This week, 61-year-old James Guy Bull of Daytona Beach, FL was arrested for sexually abusing his dog. This is actually the second recent occurrence of dog rape that occurred in the Sunshine State as Bernard Marsonek of Tampa, FL committed the same offense just weeks earlier. Such oddball instances aren’t exactly a rarity in Florida. In fact, disturbing and deranged behavior has become Florida’s calling card.
Nearly all of the weird news consumed by America are stories that originated in Florida. Remember the bath salts zombie that ate the homeless man’s face in 2011? Yep, that was Florida. Any mass-distributed trial where a mother allegedly kills her child and goes out partying shortly thereafter? You’ve guessed it. Florida again. There’s a city called Pensacola that outlawed blankets for homeless people? What state is that in? Well, you get the picture.
Florida has established itself as the red-headed stepchild of America so much to the point that the internet has spawned /r/wtf_Florida, a subsection on Reddit dedicated to news stories reporting all of the unimaginable hijinx caused by certain Florida residents. There, one can find the strangest and most tragic assortment of headlines like “Florida Panel Votes to Arm School Employees,” “2-Year-Old Toddler Thrown Off Kissimmee Hotel Balcony,” and “Florida Man Sets Apartment Fire Because Manager Told Him to Stop Masturbating.”
There are tons more. Hampton, FL faces dissolution because of a corrupt police force and a drug dealing mayor, and Wellington, FL named washed-up celebrity Vanilla Ice its citizen of the year. And who can forget Florida’s reputation of being the country’s busiest drug-trafficking corridor in the 1980s with the explosion of the Miami drug trade?
The most unusual thing about Florida is that no single Floridian can place their finger on why, out of all other states, Florida is the outlandish one and why it’s that way. Is it the erratic weather? Overbearing heat when the sun actually is out? No one is really quite sure.
One thing is certain, along with Disney, Epcot, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, the Everglades, and many others, Florida visitors can add disaster tourism to the list. Oh yeah, and let us not forget about Rick Scott and George Zimmerman.