When City of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo, a six-foot-tall, vaguely humanoid, grayish mass of bile, spite, and omnidirectional antagonism, sloughed out of the Miami City Commission building next to the Coconut Grove Marina, it wasn’t to conduct his typical morning routine of tripping toddlers and kicking squirrels. No, dear reader. He headed to the dock to partake in his favorite pastime: extending an arm to those barely staying afloat, placing a helpful hand on their heads, and pushing down until the bubbles stopped.
Today he’d dispense with the metaphor and get to do it in real life.
Carollo slid to a waterside podium in the marina and faced a group of local journalists. Behind him, Miami’s 3,500 homeless residents were jabbed, prodded, and kicked onto an enormous raft constructed from wooden pallets lashed to oil drums, styrofoam coolers, and assorted other detritus found floating in Biscayne Bay.
The raft had no electricity, running water, or sewage system of any kind. The only vertical structure on the entire contraption was a wooden pole flying a VOTE JOE! flag above the bound and gagged owners of Ball & Chain who, would’ve loved to yell, “Help! We’ve been kidnapped and tied to this flagpole!” but alas, no such luck for them.
Carollo reached for the microphone, absorbed it and the podium into his body like an amoeba consuming an unfortunate bacterium, and turned to the reporters like it was the most natural thing in the world.
“Good morning, everyone,” he began. “Today we finally solved Miami’s filthy, pathetic, drug-addled, subhuman—I mean—homeless problem. And we are doing it efficiently and humanely by putting them all onto a raft, pushing it into the ocean, and leaving them to their own devices. Are there any questions?”
“How can you possibly call this humane?” demanded Beverly Roseau of the Miami Herald.
Carollo slinked over to Roseau.
“This is criminal, immoral,” she continued. He put an arm around her shoulders.
“This is wrong! This is… Hey, what are you doing? Hey! Help! Hel…”
Roseau last word was cut short as she was fully absorbed into Carollo’s bulk.
“Any other questions?” he asked.
No one moved for a long time. Finally, Alex Vera of WLRN raised a shaking hand.
“What’ll you do to help newly homeless Miamians who are unable to pay unsustainable rents and have no choice but to live on the street?”
Carollo considered slumping toward Vera, but thought better of it. He was pretty full.
“We will, of course, take care of our newly disposed Miamians by placing them into wooden barrels at gunpoint and rolling them into the sea, where the current will eventually unite them with their compatriots.”
The last frightened, distraught Miamians were placed on the raft, which was unceremoniously prodded into the ocean by a dozen pole-wielding men.
“And we’re done here!” announced Carollo, thoroughly satisfied. “For those interested in my next priorities on the commission, I’ll be hard at work addressing Miamians’ most pressing concerns by introducing motions to clear cut the mangroves, hunt down communist conspiracies, and criminalize public transit.”
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