Down in Florida, the Democratic primary race between Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene has turned into a full-tilt frenzy over what did or did not go on aboard Greene's alleged-batterer-of-Belize's-coral-reefs yacht, the Summerwind.
In the past few weeks, we've heard a lot of stories about Greene's yacht. Two descriptive terms tend to jump out at you: The first is "party boat": the St. Petersburg Times' Adam C. Smith reminds readers today of an account from Gregory Zuckerman's book, The Greatest Trade Ever, that describes a Summerwind jaunt to the Black Sea that involved "Ukrainian strippers" and "stewardesses from coastal towns" that were hired as crew-slash-massage therapists.
The second, of course, is "vomit-caked." As in, "Mr. Greene's yacht is known to be a party yacht. When it went to Cuba, everybody talked about the vomit caked all over the sides from all the partying going on."
Ah, yes. That trip to Cuba has become another flashpoint in this campaign, mainly because Florida is filled with Cubans who don't exactly taking a liking to American billionaires taking jaunts down to Cuba to go on shopping excursions.
Greene has offered a shifting account of how it came to pass that the Summerwind ended up docked at Hemingway Marina in Havana. First, he wasn't on the boat, then he was on the boat but he was on some Jewish mission at the time, and finally, he was forced to dock at Hemingway because of emergency repairs -- maybe related to "vomit-caking," who knows? -- at which time he took advantage of an unexpected opportunity to go on the aforementioned Jewish mission.
According to deckhands, Greene and his girlfriend went shopping. And that's the thing: everyone has their own weird accounts of what goes on on board the Summerwind. If you believe professional boxer and Human Ear Quickfire Challenge All-Star Mike Tyson, this is the sort of thing that went down:
"I was in St. Tropez, in the South of France. In Ibiza, Spain. I was in Monte Carlo. I was in the Ukraine, Russia, all those places, for three months. From Russia I went to Lisbon, Portgual, from Portugal I went to Amsterdam. In Amsterdam I met this drug dealer, right? And he sees that I like getting high, and he wants to be my buddy, right? This guy goes and gets me a big rock of cocaine. So pretty soon I got a party going on. I got everything: I got these rugby players. I got these naked girls, I got all these ... everything's going on in the room. Plus I also had this girl with me that I picked up in Romania. But then [the dealer he met in Amsterdam] saw how much of a mess I was. He came in and kicked everybody out of my room! All the nude people, all the people having sex. He said, 'I feel so bad I ever gave him that stuff.'"
There's so much about this story that's magical, not the least of which is the fact that Tyson highlighted the presence of rugby players, for some reason. Anyway, Greene is denying that most of these outlandish things ever happened on his yacht, which must be killing him, because these sound like the best parties anyone is having these days.
UPDATE: Elyse Siegel and I wonder if 30 Rock's Tracy Jordan is inspired by Jeff Greene or vice-versa. Please discuss!
Jeff Greene brushes off raucous party boat tales [St. Petersburg Times]