Florida Man: Evolution Makes a U-Turn
by Earnest Prankheimer
Generations of anthropologists have meticulously catalogued, classified, and revised the various stages in the development of man from earlier primates. In no particular order, since I’m no anthropologist — there are Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, Australopithecus, Pithecanthropus robustus, and I’m sure others. Not being an anthropologist, I’d probably be tempted to classify Homo erectus as any male in his twenties. There was Java man and Peking man. Over in Eastern Washington state they found Kennewick man some years back, DNA tests confirming that he was around 8500 years old, and native (the Native Americans would now like his remains back, please). Now we have Florida man, the latest experiment in evolutionary roulette.
It was the summer of 2012 when he first came to my attention. There was a news story about a Florida man in some state of lunacy who was trying to chew the face off another man. Police had to shoot him to make him stop. It turns out he was on “bath salts,” some new and unpredictable drug that makes people crazy. Last year I heard a report about a Florida man arrested for drug dealing, and on the arrest report he gave his occupation as drug dealer. Shortly after that was another incident: “Florida man resists arrest while dressed in a boy-scout costume.” I remember thinking these can’t all be the same guy, can they? What’s up with him? It was this headline from the June 16th, 2015 New York Daily News that spurred me to further investigation of this mysterious phenomenon: “A Florida man accidentally shot himself dead when he checked if his gun was loaded by putting it to his head and pulling the trigger, police said.”
What in the world was happening with Florida men? I went to the Google device, took a long, deep breath, let it out slowly, and entered: Florida man. I got approximately 588,000,000 matches (search took 0.36 seconds). Holy guacamole! Let me give you a broad sampling of real headlines, and thanks to News Mic (mic.com) for compiling the sources. Please make sure that your seat belt is securely fastened and your feeding trough is in the upright position.
“Florida man attempts to smoke crack in ICU, almost burns down hospital” (Northwest Florida Daily News).
“Florida man flashes buttocks at IHOP after impersonating a police officer to get free food” (International Business Insider).
“Florida man claims wife was kidnapped by holograms” (Huffington Post).
“Florida man inches closer to one-way trip to Mars” (ABC Action News)
“Florida man escapes adult novelty store with $300 Jenna Jameson doll in tow” (The Smoking Gun).
“Florida man steals 850 pairs of underwear from Victoria’s Secret” (NBC Miami).
“Florida man attacks nephew over undercooked noodles” (Independent Florida Alligator).
“Florida man arrested for smoking pot in hospital maternity ward” (Gawker).
“Florida man calls 911 to check on his tax return” (Tampa Bay Times).
“Florida man arrested after urinating on in-laws’ carpet during Thanksgiving gathering” (Times of Northwestern Indiana).
“Florida man attempts to leave store with chainsaw stuffed down his pants” (New Port Richey Patch),
“Florida man offers police officer $3 and chicken dinner for sex” (News 13).
“Florida man sent to jail after pouring hot sauce on 3-month-old puppy” (Tampa Bay Tribune).
“Florida man resists arrest while dressed in Boy Scout costume” (dailymail.co.uk).
“Florida man once arrested for fighting drag queen with a Tiki torch while dressed like KKK member now running for Mayor” (Broward Palm Beach New Times).
“Florida man steals 36,000 pounds of Crisco” (Tampa Bay Times).
“Florida man accidentally butt dials 911 while cooking meth with his mom” (The Smoking Gun).
“Florida man escapes prison to buy beer, no one notices” (ABC Action News).
“Florida man removes facial tattoos with welding grinder” (Tampa Bay Times).
“Florida man mistakes senior government officials with foreigners” (Foreign Policy).
“Florida man attacks ATM with hatchet after it refuses to take his check” (Daytona Beach News-Journal).
“Florida man proposes to girlfriend, ties ring to alligator” (Fox 8 Cleveland).
“Florida man surprised to learn mannequin is actually dead body” (Associated Press).
As we can see from the above, Florida man represents a new phase of humankind, only it marks a devolution. It helps confirm my previous assertions that Americans are getting stupider by the minute. Florida man personifies the average idiot American, and while it may stir us to laughter, keep in mind that most of these people vote. They are, to modify a Tom Petty lyric, a rabble without a clue. It certainly explains a lot.
Meanwhile, I can think of another headline: “Florida man says he’s running for President.” You even get a choice between two Florida men, Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio.