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Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014
Steve Otto Columns

Otto: Not my Big Guava

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Look, I gave you the Big Guava. It’s up to you to respect it, cherish it, wear it with pride.

Now along comes some music promoter saying there is going to be an event in May called the “Big Guava Music Festival,’’ at the amphitheater once known as “1-800 Ask Gary’’ by the fairgrounds and is now called something nobody can remember. It is allegedly going to be a three-day event that will be up there with Woodstock, for those of you old enough to remember. They say that not only will there be music but they will have food trucks and a midway.

So I checked out the music lineup. Some of the bands scheduled include “Vampire Weekend,’’ “Band of Skulls,’’ “Slightly Stoopid,’’ “Grouplove’’ and “Violent Femmes.’’

I realize I have been out of the music scene since “The Four Seasons,’’ “The Four Freshman’’ and the four anything elses, but I couldn’t pick out a song from any one of the groups coming to the festival.

If it were my festival I’d bring in Tampa’s great Johnny G. Lyon or maybe the Lint Rollers with Liz Hollister. For sure there would be the Quivering Rhythm Hounds, the official band of the Steve Otto Chili Cookoff. And what would a Big Guava Festival be without Dennis Pupello and the Fabulous Rockers? Maybe they could bring in Chuck Boris for a little “There is a Rose in Ybor City.’’

On the other hand with a festival like that we’d all be going home about the time my sons and their generation would be heading out the door to hear “Band of Skulls.’’

Arrgh mateys, and it’s only in the Big Guava that we could have a weekend like the one coming up where your money is no good, but let’s have a look at those beads you’re wearing.

That’s right it’s Gasparilla and if you’ve never been to the Saturday invasion and parade, then you should go at least once. I’m not sure why but that’s what they always say about these things.

If you do go, be sure to check out Mother Trib’s float. We haven’t had one for a couple of years. I think the business office got nervous after that one float burned to the ground just as the parade was getting underway a few years ago.

It wasn’t a total disaster. Our alert crew did manage to get the beer keg overboard before abandoning ship on Bayshore Blvd. Our marketing director said this year’s float from the rental company has a cowboy theme but that everybody wants to wear pirate outfits. So if you see a float that looks like a cowboy saloon full of pirates, well then you have a better picture of what Gasparilla is all about.

Finally, what would a week be without another survey? Last week Forbes.com posted a survey of the country’s happiest cities and its most unhappy. It was based on some questions sent out by a career counseling company.

Cincinnati topped the unhappy list. But hey, you can only survive so long on 5-way chili.

What was surprising was that three of the ten unhappy cities for employees were (2) Orlando (6) Tampa and (9) Miami.

Of course it is true that Orlando survives on Disney Dollars and Tampa employees must be paid in beads, so maybe it’s not so hard to figure.

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