The hits keep coming for Florida! In this most recent unwarranted attack, The Onion – America’s ‘finest news source’ – has gone out of its way to heckle the Venice of America, the Bellwether of Broward County, La Suprema Albondiga del sur de la Florida, and the hometown of TMF Founder/Overlord Francis Falkendoodle: Fort Lauderdale.
If you didn’t see the article, don’t worry about it. The premise was that Ft. Lauderdale (FTL) is a soulless, uninspiring place with no redeeming characteristics.
Of course this is a ridiculous accusation. But it does sting to see so many of the inferior 65,000-ish lesser cities in the United States passed over for this ridicule. And it does chafe to see the many wonderful things of FTL ignored.
The Onion does understandably hit some of our soft targets: the yachts, the depravity, the crabby old folks, the vanity, the iguanas, the general lack of civic pride… We are not without blemish.
Did someone, just this week, go to the trouble to hack a road sign on 595, and make it say, “Smoke weed erryday?” You bet.
Are we the worst sports fans in the world? Probably.
Is our finest piece of architecture that new Fresh Market on US-1? It’s in the conversation.
Is our least offensive billboard the one for Krystal off of 95/Oakland Park that says “Grab Value by the Buns!”? Sigh.
That said, FTL is full of fantastic things and even more fantastic people. Clearly no one at The Onion has had the pleasure of experiencing the following:
– Eaten at Vila’s, Don Arturo, The Georgia Pig, The Lotus or Tom Jenkins (or to a lesser extent THE RAINBOW)
– Played Home Run Derby at Floyd Hull Stadium, or a game of cul-de-sac tennis ball derby
– Taken in the FTL skyline from the roof of Bamboo
– Fed the tarpon (from a sensible, safe distance) at 15th Street Fisheries
– Encountered the saints of Lovebags or CityChurch
– Been on a boat ride with Capt. Ty on the S.S. Derrek Lee
– Had their ears lit on fire by the sonic stylings of Ryan A. and Civilian
– Kayaked to lunch somewhere
– Gone swimming outdoors in January
– Spent time in any of those awesome, jungly neighborhoods off of Riverland
– Participated in an “i-FIFA” tournament, which to the best of my recollection involves Nintendo, slapping, great fellowship and 40 different kinds of booze
– Joined the roaring crowd at Dania Jai-Alai, hurling insults in Basque at the guy who just dropped the pelota and cost you $4
– Played a game of softball at Mills Pond with the boys from TnT, complete with free-swingin’, bad fieldin’, good timin’ antics
– Watched in awe as a majestic manatee lethargically floats past you at Birch State Park
– Taken in a screening at Cinema Paradiso
– Fallen asleep on one of those inflatable whale things off of FTL beach and woken up in the Bahamas (only 50 miles away!)
There are thousands of other nice things about Fort Lauderdale. Too many to mention really. So many that I think we should be confident enough to take this most recent insult – and all others really – as a form of flattery.
So don’t sweat The Onion, Fort Lauderdaliens, you’re great.