“Governor Scott Dissolves Jacksonville to Bail Out Cash-Strapped State,” by Eric Mohrman

Sep 7th, 2011 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Governor Rick Scott has announced his latest tactic to rescue Florida from dire financial straits. After declaring Eustis–a rural, tea-party infested central town–the new state capital, Scott called a press conference at his Lake County office to reveal that Jacksonville is no more. Scott overturned the city’s 1968 consolidation with Duval County, and the two were granted an annulment by the small but feisty pastor the Governor carries around in his breast pocket.

The move shows Scott continuing to make good on promises to run Florida like a CEO, rather than as a representative of the people. “Jacksonville and its various agencies received significant financial support from the state,” explained Scott. “With an objective look, the city obviously didn’t do anything to justify the expenditure.”

Favorable reactions are expected, for a change. With its history of annexing surrounding land to inflate its size and population, all to wrest state and federal funding away from more deserving metropolitan areas, Jacksonville has made few friends in Florida. While the nation’s 13th largest city may have fooled the rest of the country, Floridians long ago realized that, besides a nice bridge with blue lights, there really isn’t anything there. 

A reporter interrupted to ask how the Governor could single-handedly make and enact such a major decision overnight. Scott deigned to answer, saying, “By Scott Decree.” Then, with an almost imperceptible nod of the Governor’s head, the inquiring journalist was removed from the scene.

For those not following the minutia of Scott’s changes to state law, Scott Decree permits the Governor to decide anything by whim, with nothing more than his say-so. Despite 173 unanswered questions regarding the constitutionality and ethics of this new law, it is apparently uncontestable, by Scott Decree.

The Governor outlined plans to auction off buildings in what is already being referred to as “Ex-Jax.” Property owners were reportedly “removed from the equation, leaving all revenue to the state.” Presumably, this was made possible by some manner of gubernatorial edict.

Scott referenced an abundance of buyer interest from the private sector. He disclosed that Halliburton already acquired the Nemours Foundation building in a first-round no-bid auction. Scott boasted of boosting the closing price with the inclusion of more than 100 seriously ill children whom Halliburton intends to repair and augment with robotic parts for use as overseas labor.

“This end to Jacksonville, like me, will be a God-send to Florida and its fiscal woes,” proclaimed the Governor. “Amen,” chirped his pocket-pastor, rendered audible by the many microphones surrounding Scott. Indeed, the savings in state funding plus the revenue from property auctions could solve the state’s projected $3.6 billion deficit and eliminate the need to slash essential spending.

But they won’t. Scott emphasized that this money cannot justifiably be used to offset spending cuts on such wasteful endeavors as education, infrastructure, environmental protection, and aiding the poor in any way.

“We won’t soil this windfall by wasting it like a rabid pack of Big Government-loving Spendocrats,” vowed the Governor. Rather, the newfound money will augment a fund created with revenue being siphoned out of the state budget. The entire sum is earmarked for recruiting, training, and supplying “Scottsmen,” a nickname, the Governor revealed in his speech, for soldiers in his private militia.

When pressed for details about his previously unpublicized militia and its use of taxpayer money, Scott instantly issued a gag order. On a not entirely unrelated note, this newspaper will self-destruct in one minute.

Scott urged the media to focus solely on the story’s positives. “For example,” he said proudly, “while you were all harping on the 7,000 government jobs I’m eliminating and the 24,000 jobs I aborted by nixing the high-speed rail, I found a ways to begin balancing those losses. Already, I’ve created four new positions to oversee Ex-Jax property auctions. The few unemployed Floridians with a genuine desire to work are just as welcome to apply as my friends and long-time colleagues.”

In concluding, the Governor established an executive order directing all occurrences¾both in print and on the screens of electronic devices¾of the name “Jacksonville” to be completely scribbled out with thick, permanent black markers. When asked if fine-point markers could be substituted if applied thoroughly, Scott responded with a resounding “No.”

After hearing of the order, The U.S. National Committee for the International Cartographic Association issued a statement expressing concerns about the indiscriminate elimination of written references to the many Jacksonvilles of other states. The missive was officially dismissed as “The nansy-pansy whimperings of nerds too glutted on government funding to respect the God-given right of corporate executives to gain exorbitant amounts of tax-exempted cash and assets from the systematic dismantling of an otherwise useless hunk of real estate.” 


Eric Mohrman is a freelance writer and poet living in Orlando. He has no BA, MFA, or any such nonsense. This is one of his occasional excursions into fiction and humor writing. His poetry has appeared in Big Scream, Portland Review, The Furnace Review, Prick of the Spindle, Moria, and elsewhere. 

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