The 12 Craziest Things That Happened in Florida in 2013
Only in Florida. Every week, so many Americans mutter those words while marveling at the latest insanity to come from our state that Tallahassee really ought to put the phrase on license plates.
Illustration by Mark Poutenis
At Miami New Times, at least a third of our work is done by those crazies. Although it helps that Florida has the most liberal public records laws in the United States, there wouldn't be any arrest reports to pull unless our fellow Floridians were supplying the system day and night with bizarre fodder.
To celebrate surviving another year of life in America's maddening tropical penis, we've compiled our annual list of the 12 biggest Florida face-palm moments of 2013. Have at it, maniacs.
1. The candy-related duck attack. Karie Lindgren's first gesture toward the duck was generous. The Tarpon Springs woman simply wanted to bequeath the gift of candy upon her neighbor's pet bird in November. Anyone who has ever tossed bits of bread around a pond knows ducks will eat just about anything. But the animals apparently lack a sweet tooth. Offended by the duck's rejection, Lindgren got in her car, drove across the neighbor's lawn, and turned the pet bird into roadkill. Unfortunately, neither the duck's name nor Lindgren's favored brand of the candy made it into the police report.
2. The job application bandit. "What do you consider your biggest flaw?" is the most impossible question on a job application, really, because if you answer honestly, you'll never get the gig. On the other hand, if you say, "Oh, I'm a workaholic," the employer will know you're a bullshitter right off the bat. When Anthony Thomas filled out a job application at an Ocala gas station in July, though, he chose a refreshingly straightforward approach: After filling out the paperwork, he put his klepto card right on the table and robbed the place. Police used the accurate contact information he'd written on the application to track the perp. What was Thomas' intent? Did he want to prove that he was a real go-getter? That when he saw an opportunity, he never ceased to literally reach out and take it? Probably not. But it is very possible that Thomas' "biggest flaw" is a profound lack of common sense.
3. Bamboo Flute's just-for-fun knife attack. June is a tough time for Gainesville's Rainbow People. The annual regional hippie gathering in the Ocala National Forest is a half-year away, and boredom runs high. This past summer, an 18-year-old named Bamboo Flute Blanchard picked up a knife and said, "I wonder what it would be like to take a life." He then stabbed his sleeping father in the chest. What's more, the feral child of the forest refused to speak to police when he was charged with attempted murder. He instead responded to their questioning with grunts.