It dawned on me today that sometime last month I had an anniversary. I’ve now lived in Florida for ten years. Like most people in Florida and California, I’m from Somewhere Else. Being from Somewhere Else gives you the right to tout the good stuff about your state, and disclaim the rest. As in, Hey I’m not from here! It’s not my fault!
If states were ranked by the number of crazies in it, Florida would be up there somewhere at least in the top 20, and Dave Barry of the Miami Herald does a good job of reporting on the crazies in Miami. But, you have to remember that Miami is in “South Florida”, which is technically a different state than “Central Florida” or “North Florida”. Which is along the same lines of New Orleans being a different state than Louisiana, New York City being a different state than New York, and Chicago being a different state than Illinois.
Speaking of Illinois, I am voting it in a dead tie with Louisiana for craziest politics. (New York is a distant third.) For craziest overall, I still have to go with Wisconsin, where people routinely wear hats that look like wedges of Swiss cheese. Not to mention they once elected a pro wrestler as governor. Or was that Minnesota? I routinely get my Midwestern states confused, except for Iowa where I used to live, briefly. Don’t even ask me to point out Michigan on a map.
And now for the news from Florida. Our Governor, Charlie Crist (Governor Charlie as we all like to call him) announced this week that he is running for the U.S. Senate, even before he finishes his first term as governor. Governor Charlie is extraordinarily popular, with approval ratings (depending on which poll you look at) somewhere in the 70% range–higher than Obama, in any case. And this, in spite of not having done anything I can think of. But he’s very photogenic, and he talks good, as we say here in North Florida.
Governor Charlie is fond of calling himself The People’s Governor. He is fond of saying “the people are the boss”. He calls the Governor’s Mansion “The People’s House”. (To which one letter writer to the local newspaper said, if he doesn’t stop saying that, I’m showing up one night with my blankie and my pajamas.)
As far as I’m concerned, you can go ahead and start calling him Senator Charlie. Or as one pundit put it, If he runs, he wins. Did I mention he’s a Republican? Kinda, sorta. The Republicans aren’t fond of him, especially since he appeared onstage with Obama in Fort Myers, and also took the stimulus money–unlike his “principled” colleagues in say, Louisiana and South Carolina.
In other Florida news, today’s newspaper reported that a woman in Melbourne is suing a pet cemetary. When her squirrel monkey, Mighty, died of cancer in 1994, he was buried in this cemetary and she became so upset by the condition of the grounds that she had his remains moved. Now she is suing the owner of the pet cemetary for the cost of the original burial and the cost of moving Mighty’s remains to the tune of $500. The cemetary owner says she was unreasonable, expecting him to clean up immediately after several hurricanes in 2004 and expecting him to mow the grass weekly.
Well, you know, it’s very hard to commune with the spirit of your dead monkey when you have to wade through knee-high grass which might be full of snakes, chiggers, mosquitos, and poisonous toads. This is Florida. And did I mention? I’m not from here.