There are many states that have unique personalities and traits. Texas believes it is an independent nation. California is actually 3 different states pretending to be one. Arizona is beyond weird, Alabama doesn't exist after the college football season and Rhode Island is a large park pretending to be a state. And then there is Florida. I was not born in Florida. North Carolina is my home state and lately it seems like that entire place has gone politically insane. But today, I want to write about my adopted state. Because Florida is often just flat-out wacky...
When you think of the Sunshine State, you may picture gorgeous beaches, golf courses, theme parks and great weather. You might think of spring training baseball, NASA launches or cruise ships. These are all wonderful, and make living in Florida pretty awesome...most of the time. But it's not all oranges and smiles. There's something in the water here that seems to bring out the weird in people. And it's not just the hurricanes. Let me show you what I mean.
Florida brought you the "hanging chad" and the first presidential election ever decided by a coin toss. The number of retirees who move here earned us the nickname of "God's Waiting Room" and make driving after dark a total nightmare. Despite not actually being a "southern" state (good sweet tea is so hard to find here, and accents are as much New York and Boston as they are southern) it is home to a large KKK organization and lots of confederate flags. Or that may just be our state flag- it's very confusing. We provided Nancy Grace and her ilk with Debra Lafave, Casey Anthony AND George Zimmerman. Noted serial killer Ted Bundy did his most gruesome work here. Remember the crazy pastor who started an uproar by threatening to burn to Koran? Yep- Florida. The 2 winless teams in the NFL both reside in the state, and the mediocre Dolphins are currently being featured on both SportsCenter and The Jerry Springer Show (at least we still have FSU football- and btw, THANK YOU Stanford!!!). Maybe the most beloved figure in the state is a currently unemployed quarterback. Just yesterday here in Tampa, less than 10 miles from my house, a man pulled his gun from his car- yes, carrying a loaded handgun in your car seems to be perfectly normal in Florida - and started shooting at a woman in the parking lot of a Home Depot because he thought she was stealing the last good parking space. Apparently good parking places are a God-given right just like carrying a handgun- and it's not even Black Friday yet. I think I should copyright the term Parking Lot Rage before someone else grabs it. I'm just scratching the surface, my friends. This place gets a little crazy.
|Seriously- which one is Rick?|
But what ignited this rant was a commercial I saw yesterday morning. I am not terribly political, but this made me more than a little nauseated. The next Florida gubernatorial election will take place one year from now. Our current governor, republican Rick Scott (also known as Lord Voldemort in some circles), will be running for re-election. Among the candidates who have announced they will be seeking the democratic nomination is former governor Charlie Crist, who currently works from one of the most notrious ambulance chasing law firms in the country. This is interesting because when Crist held the office he was a republican himself. The commercial I saw was attacking Crist for being a party flip-flopper- a year before an election that he doesn't even have his party's nomination for yet. It's going to be a very long year in the Sunshine State...
But this being Florida, things could still get more interesting. We have yet one more former republican governor roaming around who should get involved. Jeb Bush should run as an independent! Then we would have Rick Scott claiming be a Tea Party candidate but having flip-flopped back to the mainstream republicans; Crist flip-flopping to the dems; and Jeb Bush, from the first family of republican politics, flip-flopping to be an independent. That's more flip-flops than you would find on a good day at Cocoa Beach! And strangely enough, that's just a normal political season here in paradise.
And with that, I invite you to come visit us in Florida. After all, tourism is our number one industry. We can take in a spring training game, go see Mickey Mouse and hit some of the world's best beaches. We can visit awesome aquariums, spectacular museums and the original Hooters. It's a great place to vacation. But you may want to invest in a kevlar vest before you come down. The old joke that says "Why do they call it tourist season if we can't shoot them?" is getting less funny every year. Thus endeth my rant. Tomorrow we shall return to our regularly scheduled Saturday Shout Outs! Until then, peace my friends.