Saturday, June 19, 2010

The 50-State Interview Series Continues with Leo in the Sunshine State!

The LG Report’s 50-State Interview Series heads south to the Sunshine State for a sit-down with Lee, also known as Leo, Leon, Lee Lee, Moon Baby, Flea Bag, Leoski, Lowballer and a variety of equally childish and stupid names which we don’t have the time, space or inclination to print.

We caught up with Lee just before he was heading out to catch the Early Bird Special at Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ. He’s developed a powerful body block that he lays on the Blue Hairs who make the mistake of trying to cut in the salad bar line. The difficult trick that Lee has mastered so skillfully is flooring these codgers without breaking their hips.


The LG Report: Lee, welcome to The LG Report’s 50-State Interview Series. It’s a big honor for you, we know. Do you mind if we dispense with the formalities and just call you Flea Bag?

Lee: Not at all, Fere Dog (see, two can play this boyhood nickname game, especially since we’ve known each other since the sixth grade). However, if you want me to answer your inane questions, please refer to me as Mr. Moon Baby or Grand Master Leoski.

The LG Report: Ok, so be it Flea Bag. Do you ever think about the fact that the State of Florida is shaped like a penis? Does it cross your mind first thing in the morning when you step out the door? Or any other time? You’re basically walking on a penis 24/7. Thoughts?

Lee: It never occurred to me. But, of course, I’m not surprised it caught your eye. So, if YOU pretend you are walking on your own penis, then it turns out to be a very short stroll.

The LG Report: Professional ice hockey in Florida. Good idea?

Lee: Sure, the Canadian snowbirds need some form of entertainment in the winter besides bingo. Let’s relocate the Labatt’s brewery here, too.

The LG Report: What’s Mickey Mouse like in person? Do you ever see him at the local Winn Dixie? Is he mousey?

Lee: He’s a very serious dude. And much taller than he appears on TV. He shops only at Piggly Wiggly, trying to keep it all in the animal kingdom. Word on Main Street is that he’s recently been seen stepping out on Minnie, gallivanting around at Chuck E. Cheese’s with some cheesy piece of tail.

The LG Report: What appeals to you more about Florida, the sand and beaches or the skiing and the mountains?

Lee: The beaches, of course, Harry (one of your unoriginal boyhood nicknames). The only mountains we Floridians see are those on the side of Busch beer — the budget-beverage choice of any good redneck as he speeds down the white sands of Daytona Beach in search of the perfect pickled egg.

The LG Report: Ernest Hemingway spent a fair amount of time in Key West. Legend has it that he always wanted to conduct a 50-State Interview Series. Are you aware of that?

Lee: My sources tell me that shortly after he learned he was a candidate, he purchased the fateful shotgun.

The LG Report: Your father’s boat mysteriously sank about 30 years ago in Florida’s St. Johns River. Give us your version of that traumatic event in 50 words or less. Less is better. Mention your brother Rick or this answer won’t get published.

Lee: I was in back, enjoying doughnuts and hot chocolate. You and Rick manned the wheel as we motored at an unsafe speed. You stepped away to fetch a doughnut, leaving Rick at the helm. The boat then struck a sandbar and sunk. Heroics and panic ensued.

There are still more holes in this story than a box of doughnuts, but one thing is certain: Given your previous post about our near-death brush on your father’s boat, the two of us should never board a vessel together again.

The LG Report: Where do Floridians go to retire?

Lee: Apparently, they will be headed up to the oil-free beaches of New Jersey and New York.

The LG Report: Are we done with “hanging chads”? How lame were those?

Lee: Doesn’t the name Chad always remind you of Chad Everett from “Medical Center,” that classic ’70s TV drama? Oh, wait — I forgot — you’re asking the dumb-ass questions here. The “hanging chads” always remind me of how the shape of Florida resembles …

The LG Report: If any readers contemplating a Florida vacation are looking for an undiscovered gem, where would you tell them to go? Don’t answer “hell” or “to a real blog.”

Lee: Gatorland is always a solid choice. But for something more low key and “old Florida,” try the Black Hammock Fish Camp in Oviedo. Blackened grouper sandwiches, cold beer, Southern rock, lots of gators and airboat rides. Just don’t let LG or Rick drive.

The LG Report: My favorite restaurant in Florida is The Waffle House. Please tell us yours (it will have more credibility if the name has “House” or “Denny’s” in it.

Lee: You already mentioned it above. Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ. Try the sizzlin’ sweet sauce on a “Big Deal” sliced pork sandwich.

The LG Report: OJ Simpson lived in your state before being incarcerated in Nevada. Did you ever see him around and, if so, what did you say to him?

Lee: O.J. actually lived in my past two states (California & Florida). The last time I saw him — no lie — was when his white Bronco, with A.C. Cowlings at the wheel, drove past my high-rise newspaper office building in Santa Ana, Calif., that fateful evening in June 1994. Most of the newsroom ran to the window to watch the low-speed chase cruise past us on “the 5” freeway. No truth to the rumor I was holding a “Free O.J.” sign.

The LG Report: Florida has more gentlemen’s clubs, per capita, than any other state in our estimation (The LG Report has not been to Alaska.). Why is that, and, if you were governor, would you consider changing the state motto to “The Gentlemen’s Club State?” That could help tourism in these down economic times.

Lee: I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with these so-called “gentlemen’s clubs.” But don’t you think that the “scholars” from Florida’s football-factory universities deserve some place private to commit their assaults?

The LG Report: You work for one of America’s largest media organizations. Do you feel The LG Report breathing down your neck? Be honest.

Lee: You betcha! Who wouldn’t rather read about the “Adventures of Geo” ™ and the cutest dogs rather than political crap and oil spills?

The LG Report: Have you ever wraastled (Southern pronunciation) an alligator? At a gentlemen’s club doesn’t count. And, if so, what’s the strategy there?

Lee: Make sure you have Dusty “The American Dream” Rhodes on your tag team. Chief Jay Strongbow will do in a pinch.

The LG Report: Your dog, Skipper, won The LG Report’s “Cutest Dog Contest.” How is she handling the notoriety? Are the other bitches jealous?
Skipper, Elaine and Leo enjoy a ride in the ample Florida sunshine.  Note Leo's precarious grip on the wheel, which is eerily similar to the last photo of him on his father's sinking boat.  Laughing, not looking where he's going...a common pattern is emerging...

Lee: There will always be jealousy in the dog-eat-dog world of Web contests. But Skipper remains above all that. She is a classy redhead. Now, please, any other questions about Skipper should be referred to her agent.

The LG Report: Who sank your father’s boat? [Editor’s Note: we’re repeating this question to see if he can be tripped up in his story.]

Lee: Was I even onboard that day?

The LG Report: If someone reading this posting is thinking of quitting his or her job and moving to Florida, what’s the single best piece of advice that you could give them?

Lee: Don’t let your poodle wade in the weeds of any local lakes.

The LG Report: Your wife was born in England. Is that going to keep you from traveling to Arizona?

Lee: No way! How else can we visit London Bridge?

The LG Report: What’s the most overrated aspect of Florida?

Lee: The USF football team.

The LG Report: What’s your relationship with orange juice like?

Lee: Things were frozen for a while, and that was the pits. But now we are on cordial terms.

The LG Report: What would you like to see more of in Florida?

Lee: In-N-Out Burger. Trader Joe’s. 80-degree summer days. And you!

The LG Report: Can readers of The LG Report, as an added benefit for clicking in, come by your house to hang out if they get to their Florida hotel and their room is not ready because the previous guest had a late check-out and the maid hasn’t gotten to it yet? What if they bring their own snacks and promise to keep their feet off the furniture? They’ll also put toilet paper down on the seat before ascending to the throne.

Lee: Sure. I like Newcastle Brown Ale or Stella Artois. And sausage and peppers on my pizza.

The LG Report: Let’s say Geo comes to Florida on vacation and you take him to one of your state’s ubiquitous alligator farms. Just as you get there, you accidentally slip a half pound of prime hamburger meat into his front left pants pocket. After a 20-foot alligator knocks him to the ground and savagely begins biting at his torso, do you:

1. Inform him that alligators are a protected species and that he should not fight back or he can get in trouble with John Law;

2. Take the opportunity to check your Blackberry for any new postings on The LG Report;

3. Yell “Geo, beat him off with this!” and then hand him a tender leg of lamb which you had been marinating in butter and olive oil overnight just for this occasion; or

4. Start to phone 9-1-1 but then pause for a few minutes to look up the difference between an alligator and a crocodile on Wikipedia just to make sure that you’re not phoning in a false police report in case you are confused as to which is attacking Geo?

Lee: C’mon, Larry! This is in poor taste. That reference to “John Law” is simply uncalled for. These are peace officers of the court. Please be more sensitive in the future. … By the way, tossing a Pomeranian in Geo’s direction would cause the gator to release its grip.

The LG Report: What’s the best souvenir from Florida that a vacationer can bring back to their family? And don’t say one of those t-shirts that says: “Someone went to Florida and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” because those are way overrated. That is not an acceptable answer.

Lee: So many… A suntan from Tampa’s Steinbrenner Field. A UCF football T-shirt. A winning trifecta ticket from any dog track. A bottle of sauce from Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ.

The LG Report: Anything that you want to get off your chest or unburden yourself of, some deep dark secret that has been festering for years? Now’s the time, let it rip….

Lee: About that boat trip…

The LG Report: Is there anything else that our readers should know about Florida that you haven’t yet touched upon? Feel free to spill your guts.

Lee: I believe BP has done enough spilling for Florida and the rest of the Gulf. So I’ll sign off with a shout-out to my alma mater: Go UCF Knights!

The LG Report: Ok, it’s a wrap. Thanks for being such a good sport and agreeing to participate Flea Bag (now that we’re done, we can call you anything we want…) As a show of gratitude, we’ll be sending you a t-shirt which says “I participated in The LG Report 50-State Interview Series and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” Thanks again.

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