There is a restaurant, not far from my home, that was offering a Thanksgiving dinner for $8.00. Since my room mate was spending the day with his family and I had no desire to make a dinner for one I toddled over there. I figured “How bad could it be?” Just asking that question provides an answer. A gravy covered plate with alleged meat by products drowning in it arrived five minutes before my salad. Also swimming in the gravy pool was a mashed potato ball and some stuffing. Off to the side was some corn. Just to prove I was in a classy joint there was also a slice of tomato stuck in the mashed potato ball. Normally this would have caused me to complain loudly but I just wasn’t in the mood. And I’m not sure who I could have complained to anyway since the only person there, outside the cook, appeared to be my waitress and it took me four attempts to get her to get me a glass of water. Attention to detail was not her strong suit. Since the whole scene bordered on the surreal I decided to just enjoy it. I’m glad I did. I sat there and picked at my food as one misfit toy after another strolled through the door. Some made the fun assumption that the white people in the room didn’t speak Spanish. While my Spanish isn’t fluent, it was more than enough for the whimsical profanities that were getting bandied about. And I learned something about one young lady’s sexual preferences that I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t want to read about on Facebook. All of which made the meal worthwhile.
As I’ve noted before, Thanksgiving is the red headed step child of holidays. It was the exclusive cause of Sarah Josepha Hale. She was the author of Mary Had a Little Lamb and a couple of anti-slavery books. She also wrote regularly for the Boston Women’s Magazine, wherein she championed the holiday. She had petitioned presidents Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan to no avail. When she petitioned Lincoln he was kind of busy, what with the whole War Between the States and all. Still he needed something positive to share with the nation and this was about as safe as safe could be. So he set aside the last Thursday in November for the date. Had he known then trouble that would cause later he might have just said the hell with it. Except for Mrs. Hale it isn’t like there was really anyone clamoring for the thing.
But, the end result is that we got Thanksgiving. And, since it’s here we may as well be thankful. Here at the World News Center there is one thing we are thankful for; Florida. And it turns out that I’m not alone. Huffington Post has offered up this Thanksgiving missive.
Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on the good things in life and for the staff writers at HuffPost Weird News, the thing we’re most thankful is the state of Florida.
For whatever reason, the Sunshine State has been the cure for many a slow news day. Even if things are normal in all the other 49 states (and Puerto Rico), Florida is there to provide.
Take Olawale Ayodeji Agbede, 22, of Brandon, Fla., who was arrested earlier this week for spanking a police horse on its rear.
The alleged horse spanking took place around 2 a.m. Sunday morning in Gainesville, Fla. Officials said they saw Agbede hit “Rusty” the police horse four times on its rump, Gainesville.com reported.
Agbede was arrested after a short chase and he told authorities that he hit Rusty twice because he was afraid the horse was about to knock him over. He now faces charges of striking or interfering with a police animal.
Meanwhile, officials in Jacksonville, Fla. are asking for the public’s help identifying a burglar, who has been responsible for two recent dollar store robberies, WJXT-TV reported.
In one robbery, the thrifty thief stole four cans of Axe body spray from a Dollar General outlet by smashing the front window. He used the same M.O. to steal a package of Soft Batch cookies from a Family Dollar store.
Those two bizarre crimes are just the tip of the iceberg of what has been an exceptionally fruitful week for Weird Florida fanatics.
Melissa Miller, 41, was arrested earlier this week for doing 100 mph in a 30 mph zone. She told the cops who pulled her over that she “… was letting the Lord spirit [sic] guide me,” and claimed she banged the car horn long and hard because of “the Lord telling me to do it.”
In addition, Roger Alan Henderson was arrested after he urinated on a police car. The cop who pulled him over did so by mistake, and was about to let him go, until he noticed the yellow liquid dripping off the vehicle. Then Henderson got popped for indecent exposure.
Florida became a weird news hotbed in the late 1990s, early 2000s and Florida historian Gary Mormino jokes tectonics may play a role.
“The rationale used to be that America tilted toward the west and all the nuts rolled to California,” Mormino, a history professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, told AOL Weird News in 2011. “Now, perhaps, there’s been a tectonic shift and America tilts toward the southeast.”
They forgot to mention Henry Ramos who offered the new defense that wife beating was legal and all men did it. He was very surprised when the cops and, later, the judge disagreed with him.
Of course, as a native Floridian, you can see how me might get confused. Florida’s schools have consistently ranked in the bottom 25% of the nation. That’s easy to believe when you find out that they used to teach kids, as recently as 2010, that drinking bleach could prevent AIDS.
So, thank you Florida for all you give to us. You truly serve a higher purpose …. as a warning sign for civilization.
Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG (FOX! Sports) every Friday around 9:10 AM.