In Florida: Lock Up! And the Pulse Pounds

The late-afternoon sun is white and hot, and it bleaches the blue sky. The ocean is a pale aqua-green. It is as clear and warm as a drawn bath. A soft, insistent ocean breeze rustles the big, faded yellow-green fronds of the palm trees. The sunbathers are the color of light coffee. Each lies on the sand, one knee indolently flexed, on a blanket whose color has been drained by the sun. Another languid sun-drenched day on Fort Lauderdale's beach.

In the dark low-ceilinged basement lounge of the Candy Store bar, the arm wrestlers are getting edgy. They have been taking...

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