Friday, February 23, 2018
Opinion

Ruth: Mr. & Mrs. Culpepper, game on!

By now you've seen the ubiquitous commercials featuring Tampa attorneys Brad Culpepper and his partner Brett Kurland, attache cases in hand striding purposefully in and out of courtrooms or rising out of their chairs to object as if their law practice was one long episode of Law & Order: Lutz.

But in fact, the firm actually goes before a judge about as often as John Dillinger, settling most of their cases out of court. All the stern-faced pacing up and down the courthouse stairs is just for show. And what a show it is.

So that may explain why the former Tampa Bay Buc had time on his hands to pry himself away from the rigors of billable hours to traipse off to Nicaragua with his comely wife Monica to appear on the CBS schlock "reality" series Survivor: Blood vs. Water.

Apparently the premise for this latest installment of Survivor, which is not to be confused with Survivor: We're All Going To Die, will involve former contestants who will now be teamed with their spouse or significant other to duke it out on Redemption Island, where competitors who get kicked off other islands try to stay in the game with the other losers.

Think of this in terms of Edward Snowden trying to avoid extradition, only with sexier bathing suits.

Mrs. Culpepper was briefly a player on Survivor in 2012, but it seems the Shah of Iran had better luck staying put than Monica. This time the couple will compete together, although the rules allow the couples to support or betray each other at will. Bill and Hillary ought to suit up for this vaudeville show, too.

Oh, please! What husband, even one as ripped as Culpepper, would be stupid enough to risk having to spend the rest of his life sleeping on the couch by shafting his wife on a game show?

Actually, if given the opportunity, I think the Bombshell of the Balkans and I would do rather well on a Survivor program, especially if it was something on the order of Survivor: Saks Fifth Avenue. The Petunia of the Peloponnese would crush the competition in such endurance tests as the trying on of shoes, the hoarding of cosmetic samples or ripping-out-the-credit-card time trials.

That triumph would surely catapult us to the next phase, Survivor: Neiman Marcus, where working in marital tandem we would trounce the field in the mocking of the nouveau riche customers, as well as the groveling humiliation obstacle course while looking at the $27,000 price tags for eyeliner.

Surely those crushing victories would establish us as the prohibitive favorites on Survivor: Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where I would finally be able to hold my own for the team in the ordering of room service, the consumption of happy hour cocktails and sleeping late.

No doubt the Sunflower of Sparta and I would lap the field in Survivor: Paris, humiliating our sorry opponents after we opened a can of whoop foie gras in the ferreting out of the best brioche in the city, staring down rude French waiters and more than holding our own in the sipping of afternoon wine. Let's just say we practice — a lot.

Oh sure, maybe the Culpeppers might prevail in surviving snakes in the jungle. After all, Brad Culpepper is a lawyer. But we're more than ready to take them on in Survivor: Tampa, where contestants must sit through a City Council meeting without drooling, idle quietly on I-275 at 7:30 a.m. and mock Mayor Bob Buckhorn's St. Patrick's Day trousers.

There — the gauntlet has been thrown.

Comments
Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Enough is enough. The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has renewed conversations about gun control in Washington and Tallahassee. Young people are demanding action, and there are cracks in the National Rifle Associationís solid w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: The time to act on guns is now

Editorial: The time to act on guns is now

The nationís conversation on guns took an encouraging step this week in three essential places ó South Florida, Tallahassee and Washington ó as survivors, victimsí families and elected leaders searched painfully and sincerely for common ground after ...
Published: 02/22/18
Editorial: They value guns, not kids

Editorial: They value guns, not kids

They value guns over kidsSix days after 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High by a teen-ager firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Florida House refused to even debate a bill banning the sale of assault weapons. The vote, 71 to 36, wasn...
Published: 02/21/18
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.íí A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he wonít raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Published: 02/19/18

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trumpís claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Published: 02/19/18

Another voice: Tips should belong to workers, not their bosses

The Trump administration is under fire for proposing a Labor Department regulation that could result in hotel and restaurant employers dipping into the tips customers leave for their employees, depriving the nationís 14 million hard-working restauran...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/20/18
Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Itís not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18
Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

The city of Tampa should have taken Tanja Vidovic seriously from the start when the Tampa firefighter complained about her treatment in the workplace. Now that a jury and judge have spoken, itís time for City Hall to cut its losses, learn from its mi...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

The dark cloud enveloping Tampa Bayís job placement centers keeps growing. There are accusations of forged documents, evidence of nepotism and concerns about grossly inflated performance numbers that could be tied to receiving more public money and b...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Even before the victims of another mass shooting at another public school were identified, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state legislators and members of Congress rushed to South Florida or to social media to offer their thoughts and p...
Published: 02/15/18