Toward a Sustainable Margaritaville.
[Originally published January 18, 2008.]
First off, I’d just like to thank the City Council for giving me this opportunity to speak to you all today. I’ll do my best to keep my comments brief and let you get back to the Jäger ice luge, which I understand is beginning to melt out back.
Neighbors, friends, elected representatives—I am Margaritaville. My father was a simple shrimp-boat captain who set course for a sleepy fishing village almost 40 years ago. He didn’t want much. A little plot of land, some skanks, maybe a flask of rum to warm his swollen belly. I’m not sure a little boy was in the plans, but he raised me with love and, more importantly, a love of this land.
From the crisp scent of vomit-soaked pizza boxes baking in the sunrise on East Sound Pier, to the pink-and-orange sunsets softly shimmering behind the West Railyard prostitute encampments, I love every inch of this town. I took my first body shot right around the time I spoke my first word, and that word was “body shot.”
And yet I fear that our children might not grow up in the same Margaritaville we’ve been able to enjoy. A Margaritaville where you can get shithoused on a quiet jetty and think about what it would be like to get a dolphin high. A Margaritaville where you can take a dump on a snow-white sand dune and swear at a baby pelican. A Margaritaville where college dropouts, irrespective of race or creed, can listen to Pink Floyd and dry-hump below a rainbow. These are the experiences I cherish, and I know that I am not alone.
Now, I realize what I’m about to say might not make me the most popular man in town, but I just want to pose a simple question to you all. Which human organ parties the hardest? A lot of you might say the genitals. Others, the face area. But I would argue that the hardiest party in the human body is in our hearts. And I’m asking you to use your hearts in securing a brighter future for our town.
As many of you know, tonight the City Council will consider a measure to rezone the old Margaritaville Condom Factory District from PZ-1 (party zone—industrial) to MU-GCD (multiuse, greenspace conservation). I know that a lot of you have laughed at this proposition, but I wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about what this development would actually mean for this town:
Myth: The new zoning designation will make it harder to party.
Fact: Higher population densities and smarter growth means smarter and more robust partying. Imagine living in a place where you can eat, sleep, funnel beers, get treated for herpes, and attend a funeral, all without leaving a four-block area. This is the kind of mixed-use development we are planning to create at the Condom Factory Lofts™.
Myth: Preplanned Party Zone developments such as the Condom Factory Lofts create a homogenized party atmosphere antithetical to the eclectic spirit upon which Margaritaville was founded.
Fact: As part of our sustainable-development initiatives, 15 percent of all housing units in the new Condom Factory Lofts will be dedicated to affordable residences for displaced condom-factory squatters. As I’ve said before, this development is about building up the Margaritaville community, not tearing it down. If anything, our new work/play retail center promises to invite an even more diverse assortment of Margaritaville residents to stroll casually among its funky modern pornography boutiques and redesigned, Pan-Asian-inspired opium dens.
Myth: Talking about environmentalism is crushing my meth high.
Fact: Both Chief Seattle and Thoreau were huge meth heads.
Myth: My parents never loved me.
Fact: They just didn’t know you, bro. Come on, I’ll buy you a Smirnoff Ice.
In conclusion, we are stewards of one of the most beautiful party zones on the planet. We have a responsibility to make sure every generation has a chance to party here. Vote yes tonight and protect the party for yourself, for your children, and for your children’s children. Thank you.
SUGGESTED READSList: Other Places Jimmy Buffett Wasted Away
by Chris Steck (10/13/2005)
List: Things This City Was Built On, Besides Rock ‘n’ Roll
by Eric March (4/22/2005)
Monologue: Today’s AA Speaker: Mr. Tom Waits (If Mr. Waits Is Actually Like the People He Writes Songs About)
by Russell Bradbury-Carlin (2/5/2007)
RECENTLYThis Statement of Purpose Will Blow Your Mind
by Patrick Font and Rome Morgan (2/8/2016)
Hungover Bear and Friends: Aspire to More
by Ali Fitzgerald (2/8/2016)
List: The Magic 8-Ball for Millennials
by Heather Wheat (2/8/2016)