortness of breath, and seizures. Snack safely with Edible Landscapes at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, where Floridian flora expert David McLean will lead the wild walkabout.

Can you even imagine a murderous despot riding a bicycle? No way, right? Military uniforms, epaulettes, and mirrored shades are entirely inappropriate cycling attire. And that's why you can safely assume neither Napoleon, Gilberto Jordán, nor any of their pals are gonna make the Beer Snob Bicycle Pub Crawl.

This Saturday at 4 p.m., fans of Oktoberfest brews and actual exercise will gather at Zeke's Roadhouse, where almost any beer costs $4. The ride will then wind toward the Abbey Brewing Co., the Filling Station, and the DRB. So for fuel, use beer instead of oil, AKA decomposing dinosaurs.

Even arty adventures can be dangerous as New Times critic Carlos Suarez De Jesus discovered when he checked out downtown's Christopher Miro Gallery. Call us paranoid, but we say: Where there's smoke, there's a bomb, and usually there's a military terrorist, too. Galleries are not safe havens. Heed the warning!

It's a little after midnight on a recent weekday, and downtown Miami is eerily quiet. A few cars cruise along East Flagler Street, slowing for a spectral cloud mushrooming from an open storefront. The dust and grit rise above the rain-slicked asphalt as if a bomb has just gone off in the empty space.

Meanwhile, the cineplex is a nice place where you'll never get hassled by political power junkies and hired assasins. Go figure, huh? The main reason is people like expert torturer Juan Angel Hernandez Lara (AKA Bandit of Battalion 3-16) absolutely hate it when popcorn kernels get stuck in their teeth. That shit hurts! (Sure, it's not quite as painful as having metal pins shoved under your fingernails, but still ... )

Anyway, Ben Affleck's new heist movie The Town opens this weekend. You could see that particular flick warlord-free. Just know that movie reviewer Nick Pinkerton says it's only OK:

Clocking in at a heavy two hours, The Town does not end before Affleck wears a snicker-inspiring introspective beard. If for this alone, it misses on the big emotional gut punch -- but it's good enough at least that you wish it were better.

Lastly, you may have been confused when we made that comment earlier about avoiding "the Walgreens feminine hygiene aisle" because it's a place "where mass murders and war criminals can often be found." But don't make the mistake of thinking that statement's just some nonsensical joke. On the contrary, it's 100% true! Dictators are kinky! And just like Dan Savage letter-writer TAMPAX, bad guys be into some wild butt-plugging stuff:

About six months ago, after watching my girlfriend insert a tampon, I asked if I could do it for her next time ... After "helping" a few times, the conversation turned to what it felt like to wear one. Her response was, "Want to try one yourself?"

With her help--and a little lube -- soon there was a string hanging out of my butt ... And if this is not strange enough, I have now started doing this when I masturbate alone. I actually went out and got my own box of tampons -- Tampax Pearl Plastic Regular are the best (they're the easiest to insert) -- which I keep hidden.

I have a few questions:

1. Why do I get such a euphoric feeling when I pull the tampon out when I'm coming? Does it have something to do with my prostate?

2. Am I doing any damage to myself?

3. Just how deviant is this practice?

4. Do you think I could sell the idea to Tampax as a whole new market segment?

--The Ass Man's Peculiar Anal Xccentricity