Photo courtesy of Parklandtalks.com.
We all love stories about the well-known “Florida Man.” It is the meme phenomenon in which outlandish Florida news headlines become jokes for other states. Listening to those two words, everyone has either a good laugh or a great oooh or ahhh moment. Over the years, it seems like each story gets funnier and crazier. For example, on September 10, 2019, Gavin Crim Brooke broke into a Safety Harbor home at four in the morning. Brooke then cooked the homeowner’s food and ate it. When the homeowner confronted Brooke, the intruder allegedly told him to, “Go back to sleep.” Later on when the police arrived, they found the intruder hiding in a wooded area behind the home. The police then arrested him for breaking and entering and extreme intoxication.
If you like Spider-Man, you’re going to be a bit disappointed, or perhaps delighted (who knows here in Florida), when you hear how a man was pressure washing his roof during a south Florida rain storm. On June 17, 2019, George Martinez looked outside his window and saw his neighbor pressure washing his roof while wearing a Spider-Man costume. Commenting on what he saw, Martinez noted that, “I guess this is what Spider-man does in his free time.”
Farther north in the state, a Florida man fought off a bear. On January 24, 2022, of this year, Walter Hickox defended his home and dogs by fighting off a local black bear. The bear had jumped over his back porch into the landing area and started attacking him. He started to defend himself by pushing the bear. The bear had started slashing and clawing at Hickox although he was left unscathed.
The media has responded to many of the Florida Man events, admitting that some are extremely funny while others are downright stupid. Florida itself is what news reporters like to
call a, “Meme State.” Most of the Florida Man events are crazier than other states. Headlines such as, “Florida Woman Charged with Stealing Rental Car Says ‘Demons Took It,’” all the way to “Florida Man Charged With Assault With a Deadly Weapon After Throwing Alligator Through Wendy’s Drive-thru Window. He did that because he said, “They got my order wrong.”
According to MyFloridaLegal.com, media laws are much different in Florida than anywhere else. According to MyFloridaLegal.com, “Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine law provides a right of access to governmental proceedings at both the state and local levels.” This means that the media can set the tone for whatever they want. There was a time when Florida’s motto used to be, “The rules are different here.” This quote refers to the fact that, in the past, criminals were sent to Florida.
While many of the stories reported in Florida are very humorous, they also show a stark reality. They highlight the mental health issues and poverty issues plaguing the state. According to WorldPopulationReview, Florida was ranked the 13th worst state in the nation based on crime statistics alone. There were 31 counts of high crime annually due to drugs offenses, theft, assault, and driving under influence. Florida is definitely a weird state due to all the hot weather, hurricanes, and exotic animals. Even though Florida has all of the local citrus fields, beautiful beaches, and theme parks, Florida Man is still the state’s biggest commodity. Overall, Florida is a very lovable state, yet it is also the most concerning of them all.