THE GAME FACE IS ON

Dave Barry: If you're a Super Bowl tourist, Do NOT go outside

 

Dear Super Bowl Visitor:

Welcome to Miami! Get ready for a fun Super Bowl week, because you're going to see some serious partying ``Miami Style'' -- people eating, drinking, singing, shouting, fighting, discharging firearms, sacrificing animals, sinking motor yachts and dancing naked around burning buses. And those are our police officers.

But don't worry! You are perfectly safe. Miami has been hosting Super Bowls for more than 150 years, and in all that time no harm has ever come to a visitor who didn't do something stupid such as venture outside the hotel. So have fun! Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit:

GETTING AROUND

Miami has an extensive mass-transit system. Unfortunately, it doesn't go anywhere you need to go, and it sometimes has sharks on it. (You think I'm kidding.)

Miami also has a modern taxi fleet, which consists of four modern taxis, but they're pretty busy. So your best bet is to rent a car. Keep in mind that Miami has the same traffic laws as the rest of the United States; the difference is that nobody here obeys them. The main expressways are Interstate 95 and the Palmetto; do not use these unless you are an experienced fighter pilot.

WHERE TO GO

The heart of the action during Super Bowl week is South Beach, which you should refer to as ``SoBe'' if you want to sound like you just got here from Indiana. To get to South Beach from the mainland, simply drive across any causeway to Miami Beach, then turn around and drive back to the mainland, because the last available parking space in Miami Beach was taken during the Clinton administration. Then you can walk back over the causeway (not recommended) or attempt to hail one of the four taxis.

South Beach is famous for its nightlife ``scene,'' featuring clubs where you can enjoy hideous music played at the volume of nuclear testing while running up a bar tab the equivalent of two years' tuition to dental school. South Beach also boasts a vast array of obscure celebrities, so you just might spot a famous DJ that you never heard of, or a Kardashian sister, or even -- if you're lucky -- a Real Housewife of New Jersey. Also you pretty much can't throw a rock over there without hitting Mickey Rourke.

Another fun South Beach activity is people-watching. Here I am using the term ``people'' in the sense of ``breasts.'' You will not believe what women wear in public. My wife and I recently went to dinner at a hotel in South Beach with some friends named Jeffrey and Yolanda, and as we were leaving we encountered two women who, while not legally naked, were wearing dresses that somehow revealed at least 140 percent of their breasticular regions. These women were thrusting out several linear feet. They had assault bazooms. ``Did you SEE that?'' said Yolanda and my wife.

``No!'' said Jeffrey and I, feeling around for our eyeballs, which had bulged out of their sockets and fallen to the ground.

The place to eat in South Beach is of course the world-famous Joe's Stone Crab. Joe's can get crowded -- both Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart were last seen waiting for tables there -- so when you arrive you should let the maitre d' know that you are a ``player'' by shaking his hand while subtly slipping him a crisp folded one-dollar bill. He will then whisk you straight to your table sometime in April.

OTHER SIGHTS TO SEE AROUND MIAMI

If you drive west from Miami, you will soon come to the Everglades, so whatever you do, do not drive west, because there are snakes out there the diameter of the Lincoln Tunnel. Miami also has theaters, museums, art galleries, ballet and libraries, but what do you care? You'll be in South Beach, watching ``people.''

BROWARD COUNTY

In past years, Broward County felt left out, because Miami-Dade County has always been the throbbing heart of the Super Bowl action. But this year we are stressing that Broward is also an important Super Bowl organ, like the goiter, or even the pituitary gland. You should definitely check it out. Maybe after the ballet.

USEFUL SPANISH

Miami has a large Spanish-speaking population, so it's good to know some basic conversational Spanish. Here are some expressions that will come in handy: -- ``¿Donde el heck está mi coche?'' (``Where the heck is my car?'')

-- ``Lo dejé con el ayudante de cámara.'' (``I left it with the valet.'')

-- ``¿Cómo? ¿El no era ayudante de cámara?'' (``What do you mean, he wasn't a valet?'')

-- ``¡Hey! ¿Es ella una hermana de Kardashian?'' (``Hey! Is that a Kardashian sister?'')

-- ``¡Su extremo es del tamaño de un Lounger de Barca!'' (``Her butt is the size of a Barca-Lounger!'')

-- ``¡Ha ha!'' (``Ha ha!'')

-- ``¡Perdoneme! No sabía que era su esposa.'' (``Sorry! I didn't know that was your wife.'')

-- ``Eso es un arma muy grande.'' (``That is a very large gun.'')

GETTING TO GAME

To get to the game, simply ask any Miami resident for directions to ``Sun Life Stadium'' and you will be rewarded with a blank stare, because until about 15 minutes ago it was officially named ``Land Shark Stadium.'' It has also been officially named ``Dolphins Stadium,'' ``Pro Player Stadium,'' ``Joe Robbie Stadium,'' ``McDonald's Value Meal Stadium,'' ``Toilet Duck Stadium,'' ``The Law Offices of Leonard A. Tortmonger and Associates Stadium,'' and ``Jason Whiffenberger's Bar Mitzvah Stadium.'' The largest cash business in South Florida is selling the naming rights to this stadium. For the right price, you can name it after yourself, but only until another buyer comes along, because it is not a faithful stadium. It's the 10-dollar hooker of stadiums.

Anyway, to get to Hooker Stadium from Miami, get onI-95 (not recommended) and drive north until you enter the Golden Glades Interchange, which scientists believe was left here by alien beings.

You will emerge from the Golden Glades somewhere near the stadium. Or, Cleveland. There is no way to tell.

But whatever happens, we're thrilled that you're here.

The Super Bowl will bring a $500 million windfall to South Florida, according to Super Bowl Host Committee officials who clearly have been smoking crack. However much money it actually is, we need it, so let me repeat: Welcome to our town! Make yourself at home! Or, as we like to say down here: ``Mi casa es su casa.'' (``Give me your wallet.'')

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