“Brothers and sisters, this morning I intend to explain the unexplainable—find out the undefinable—ponder over the imponderable—and unscrew the inscrutable.” —Florida poet James Weldon Johnson
Every day weird news comes out of Florida. As with the famous saying about porn, we know what it is when we see it. But what elements combine to make a story that occurs in Florida fit the definition of “weird Florida”?
Thanks to a lifetime of observing Florida weirdness all around me, I have formulated a few general rules. I also consulted a couple of experts on this subject: Brendan Farrington, who since 1998 has compiled an annual roundup of bizarre behavior in Florida for the Associated Press; and Barbara Hijek, who writes the FloriDUH blog for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Here’s what we came up with:
5) You’d be amazed how many stories there are about sexual encounters gone horribly awry (and how great the mugshots are). Note: Said encounter does not have to involve a couple. It may, however, involve something from No. 3.
One word of caution: Don’t ever look back to see what happened next to the people in these stories. What you find might bring a tear to your eye.