Elmore Leonard died this week. The internationally famous crime novelist was the master of the terse phrase. No florid, purple, prose for him or his characters. Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News once said “The next best thing to reading Elmore Leonard is re-reading him.” So, in his honor (Elmore’s, not Mike’s), I’m going to keep things brief yet, hopefully, interesting. This week a variety of news stories have hit my desk that have left me kind of baffled. They all featured headlines that seemed to require no further story. Or, like “HEADLESS BODY FOUND IN TOPLESS BAR” require so much additional information as to render the headline useless. Still, you have to admit, you’re curious. What will shock absolutely no one is that all of today’s headlines come from Florida. So, without further ado, let’s take a peek at the Sunshine state.

Naked, one-legged man collapsed, died after rock-throwing ruckus, deputies said

God, Florida is just the gift that keeps on giving. In case you care, 55-year-old Norbert A. Chabannes was trying to rob homes in broad daylight by crawling across people’s lawns and throwing bricks at their windows. He died because he cut an artery on a piece of broken glass.

Samurai sword-wielding, knife-throwing man lost it over missing can of shrimp

Jayson Laughman, 34, is our wannabe ninja. He was upset at being accused of stealing a can of shrimp. That sentence may be the 3rd most white trash thing I’ve ever written. Even WalMart is too upscale to sell canned shrimp.

Oh, he’s in jail.

Search for Venice beach flasher leads to arrest of yet another beach flasher

You can see this happening in Venice Beach California. That is the home of the terminally weird. Venice Florida is the home of a major craft festival. It’s where old people go to die. So I guess it won’t surprise you to learn that the first flasher they busted was 76 years old. The one they were looking for was also old. They got him later that day.

Those are wrinkles you’ll never unsee.

Deputies: Flasher busted at post office

As has been noted here before, Florida seem to attract flashers. There must be some sort of deviant magnet that only they are drawn to. I do have to share this bit of brilliant journalism with you from the story.

… they spotted Doy Goss Thomas, a 65-year-old Pinetta resident, standing next to his truck in the post office’s parking area, exposing his ‘package of junk mail” to customers as they left the building …

I wonder how long the writer has been waiting to use that line. And, given that it’s Florida, how he didn’t manage to use it sooner.

Cops: Key West tourist yelled racial slurs, gave Nazi salutes

He’s from Ohio. Just so you know that not all the crazies are from Florida. Like all racists, he’s a big, tough, guy. Read below for further elucidation.

As the officer handcuffed Schaub and walked him to the patrol car, the self-described “Hitler Nazi” allegedly began to cry and accused the other men of making comments in order to provoke him to fight, according to police.

The big nasty Negroes made him feel bad. They were breathing his air and stuff. What other responses were appropriate?

The bonus is that his lovely wife was so drunk she couldn’t tell cops where her husband was hiding. Cops found him in the bedroom of his hotel room.

Inmates busted for smuggling ‘heroin in a breath strip’ into jail under stamps

This was actually working until one inmate, clearly fiending for a fix, started begging for his mail. That would be the mail that had the heroin hidden under each stamp. That prison officials found. That led to numerous arrests.

Busted: Couple who used young boy to steal, cops said

Memo to people who want to try this at home; Hooters has cameras in every location and 10 year old kids stick out like sore thumbs in a place known for nothing but boobs and wings.

Sure, they’re nice boobs, but they still don’t blend with 10 year old boys.

So there you have it. Since we can’t saw Florida off and let it float away, I guess we’ll just have to enjoy it from afar.

The farther afar the better.

Caged Animals : ‘All the Beautiful Things In The World’ (NSFW) from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

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