Florida Man, or Woman, never ceases to amaze

Point of No Return

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Florida Man! And, chances are, Florida Man is doing something that will make you cringe, laugh or become overwhelmed with instant nausea. And sometimes, all those things happen at once.

You’ve seen the headlines. We’ve all seen them, and they typically begin with “Florida man arrested for...” or “Florida man found naked while...” or “Florida man in pink tutu and overalls steals...” They almost always involve something straight from the closing monologue of “The Jerry Springer Show,” — which I personally believe was canceled after 27 years because people now have access to “Florida Man” stories all over the internet.

I have some happy news to report, folks. Florida Man is getting with the times, and now being a little more inclusive. While skimming some headlines on Foxnews.com the other day, I found this gem: “Florida woman leads police on hours-long chase through Big Lots ceiling after allegedly trying to shoplift.”

Well, hello.

According to the article, Kristina Perkins, 37, was in a Port Charlotte Big Lots store for several hours on Thursday, Oct. 3, before she “entered the women’s restroom with a shopping cart full of merchandise.”

The store manager, understandably wary of this behavior, reportedly tried to check on Perkins, but found the door was barricaded by several garbage cans, according to the story. The manager then informed Perkins that the proverbial jig was up (I’ve waited 50 years to type that the “jig was up”) and that police were on the way.

The door was eventually breached, and they found ceiling tiles missing. Police reportedly spotted Perkins “several times by removing tile from various points in the ceiling,” and the chase apparently lasted for six hours.

If the theme song from “Benny Hill” wasn’t played on an endless loop over the store speakers during this pursuit, a remarkable opportunity was missed.

Perkins was reportedly arrested around 1:40 a.m., when she was caught climbing down from the ceiling using a stack of shelves, thus ending one of the most intense games of Whac-A-Mole known to man. She was charged with felony criminal mischief, petit theft, possession of drug paraphernalia (the police allegedly found in her purse three syringes and a spoon that tested positive for morphine residue), resisting a merchant, and resisting law enforcement without violence.

Equality, folks. That’s what we’re seeing here. No longer is “Florida Man” strictly for the inferior gender. It has spread itself out to “Florida Person,” which means twice the opportunities for entertainment!

Of course, it’s always wise to pay homage to history, and this story got me searching for some of the best “Florida Man” stories. Lo and behold, friends, I found a site. A wonderful site. A site that earns the envy of all other sites.

FloridaMan.com.

Yes, indeed, there it is — a string of stories featuring the notorious Florida Man in all his glory, all just a click away. What a world we live in when someone can access this trove of oddball stories wherever and whenever the urge arises. My friends, let me share just a few samples.

• “Florida Man tries to get alligator drunk, gets bitten.” For starters, yes, they do capitalize “Florida Man” in every mention, which makes me even happier. Also, let’s hear it for 27-year-old Timothy Kepke, who poured beer into an alligator’s mouth while his buddy recorded it. The alligator apparently bit him on the arm, as mean drunks tend to do, and it was released. Am I alone, or were we all rooting for the alligator to take a swipe at Florida Man in this case?

• “Florida Man carjacker arrested because he can’t drive stick.” You know, there’s just far too little craftsmanship these days. If you are going to enter a trade, you should learn the skills required to ply said trade. According to this story, Jaelyn Alexander attempted to carjack a vehicle at an Orlando intersection, and quickly discovered that he couldn’t make it, you know, go, because it had a manual transmission. He stole another car, but police were able to catch up with him fairly quickly. I swear we could cripple half our population by making manual transmissions and cursive writing mandatory.

• “Florida Man tries to steal 26 cars from jail parking lot just after being released.” Yes, Dennis Libonati was reportedly caught on surveillance video trying to break into 26 different vehicles in the jail parking lot moments after being released from said jail. Among his targeted vehicles, reportedly, were two sheriff’s office vehicles and an ATV used by deputies. He was arrested and taken back to the same jail he had been in since March, according to police. So, yeah, I guess he has that going for him?

• “Florida Man with cocaine on his nose tells cops it’s not his.” I did the research for you on this one. He was talking about the cocaine, not his nose. I was a little confused at first.

By Darin J. McCann
Executive Editor