South Florida’s out-of-control “Oxy Express”; pill mills run willy-nilly

I don’t know that I have ever seen a more startling statistic than this:

Doctors in Florida prescribe 10 times more oxycodone pills than every other state in the country combined.

That’s right; a state with 6.1 percent of the population accounts for over 90 percent of its oxycodone prescriptions. The rest of the country’s pharmacies would need to jack out their output by a factor of about 150 in order to keep the other 49 states in step with Florida in this dubious regard. Even by the standards of the most comprehensively ludicrous state in the nation –Florida is to the rest of America what the Insane Clown Posse is to pop music — that is dumbfounding.

Rather than opine further, I leave you with NPR’s story and Carl Hiaasen’s column about the issue, which centers on a truculent governor named Rick Scott who, prior to being elected, amassed his personal fortune as the head of a healthcare company that last year proved responsible for the most egregious Medicare fraud ever perpetrated. Hiaasen warned voters of the menace in their midst prior to the gubernatorial election last fall, and true to form, they elected Scott anyway. After Scott won, Hiaasen again predicted serious problems, and the oxycodone mayhem is only the first.

Life again imitates Carl Hiaasen’s art (or, Facebook claims another victim)

When I first happened across Carl Hiaasen’s offbeat and wildy entertaining mysteries, I assumed that in concocting his characters the longtime Miami Herald columnist was drawing on his experiences as a journalist and exaggerating what he had seen. I was half right; having since spent a few years as a resident of South Florida, I now understand that if anything Hiassen tones down his adaptations from the real world in order to make his fiction more believable.

One of Hiaasen’s novels–all of which are set in his home state–mentions, in passing, a center on a high-school basketball team who, unbeknownst to his opponents if not his coach and teammates, is 27 years old. Now out of Tampa comes this story: Continue reading “Life again imitates Carl Hiaasen’s art (or, Facebook claims another victim)”

Wilma turns four

As a New England native, I’ve lived through a number of ice storms, but nothing so terrifying as Hurricane Wilma, which struck Florida four years ago this weekend in the fall of 2005.

I’d already been introduced to Florida’s destructive potential. I first moved to the state, to a town just west of Fort Lauderdale, in August of 2004, right before four storms hit within a period of a month or so–Charley (which did most of its damage on the West Florida coast), Frances, Ivan (which ripped apart Grand Cayman Island and was more of an Alabama storm than a Florida one), and Jeanne. Frances and Jeanne hit land at almost the exact same place, near Stuart, halfway up the coast. We lost power for a short spell owing to Frances and Jeanne. I had to wonder, loudly, why anyone would willingly live in that state, but I was following a girlfriend at the time, so what did I know?

Wilma was far more destructive. By then, in the dubiously record-setting hurricane year of 2005, we (the dog, the girlfriend, and myself) had moved north a bit into Palm Beach County, to the infamously betitted city of Boca Raton. Hurricane Katrina had already done its thing in August, passing mostly through Key West en route to its terrible destination in Louisiana. (I rarely went to the beach during my whole stay in Florida, but was always fascinated by the phenomenon of parasailers, so I was right there off A1A when Katrina hit, watching apparently mindless people fly high into the air.)

Several days before Wilma hit the state, I was extended an offer by a friend across the state to stay there for the duration of what promised to be a devastating event. My girlfriend, enrolled at classes at the time and with family in the area, had no interest in going anywhere. So I figured, fuck it, the building is up to code (not something one can always count on in South Florida), and we’ll ride it out.

On the morning of October 24th, I think it was, the storm–already recorded as the strongest ever in the Atlantic basin–washed ashore near Naples, on the Gulf Coast. It didn’t take long for the hurricane to cross the state and draw a bead on Boca Raton, which was exactly what the NOAA had been predicting for days. I was up all night waiting for this shit to happen, and got a call from my dad at roughly 6:30 that morning. He was tracking the storm online and saw that Boca was about to get nailed. I managed to correspond with him for about 10 minutes, until the power predictably blew out, followed in short order by my cell phone (at the time I was a T-mobile client, and we lost all service, although I’m not sure what difference being a subscriber to this particular provider made).

At about 7 a.m., things got nasty. I’d been listening to the winds picking up outside without necessarily giving it a lot of consideration, other than the damned dog’s endless pacing (bedroom? Living room? Bedroom? Living room?). Then the wind quickly got worse than any I’d ever experienced.

The world record for surface wind speed is 231 miles per hour, recorded 75 years ago on the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire during a gust that snapped the anenometer gauge, rendering the actual force of the blast open to question. Human bodies become obligatorily airborne at far slower speeds. Reported gusts during Wilma reached a “mere” 120 miles an hour (in nearby Pompano Beach), and that was enough. Our apartment building had all sorts of fake terra cotta (I think that’s the term) crap on top of it, and in the early morning that day, it was being torn off the roof and being blown into the driveway, with sounds resembling shotgun blasts. For some reason, the woman next door had chosen to park in the space my girlfriend ordinarily did. She got a young banyan tree on her Honda’s roof for her trouble.

By 8:30 I, having been up all night, had had enough, and went to sleep myself, next to a deeply troubled German Shepherd mix and a girlfriend who seemed remarkably unconcerned. (I recall sleeping to the left and on top of them both in the event the window blew in, unlikely as the prospect may have been.) This was more or less at the height of the storm, but as our power had been lost by that stage, I was no longer keeping good track.

I woke up at around 12:30, by which time the hurricane had come and gone. We (the three of us) went outside into an uncommonly cool, dry day. I immediately saw that every hanging traffic light in the city within visual range was on the ground, a finding later confirmed and expanded during a drive around town. Power poles had been abundantly sheared off at their base. I thought about playing Mr. Rogers and taking one of those light complexes into my apartment, but there were at least two problems with this: 1) I couldn’t have wired any of those bad boys up given the damage, and 2) those fuckers are a lot bigger than they look when they’re dangling a couple dozen feet off the ground.

A quick survey of the immediate and nearby neighborhoods offered further ugliness. A row of 12-15 newspaper boxes had been toppled. A couple of airplane hangars at the Boca Raton Airport had been crumpled as if they had been made of aluminum foil, which they may well have been. Fallen trees blocked virtually every major intersection. On a run that afternoon (don’t ask), I saw a sign that had been torn off an overpass on Palmetto Park Drive and planted itself in the median strip. Those fucking things are also bigger than you think. This sign had to be 25 feet wide and must have weighed…a lot. It was stuck by one corner in the grass, and the force responsible for ripping it off the bridge isn’t something I like to consider. There were wires, most but not all them dead, on the ground, several offering a congratulatory hiss to idiots intent on getting a run in that day.

It would be two weeks before we would get our power back, although a local Publix supermarket opened only two days after Wilma blazed through the city.

South of us, where Colleen’s parents live, the damage was worse. Being
on the southern lip of a hurricane is never good, since winds travel counterclockwise and are therefore additive in an eastward-moving storm at such locations. Broward County was, as a result, very heavily smacked. Several of Fort Lauderdale’s larger buildings were hugely damaged; Colleen’s parents’ yard, including their pool and its caging, was more or less destroyed.


One Financial Plaza in Fort Lauderdale after Wilma

The city of Miami was mostly spared–this time. When a Saffir-Simpson Class 5 windstorm hits South Florida and its six million residents–and it’s only a matter of time–it will make Katrina’s impact look like a fouled-off fastball. There are only three real escape routes from the area (I-95 to the north, I-75 to the west, and Florida’s Turnpike) and people are generally too stupid to use them anyway.

All told, Wilma killed close to 60 people in Florida and caused close to $21 billion in damage.

21 polo horses doped to death in Florida

This is one of the more revolting stories I’ve seen in a long time.
In spite of my connections to endurance sports, I’m not a fan of the combined horse racing-polo scene (yes, I realize these are two different forms of exploitation, and don’t get me started on dog racing), and this is as unfathomable as it is infuriating.

The head of a Tallahassee-based pharmacy admitted Thursday that it incorrectly mixed a medication that was given to 21 horses that mysteriously collapsed and died before a polo match over the weekend.
Jennifer Beckett, chief operations officer for Franck’s Pharmacy, said an internal investigation revealed the strength of an ingredient in the medication was flawed. In a written statement, she did not name the medication or the ingredient involved.
”We will cooperate fully with the authorities as they continue their investigations,” she wrote. “Because of the ongoing investigations, we cannot discuss further details about this matter at this time.”
The news came as the politically-connected Venezuelan multimillionaire who owns the 21 horses indicated he suspects his team’s own veterinarian may have played a role in the deaths of some of the polo ponies, according to a letter from a Philadelphia lawyer.

The compound in question is a substitute for Biodyl, a vitamin supplement that is banned in the U.S. and contains vitamin B, selenium, potassium and magnesium–at least in theory. I am wondering if the horses, all of which perished within four hours of receiving the medication, died of cardiac arrest from the potassium. But magnesium poisoning is nothing to mess with either, and who knows what was actually in this drug.
I wouldn’t go purchasing stock in Franck’s Pharmacy of Ocala and Tallahassee, Florida anytime soon. It’s not clear from the article whether the team vet was in fact complicit in any way; he can’t necessarily be held accountable (although legally he might be ) for the pharmacy frigging up the formulation.
Bizarre, and very sad.

Hiaasen lights up the Florida legislature

And it figures that his voice of opposition is from the one place I refuse to live even under penalty of death:

In particular, Bogdanoff worries about the impact that a cigarette tax would have on convenience stores — not exactly the bedrock of our economy, but these are the establishments where most young smokers buy their Marlboros and Camels.
”Twenty-two percent of all sales in convenience stores are cigarettes,” Bogdanoff said. “We need to look at everything. If they don’t go in to buy cigarettes, they don’t buy the Coke. They don’t buy the chips.”
And if they don’t buy the chips, then they don’t buy the beef jerky! God help us!
The citizens of Broward County should feel proud to have a representative who bravely stands up for capitalism at all costs and says to hell with the public’s health.

Maybe Florida needs a bestiality law after all

First there was this. After that comes a woman from Sarasota County who has a thing for child pornography. Then, things get really strange:

Sarasota County Deputies have arrested a woman who videotaped herself having sex with two dogs.
Deputies say Caroline Willette videotaped herself having sex with two dogs and watching child pornography with a friend.
The 53-year-old gave a CD with the images to an acquaintance, who turned it over to police. Willette is in Sarasota County Jail and is charged with three counts of possessing child porn.
Willette admitted to detectives that she had sex with the animals in her home and watched young girls perform sex acts on the Internet.

Ms. Willette may be the kind of person who, in personal ads, describes herself as “adventurous,” “an animal lover,” and “a film buff.” In any event, I wouldn’t want to be the judge in this case, and I’d want to be the presently unnamed “friend” even less.

Florida lawmakers honking to criminalize sex with animals

As Carl Hiaasen reports, Florida legislators are reintroducing a 2006 bill that would make bestilaity a third-degree felony, punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

The cry for justice first arose from the small Panhandle community of Mossy Head, where in 2006 a 48-year-old man was suspected of abducting a neighbor family’s pet goat and accidentally strangling it with its collar during a sex act.
I wish I were making this up, but the story is true. The poor goat’s name was Meg.tors have re-introduced a bill drafted a couple of years ago that would make bestiality a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

It’s hardly draconian to have laws on the books keeping people from screwing animals; the consequences can, after all, obviously be fatal and constitute cruelty in any case. But this sort of thing emphasizes how lovably clueless some elected officials can be in Florida.

[T]he discussion among lawmakers of this rather delicate topic already has provided a few uncomfortable moments.
As [state senator Nan] Rich’s bill was being amended to make sure that some common animal-husbandry practices were exempt, Sen. Larcenia Bullard of Miami spoke up in puzzlement.
”People are taking these animals as their husbands? What’s husbandry?” she inquired.
The committee chairman, Sen. Charlie Dean of Citrus County, patiently explained that animal husbandry was a term used for the rearing and care of domestic animals.
Still, Bullard appeared confused.
”So that maybe was the reason the lady was so upset about that monkey?” she asked, an apparent reference to the recent incident in which a pet chimpanzee was shot by Connecticut police after it went berserk and mauled a visitor.

And from the “only in Florida” department:

As fervently as we might hope otherwise, the goat-sex attack in Mossy Head wasn’t an isolated incident. Rich says other disturbing acts against animals have been reported throughout the state, including the molestation of a horse in the Keys and of a seeing-eye dog in Tallahassee.
The latter case involved a 29-year-old blind man who four years ago was charged with ”breach of the peace” after admitting to police that he had sex on numerous occasions with a yellow Labrador named Lucky, his guide dog.

Lucky, my ass.

How does $1 million in taxpayer money become $25.5 million overnight? Ask the Speaker of the Florida House

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A Florida politician–in this case a very high-ranking one–is in the middle of a you-feed-our-wallet-and-I’ll-feed-yours scandal in which the offenders didn’t even bother covering their tracks, so commonplace are such machinations in the most corrupt state government in the country.
Carl Hiaasen reports the story in his usual droll way, but I’ll summarize it in outline form:

Continue reading “How does $1 million in taxpayer money become $25.5 million overnight? Ask the Speaker of the Florida House”

Florida-U.S. Sugar deal: not that sweet for the Everglades after all?

On Monday, the U.S. Sugar Corporation agreed to the state of Florida’s offer buy 180,000 acres of its land for $1.34 billion. The move is aimed at helping restore what is left of the Everglades, and Gov. Charlie Crist has been crowing about it for months. But at this point, the deal looks like a much better one for U.S. Sugar than for fans of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP), now valued at $12 billion and surely growing.
Originally, the state planned to buy U.S. Sugar’s land and facilities for $1.75 bilion. But last month, those terms were changed. The agricultural giant got to keep its mill and rail lines, and under a $50-an-acre lease-back agreement–a coup for U.S. Sugar–product production will continue.
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), which administrates CERP, has until next Tuesday to agree to the terms and finalize the contract.
Here’s how this is all supposed to work:

Continue reading “Florida-U.S. Sugar deal: not that sweet for the Everglades after all?”

ACLU lauds Sarasota’s Muntz for fighting to right election wrongs

Florida has been recognized for almost a decade as a grim laughingstock when it comes to the reliability of its state and federal voting results, a status that government officials are apparently bent on retaining at the expense of trivial issues such as accountability, fairness, and honesty — traits that long ago fled the region on a giddy cloud of freewheeling and deeply institutionalized political corruption.
On May 17, the American Civil Liberties Union recognized Kindra Muntz, president of the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections, for her role in helping to ensure that all Florida elections conducted using electronic voting machines be accompanied by rigorous audits and meaningful paper trails.

Continue reading “ACLU lauds Sarasota’s Muntz for fighting to right election wrongs”

Red-shouldered hawk executed by firing squad

A professional golfer named Tripp Isenhour killed a protected species of hawk in Orlando with a hit ball on roughly his tenth try. Isenhour was upset that the bird was being noisy during the filming of a television show.

Brian Baine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer, wrote in a report that Isenhour first took aim at the bird when it was 300 yards away. After hitting balls at the bird and missing, he gave up, but only until the hawk was in a closer tree around 75 yards away when he allegedly said, “I’ll get him now,” and took aim. “About the sixth ball came very near the bird’s head and [Isenhour] was very excited that it was so close,” Baine wrote.
After a few shots Isenhour hit the hawk, and it fell to the ground bleeding from both nostrils.

Isenhour claims he was “mortified” and loves animals. He does own three cats that he got from an animal shelter, but apparently he’s taken lessons from them on how to treat birds.
There’s a reason some animals have to be named “protected” and not usually from each other. I’d like to see a judge hand down a particularly creative sentence to this asshole, like requiring him to clean up bird shit at Disney’s nearby Animal Kingdom every weekend, or worse, making him tour the park every day during peak hours.
Anyway, Florida continues to have greater concerns than one dingbat using a nine-iron as a musket and a fairway as a killing field. Last fall, the state toughened its rules regarding the “pay-and-bury” policy that has resulted in the “entombment” 0f 80,000 gopher tortoises since 1991, but the Florida Wildlife Commission remains a whore of the slowly foundering land development industry.

Red-shouldered hawk executed by firing squad

A professional golfer named Tripp Isenhour killed a protected species of hawk in Orlando with a hit ball on roughly his tenth try. Isenhour was upset that the bird was being noisy during the filming of a television show.

Brian Baine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer, wrote in a report that Isenhour first took aim at the bird when it was 300 yards away. After hitting balls at the bird and missing, he gave up, but only until the hawk was in a closer tree around 75 yards away when he allegedly said, “I’ll get him now,” and took aim. “About the sixth ball came very near the bird’s head and [Isenhour] was very excited that it was so close,” Baine wrote.
After a few shots Isenhour hit the hawk, and it fell to the ground bleeding from both nostrils.

Isenhour claims he was “mortified” and loves animals. He does own three cats that he got from an animal shelter, but apparently he’s taken lessons from them on how to treat birds.
There’s a reason some animals have to be named “protected” and not usually from each other. I’d like to see a judge hand down a particularly creative sentence to this asshole, like requiring him to clean up bird shit at Disney’s nearby Animal Kingdom every weekend, or worse, making him tour the park every day during peak hours.
Anyway, Florida continues to have greater concerns than one dingbat using a nine-iron as a musket and a fairway as a killing field. Last fall, the state toughened its rules regarding the “pay-and-bury” policy that has resulted in the “entombment” 0f 80,000 gopher tortoises since 1991, but the Florida Wildlife Commission remains a whore of the slowly foundering land development industry.

Sarasota Marathon winner disqualified

Since I’ve been writing about track athletes who cheat to gain an edge, it’s only fair to include mention of those who do so by non-pharmacological means. (Also, I happened to run the Sarasota Marathon myself; albeit this was “only” to keep a friend company, but it was the first time I completed a 26.2-mile race in over three years.)
Many, including those who don’t follow the sport, will recall the story of Rosie Ruiz, who in 1980 crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon ahead of all other women and and two and a half minutes in before the “runner-up,” Jackie Gareau of Canada. Despite video monitoring and suspicion among officials and competitors in the immediate aftermath, officials did not disqualify Ruiz, who apparently jumped into the field with her number on at crowded Kenmore Square near the 25-mile mark, until a week after the race. Since then, Ruiz has run afoul of the law on multiple occasions, once for embezzlement and another time for drug trafficking. As the butt of jokes, she is probably more of a household name than most genuine world-class runners will ever be.

Continue reading “Sarasota Marathon winner disqualified”

The Floridiocy Files: The Emerging Problem of Preppie Gangs in America

(As I’m unusually short on time lately, what follows is one of what I expect to be many recycled essays I’ll be posting in the days to come. Few of these will bring to bear on science, I’m afraid, and many will be complaints, but then that’s not much of a deviation from the norm. This one originally appeared on a blog called “Beck of the Pack” that dealt primarily with distance running, one of the least entertaining blog subjects out there.)
January 4, 2006
The subject line is the chapter title of a ponderous textbook I’m editing and proofing. I included it only because I found it amusing, but it does have some bearing on my running. After watching another cohort of privileged young troglodytes rip gaily through a stop sign while leaving a particular nearby apartment complex last night, I found myself wondering just what it is that makes South Florida’s drivers the worst in America. (I used to think Boston had the nation’s most malignant motorists, but it merely has its worst streets.) An unscientific yet reasoned analysis unearthed the following factors, sorted in decreasing level of contribution to the “worst driver” characteristic.

Continue reading “The Floridiocy Files: The Emerging Problem of Preppie Gangs in America”

The Floridiocy Files: A Real Bad Patch

Below is a post I made on a now-defunct blog nearly a year ago, when I was living in Boca Raton and anticipating the arrival of the inaugural A1A Marathon in Fort Lauderdale. The race was originally slated for mid-November of 2005, but was delayed until “winter” after Hurricane Wilma shimmied through and arsed up the region.
This revisitation is inspired in part by Orac‘s ongoing anti-testimonials about homeopathic remedies and other buncombe peddled by the transparently scammerific to a strangely credulous and eager public. It concerns the keynote speaker at the 2006 marathon, a representative from LifeWave, a company that sells, among assorted other woo-woo, “Energy Enhancer Patches” whose stated mechanism of action is suitably vague and pseudoscientific. One need not hold a degree in physics or engineering, or a high-school diploma, to grok that LifeWave’s products belong somewhere in a Penn & Teller diatribe.

Continue reading “The Floridiocy Files: A Real Bad Patch”

The Floridiocy Files: Tigger joins thug parade

This is ridickerous!
It’s fitting that this story (a better headline for which would be “Reason Number Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Four Not to Haul Your Kids To This Dump”) has emerged on the weekend of the Walt Disney World Marathon, which, while perhaps not the worst event of its kind in America, certainly stands as the most overrated.
I’ve seen little kids mess with constumed characters in the Magic Kingdom, doing things like sneaking up behind them and kicking them in the ass or yanking their tails, probably to confirm that they are actually “real.” I’ve never seen one of the characters take a shot at a kid, though, after being provoked or otherwise. What would be nice is seeing the kiddies and critters join forces and bring the whole overwrought empire to its knees.

The Floridiocy Files: Section VII

(Mercifully, the final installment of the series.)
It’s a toss-up as to what is more nauseating — the caustic nonsense Florida Gov. Jeb Bush continues to spray out of the ancillary anus under his nose or the fact that so many people within and outside of his bailiwick gulp it down as if it’s the very pudding of Heaven, which by contemporary Biblical standards it may well be. Either the man cannot juxtapose two sentences without blatantly contradicting himself or he realizes his target audience really is both too credulous and too bloodthirsty to notice or care.
Today, Bush, not to be outdone by Mother Nature in Florida displays of hot air, in effect conceded necrophiliac status in announcing that he’s commissioned a prosecutor to investigate the circumstances surrounding Terri Schiavo’s 1990 collapse.

Continue reading “The Floridiocy Files: Section VII”

The Floridiocy Files: Section III

From: Kevin Beck
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 6:12 PM
To: Nathan W. Dean
Subject:
Dr. Dean,
I have a concern I thought I’d share with you now that the fall term is well behind us.
The FAU Department of Biological Sciences includes in its graduate program a Young Earth Creationist, [REDACTED], who believes evolution is untrue and not supported by evidence. A friend of mine was enrolled in BSC 1011 (biodiversity) last semester and [REDACTED], apparently a very genial sort, was her T.A. After she e-mailed him to inquire about his religious beliefs — which he’d openly referenced a number of times in class, piquing her curiosity — he replied, in part:

Continue reading “The Floridiocy Files: Section III”

The Floridiocy Files: Section II

(I lived in South Florida from August 2004 through February 2006, with the first 11 months spent just west of Fort Lauderdale and the next 8 in Boca Raton. It was a darkly comical experience; living with my girlfriend made it worthwhile, but as a distance runner and conscious primate I felt that in terms of livability, the place ranked just below the Mt. Everest base camp and slightly above Kandahar. From time to time I’ll be posting slice-of-life relics lifted from a now-defunct blog; this one is of special interest because, although it springs from events taking place at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, the issues revolve around some of the chief concerns of ScienceBlogs.com contributors and readers, and eventually drew the attention of none other than PZ Myers.)
September 2004
Every day, I wake up assuming there’s a good chance my impending blog entry won’t constitute a fit of bemusement over yet another example of far-flung superstition-based degeneracy and foolishness. Then I wind up confronting a stark example of why such garbage is unnerving not on an abstract “look-at-those-infantile-Godidiots” level but on a tangible one.
Recently, a my girlfriend questioned an associate how he goes about reconciling his religious beliefs with what is known and — opinions of the benighted religious aside — universally accepted about evolution. In so doing, she did not reveal the slant of her own convictions, and indeed may have come across as religious herself. In response, she received the following e-mail.

Continue reading “The Floridiocy Files: Section II”

The Floridiocy Files: Section I

(I lived in South Florida from August 2004 through February 2006, with the first 11 months spent just west of Fort Lauderdale and the next 8 in Boca Raton. It was a darkly comical experience; living with my girlfriend made it worthwhile, but as a distance runner and conscious primate I felt that in terms of livability, the place ranked just below the Mt. Everest base camp and slightly above Kandahar. From time to time I’ll be posting slice-of-life relics lifted from a now-defunct blog; this one centers on my first run as a Boca resident.)
July 2005
I suspect that every now and then, even the most level-headed people slip into fantasies of harboring supernatural abilities handy for exacting tolls on direct and indirect aggressors. Because we know we will never realize these gifts in all their twisted yet alluring glory, such reveries often invoke especially destructive and violent powers few would employ even if so blessed. Christ himself cooked up the ultimate idea of retribution when he came up with Hell: Here was a way to hector not just folks who deserved to die for their sins, but those who had already perished. Some hippie! More recently, the entertainment industry has brought us homicidal telekinesis (Carrie), equally homocidal pyrokinesis (Firestarter), the magic amnesia-inducing pen (Men in Black), and countless other unlikely conveniences.
My own current idea of the ideal interdictory device is a hand-held transmitter (perhaps built into an MP3 player) that would cause the engines of all motor vehicles within 100 meters of me to instantly superheat and seize upon the engagement of their horns. Drivers subsequently leaning on their klaxons in frustration would disappear in a messy spray of of metal and biomatter, because these vehicles would eject these recalcitrant noisemakers straight upward with spectacular force.

Continue reading “The Floridiocy Files: Section I”