Seven months after breaking up with her boyfriend, with whom she had faithfully spent most of her mid-twenties, my dear friend Boobette had already sowed her wild oats. I lived vicariously through my younger alter-ego, also a writer. Ten years her senior and a veteran of South Beach, I listened attentively to mini-me. "I'm such a ho," she told me one day with a pang of bewilderment. "I slept with more men in the past seven months than I have in my entire life!" And that's when it all started, because I immediately blurted out, "well, that's because you live in HoBe!"
South Beach is a flat-ass barrier island with some very pretentious pretentions. No other city in the world has a diet named after it. The REAL South Beach Diet consists of half-priced cosmos at Balans, served in those cute glass tumblers. Balans is the only joint with two happy hour sessions. The traditional afternoon cocktails (seriously, who's happy at 5 PM?) and then 10 PM to 12 AM, which is that lovely liminal time when every pumpkin turns into a princess!
But I digress, like SoHo in New York City, South Beach has claimed the coolness of being abbreviated, because God forbid you should expend the minimal amount of linguistic energy it takes to complete the two-syllable name South Beach. The "th" and "ch" are the equivalent of bench pressing an elephant with your tongue, let me tell you! How do people living in multi-syllabic countries manage? Switzerland. Lichtenstein. Madagascar. Republic of Mickey Mouse.
In the tropics it takes a lot of energy to pronounce multi-syllabic words. It's just not that easy to multi-task. Try saying South Beach in a complete sentence while lifting a piña colada to your lips and rubbing coconut oil on a freshly depilated ass!
(By the way, for those plucked chickens out there, isn't it creepy to have your privates waxed by beauty school dropout? Wouldn't it be easier to combine a pap and wax appointment? A drive-through pap 'n wax would be so convenient!)
The nonsense is endless. For example, south of 5th street is a neighborhood now dubbed SoFi. At the 3rd street Starbucks you can WiFi at SoFi. Well, if I was a developer, I'd create residences south of 5th called SoFu, short for So Fucking What? But I live near 41st street, which puts me right smack in MidBe, and since the area is populated by orthodox jews and catholics, the phrase OY CHRIST! is not uncommon. Don't get me wrong. I adore my JewBe. So much better than SoGo, as my landlord put it -- two miles south of us -- it's Soddom and Gomorrah! North of the 41st parellel is NoBe, which is really ChéBe, where the only language spoken is Argentinian and all the men are gorgeous long-haired soccer players named Alejandro.
(I'm serious. When my friend Lorelei was not yet a mommy, back in the day when we earned our mettle as HoBe veterans, we took a scientific survey. Every long-haired specimen with tight quads and gluts was named Alejandro. No joke! We'd drive by an SUV (of course) and I'd open the window and ask, "is your name Alejandro?" And the tower of testosterone behind the wheel would say, "how did you know?")
Imagine that. Al-e-jan-dro. That's four syllables! I'm exhausted!