Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 3, 2013

03/03/2013— Lee Ward: Florida becoming a leading bad example

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — A woman in town recently said she loves Mississippi, because when lists of the “worst whatever” in the country are released, she can count on Mississippi taking the No. 1 spot instead of Kentucky.

“Thank God for Mississippi,” she said.

I’m a West Virginian and we feel the same way.

But don’t forget about Florida.

If Mississippi is lagging on good things and leading the way on bad things, Florida might be the one that didn’t even make the list because it’s so weird.

A recent news story recalled a variety of events in the Sunshine State during the last few years that make my case.

‰A man pulled over in Manatee County who claimed the crack in his crack wasn’t his. Officers found bags of marijuana and crack cocaine stuffed between the man’s butt cheeks. He said the pot was his, but “the white stuff is not mine.”

‰A 32-year-old Pasco County man called 911 to complain his mother took his beer, while police in Deland said a man walked out of a bar and head-butted a street preacher who called him a sinner.

‰A Pasco County man was charged with slashing his father with a knife during an argument about who would walk the dog.

‰A man was walking his Jack Russell terrier in Tampa when an alligator snatched it. He pulled out his handgun and started shooting at the gator. It let go of the dog, but the pet wasn’t breathing until the man performed CPR and revived it.

‰A Hernando County man was run over by his own pickup truck after his dog jumped into the running vehicle and put it in gear.

‰Threatening items that bomb squads had to handle this year included a box with two kittens in Cocoa and a stuffed pony in Orange County. Authorities blew up the stuffed pony, but spared the kittens.

‰A Melbourne street was shut down for three hours, the time it took the bomb squad to figure out the flashing object in the middle of the street was a restaurant pager.

‰Several people in Miami got sick after consuming mucus from a giant snail in a religious ceremony.

‰An 84-year-old man was arrested in Bay County for allegedly hitting a deputy with his cane.

‰Would-be robbers knocked an 83-year-old man to the ground in Clearwater only to turn and run when the victim pulled a gun on them.

‰A 69-year-old woman turned back a robber after picking up the gun he dropped in her car while smashing the windshield with it. He also dropped his cellphone and was caught.

‰A Clay County woman was arrested after posting a photo of her baby with a bong on Facebook.

‰A family honoring a relative’s dying wish gave him a burial at sea, only to have the body resurface off a Fort Lauderdale beach.

‰A Tampa-area couple paid $8 for a box of bones at a yard sale they planned to use as Halloween decorations, until they got home and realized it was a real human skeleton.

‰A Miami attorney said she was kept from visiting her client at a federal detention center because the underwire of her bra set off the metal detector. After she took it off, she said guards wouldn’t let her in because she was braless.

Maybe we should change the state motto to “Thank God for Florida.”

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.