In South Florida, superhero is a sarcastic euphemism for loser. The Top 10 list of "Florida Man" superheroes proves the point.
For the unaware, @_FloridaMan is a popular Twitter feed that commemorates actions worthy of inclusion in its fictional “Department of Chaos.” The feed has 42,000 followers who chomp at the bit for the next account of stupefying weirdness, made even more bizarre by all occurring in the confines of South Florida.
Topping the Top 10 Florida Man list is Joshua James, who was jailed after throwing an illegally obtained Everglades alligator from his pickup truck through the drive-in window of a Wendy’s restaurant. No restaurant employees were reportedly injured and the alligator lived to snap another day. For his part, James was unable to explain why the alligator was in his vehicle or why he inexplicably chucked it through a drive-in window.
There isn’t yet a Top 10 Florida Woman list, but a leading candidate is a Dania Beach woman who pulled a knife on a man in a Dollar Store checkout line because he refused to stop farting. There could be a Top 10 Florida Animal list, too. A Pensacola puppy put his paw on the trigger of a pistol and shot a man who was using the gun to shoot a litter of seven puppies.
Reptiles play a prominent role in Florida Man incidents. A reptile store owner swung a bearded dragon overhead and hit an employee in the face. An unknown apartment dweller tied a 12-foot alligator to a tree with a parachute cord and then fed it neighborhood cats. He fled before being charged with animal cruelty.
Fire and knives are another common obsession of Florida Man superheroes. Cannibal Corpse guitarist Patrick O’Brien broke into a neighbor’s house, pushed an occupant to the ground and brandished a knife. O’Brien was on fire after escaping his own house which was burning with the assistance of death metal flamethrowers.
A naked man in Cape Coral danced in a fire brandishing a knife to ward off firemen and police officers trying to rescue him.
A man dressed in a pirate costume fired muskets at cars on a bridge in the Florida Keys. His occupation at the time was wearing a pirate costume and carrying a musket.
An obviously hungry man gnawed the wrist of his girlfriend after they argued en route to a Taco Bell.
A teenager plucked a stuffed horse toy off a shelf in a Walmart, headed to the bedding department, proceeded to pleasure himself and then returned the impregnated horse to where he found it.
Those are just the top 10 Florida Man stories. Others include a Pensacola man who threatened his own family in a four-hour standoff with police over a slice of pizza. A Florida man was arrested for domestic battery after he threw a hard cookie that hit his girlfriend in the head. A homeless South Florida man was charged with stabbing a tourist with a scissors held by his feet. A man covered in ketchup was arrested after yelling profanities at passersby. A man called 911 after he was unable to take his cat into a strip club. A restaurant was forced to end its “bring your monkey night” promotion after an eight-year-old boy was bitten by, you guessed it, a hungry monkey.
The Florida Man story that Miami Herald reporter Howard Cohen likes the most involved a man in custody for auto theft. Upon his release, the suspect tried to heist a car in the police department parking lot. He failed to notice a police officer was in the car that he tried to steal.
Needless to say, Florida Man accounts aren't regularly shared by South Florida chambers of commerce. They just assume you know what you’re in for when you come there.
So, a word to the wise, watch out for flying gators, pizza slices, exploding flamethrowers and hard cookies.