Google Something Clever 2.0: Oh, Florida

Sep 20, 2012

Oh, Florida


Florida is batshit crazy, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why people are still moving there. Have you heard about the man who was caught raping a donkey? He honestly doesn’t get what the big deal is. He told the cops that “Florida is a backwards state and people frown on zoophilia here.”

Back in May, we heard the story of the original zombie, Rudy Eugene. Did you know that they still haven’t figured that shit out? It wasn’t bath salts. And Ronald Poppo still hasn’t turned, so it’s looking pretty likely that he wasn’t a zombie, either. Just Florida-crazy.

A couple of years ago, Florida gave us one of my favorite folk heroes, Megan Barnes, who wrecked her car because she was trying to drive while performing some lady-landscaping. The best part? She was on her way to see her boyfriend (naturally), and her ex-husband was riding shotgun and steering for her. Now that’s a helpful ex. Do you think she tried to convince him to drive, and that’s where he drew the line?

Crazy Florida isn’t a new thing, either. Have you ever heard the story of Carl Tanzler? Tanzler was a German count/radiologist (those two fields often overlap, I’m told) who fell in love with his 22-year-old tuberculosis “patient,” Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos back in 1930 (I put “patient” in quotes because he was not really a doctor). Tanzler showered Elena and her family with gifts. The family liked him, but the love was unrequited. When Elena finally succumbed to her disease, Tanzler paid for the funeral and an elaborate mausoleum. The family was still okay with all of this, which in itself is pretty weird. Her mother even gave him a bunch of her hair after she died. Nice friggin’ mother.

A year and a half after Elena’s death, Tanzler stole her body from the tomb, stuffed it with rags, coated it in wax and plaster, and made a creepy mask for it. He kept it in his bed for over seven years. Elena’s sister eventually “heard rumors” (WTF?)  that Tanzler was sleeping with her sister and went to his house to confront him. He invited her in to see Elena, and probably gave her a cup of tea, too. He was arrested, but nobody was all that upset about it, and he served no time. He got to keep the mask, so he used it to make an Elena doll. Of course.

This isn’t just a case of the media over-reporting the crazy shit that goes on down there; Florida has one of the highest per capita incarceration rates in the world. So what makes people there so crazy? Some people blame the fact that it’s mostly a transient state; that is, most Florida residents were not born there, and came there trying to start over after fucking up their first attempt at life. Apparently, way too many people think that living in the state where they once vacationed at age 7 will translate into living like you’re on vacation, every day! Yay!

But no, it’s not just the newcomers. I stumbled across this little gem today, where a Florida native (gosh dangit!) details everything wrong with Florida, and why he really, really doesn’t want you as a neighbor. It starts off making a little sense, since he’ seems to be in the “Yankees are trouble” camp, but by the end, you realize that he’s just as crazy as the rest of Floridians.

So, what is it about Florida? Have you ever been? When you were there, did you drink the local tap water and then feel overcome with the urge to commit a naked or semi-naked crime? Are the giant bugs infecting people with a brain disease? Or is it just too hard to think straight in all that heat and humidity? I welcome your theories.

This post is dedicated to Hillary and Tim.