4 Ways to know you’re in Florida … if you’re lost … or something


Photo: Kelly Dean

4 Ways to know you’re in Florida… if you’re lost, or something

By Kelly Dean

It’s a fact. Florida folks are a wee bit odd. Even if they’re relocating, they become weird, eventually. It could be the water or the heat. It could be the oranges or no-see-ums. But I think it’s just a comforting place where weird people come because walking around naked isn’t surprising at all, or even frowned upon, so long as you remember to wear the aluminum foil doo-rag and make nasally clicking sounds — like “ing… ing… ing-veer” once in a while.


Photo: Copyright Kelly Dean 2016

  1. Summers are Hot in Florida

Oh yeah, it’s hot in Florida in summertime. It also rains two hours per day, whether you have a raft handy or not. But Floridians think it’s bad form to mention heat because flop-sweating looks exactly like a quick dip in the ocean to the casual observer.

Hey, but it’s a wet heat.

Florida has a Congo-like-weird-bird-tweeting-Tarzan-sweaty-body-odor-kind-of jungle-stank-effing-hot kind of heat. And in a tropical climate, something organic will grow on a wad of humming uranium. If you park your car in the shade during rainy season, you could find it covered in green fuzz the next day and smelling like a septic tank; because folks, that’s what bio-sex smells like.


Photo: Copyright Kelly Dean 2016

  1. You Could Draw Live Gunfire in Florida for Making a Traffic Mistake

Floridians are a bit harsh when it comes to serious crimes such as jaywalking, tailgating and bitch-looking-stink-eye. If you pull out in front of someone, drive slowly or shutout the merge lane, be ready to go tactical. Florida has more liberal gun laws than up north, so those seasonal visitors just consider the right to shoot someone part of the “Blend Right In Deluxe Vacation Package.”

I once drove the wrong way on a Publix parking lot and a vacationing lady with a Wisconsin accent threw a half-eaten sub sandwich at my car. “Waahrt the hell aaaaahre you dewing?” She said in a tone that sounded a lot like a Weed Eater playing an oboe. Publix subs are revered in Florida, so throwing one was an extreme response.

Being a Floridian, I guess I could have sued her. Litigiousness is yet another peccadillo among the locals. Every pizza delivery guy has passed the bar exam and you can buy a neck-brace at a convenience store in Florida.


Photo: Copyright Kelly Dean 2016

  1. Old People ride Harleys in Florida

Some grown men have never forgotten Joey, the football hero from high school. Over the years, they’ve obsessed about Joey’s hot dates, Joey’s great jobs, and Joey’s big breaks as an underwear model. They think they’re finally going to get all those things too once they relocate –with the right wheels–all at 68 years old, with a metal hip, a chest scar and a partial plate that can pick up Wi-Fi.

Every time these Harley guys pull up to a traffic signal, the first thing they do (after looking around for Joey’s grand-kids) is this annoying… revving… thing: Rum. Rum. Rum. I feel like rolling down the window and saying, “Hey, is that the only way you can keep that piece of crap from dying on you, buddy?” These aren’t the mean kind of bikers from the movies; these are the weekend wheelers. So there’s little to fear, except perhaps a middle finger.

Many Harley guys are living Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild,” and that’s OK. Problem is, the older Floridian male doesn’t get a lot of practice riding because “Mamma” will only allow him out for three unsupervised hours’ without medication each week. He rides out to the beach in full leather, no helmet, in 92 degree heat, and then comes back in an ambulance looking like a pomegranate singing Barry Manilow tunes.


  1. There Are Lots of Rich People in Florida

Every retiree in the United States drains to Florida, much like plumbing. Many have money.

I once pulled into a service station in Naples. There were five Bentleys on the lot (which tells you a lot about their stellar reliability). Rich Bentley owners generally have optional equipment added, like a chair-lift in the back seat, a booster seat at the steering wheel, and three screaming poor people sticking out of the front grill.

For the rich, the objective is: to build a business until you’re 68 years old; retire to Florida; spend $5-million on the house; $3-million on the lot; $2-million on the boat; and $500,000 on the car; then sit on the lanai all day and think about tile.

So with all this being said, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled, moon-worshiping, animal-dating oddballs; give us your naked Reynolds Wrap-wearing ATM thieves; give us your Wal-Mart rectal cavity shoplifters; and give us that designer drug dealer who synthesizes “Kermit’s Kool-Aid” from green fuzzy stuff grown on his car.

Because it’s Florida. You can’t get lost, ya’ll.

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