Vampires, Crocodiles, And Felons, Oh My!
here's no limit to the number of funny stories that come out of Florida. A quick internet search will provide you with some of the wackiest articles in the United States. There's even been a board game and a coloring book based on these tales. So keep reading for some of our favorites!
"Watch for Falling Iguanas"
People north of Florida are used to seeing snowfall in the winter. But did you know that in Florida, when the temperature dips below forty degrees that iguanas fall from the trees? No, they're not dead. They're stunned. The cold slows them down, and they become temporarily paralyzed and lose their grip on the tree branches. Officials advise folks to leave them alone. When the weather warms up again, they'll wake up and go about their merry business. It's such a common occurrence that South Florida will have Fallen Iguana Warnings instead of having Freeze Warnings.
"Croc on a Float"
Can you imagine stepping outside on your balcony to enjoy your morning coffee and seeing a crocodile float by on a bright yellow pool toy? Unfortunately, this is precisely what happened to Key Largo Resident Victor Perez in 2018. These massive reptiles regularly appear in local golf courses, ponds, and even backyard pools. But this is the first time one was spotted just chilling like a tourist. In Key Largo, it's not just the humans that take it easy. The local animals do too.
"The Lawnmower Song"
Straight of a George Jones song, a Florida man on a lawnmower was arrested for DUI after hitting a parked cop car. The cop heard the crash from inside and, upon investigation, found the man on the mower. Although there was minor damage, the man insisted there wasn't. He was taken to a local hospital, where he tested at almost three times the legal limit for alcohol. Tests also showed cocaine in his system that he swore the arresting officers put there.
In 2019, Daytona Police responded to a call from a woman requesting to have her husband committed to a mental health facility. When they arrived, the man acted normally and could not be involuntarily committed under the state's laws. Five hours later, the man began breaking windows with his cane, shouting, "The vampires are going to defend themselves!" He then set fire to the house by throwing insulation into the stove. His wife, who was still at home at the time, did escape unharmed. After knocking on his neighbor's doors wielding a knife, the man was arrested at the scene.
"If the Shoe Fits"
After being spotted crawling on the ground in his underwear, local police found a man with injuries to his feet and legs. The man had snuck into the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and damaged some property. Along with damaging the property, the man jumped into the crocodile pit, leaving a croc-style shoe behind. Upon finding the shoe in the pond, the staff was prompted to review video surveillance where they saw the man jump into the pool. The man ended up in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries to his feet and legs.
"Ain't Monkeyin' Around."
A couple at Carrabba's Italian Grill started a weekly event called "Monkey Mondays" after they started bringing their two pet monkeys with them to eat outside on the patio. The customers made it such a regular routine that even the waitstaff started calling the day "Monkey Mondays" That is until one of the monkeys bit an eight-year-old boy who had come to pet the animal. Luckily, there was no major harm to the boy. As a result, the restaurant now states that the patio will only allow "recognized service dogs and ponies."
"9-1-1 What's Your Emergency?"
In Charlotte County, Florida, a man was arrested after repeatedly calling 9-1-1 requesting delivery service. The first time the authorities arrived at his home, the man left $20 on the couch and asked if they'd go to the store and buy him some liquor. He was informed that liquor delivery was not an actual emergency and warned that if he did so again, he'd be arrested for misusing 9-1-1. Although he told the deputies he understood, he called the following day. This time he asked the deputies to retrieve the ice cream in his freezer, as he could not get out of his recliner. The man was then arrested for the misuse of 9-11.
"Catch Me if You (Trash) Can"
U.S. Army Veteran Eugene Bozzi was in his garage talking to his nephew when his daughter rode up on her bike, telling him there was an alligator was hissing at her. Seeing the gator, that was bigger than he was, in a neighborhood with children, spurred his protective instincts and began immediately to think of a plan to get rid of the pesky intruder. First, he grabbed an empty recycling bin and tried convincing the still hissing gator into the trash can. Finally, he was able to nab the reptile and take it to a safer location. This video went viral and inspired songwriter Jonathan Mann to pen the song "The Ballad of Florida Man."
Are you on YouTube and love Only in Florida stories? A local comedian by the username @omgitswicks has a channel where he shares local news clips and funny skits. You can also see a few videos below!