Do you know Florida Man? He’s not a real person, in fact he has occasionally been female. Florida man is a running joke, an internet meme that started back in 2013 because so many news stories about outrageously stupid acts began with “Florida man….” Now they even sell T-shirts and he has his own website. Today Florida man epitomizes any random, weird, dumb or astonish stupid act that makes the news.

The Hunted Girls

The Hunted Girls

Though I occasionally object to the jokes cast on Florida by the rest of the country, it is hard to argue with headlines like these, all within the last year.

1. Florida Man Breaks into Home Sucks on Sleeping Man’s Toes—January 7, 2020 This intruder did more than break into a Bradenton man’s home. The story gets less amusing when you learn the intruder woke the man, claimed to be armed and attempted to fondle the resident. The pair fought, and the intruder fled.

2. Florida Man Sets Hospital Bed on Fire to Get Nurse’s Attention—February 28, 2020 He used a red Bic lighter, according to police, because the nurses refused to bring him his clothing. He then used the fire and ensuing chaos to attempt an escape. He caught, detained, and later jailed, but at least he got his clothes.

3. Florida Man Calls 911 Multiple Times Asking Deputies to Bring Him Ice Cream & Liquor—April 28, 2020 This guy called 911 and when police arrived, he pointed to a twenty-dollar bill and asked them to run to the store for supplies. Instead, they warned him. But he called again the following day, this time demanding ice cream and liquor so they arrested him. Amazing what alcohol will do to your short-term memory.

4. Florida Man Drives Lawnmower on Highway—August 11, 2020 Did you guess he was driving under the influence? The charges included going below the speed limit. Why was he using a mower to get home? Well, he has neither a car, nor a license, of course!

5. Naked Florida Man Steals Cop Car Crashes into Wooded Area—January 21, 2020 Officer responding to an unconscious man found one that was suddenly conscious and combative. He reached the police cruiser, driving off before veering from the highway and into an innocent tree.

6. Florida Man Receives Lifetime Disney Ban (after quarantining on Disney’s Discovery Island) May 4, 2020 While Disney was closed, a Florida Man self-quarantined on Disney’s Discovery Island in a “tropical paradise” until he was spotted by security. His paradise turned into trespassing charges and a lifetime ban from the most magical place on earth.

And my favorite… a positive Florida Man story…

7. Florida Man Rescues Puppy from Alligator—September 20, 2020

If you haven’t seen the video footage of this rescue, you must. When a four-foot gator snatched his tiny Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy from the banks of a lake, the dog’s owner jumped into the lake, lifted the alligator’s head from the water and pried its jaws open, rescuing his dog, Gunner. Best of all, he did not blame the alligator for doing what gators do. His dog has made a full recovery, so everyone but the alligator is satisfied.

Though I haven’t used Florida Man in my recent release, The Hunted Girls, I enjoy all the trouble he gets into and am always impressed at what happens when you mix drugs, alcohol, and brutally hot weather.

I’m sure people all around the world commit acts combining outrageous stupidity and a complete lack of foresight. But to be a Florida Man, you must live here.

About Jenna Kernan 

Publishers Weekly bestselling author Jenna Kernan is a two-time RITA nominee and winner of the Book Buyers’ Best award. Prior to signing with Bookouture, she published over thirty novels including her popular APACHE PROTECTOR series, and is a member of numerous writing groups, including International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Florida Mystery Writers and Novelists, Inc. and frequently attends conferences on police procedure at the Writers Police Academy and MurderCon. Jenna currently lives on Florida’s Gulf Coast with her husband. A natural redhead, she has recently increased her sunblock to SPF 50.

RELATED: Seven of my writing day rituals by Sarah A. Denzil, author of Stolen Girl

Sometimes I light a candle. There’s something particularly soothing about a good candle. You can match the candle to your book, too. For a book I set in the Carpathian Mountains, I chose a candle with an earthy, forest scent. For a domestic thriller, an indulgent mocha or a cinnamon bun scent could transport you into your character’s world...

Tagged in