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August 21, 2021

Governor Manatee

Simon Nagel

He gives his speeches from the fourth floor terrace of a development built in 1994. It was condemned in 2025 but has since become the Governor’s Mansion. Speeches aren’t televised, and most people don’t bother rowing over to listen as he doesn’t have much charisma and it’s too damn hot. What he has is dogged determination to serve his constituency. He lives with the pressure of being the first man/manatee hybrid to be elected governor of Florida—blazing a trail like the fires from the long submerged cane fields. He’s not the most accomplished public servant, but expectations are low for a man with the genetics of a sea cow. In previous times they were known as the soft bigotry of low expectations. He promised eel grass for all and a hopeful projection of getting all those batteries out of Miami’s canals before the acid leaked. He doesn’t overpromise, he knows how much it takes to get mosquito nets set up. He might be Florida’s last governor, after which he’ll retire to obscurity on the south coast of Georgia. His affairs won’t be publicized and he can finally try a peach.