Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
If Austin Powers ever takes an Orlando vacation, he'll certainly agree the Red Fox Lounge is radioactive, baby. Take my word for it – The Fox is the grooviest place in Central Florida and the most fun you can have in a motel bar.
I went again to see Mark & Lorna last night. They've been performing at the Red Fox Lounge every Tuesday through Saturday for the past 16 years; they’ve been married for thirty-five. The lounge is a small room in the Best Western Mount Vernon on 17-92 in Winter Park. Lorna sings and Mark plays a mean synthesizer. The audience is encouraged to join in (but let’s face it, when Mark belts out “Sweet Caroline,” who needs an invitation?)
The crowd is random and on any given night you might find yourself next to college students or veterans of the Korean War. Sometimes the place is packed, and other times you might be the only one there. The vibe is reminiscent of a Vegas Lounge act. The drink of choice is the grasshopper – dirt cheap. There’s a whole lotta taxidermy going on. One thing's for sure - the scene is always cookin’ at the Red Fox and it'll get you so randy that you and your date will want to go out to your hot rod to play a little backseat bingo.
If you ask enough people about Mark and Lorna, the subject of the Culp’s is bound to come up. That’s because Orlando’s musical duo has many striking similarities to the couple from the Saturday Night Live skit starring Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer.
Online rumors pinpoint the Culp’s as the creation of Paula Pell, an SNL writer and former Orlando resident who may have seen Mark and Lorna’s act while living here as an actress.
Whether or not they are the inspiration for a legendary TV comedy skit is irrelevant - what matters is that Mark and Lorna have ultra-hip friends like Wayne Newton and Reuben Kincaid from the Partridge Family.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
If this news story from Local 6 is to be believed, the guy below convinced a woman in Ohio that he was an employee of the Department of Homeland Security.
Lured in by his power, the two started dating. Two months after that, she started having trouble with her baby daddy, and the agent informed her she would have to be relocated to Orlando, per Witness Protection Program rules. So, of course, she packed up the kids and moved to Kissimmee where they all hid out, happily, until the special agent cut all the lights and tried to stab the woman.
I'm suspicious - after all, the top-secret government agent thing really is the only untapped concept left in Orlando. It would make a great thrill ride, with theme park employees dressed in black suits and dark glasses. Or maybe a hotel? How about a restaurant where Race Rock used to be?
Thanks to Tom Scherberger at the St. Pete Times who wrote up Tacky Fabulous in his “Bizarre Florida” blog, and also emailed to ask about the status of Hubcap World. Sadly, it has gone the way of Xanadu: Home of the Future, but it got me thinking about the one thing Orlando does better than any other city: putting the word “world” in business names.
Here’s your chance to join in the fun with the “It’s a World of World’s After All” Game. You can play this as a drinking game, or sober - just be on the lookout for businesses that have the word “World” in their names, and then send your photos here to be part of the World’s Largest Word “World” Photo Collection. Here are some places to watch for (and yes, they are all real):
Clock World, Air Conditioning World, Flea World, World Class Hammocks, Gibson Truck World, Give Kids the World, Disney’s Wide World of Sports, Shell World, World Quest Resort, World of Denim, Bargain World, Big Bargain World, Big Bargain World Inc #3, Christmas World, World of Dry Cleaners, World Bowling Center, World of Orchids, Sheraton World Center, World-o-Suds, Flag World, Rental World, Spice World, Costume World, Battery World, Bingo World, Buckle World, Best of British Soccer World (it’s a restaurant, of course), Cellular World, Fantasy World, Cost Plus World Market, Chevrolet World, Church World, World of Alterations, World of Coffee, Sign World, Camping World, Cap World, Alaska Yukon World Showcase of Orlando, Nurse World, A Tot’s World, Mailbox World, Luggage World, Magnet World, Wayne’s World of Antiques, Ski World, Mello’s World of Beauty, Tilly’s World of Jeans, Madge Elaine’s World of Entertainment.
If this goes well, we’ll play again with the word dollar.
first photo courtesy of http://www.goorlandocard.com/
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Hooray - the Associated Press used Orlando experts for a big post-Christmas story, which means we are super-smart, compared with the rest of the country, about some important topic!
The topic is "wrap rage."
You know - that overwhelming sense of anger you feel when you have to poke and tear through 6 layers of packaging before you get to the gift. Some of our locals have had to deal with broken teeth, bloodied hands and an increase in blood pressure just trying to get Barbie out of her cardboard/plastic prison.
One Orlando resident is quoted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about her use of tools (like wire-cutters) to unwrap holiday gifts....Next, a Deltona Grandmother discusses some of the psychological ramifications that go along with not being able to get a package open for an eager child....An Oviedo man talks about a Christmas Day "knife as a box-opener" incident gone bad... Another Orlando woman chimes in about her willingness to pay more for unpackaged items...and then, out come the big guns: the medical director for Florida Hospital CentraCare offers up advice about using scissors instead of cutlery or weapons to open gifts.
The World’s first Olive Garden restaurant, the largest photo album, and the person who has juggled the most objects at once. We are home to the record for fastest drumming, furthest distance thrown in a car accident (118 feet – he lived!), the fastest time for carving a face into a pumpkin, the largest numismatic auction, (over 77 million dollars in coins – silly me, I thought numismatists were people with bad allergies!), most tater tots consumed in 5 minutes (250) and the world’s largest stormwater pollution prevention convention (mark your calendars - that rowdy crowd will be in Orlando in August 2008).
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Every year, the town of Christmas, Florida is bombarded with people who want to have their holiday cards stamped with the "Christmas Florida" postmark. Since that order of business is now wrapped up for another year, the locals can focus on the REALLY important stuff - namely, playing host to the World's Largest Fake Alligator.
If you can't visit in person, please promise me you'll visit their website, which has the most tacky fabulous greeting you'll ever hear from a computer-generated gator. Quite high-tech!
photos courtesy of http://www.spacecoastweb.org/ and Jungle Adventures
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
So, you've done Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, "The Makaliki Christmas Luau" at Sea World, and the Orlando Gay Men's Choir "Don We Now Our Gay Apparel" show, and you're thinking there's nothing left in town for holiday fun. Well, guess again! Might I suggest the following lesser known Central Florida events of the season:
The Cold War: Bomb Shelter Boutique at the Maitland Historical & Telephone Museum (Bomb shelters, crafts, and other relics of the 1950s and 1960s)...The Holiday Hypnosis Show at CityJazz...Gong Show Karaoke at Adobe Gila's...A Pirate's Christmas Dinner Adventure....and the Tools as Art Exhibit at The Terrace Gallery/Orlando City Hall.
"Tools as Art" photo courtesy of http://www.joslyn.org/
A reminder to holiday travelers:
This is a Universal Orlando theme park employee.
This is an employee of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
This dog makes more money, seasonally, than you.
photos courtesy of Local 6 WKMG, Orlando Sentinel and http://www.wdwinfo.com/
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
This is Central Florida resident Walter Barrett. He's dedicated to finding new and creative ways to avoid facing the judge. This morning, Volusia County corrections officers went to take him from his cell to bring him into the courtroom for sentencing related to a violent home invasion conviction. Whereas Ghandi chose to protest via a hunger strike and John Lennon was known to speak his mind through lyrics and music, Walter Barrett is a bit more unconventional.
He covers himself in feces. Oh, and he throws it at people too.
(Insert your own "Gag Order" joke here)
So, what you see above is the Central Florida gear specifically designed to help law enforcement combat that sort of thing. It's much more intriciately engineered than it looks, but to the untrained observer, it appears to be a washcloth stuffed in Barrett's mouth with a plastic bag over his head.
photos courtesy of WFTV
Ever wonder how Men's Health Magazine came to the conclusion that Orlando is the angriest city in the nation?
Passive Aggressive Translator: Our most sincere gratitude for your purchase, now kindly GET THE HELL OUT. Enjoy your day (elsewhere)!
After being confronted by the WFTV Investigative Team (it's a slow news week), the McDonald's manager responded with, "Wha? Wasn't me."
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Do you have about an hour? That's how long it could take me to list all the reasons I love the Black Hammock Restaurant. If you've got out-of-town guests, this is an Orlando "must-see."
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The Grandma Party Bazaar is a semi annual gala that takes place in the parking lot of Stardust Coffee and Video. The last one happened on December 14th.
At this shindig, everybody is a vendor for the day! Whether you’ve got a knack for creating decorative vinyl donuts, edible magnets, or even pipe cleaner art, you can set up a card table and sell your wares at the Grandma Party. According to their event listing, they’ve got musicians, videographers, art installationists, farmers, hair stylists, and lots of other "ists" who hang out eating soy dogs and drinking lemonade. True to the event’s name, there are real live Grandmas there, along with a special section for rocking chairs, and a 3-foot Grandma pinata.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Ice storms in Boston...FREE
On the downside, the official ICE website does address the "can I lick the ice?" question. The answer is no. Side note: Would you really want to?
photo courtesy WHDH Boston & Orlando Sentinel
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
...Hallelujah for that.
I'll let you in on a well-kept Orlando secret. Most of our success with ass witticism stems from the fact that we replace the word "butt" wherever the word "but" is normally used. Shhhh!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
According to the Orlando Sentinel, "hordes of fun-loving retirees" will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest kazoo band. The current record is 2,679 kazooists.
The Villages is really kicking ass when it comes to World's Records. Last year they had the world's largest golf-cart parade (very prestigious). Now in the works - "The World's Largest Shuffleboard Competition" and "Most People Simultaneously Watching Wheel of Fortune". Go Villages!
P.S. In this article, the event organizer talks about the proper kazoo technique and mentions "not to blow". Similar advice was given to the residents of the Villages last year, after an outbreak of STDs in the retirement community.
(photo courtesy of Orlando Sentinel)
How embarrassing that the State Song of Florida is "Old Folks at Home." Thank goodness Charlie Crist has made it a priority to change that QUICKLY! Some see the song as racist...I see it as just incredibly LAME. Here's the contest for the next state song, and it's down to 3 politically correct finalists.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Yippee...it's just about time for the Citrus Bowl Parade! Almost as exciting as the event itself (which takes place downtown on December 29) is the opportunity for you to attach 100,000 oranges, tangerines and grapefruits to the chicken wire on the floats ahead of time.
Don't be intimidated if you haven't got any experience in this sort of thing - there are online tutorials-a-plenty. Like this one. Please trust me when I tell you, it is a must-see, with groovy background music and lines like, "Once you attach 'an citrus frooots'...it makes you want to do it over and over again."
There's also a lesser-known advanced tutorial, which covers all the extra special things sponsors can do to kick things up a notch on parade day. As an example, you can have people on-board your float waving, smiling, and tossing out miniature nerf footballs with corporate logos emblazoned on the side. The Orange County Expressway Authority, however, decided to scrap all the bells and whistles last year and take a more minimalist approach. Wonder how they'll top it this year?
Side note: The Grand Marshall hasn't been announced yet, so that can only mean one thing - it's going to be a former reality show contestant from 4 seasons ago.
(photo courtesy of Scott Maxwell/Orlando Sentinel)
Monday, December 10, 2007
From today's Orlando Sentinel...
A former Volusia County council member was arrested for DUI. Not remarkable, but follow me on this:
"(Bill) Long was speeding on Interstate 4 when he struck a sedan from behind, hitting it so hard that the impact threw the vehicle 300 feet and totaled the car. Long, who was seen drinking suntan lotion at the scene, was taken to the hospital by paramedics..."
DRINKING SUNTAN LOTION AT THE SCENE? I love that there is no further explanation.
Equally as disturbing is the fact that nobody stopped him. He didn't "attempt to drink suntan lotion at the scene" nor did officers "prevent him from drinking suntan lotion at the scene."
This is Bill following his arrest for domestic violence against his former partner Patrick Fulton. Rumor is, he was drinking Pantene Conditioner that day.
I've passed "Xanadu Home of the Future" plenty of times, but finally I stopped in to take a look-see. Either this place is closed or the future looks pretty bleak, my fellow Floridians. Here's what you have to look forward to...
In the future, we won't have paved roads or lawnmowers. We'll sun ourselves on plastic chairs in front of 50s inspired homes...
and forget about those flying cars like the Jetson's have, because apparently, we'll all be tooling around Highway 192 in broken down limos.