This Week in Florida - Public Masturbation and Girlfriend Arson

By Billy Corben

If you want a sneak peek at what twisted fate will befall America in the decade to come, look no further than Florida. The state is America’s bellwether, the proverbial canary in the coal mine.

Every scheme, scam and scandal either begins here or is perfected here, and goes on to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting nation.

At various times, Florida has been the nation’s capital of drugs, immigrants, money laundering, race riots, serial killers, foreclosures, mortgage fraud, bankruptcies, Medicare fraud, Ponzi schemes, pill mills, election shenanigans and one of the richest sources of Jerry Springer Show guests. Al Capone, Meyer Lansky, the Watergate burglars, Bundy, Cunanan, Madoff, even the 9/11 hijackers have all worked on their tans in Florida. And, it was recently revealed, so too did the "Canadian Cannibal."

Florida is ground zero for it all.

In his book Miami: City of the Future, author T.D. Allman proclaimed:

“Every major national transformation the United States is undergoing—from the postindustrial revolution to the aging of America, and the third great wave of immigration into the US—has converged on Miami. How Miami solves, or fails to solve, those problems cannot but provide clues as to how the whole country will cope with the massive changes—full of both peril and opportunity—that are transforming the lives of us all.”

Welcome to This Week in Florida.

-  Last week, the feds accused Florida of violating election laws in purging voter rolls and Florida Governor Rick Scott responded to the Justice Department with an affirmative Pee-wee Herman defense: "I know you are, but what am I?" Later, The Daily Show ripped Florida a new one on national television.

- It wouldn’t be a week in Miami without news of a massive cocaine seizure. Or two. U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Miami Seaport discovered 169 bricks of cocaine hidden in cardboard boxes (totaling about 459 pounds), valued at $7.3 million. Also this week, the U.S. Coast Guard Southeast announced the bust of 2,654 pounds of cocaine (that’s worth $32.5 million wholesale) after chasing a go-fast smuggling boat and shooting out the engine to stop it.

- A Port St. Lucie woman looked out her window and spotted her 50-year-old neighbor masturbating in his front yard. She told police he was "working real hard at it,” too. This is not the first tale of public masturbation in Florida in recent weeks. In fact, it’s not even the second such incident. It gets real hot down here in the summer.

- In Everglades City, an airboat captain had his hand chomped off by an alligator while a boatload of horrified tourists got their money’s worth on a swamp tour.

- Two weeks ago, a Florida woman begged a judge to give her a restraining order against her violent ex-boyfriend. She was denied. Then, days ago, her baby daddy followed her to a Boynton Beach 7-11 store, doused her in gasoline and lit her on fire (see main image). Police released graphic security video footage.

- Autopsy results revealed that “Miami Cannibal” Rudy Eugene might not have been much of a cannibal after all: medical examiners found no traces of human flesh in his stomach, though there were chunks between his teeth, following the horrendous face-eating attack of homeless man Richard Poppo.

- The recent spate of “blame it on the bath salts” stories is starting to veer suspiciously into Reefer Madness territory, but something has certainly made Miami’s crazies take things up a notch. This time, a man in the City of North Miami Beach (the only American city with “Beach” in its name that doesn’t actually have one and the home of Miami cannibal/zombie Rudy Eugene), wearing only underwear, approached a three-year-old girl in a park and made sexually suggestive remarks to her. Disturbing as it was, it made for a comically absurd arraignment, caught on video. This is the second bath salts-related story out of North Miami Beach in as many weeks (not including Rudy Eugene).

- A Port Charlotte man was arrested after trying to bring some pussy (of the cat variety) into a strip club. He was actually the one who called the police, pissed that the club wouldn’t allow him inside with the kitten. No bath salts were reported to be involved.

- Putting the “social studies” into “social studies,” a Volusia County high school teacher was forced to resign after a YouTube video entitled “Gay Threesome Sex" accidentally popped up on a projector during his class.

-  A teacher in St. Petersburg was arrested for instructing students to cut and burn themselves in order to rid their bodies of demons.

- In sports news: Cantankerous yet loveable Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen—who earlier this year was briefly suspended for expressing his “respect” for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in a Time magazine interview (kind of a no-no in South Florida)—was declared the nation’s “least respected manager” in baseball in a Men’s Journal survey.

- Florida's "Stand Your Ground" (aka "Shoot Your Neighbor") law, made (in)famous by the tragic Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case in Sanford, is under scrutiny.

- Florida might be America's fourth most populous state, but we are the "Most Corrupt," according to a watchdog group that analyzed federal corruption convictions. A "dubious honor that could be easily remedied," according to the group. If Florida would only secede from the union.

Billy Corben is the co-producer and director of Cocaine Cowboys, The U, and the upcoming Broke for ESPN 30 for 30 Vol. II, among other films. He also runs The Billy Pulpit.

@billyCorben

Comments