I recently celebrated a birthday and part of that was spent scouring the Internet for free stuff and perks like getting a pass from the city to publicly urinate. Instead, I found something almost as disturbing and fun, The Florida Man Challenge.
The idea behind the challenge is many of the crazy headlines that get national attention normally come out of Florida — there’s so many, in fact, that people are challenged to find such a headline that was published on their birthday.
To take part in the challenge, all you have to do is type “Florida man” followed by your birthday in an online search engine to see what kind of Florida man or woman you are.
Such results include headlines like, “Florida Man Shot Over Argument Whether Florida Or Ohio Strip Clubs Are Better,” “Naked Florida Man Revealed On Video Sneaking Into Restaurant And Munching On Ramen,” “Wearing Only A Bra, Florida Woman Rams Car Into Boyfriend’s Truck,” “Naked Florida Man Sets House on Fire,” and “Florida Woman Crashes Car Into Tree, Jumps In River, Takes Off Clothes”.
By those examples, the two things you can say about Floridians is that they’re trendsetters and they like getting naked.
Take, for example, a recent Associated Press story of a Florida man who burglarized a little-league concession stand and was naked except for a ball cap and gloves.
The burglar in the buff stole cameras, a cash box and caused $5,000 in damage and also stole a pack of hotdogs — you folks go and make up your own jokes because the rule of decency is preventing me from writing my own.
The article says the man committed the crime two weeks ago, but police were still unable to identify the suspect, and that’s because I suspect that suspect is a genius.
Think about it for a second and then add several more seconds. Every time someone robs something or someone, an eye witness is asked to give a description. They may say something about the suspect’s gender, skin color, hair color, eye color, if they stride like a gazelle on the plains of Africa, etc., but take it from a guy who’s written up a few hundred police reports in his day; it seems that the police always ID the suspect by the clothes matching the eye-witness description.
It’s important to keep in mind that when you’re naked, people aren’t intentionally going to focus on your face because the brain needs to confirm that a naked person is, indeed, naked. So, like it or not, you’re gonna look down.
Also, unless the burglary happened around a nude beach, a naked person isn’t going to be strolling around after a crime took place.
If you’re naked for almost any reason, odds are you’ll be sprinting somewhere.
So it stands to reason that the eye witnesses will have some difficulty in giving an accurate description of what they saw.
COP: Was it a man?
WITNESS: Oh, yes, officer, I couldn’t be any surer of that.
COP: What else can you tell me?
WITNESS: Uh…he was quite a man?
Even if the police are fairly certain they rounded up the right suspects for the lineup, there’s no way a witness can say for certain whom they saw unless everyone in the lineup drops their drawers, which would invite a slew of lawsuits…or law-slewts?
Even if a nude police lineup would happen, it would be an exercise in pure hilarity.
COP: Look at this lineup and tell us if you see the man who burglarized the concession stand.
WITNESS: Hmm...Number One is not the right—you know—shape…Number Two is a woman, so that’s a no...umm…can Number Three run in place while holding a package of hotdogs?
Anyway, coming back to the Florida Man Challenge, the initial disappointment comes from having only one birthday so you can only do it one time.
However, don’t be disappointed because it’s not just Florida that has its share of nutty criminal masterminds. In fact, feel free to type (Any State) Man or Woman and then enter your birthday and find some story of someone defying the law and logic.
You might find “Utah Woman Asks To ‘Smoke A Bowl’ Before Going To Jail For Being Drunk On Mouthwash,” “California Man Tried To Burn Down Neighbor’s House To Get Rid Of Ghosts,” “Nebraska Woman Charged With Incest After Marrying Her Biological Father,” and you may even see, “Pennsylvania Man Uses Fake ‘Public Urination’ Pass On His Birthday While Wearing Birthday Suit.”
I heard they still haven’t caught that last guy.
According to Hofmann is written by staff reporter Mark Hofmann of Rostraver Township. His book, “Stupid Brain,” is available on Amazon.com.