I understand why Fark.com lets Florida have its own tag for weird news items. The state is just strange. Everyone talks about California being the home for fruit and nuts, but the only thing it’s got over Florida is size. I don’t think you will ever find more weirdness per capita, or weirdness so ingrained and enacted into law as in this state.
There must be something about the peculiar mix of warm air, sand, snowbirds from up north, and rednecks that just combine in confusing ways. Throw in a strong Latino mix, and you’ve got a societal stew like no other.
Snowbirds – typically retirees who head to South Florida the day after Christmas and stay until Easter. I-95 becomes a stream of gaudy Cadillacs and Lincoln Continentals with vinyl roofs. Give them a wide berth, because they will either be going extremely slow or extremely fast. Regardless, their attitude is that they own the road. Amy declares that the stores bump up their prices during this time.
Understand, I have nothing against senior citizens. I’m rapidly approaching that status myself. What I (and Amy) don’t like are the combined effects of a group descending upon an area without regard to the population that stays there year round.
Rednecks – Florida rednecks are like no others. I mean, really, where are you going to find so many opportunities to rassle gators, bet on dogs, go fishing, and find new, ever more creative ways to foul up yourself and the environment?
I’ve met some truly nice folks down here, and maybe that’s what it really takes – meeting and getting to know these people so that they don’t all come off as weirdos. I’d at least like to think that. However, as nice as individuals may be, the weirdness just seems ingrained in this society. All it takes is a quick drive down US 1 to see what I mean.
First, there is the overabundance of advertisements for lawyers. Most of these (at least in this area) specialize in DUI cases, so that in and of itself should say something about the population. Next are billboards for offbeat religious groups. Moreso in the Panhandle than down here with us, ultra conservative groups are very strong. I’ve seen ads for several charismatic mega-church wannabees along US 1.
I spotted a new ad this week – Advanced Laser Therapy. There was even a TV ad for this new bit of quackery that promised that the technique would not only make you stop smoking, but would cure AIDS and cancer as well. My, my, my. A quick bit of Internet surfing informed me that…
Low Level Laser Therapy, LLLT, is a non-invasive, painless way to stop the smoking habit. A cold laser light is applied to several auricular and meridian points on your body allowing the smoker to become a non-smoker is less than 30 minutes. Therapeutic lasers have been used for over 30 years in Canada, France and the UK and has become increasingly popular in the United States in the past 12 years.
Auricular and meridian points??? Sounds like someone is using a laser pointer on acupuncture or Reiki points.
And finally, one classic billboard found along US 1. What’s wrong with this picture?