Monday, March 2, 2015
Florida Man Strikes Again
"Florida Man Accused of Killing Roommate Asks Siri Where to Hide the Body"
"Florida Woman Sets Car on Fire After Man Refuses to Buy Her a McFlurry"
"Florida Man in Human-Powered Inflatable Bubble Trying to Run From FL to Bermuda is Rescued by Coast Guard"
These are real headlines from 2014. I moved from Florida to Washington two and a half years ago. I had always heard Florida was weird and lawless, but since I grew up there, I never really noticed. Hasn't everyone had someone drunk-drive their lawn mower through your yard? Doesn't everyone have a neighbor who painted their house pink and teal? Don't we all start party-planning the moment we hear the word hurricane? Apparently not.
After spending some time in Washington (and all the states in between), I can say that Florida really is a strange place. I thought I'd fall behind on the news in my home state, but Florida news is everywhere. Florida headlines appear in the Walla Walla Union Bulletin. Our local Five Guys Burgers has quotes on the wall from Orlando and Tampa. It's a news-making kind of spot in political elections, educational policy, odd crimes, and financial trends. People pay attention to the things that happen in Florida, and the longer you live there the more used to it you get.
So it's been even stranger to live in a place that doesn't make headlines. Walla Walla and Washington state in general seem to operate under the radar. It's fun to be the little brother running around hollering and making a mess, but being the big sister who just sits back and chuckles softly from the edge of the spotlight is lot less stressful.