Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Crisis in Key West

Theo adapted a "report of a serious power outage" from Los Angeles to Key West. Here it is:

Key West, Fl, September 29, 2005 - Horror and disbelief swept through the the City of Key West this afternoon as a minor power-outage turned the City into a virtual war zone and local residents struggled to deal with the devastating aftermath.

The outage struck at 1:35 PM, during Key West's busy afternoon coffee and beer rush hour. Traffic lights fell dark, local gyms and restaurants were without power for nearly 30 minutes, and many businesses were illuminated only by the light of the sun and its blistering 80 degree heat. "It was horrible," said out of work Sea Captain and remodeling mogul Captain Rick.

A woman known simply as Stephanie says, "I was in the Coffee Plantation on Whitehead Street when it hit and the blenders simply shut down. A woman lunged for my Mocha Coconut Frappé and after that, well, it got pretty ugly."

In the ensuing panic, local radio stations broadcast conflicting reports as to exactly which local businesses would be offering relief supplies and cold beer. Almost 100 people flocked to Starbuck's at Duval only to find helpless baristas, no hot coffee and a totally meager selection of baked goods.

"My mother is 83 years old and we heard on the radio that this Starbucks was going to be up and running. If she doesn't get a overpriced venti Arabian Mocha -- God, I don't know what's going to happen to her, I really don't" said Lucinda Merino of Stock Island.

To make matters worse, those few people who did manage to get coffee were further thwarted by a total lack of artificial sweeteners on site. "Sugar in the Raw? Are you frigging kidding me?," sobbed poet, double-Dutch rope jumper and salsa dancer, Cricket. "I'm on the Key West Diet and my insulin levels are going to go crazy if I use this. Why isn't the rest of the country doing something?"

Deteriorating conditions will force authorities to evacuate thousands of people at local bars, movie theaters and upscale T shirt shops, including the Mallory Square Center where a policeman told CNN 'unrest was escalating'. The officer expressed concern that the situation could worsen overnight after patrons defaced multiple "Conch Tour Train" posters, looted a liquor shop, and demanded free makeovers en masse at a Duval St.body painting stand during the afternoon.

At least 2,000 homeless, a majority of them with pony tails, will travel in a bus convoy to Stock Island starting this evening and will be sheltered at the Homeless shelter where soft omelets with confit bacon and Hudson Valley foie gras are being airlifted in by The National Guard.

Honorary Mayor of Key West Jimmy Weekley told a group of embedded reporters at the La Concha Hotel on Duval that, "The scope and scale of this disaster is almost too much to comprehend. Local bars are at a stand-still, the Conch Tour Train at Mallory square has been on hold for almost an hour now, and I've been waiting for a rotisserie leg and thigh with a side of green beans for upwards of 15 minutes. This truly is our Tsunami. We should have evacuated", he added.

"We want to accommodate those people suffering at Rick's and Bare Assets as quickly as possible for the simple reason they have been through a horrible ordeal," Commissioner Mark Rossi said. "Warm beer and no topless dancers is devastating to the Key West economy"

"We need beer. We need edamame and hummus. We need low-carb bread, and more beer " said Commissioner Tom Oosterhout, 49, who was one of the thousands trapped in the La Concha when the escalators stopped moving. "They need to start sending somebody through here."

Along miles of coastline, the power simply surged, causing writers to lose upwards of a page of Hemingway knock-off material, and causing Comcast service to work only intermittently forcing local residents to walk outside and look helplessly at the Mexican Gulf or the Atlantic Ocean from their ocean view decks. "I can hardly begin to put this experience into words," said longtime Green Parrot customer Bobby. "I was just getting into my rhythm and making some real headway on my daily dose of fresh beer. I have nothing. Simply, nothing.", he cries.

Delivering his weekly radio address live from the White House, President Bush announced he was deploying more than 70,000 additional active-duty troops to the region. He comforted victims and praised relief workers. As he entered Air force 1 on his way to a well-deserved four more weeks vacation at his Crawford ranch. Make sure those people get there liquor he added.

"But despite their best efforts, the magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area this sunny and trendy has created tremendous problems," he said. "The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help and beer they need, especially in the Old Town area, and that is unacceptable."

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