Miami doesn’t really exist. It’s just a conspiracy of cartographers.
No, really. Set for a spell and I’ll tell you about it.
People were always asking, “If there’s a Miami Beach, why is there no Miami?” and “Where does the Tamiami Trail actually go TO?” Or, I suppose, “TA?”
And of course there had to be an answer.
So Hialeah and Coconut Grove started it, back in the 50s best as I can tell. It began as a joke on the off-duty airmen coming over from Homestead looking for a good time; they took about five hundred square feet of shacky bars, casinos in lean-tos, and the most squalid brothels imaginable and put up some signs around it. Worked well enough for a while; kept the boys in blue happy and the money rolling in, and all the locals knew enough to avoid the place like the plague it was.
But then things kept going a little further, and then a bit more. Hollywood was the next to get in on the gag, directing tourists as far south as they could, I guess in hopes they’d keep on driving until they fell in. And then other folks in Edgewater and Wynwood slapped up more signs in self-defense, perfectly understandable when you think about it — on the order of No it’s not here and Keep driving can’t miss it. And before ya know it they’re changing the name of Wilcox Field. Even Opa-Locka got involved, and everything got so far out of control the mapmakers eventually had to come in and try to cover it up.
But everyone knows anyway. You get close enough and you can tell: The original lean-tos and shacks are gone, but it’s the same nasty hell it’s always been only with more glass and chrome, all in this tiny postage stamp of real estate between the highway and Key Biscayne that you couldn’t fit into, much less park at, even if you could get there in the first place, which of course you can’t because it’s not a real place, there’s no roads, and the signs all point you somewhere else.
Which, incidentally, is why the traffic is so bad: Everyone’s trying to go someplace that doesn’t really exist, and they keep driving back and forth at thirty-five miles an hour in the passing lane with their left blinker on, totally confused, until they either give up and go home or get run over by a semi.
Editor’s Note: We’ve got a typewriter on the spare desk in the Sports Office that nobody’s had the heart to throw out ever since Hunter went to his reward. We take no responsibility for anything some passer-by might randomly punch on the keys.