February 22, 2009 Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa, Florida
Moonalice poster by Chuck Sperry
According to Wikipedia, the Calusa tribe called this place Tampa, which meant place of burning sticks. The problem is that the place where the Calusa lived was not the place the Spanish found. They sailed right past the Calusa village without even seeing it. And yet they took the Calusa name. How could that be? We looked up the word “Tampa” in a Moonalice to English dictionary. And according to Moonalice legend, Tampa means place of big, fat smokin’ doobies. Which not only is a better name, it also explains how the Spanish could space the village and still come up with the right name.
According to Moonalice legend, the 420 Moonalice Signal Brigade under the command of Col. Buford Thudpucker Moonalice spent some time here during the War of Northern Aggression. Their job was to send smoke signals from Fort Brooke to Confederate generals in the eastern part of the state. To get the signals to reach that far, the brigade found an ingenious solution: they cheated. They inhaled deeply, puffed liked crazy, and then, when the Colonel wasn’t looking, they would send a telegram. The Moonalice Signal Brigade in Tampa performed brilliantly throughout the war, but when the war ended, they fell under the influence of Vincente Martinez Ybor, who led them astray . . . and straight into the cigar business. Things were never the same for the tribe in this area.
According to Moonalice legend, today is the birthday of the most famous hemp farmer of them all, George Washington. Farmer George’s diary is a core reference work among hemp horticulturalists, providing keen insights about the importance of removing male plants a month before harvest and the need to cure the females prior to enjoying their bounty. In his honor, the tribe asks the question, “what would George do?” The answers to which are: light a fat one, inhale deeply, and never tell a lie.
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