Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

Florida According to @_FloridaMan

Whatever your impression of Florida, it will never be the same after you scan any of the 1,600+ tweets about Florida Man.

florida-man-twitterThe unidentified sage of the Sunshine State, known more precisely on Twitter as @_FloridaMan, keeps readers in stitches with hilarious 140-letter character assassinations of Floridians. All he has to do is watch the news to find his muse.

Thee crazy stuff he tweets about may occur elsewhere, but copycat tweeters – and there are several wannabes – have made it seem far less zany and funny than @_FloridaMan.

Florida Man has attacked a relative because of undercooked cookies and a postman for not delivering any mail, tattooed a black widow spider on his face and tried to exit a store with a chainsaw stuffed down his pants.

Florida Man lacks social graces. He urinated on a relative’s carpet after Thanksgiving dinner, offered police officers money and fried chicken in return for sex and masturbated in front of his bedroom window and in a fast food restaurant parking lot.

Florida Man has a tortured reading of the Constitution, as evidenced by him saying that his arrest for public indecency in the McDonald’s parking lot violated his right to privacy.

Florida Man has unusual habits, such as maintaining a meth lab in his pants, stealing 850 pair of panties from Victoria’s Secret and dialing 911 as if it was the Public Library or the Internal Revenue Service.

After reading a small cross-section of this body of tweets, you have to ask yourself if you want to take another trip to Disney World. If even a fraction of these tweets are true, not caricatures, Florida is a nutty and potential dangerous place to be.

florida-man-beer@_FloridaMan is no longer an obscure soul pounding out funny schtick on his home laptop. His Twitter followers have skyrocketed to 270,000. The New York Times profiled him – without ever interviewing him. A locally brewed beer has been named after him. Dave Barry, no slouch in pointing out Floridian foibles, loves @_FloridaMan for casting the state’s male population as  “Broadway for idiots.”

Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen says making fun of Floridians doesn’t take a lot of skill or effort. He equated it to “shooting mutated, deranged, slow-moving fish” in a barrel. Hiaasen also says tweets by @_FloridaMan have captured the attention of the likes of Stephen King, who treks to the state for weird material for his scary science fiction books.

But back to Florida Man, sometimes he borders on the serious. Like Florida Man LeBron James who left to go to Cleveland or Florida Man Jeb Bush running for President. Who could blame them for getting out of a place where Florida Man mistakes a corpse for a mannequin, waves a sword (not that one) while standing naked in the street and attacks an ATM with a hatchet because it wouldn’t accept his check.

Screen-Shot-2014-03-10-at-9.12.46-AMOne wag described Florida Man as “insane and unstoppable” and someone who “feels no pain, has no ethics and is capable of feats far beyond normal Americans.” Other than being a meth head, flasher and wife-beater, Florida Man is a superhero.

Now that American Idol is cycling off TV, maybe it’s time for a different kind of reality show that features characters called Florida Man. All of us would definitely like to learn what Florida Man planned to do with the 36,000 pounds of Crisco that he stole. 


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