Right now I imagine a lot of you are digging out of, shivering through, griping about, and generally trying to survive the big winter storm* that somebody christened “Hercules” but could also be called “Hyperbole.” Those who live in the frozen zone (frozone?) also are probably wishing they could decamp for someplace warm, especially Florida.
As a former Michigander, New Englander, and Washingtonian, I can definitely relate. I’m now a part-time resident of Inlet Beach, FL, where the picture above was taken and my wife and I visit every chance we get. However, Florida has some little eccentricities that you really don’t run across in Grand Rapids, St. Paul, Parma, Mahwah, Worcester, Westchester, and all those other places where the flakes are flying.
Let’s take a quiz: Which of these are actual Florida news headlines and which are made up?
Man Tries to Trade Alligator For Beer
Amorous Dolphin Tries to Boink TV Babe in Theme Park Pool
Kangaroo Leads Florida Deputies on 10-Hour Chase
Florida Beachgoer Discovers Human Foot in Shoe**
Man Loses Hand, Has Weed-Whacker Strapped Onto Stump
Florida Man Bitten by Shark, Punched by Monkey (Twice), Struck by Lightning, Bitten by Snake
Slimy, Giant Snails Invade South Florida
Police Ticket Man for Running Backwards
Killer Chops Off Victim’s Legs at Knees to Fit Body Into Suitcase
Woman Allegedly Calls 911 to Report Drunk People Inside Bar
Except for #2, 5, and 9, all of these things actually happened in 2013, according to our friends at Buzzfeed. The others describe events that took place in a few of the many great books by Carl Hiaasen, which any northern immigrant (and everyone everywhere) should read for some wild and hilarious tales (but at all costs avoid the movie version of “Strip Tease”).
*As the Almighty Editorial Poobah, Pontiff, and Kahuna, I hereby ban for now and forevermore the use of “The Big Chill” to describe actual weather events, as opposed to the movie. Unfortunately, one of the best quotes from the film – “C’mon, Blue, you’re not supposed to fold until the fourth quarter!” – remains relevant.
**Presumably not his own foot and shoe.