23 July 2017

Florida News, Moral Retardation

by Leigh Lundin

Florida postcard
Florida madness waits for no one. The Sunshine State exists merely to make other states feel better. Usually I adopt a mocking stance, but sometimes the subjects are too dark, too sick for levity. Two of the most disturbing stories– one about a truly sick honeymooning couple– I’ve removed from today’s lineup. At least we finish with a warming palate cleanser. Let the revue begin.

Water Hazard

Tampa, FL.  Golf courses once employed kids to retrieve wayward balls from ponds, lakes, and water hazards. In Florida, courses can get a bit rough. Ask Scott Lahodik. He’s worked as a golf ball search-and-rescue professional for nearly three decades.

Recently a Charlotte alligator violently objected to Lahodik disturbing his collection. Lahodik thinks it might be time to retire.

Cutting the Cord

Deland, FL.  A professional skydiver chose to die doing what he loved. This might have been easier to take if it weren’t for people who loved him.

How Bow Dah

Boynton Beach, FL.  Without adding to her publicity/notoriety, a 13-year-old girl has become (in)famous for bad behavior and poor enunciation. Violent and apparently proud of bottomless ignorance, she appeared on Dr. Phil where she told him he wasn’t nothin’ until she graced his show. She’s also shown up in music videos, television shows, and courtrooms. Our home-grown (sort of) girl is an experience… and not a good one.

Wired

Boynton Beach, FL.  That teen girl isn’t the only bad actor from Boynton Beach. Police arrested a man with an electronic devices wired to his penis. Prosecutors will no doubt file a, er, battery of, um, charges.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the ‘electronic device’ was a GPS? That would be embarrassing.

Jacksonville, FL.  We’re not done with penises yet, but a Duval County man nearly was. He managed to shoot himself in one of the worst places he could shoot himself. This is reminiscent of the Florida woman who was, well, caught pleasuring herself with a loaded pistol. Some people like to live dangerously.

Armed and, well, Armed

Deltona, FL.  A Volusia County man shot himself in the arm. This is the USA– people shoot themselves all the time. However, this man didn’t realize it until he changed his shirt… three… days… hence. (Shh! I always wanted to use that word.)

Listen folks, this is Florida. It’s freaking hot here. People sweat. God knows how many days he’d already been wearing that garment. We should change shirts three times a day instead of every three days. I know it’s difficult to detect one’s own body odor, but how bad do you have to stink when even a bullet hole under your arm goes numb?

Voter Fraudster, Oh Yeah

Sarasota, FL.  You know who Steve Bannon is, icon of alt-right rags and radio, and a fixture in the White House. You know about the desperate quest to prove some kind– any kind– of voter fraud. The committee need look no further than Florida.

Not only did Stephen Kevin Bannon register to vote in New York, he also registered to vote in Florida. For a home address, he listed a vacant house he never lived in and scheduled to be torn down.

That’s one. Now the fraud committee has another 199,999,999 voters to check out.

Aramis Ayala

Orlando, FL.  The Supreme Court has forced Florida to back down on a number of legal issues. In its excitement to execute, SCOTUS has required capital cases to be reviewed, which resulted in instances of actual innocence. The Court also directed Florida to stop incarcerating children for life. Florida judges made paltry efforts to see that children convicted of crimes less than murder have a chance, however slim, of seeing the outside world again before they die.

Orange and Osceola Counties recently elected a black prosecutor, a major step for Florida. However, our governor (you already know my criticisms about Rick Scott) virtually stripped her of prosecutorial powers and reassigned cases to other state attorneys. To rephrase, Governor Rick Scott has removed State Attorney Aramis Ayala from major cases, nullifying our election of this woman.

Setting aside racist overtones, the crux of the matter centers around the governor’s lust for capital punishment while Attorney Aramis Ayala has expressed doubts about the morality and effectiveness of the death penalty. No doubt Scott has his Attorney General pin-up babe Pam Bondi trying to figure out a legal justification for his actions.

My opinion? Governor, WE elected her as OUR state attorney, not yours. Screw up the rest of the state and leave us alone.

Shoot First… The rules are different here.

Tallahassee, FL.  Florida proudly originated the Shoot First / Stand Your Ground law detested by police and despised by prosecutors. It’s thought to thwart prosecution of approximately one hundred homicides a year (including children), triple the average. Now Florida has introduced a new and improved SF/SYG law designed to make it even more difficult to prosecute killers in a state already in love with death.

Now Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch has ruined the party by declaring the amended law unconstitutional. Governor Scott suffered the vapors at the news and waved his blonde bombshell Attorney General Pam Bondi into action. Miss Bondage is presently trying to find a legal argument to shut down the judge’s ruling.

He Who Laughs Last…

Cocoa, FL.  No doubt you’ve heard the news that four Florida ∆ítards stood around joking, recording, deriding and reviling a man as he drowned instead of saving him. For once, I suffer a paucity of adjectives.

The question has been raised, why do we rush to implement Shoot First / Stand Your Ground laws but don’t have a Good Samaritan law? Folks, this is Florida.

And also, why should a civilized society require laws to do the right thing? Oh yes, this is Florida. But the next story might make you feel better.

Stone the Samaritans

Lakeland, FL.  Our hysterical society has developed such a fear of men with children, it’s become dangerous for both. A Polk County man attending a softball game noticed a lost child wandering around. He tried to help her find her wayward family.

When one of her parents finally bothered to notice the little girl was missing, he ran down the man he spotted with his daughter and, attacking him from behind, badly beat him. Police tried to tell the foolish father the stranger was trying to help, but the man refused to accept that possibility. Maybe the family felt a little guilt himself, but they took to Facebook to falsely deride the man who helped and demand police arrest and prosecute the helper as a sexual predator.

He Who Writes Last…

Panama City, FL.  A family– nine people in all– found themselves in trouble and unable to swim back to shore. Good Samaritans organized a sort of bucket brigade, a chain of 30 to 50 possibly up to 80 heroes and heroines extending far into the rip tide to save the family.

Kudos and congratulations. Sometimes Floridians get it right.

12 comments:

janice law said...

I'm surprised Florida has ever produced any fiction writers with such overwhelmingly bizarre factual material!

O'Neil De Noux said...

Excellent article. We in Louisiana have our share of idiocy. Louisiana - a state of confusion. New Orleans - where the weak are killed and eaten. And we have gators and cottonmouths as well and a wonderful infiltration of tarantulas brought from South America through the port of New Orleans with the banana trade.

Leigh Lundin said...

Janice, when I look back on the items I rejected, you definitely have a point. It's hard to blame our leadership– or lack of leadership– when so much of the state seems hell-bent on madness. If we had cliffs, we're run like lemmings.

O'Neil, at least you have culture– wonderful music, superb foods, clever authors, and a multi-cultural approach to life. We have no such excuse. Besides, we're the only state with our own fark.com tag… we're that bad.

Fran Rizer said...

Leigh, in recent years, South Carolina has produced some real "doozies" when it comes to almost unbelievable events. However, you're the winner. Florida still outdoes us in accomplishments of the dummied-down. Thanks for what would bring smiles except for the fact humans are sometimes so idiotic that they make me want to cry.

Melodie Campbell said...

No wonder we Canadians like to vacation in the Independent Country of Florida! Constant entertainment and personality galore. Never boring, that's for sure! Really entertaining post, Leigh.

Leigh Lundin said...

Fran, I don't know what it is– perhaps the heat– but it's impossible to compete with our insanity. Even our geology is different. Experts believe Florida broke off from a different part of Pangea in ancient days.

Melodie, you're very kind. We'd undoubtely be far worse without Canadian moderating efforts. By the way, this strange safari came to my attention a few minutes ago.

Elizabeth said...

Heh ... I was born in Florida but we left there when I was 8 months old & I've never been back.

I live in upstate New York now. The most likely candidate I can think of at the moment for the Darwin award is a woman who got busted at a grocery store for putting FULL soda bottles & cans, which she stole off the store shelves, into the machine that dispenses bottle scrip. In N.Y. state you get 5 cents of scrip for each bottle or can, which she then would have needed to cash in at the register at the same place she took the sodas. It's non-transferable.

Peter DiChellis said...

Always fascinated by these Florida madness posts, Leigh. (They make California seem almost normal.)

Coincidentally, I recently enjoyed Carl Hiaasen’s latest (Razor Girl) and thought his characters’ latest Florida hijinks were outr√© nutty – until I remembered your Florida madness posts here.

Best wishes,
Peter

Leigh Lundin said...

Elizabeth, what a story! And what a dolt she was, going directly from scrap to scrip. I’m not sure, but your psyche probably healed once you left the Sunshine state.

Peter, the amazing part is that Carl not only doesn’t need to exaggerate, he may have to play down some of the more outrageous happenings in our state. Everyone treats the lunacy as normal. Think of Florida as a demented family with 20-million mad aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces.

John Floyd said...

Leigh, I love Florida, but I also love these great looks you give us into its crazy citizens. Though I've never lived there, I've been there dozens of times for both business and pleasure (and I have plenty of relatives there as well), and I agree that both you and Hiaasen have a pretty accurate take on things.

I also agree with O'Neil about the level of dysfunction in his home state--and we can just about match that in Mississippi. Maybe it IS the heat . . .

Leigh Lundin said...

And humidity, John– there may be some kind of crazy-making pollen in the air!

B.K. Stevens said...

Leigh, I'm very late in commenting (power outage followed by computer complications), but I'm glad I didn't miss these stories. I've spent just a couple of days in Florida--I'll have to go back and look around more!