Let me get this out of the way immediately: I really love Florida a lot.
I’ve spent a lot of time there, my parents lived there for a long time, and I really do enjoy the weather, the beaches, the wildlife, the food, etc.
BUT, I’ll also be the first one to admit that Florida is…well, weird. Really weird, in fact.
And if you’ve been on social media over the past few years, you’ve definitely seen the various strange things that people in Florida do that end up in the news.
So, what’s the deal?
Floridians opened up on AskReddit about how they really feel about the “Florida Man” stereotype. Let’s take a look.
1. It’s accurate.
“I encounter them fairly often and I find it pretty accurate.
It doesn’t describe all of us, but there are a non-zero number of them in any public space, so it make sense that it has caught on.”
“I find it entertaining.
Weird sh*t definitely does happen here. I once went to a party and ended up in the start of a zombie apocalypse because a crazy girl bit me on my arm and wouldn’t get off me till her roommate came across the room and kicked her in the face.
I only offered my hand to help her off the ground and she bit me, totally unprovoked. I’m sad I don’t remember her name or I’d fb message her on our bite-iversary.”
3. Here’s a good story.
“My lady and I filmed a crackhead that walked around singing for a while, then laid face down in the street (still singing) until someone stopped to make sure he was ok.
When the lady got out of her car, the guy got up and walked quickly towards the drivers side of the car like he was going to steal it, but the lady was able to hop back in first. Then, I sh*t you not, this guy went down on one knee and tried to propose to her in the middle of the road. She ended up driving away and the crackhead ran off into the bushes by the train tracks just before emergency services arrived.
This happened right in front of my door. My lady was recording and I was watching by the door in case she needed help.”
4. Proud native.
“I wear the Florida Woman title as a badge of honor.
Iwrestled a gator in a Christmas hat! (My Uncle is an alligator trapper for the state, FWC, who needed help removing a large nuisance alligator when I was home from the navy. It was a perfect Christmas card opportunity)
This was in Sarasota FL. The gator was reported to the state after it attacked a lawnmower, ate a calf, and tried to eat the farmers daughter. Yeehaw
I had to sit in a bush by the waters edge making a baby alligator call to attract the gator when the speaker died…. Nearly had a heart attack when the gator beelined towards me to investigate!
Baby alligator calls sound like you are saying “oww oww” in a constipated voice.”
5. It’s a big place.
“If only people knew how different northern and southern Florida are.
We should honestly be different states at this point.”
6. Don’t live there anymore…
“So I no longer live there but grew up in Northern Florida on the Panhandle (left when I was 19).
Looking back it’s funny but good, living there could be exhausting at times (especially as a gay teenager). So my 2 stories I like to tell that always get a laugh.
My hometown got a Walmart. On its opening day, my high school took a field trip to it. Always joked that the school was saying “Come look where you’ll spend the rest of your life kids!”
The only boyfriend I had back then left me for his 42 year old second cousin. Keep in mind I was 17 and my boyfriend was 18. But oh, it gets better. The 42 year old had a 20 year old son. They later on got engaged (and the ex told the son to call him dad now <_<;).
Then tried to talk me into a threesome, fun times. If you didn’t guess it, the relationship didn’t last. Don’t know what happened but eventually they got into a fight and broke it off.
So yeah, I very rarely visit home…”
7. Maybe that’s true?
“I think it’s funny that living in Florida, most of the genuinely INSANE people I have met aren’t even from here.
They’re all people who moved south from NYC.”
8. It’s all over the place.
“It’s accurate, but the only reason you see it is because arrests are published immediately.
Other states have weirdos too.
Those governments just don’t go out of their way to publish the arrests.”
9. A lot of outsiders.
“Born and raised Floridian. I feel like it’s appropriate and wrong at the same time.
The biggest problem with it is most of the “Florida men and women” you hear about are originally from somewhere else. Same reason we’re seen as being bad drivers.
No one is actually from here. You throw a million different driving styles into one place, you’re bound to have a bad time.”
10. For your information…
“True Florida Man here, the rare Florida native variety, born and raised in the state. I will tell you a couple of truths about Florida.
“North Florida” is really South Georgia.
The further away from the beach you get, the more “southern” Florida gets (with Orlando being the exception).
As with the distance from the beach rule, so goes the same with the distance from I4.
Central FL, basically along the I4 corridor, is about as normal as Florida gets. That spans from Daytona Beach on the east coast, through Orlando and down to Tampa on the west coast.
As for the stereo type, most people will also tell you that the “Florida Man” stories are readily available because of our sunshine laws. It’s not that Florida Man is any crazier than Texas Man, or Michigan Man (not sure those are great comparisons by the way), it’s just that the access to the police reports is readily available and easily reportable.
We air our dirty laundry, we don’t hide it!”
11. Oh, my…
“I claim it with pride: “Did I ever tell you about the time I fought off a 450 pound bear that wanted my BBQ by stabbing it in the FACE with a 50 cent steak knife, on my front porch?”
I’m cooking out on the porch. I hear a noise, and look around. A BIG black bear has been following his nose, sees me between him and his BBQ, made a sort of “humph!” and froze, staring at me. He’s about 15 feet away, on the three steps up to the porch.
I raise my arms to look bigger and yell “Go Away, bear!” … but he doesn’t twitch. I can see the wheels turning in his head through his beady little eyes… he didn’t expect me, but is now considering whether to eat me or just teach me a lesson about getting between him and his food.
The door is about ten feet away, but that’s directly towards the bear – Not a good direction. No other retreat is open to me, being on the porch with the grill. Maybe if I throw something at him he will get momentarily distracted or intimidated enough for me to make it to the door.
My options are a 99-cent Dollar General spatula, which does not recommend itself as a weapon, or a flimsy plastic-handled 4 for $2 steak knife… which at least has a sharp(ish) point.
I take the steak knife by the tip and threw it just like I would expect someone to throw it if they knew how to throw a knife and the knife was a “throwable” knife – neither of which are true.
Miraculously enough, it hit the bear in the face almost directly on his nose, point first, and stuck him quite deeply on the muzzle. I mean “POING!!!” deep.
This is doubly miraculous since I was aiming rather vaguely at the other end of the bear. Throwing really hard is evidently terrible for one’s aim.
He blatted exactly like I imagine a sheep would sound, jumped in the air, swatted the knife out, and fled at top speed. He cleared a four-foot chain link fence without slowing down and without touching it at all.
Oh, and they caught the bear a couple of weeks later about 1/4 mile down the road when it clawed up some guy at a trash can. Identified by the wound on the nose, almost healed.”
12. Here’s the deal.
“I’m from Florida. It definitely holds up, depending on what part you’re from.
At one point I was living in a trailer in the swamp. During the rainy season the water would come up all the way to the back porch. One summer there was a big gator that had been terrorizing folks on the street.
Lunging at people on their porches and hissing and just being a jerk. Eventually it went after the neighbors dog, so they shot it and had a BBQ. Everyone got together and had bbq gator tail, got super drunk, and went swimming in the swamp. Was awesome, would do again.
Also one time I saw a very obese lady take a dump on the floor of a Walmart in the middle of the night.
Yes it’s safe to swim in the water, most kids and many adults did when I was growing up and nobody thought it was weird. Swampy water looks gross, but the brown color is actually due to tannins, the same chemicals that make tea brown!
Alligators are usually big, lazy, scaly blobs. They’re shy and they avoid people. Somebody was probably feeding this one. When they lose their fear of people, they become *ssholes. Don’t feed the alligators!! But don’t be terrified of them either unless they’re not acting afraid of you.
I’m a lady, and the neighbor who shot the gator was also a lady. So I guess this is really a Florida woman story.
I didn’t see what happened to Walmart lady. I’m sure that some employees saw it since it was right by the entrance, but nobody said anything and she just continued shopping. Later I saw someone cleaning up.
I don’t think the employees get paid enough to confront her. I can’t blame them. I hope she’s okay though…”
“It is 100% accurate, and it perfectly describes my Step-Grandad. He’s your typical white trash, God fearing, washing machine hoarding, no-teeth-having back woods crazy person.
When I was 12 I went hunting with him. He fired a 12 gauge about 6 inches from my unprotected left ear, causing permanent hearing damage, because he happened to spot a buck through the bushes next to us and felt he had no time to warn me. On another hunting trip, he gutted the freshly killed deer and ate its heart raw. I threw up.
When I was 14 or 15 I worked for him for a few months diving for golf balls in the retention ponds at golf courses, which is prime territory for gators, snakes, and many flesh-eating diseases. He could PERFECTLY imitate the mating call of a gator, which would usually result in one or two alligators coming out of the pond to try and get some.
He would calmly walk up to them, sit on their necks, tape their mouths shut and left them to sit there while he went under water. Sometimes they hissed at him and opened their jaws or made a move on his ankle, but none of them ever actually bit him or resisted once he was on top of them. Alligators are surprisingly docile unless you threaten them or their young. Anyways, just in case one did try something, he carried around a ziplock bag with a few .44 magnum rounds and a hunting knife.
No gun, just ammo. According to him, if he was in trouble, he would just “Put the bullet against its neck and hit the primer with my knife.” Unfortunately I never got to see this happen, I would have loved to see how that would have worked out for him.
As a kid, my Grandparents lived in a small travel trailer and I would usually stay with them since my parents usually just didn’t want to deal with me and would just drink instead. This trailer was from the 70’s, meaning it was old, smelly and covered wall to wall with brown. Brown cabinets, brown beds, brown seats, and particularly brown shag carpet.
Well, one day a mouse managed to sneak its way into the trailer and scurried around the carpet looking for crumbs amidst the miller lite cans and cigarette butts. Now, any reasonable person would either set a trap or just shoo the mouse outside. Not my Grandad. He went to the closet, grabbed a S&W .357 Magnum revolver, and fired 6 shots at the mouse. He missed all of them, leaving 6 holes in the floor. The mouse got away.
It was our 4th of July tradition to attend my Grandparents’ house for food, fireworks, shooting contests, beer and a bonfire. My Grandad somehow managed to obtain 6 50 gallon drums of gasoline, and thought it would be a good idea to put a barrel in the middle of the bonfire as fuel.
He doused the pile of branches in gasoline, placed the barrel and lit a match. The fire started burning, and he starting dancing around it like some Native American ritual if Native Americans were overweight rednecks with no teeth. About 30 seconds later, the bonfire, predictably, exploded.
He sustained 2nd degree burns on the entire left side of his body, singed off ALL of his hair, including eyebrows, facial hair and arm hair, and melted the power lines that ran directly over the fire, cutting power to most of the county. The Fire Department was called and he was forced to pay restitution to the power company to repair the downed lines.
My favorite story, however, is a story of a vacation I took with him and my aunts (who are only a year older than me) to the beach when I was around 10 years old. He drove a 1985 brown on brown Chevrolet Astro with pinstripes down the side and no back seats. We sat on buckets in the back of the van for the duration of the 2 hour drive.
When we got pulled over since he drives like a maniac, we hid under a tarp from the cop and had to stay completely still and silent for 25 minutes. While we were exiting the Interstate, my Grandad noticed a mound of dirt in the construction area taking place on the off ramp, and I can only imagine he thought this would be an awesome Dukes of Hazzard moment. He suddenly veered off the road, put the gas pedal to the floor and went for it.
This Chevy Astro went up, flew about 15 feet and landed directly into a giant hole where the mound of dirt had originated on the other side. Since we were not sitting in actual seats with seatbelts, we first flew into the roof, then flew into the windshield when we hit the bottom of the hole.
By some miracle, the only serious injury sustained in the crash was my Grandad who broke his arm. Without skipping a beat, he started maniacally laughing and shouting “WOO HOO! THAT WAS ONE HELL OF A RIDE!” The van was totaled. He managed to avoid being arrested for reckless driving, and since this took place in a time where seatbelts were more of a suggestion than a rule, he wasn’t arrested for child endangerment either.
He did have to pay a massive fine and lost his license for a few years though. He wasn’t allowed to drive us anywhere after that.
I love him, but he is a f*cking maniac who quite frankly probably shouldn’t have access to anything more dangerous than safety scissors. He’s somehow managed to live into his 80’s so far, and is still as trashy and insane as ever. He just has even less teeth now.”
Alright, Floridians, we want to get your opinions.
In the comments, tell us how you feel about the “Florida Man” stereotype.
We look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!