Carole Baskin is on Dancing with the Stars, and I have tropical depression
Stephanie Hayes | A roundup of the latest news!
Carole Baskin and husband Howard Baskin pose for a photo at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa.
Carole Baskin and husband Howard Baskin pose for a photo at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. [ Courtesy of Carole Baskin ]
Published Sept. 9, 2020

Sometimes, the news is like tapas. The calamares fritos are intriguing, but can you really eat an entire platter of squid? Today, this small-plate scenario takes the form of the classic “notes” column, page 67 of The Guide To Being A Columnist At Least Your Mother Will Enjoy.


Carole Baskin was cast on the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars. For those who have just emerged from an off-grid lifestyle, Baskin is CEO of Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue, made famous by the Netflix series, Tiger King. The show focused on Joe Exotic, who is in prison for trying to have Baskin killed. She also has been the subject of rumors surrounding the disappearance of her former husband. She has denied involvement. Let’s samba!

We have reached the point where murder-for-hire targets are on dance competitions. Then again, this show loves a headline. Who could forget soon-to-be secretary of energy Rick Perry’s quickstep to the theme from Green Acres?

Am I saying I won’t watch? Don’t be ridiculous. I have gazed upon Vanderpump Rules from my high horse. As a family, we have taken to a game show called Don’t, in which people have to successfully answer trivia questions or their loved ones get punched in the face. I will watch literally anything but may deny it in mixed company.


A great thing to do is keep your phone right next to your bed. Grab it as soon as your eyes open for alerts that even more tropical disturbances are somehow forming. This is a refreshing way to start your morning.

Currently, that would be Paulette and Rene, churning in the Atlantic on the hot heels of Nana and Omar. Paulette set a record as the earliest 16th named Atlantic storm in a season. Hey, we all need to be good at something.

I wondered what would happen if we ran out of hurricane names. If we get to Wilfred, will the planet collapse in on itself while Dr. Anthony Fauci dances a Viennese waltz? Actually, the World Meteorological Organization turns next to the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon. It happened in 2005, a storm year no one wants to revisit.


Speaking of storms, Sunday is a monster in Tampa Bay. The Rays, Bucs and Lightning all play. Such an athletic pileup also happened in 2008.

They’re high-stakes games and include the local debut of everyone’s favorite dancing twins emoji, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Fans are getting ready by setting up side-by-side televisions. Maybe it’s for the best there are no fans in the stadiums right now, because that’s a lot of 20-ounce beers to unleash in one day.

I don’t know if I’ll watch any of the games. I’ve got some YouTube videos to catch up on: Former U.S. House majority leader Tom DeLay doing a cha-cha-cha to Wild Thing.

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If you can’t get enough Tiger King, check out 48 Hours Suspicion at 10 p.m. Wednesday on CBS. Tampa Bay Times reporter Leonora LaPeter Anton, who went in-depth at Big Cat Rescue years ago and recently, is set to make an appearance. She will not, to my knowledge, be dancing.

Related: Read more columns from Stephanie Hayes