Trick or Treat
You can always depend on Ana to hand out the candy, except hers is full of sarcasm, spite, and plenty of staples and razor blades.
Here's her latest piece of obnoxiousness. Enjoy!
An ungracious answer to an unwanted guest
By ANA MENENDEZamenendez@herald.com
Miami has been through many trying times in its short history, and I've noticed there's nothing like adversity to bring all of us together as one family.
So it was that hours after Hurricane Wilma passed, the good souls of our community immediately went to work. Musicians serenaded folks on gas lines, the government quietly agreed not to return Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela and members from Tampa's Church of Scientology gathered at Metrozoo to distribute ice they'd brought all the way from the Seyfert II galaxy.
Speaking of science fiction: The office Tuesday was a touching scene. It's true that a newsroom is at its finest after a horrible disaster, but this was great even by our own humane, high standards. The best way I can describe it is by comparing it to that fantastic bar scene in the movie Total Recall, where all the bizarre of the universe gather for playful banter.
So there we were at the mother ship a day after the storm passed, all of us clustered as one around the free cookies: a diverse group of creatures from such far-flung solar systems as Broward, Biloxi and the sixth floor.
I like cookies. But the reason I'd gone into the office was for power, the electrical kind. As of Friday, I still didn't have electricity. It's my own fault. After Katrina, I told everyone (over and over again) how I never lost power. Now I'm paying for my annoying bragging. But it's OK because I understand that power must first be restored to the more vulnerable and deserving sectors of our society, such as the Dadeland Mall.
Thursday night, as I was powering up the candles, I got a thoughtful, automated call from the city of Miami Beach. I'd like to thank them for taking the time to taunt me with the information that two-thirds of the Beach already had power.
It's times like these that make one grateful for responsible political leadership. Unlike those whiners in New Orleans, our local and state leaders refused to point fingers. Gov. Jeb Bush, for example, took full responsibility when the state was gripped by a deadly ice shortage. ''Blame me,'' he said. ''Don't blame FEMA.'' Deal.
But the absolutely best example of all we can be has been demonstrated this week on the streets of Miami.
The lines at the gas stations are portraits of grace under pressure: tears, curses, fistfights. All so that Exxon could record the largest quarterly profit ever by a U.S. company.
And the respect at the four-way stops was astonishing. I have one word for all you civil types who came to a full stop at nonfunctioning traffic lights: Suckers! I myself made the mistake on Biscayne Boulevard. I'd barely touched the brake when the guy behind me leaned on his horn and held up a middle finger. Then he raced ahead, a maneuver that allowed me to get his tag number. (Ed. - Don't pat yourself on the back too much Ana, he was probably reacting to your faded and wrinkled Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker).
I spent the rest of an otherwise boring week having fun with public records. (Alas, the tag came back as belonging to a rental car. Be on the lookout for a very intense tourist blanketing Miami with wild cheer.)
Sure, there were moments of sublime and disconcerting beauty: The relief of cool air Monday night and the shy stars, out for the first time in years. The sound of crickets in the still, black night. Wine, candlelight and saffron couscous. (Ed. - I guess arroz con frijoles negros is too Hialeah for her).
All short-lived: Sweet but distracting bumps on the road to our true selves. Crisis, they tell us, does not so much build character as reveal it. And this week, the maxim was put to rigorous testing on the streets of our lovely city. I think we passed. And we didn't even have to cheat this time. Is this a great town or what?