SHALL BE SOBE
DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS
Prophets in the good old days foresaw corrupt cities leveled to rubble, but now that everyday corruption has been highly organized and mostly legalized, and now that the laws of probability are understood, prophets declare the good old either-or moral issues to be irrelevant or merely relative. Instead of doom they call for the continuance of the dominant trend, albeit somewhat reformed for the sake of progress. In any case where very large numbers are at stake, it is much safer for a prophet today to bet on the probable continuance of business as usual, perchance “upgraded” into novel guises by technology, than to proclaim the imminent doom of the world as we know it.
It is in that positive vein that I prophesy the future of my own neighborhood: the Living End of the City of Miami Beach, also known as South Beach (SOBE). And I prophesize with this prayer, that the god of prophecy does not have false prophets run down by a speed demon driving a tinted-window boom-box on wheels, his brain clouded by booze and dope, and a cell phone glued to his ear.
South Beach as I foresee it shall be divested by the rest of the country and shall go on to do its own thing as usual, but under the rubric The Sanctuary of South Beach, a sovereign protectorate sporting the figure of a pelican and ONCE SAVED ALWAYS FORGIVEN on its Official Seal.
The Sanctuary of South Beach shall be a genuine sanctuary, hence a place beyond the reach of extradition and hopefully beyond the far-flung virtual grasp of self-righteous gods as well, providing that those residents and visitors who want immunity provide a complete criminal record if any to The Sanctuary of South Beach Police Department (motto: LIBERTY IS CHEAP) within ten days after their arrival and have an immunity chip implanted in their necks. And then all past misdemeanors and felonies shall be officially overlooked and unreported to external authorities by The Sanctuary of South Beach Police Department provided that a license and upgrade fee of $500 per year is paid for each immunity chip.
In addition to being immune from the prosecution of all crimes except murder, rape, battery, and grand theft (anything valued over $200,000), the bearers of immunity chips, when they become victims of crimes, shall be entitled to Priority Police Response Service; that is, a call or visit from a police officer within two hours – other victims shall be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis, but shall in no case have to wait more than ten days for a response. On the whole, The Sanctuary of South Beach Police Department shall do its best to make itself scarce in accordance with the motto set forth at the head of the Charter of The Sanctuary of South Beach: THE BEST GOVERNMENT IS UNSEEN.
There shall be no enforcement of vestigial traffic laws protecting pedestrians. Crosswalks shall be erased and ‘Walk’ signals removed from the traffic-lighting system. Vehicular mayhem and manslaughter of pedestrians shall be no more than a misdemeanor; anyone with a valid immunity chip shall not be prosecuted. However, drivers shall be asked, as a common courtesy, to drag injured or dead victims off the roadways so the bodies shall not damage other people’s cars.
The Charter of The Sanctuary of South Beach shall not provide for elections: all government offices shall be auctioned off to the highest bidders every four years, the proceeds to be set aside in a permanent fund and invested in gold bullion as a hedge against the Apocalypse. The bilingual meetings of the High Commissioners of The Sanctuary of South Beach shall be televised late Saturday nights on its own Spanish-language channel, El Televisión de Jabón – the show, Los Padrinos del Santuario, shall be enormously popular among Cuban-American Hebrews.
As for gods and guilt, absolution from sins can be purchased just before Midnight Salsa Mass, which shall be held each night at the Universal Church of the Naked Madonna, Our Lady of Nudity, on Lincoln Road Mall. The godhead of the Universal Church of the Naked Madonna shall take the earthly form of a dual incarnation – Christ and Christina carnally entwined as the Tree of Life. The religious of all denominations shall be welcome. Refreshments, including Sparkling Red Dragon Wine and Aunt Jamaica Brownies shall be served during Midnight Mass (donation: $200). Rose-tinted SOBE Sunglasses and SOBE Sound-Dampening Earmuffs may be purchased at the Naked Madonna Gift Store. Nude models shall pose for students at the Madonna Art Academy in the New West Wing of the church.
Also available for purchase at the Church and every other licensed institution shall be SHALLOWME, a potion based on a synthetic designer drug patented by the Sanctuary of South Beach. SHALLOWME shall be readily absorbed by the skin, sinuses, and stomach. SHALLOWME shall stimulate the appetite for food, alcohol and sex, eventually rendering the person ecstatic if not tranquil. SHALLOWME shall have a slighter effect when worn or inhaled than when imbibed. Free samples shall be available on Saturday nights when entering the Cloud Nine Club located in the basement of the Church. The only known side effect of SHALLOWME shall be sleepwalking, sleep-driving, and sleeping-sex.
For those religious folks who may be offended by the services offered by the Church of the Naked Madonna, multiple-denominational worship of Power shall be conducted at the Temple of Abominations. Power-drinking rites shall be conducted every Sabbath. A shooting gallery and opium den shall make religion easy for conservative drug users with implanted immunity chips. A large library of pornographic films and other erotica shall be available for viewing with impunity. The Temple’s prostitutes shall be renowned for their beauty and grace – all shall carry health certificates and shall have postgraduate degrees in the performing arts.
Tennis fans and players with a valid immunity chip shall receive two free quarts of SHALLBE BEER and one free joint of SHALLBE WEED at Flamingo Park’s Annual Marijuana Matches.
Dog lovers with a valid immunity chip may allow their dogs to run free and may leave dog waste without limit in parks and on sidewalks.
The world-class party hotels of The Sanctuary of South Beach shall be acclaimed the world over. The hotel gambling casinos shall be open to immunity chip implantees only. The best hotels shall be, as the old-timers used to say, “out of this world.” Prices shall start at $2,000 per night per person.
For instance, Hotel del Chupacabras shall cater to the goat-loving, blood-sucking set – cannibals and ghouls shall also be welcome – human blood including the blood of virgins shall be served depending on availability.
Another favorite hospitality facility shall be the Hotel Kasbah. Middle Eastern fare shall be served in the Kasbah’s restaurant and nightclub – Que Alegria – along with three vials of amyl nitrate or ten minutes of nitrous oxide per guest. Belly dancers shall be featured during the dinner hours every night of the week. Flexible tubes with dispensable mouthpieces that pull out of the wall shall be available in the rooms of those guests who wish to partake of flavors of the day coming from the central hookah – Lesbian Lavender, special hashish from Lebanon, shall be the flavor on Fairy Thursday, the Kasbah’s Official Gay Day.
Hotel Hip Hop and its White Trash Club & Tattoo Parlor, established in 2040 by Rapper Rick Ross, shall be the hottest hole on the beach – members of The Wiggers of America shall receive a ten-percent discount on all purchases. Hotel Hip Hop shall sponsor The Annual Bare Buns Contest for The World’s Most Beautiful Buns – the male and female divisions shall be subdivided into Vanilla, Chocolate, Caramel, and Cinnamon classes. Among other events throughout the year, a beauty contest featuring the most beautiful bikinied pregnant women in SOBE shall be held every Mother’s Day.
Call girls and gigolos who ply their trade within the pale of sanctuary limits shall be licensed by The Sanctuary of South Beach and referred to visitors by the City Manager’s office. The license fee shall be $ 2,000 per annum and shall include weekly health certification. All amounts charged for services rendered shall be paid directly to the Treasurer of the Sanctuary of South Beach, from which a management tax of forty percent of gross income shall be deducted before remittance to the service providers.
Hustlers and panhandlers have always been a big tourist attraction in South Beach. Panhandlers and homeless people of the Sanctuary of South Beach shall be members of the Homeless Actors Guild and shall be licensed by The Sanctuary of South Beach. Seven facilities operated by Homeless Hostels of South Beach shall provide a number of cots or beach mats to visitors who want to experience homeless life firsthand, either within shelters or in nightly outings including dumpster tours down SOBE’s luxurious alleys. Rates shall begin at $300 per night per person and shall include a 2 oz. vial of SHALLOWME cologne or perfume and two jumbo Seaweeder cheeseburgers per day at Homeless Burger.
As for low-cost housing, all hotels, apartment buildings, condominiums and coops shall be required to set aside ten percent of total floor space for low-cost housing, for which low-cost tenants or owners shall only have to pay a total of $1,000 per month for studio habitation – add $500 per month for each bed room.
Much more shall be prophesized for South Beach in the near future, but suffice it to conclude here that, in sum, Shall Be SOBE shall be the place to be.
The Living End
Miami Beach, June 28, 2010