(C) 2020 Dart Humeston
I am asked this question all the time. Usually just after I inform someone that I recently moved to Boise from Florida, whereupon they immediately take three steps back from me. As if a native Floridian living in Boise might somehow screw up Idaho’s wonderful chip sealed road economy. I mean, really, in Boise they use goats to mow the lawns and fields! We Rent Goats Florida does not have a patent on weirdness. (Granted they have applied for it…)
In reality, I think there are a bunch of states weirder, but it seems the news media has keyed on any story from Florida as the best clickbait possible. And since 99% of all news websites consist of pretty much nothing but clickbait, that means there are a lot of weird stories from Florida. Seriously, if you saw a headline that read, “Man Stuns Goat with Juice box” you probably would ignore it. But, if it instead read, “Florida man stuns goat with juice box”, chances are you would click on it. And that is why the news organizations think anything that starts out with “Florida….” is news worthy in some way.
Many other writers have attempted to explain the Florida Weirdness Phenomenon so I can’t add too much here. Except that I was actually born in Florida. In a time period where we read the bible, stood up with our right hand on our chest and recited the pledge of allegiance every morning at school, left our front doors either unlocked or wide open, and pretty much nothing weird happened at all. The beaches were pristine, the sky blue, and it was summer 365 days of the year. And most people were from Florida. We drank orange soda with peanuts dropped inside the bottle, grew watermelons in our back yards, made orange juiced daily from the tree in our front yard. In 1960 there were a mere 4.8 million people in the entire state. Keep in mind that Florida is the 22nd largest state by area. Most of the larger states, such as Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska don’t have a lot of actual livable land. Mountains, deserts and lawn eating goats get in the way. Florida is summer from the top to the bottom. No deserts, no mountain chains, 100% livable land. And most of it beach front to boot!
Today, there are over 22 million people living in the state. (Compared to 1.7 for Idaho). This does not count most of the native Americans, the homeless or the millions of people from other countries or planets living in the state without proper documentation. My guess would be the real full time population to be closer to 27 million. Regardless, even using the lower number, Florida is the 4th largest state by population!
Tourist? Adding to the huge resident population are daily visitors to the state, which adds over 120 million people a year! People visit Florida from literally every possible destination!
Not to mention other “tourists” who visit daily.
Below is my personal list of why Florida is weird:
- Florida is shaped like a penis. Living on a penis shaped state causes people’s brain fluid to slide to the back of their head sometimes.
- Gravity. All the loose nuts from the other states eventually lose grip on reality and they fall down to the bottom of the country, which is Florida.
- Ever heard of the term, “Things went South” or “He went south”? Criminals, nutcases, con men would escape from the upper states to vanish down south in Florida.
- The weather. I’ve lived in Boise during one winter so far, and not much happens when it is 11 degrees outside, black ice is on the roads, and that white shit is falling from the sky. Florida is sunshine 365 days of the year. So, the huge population has a lot more time to do nutty things. And the press loves visiting Florida to report the “news”.
- Diversity. The truth is, you can find literally any culture or race in Florida. Florida is one of the top ten diverse states in America. People from literally every possible country and planet reside somewhere in the state.
- Weirdness sells! At last count there are about ten books on the market just on Florida Weirdness. Including the best one I’ve read by Florida resident Dave Barry.
So, yes, Florida is weird. They used to, decades ago, try to sell cans of sunshine to tourist from the north. I guess if they can figure out how to sell cans of Florida Weirdness someone would make a ton of money. Hmmm…wait a minute……cans of Florida Weirdness……I gotta go.