Florida: Forget the Weather, It’s the News

Forget overstated (if not borderline fraudulent) tourism-bureau promises of sunny days, warm temperatures, and other tropical delights that lure vacationers, snowbirds, and down-on-their luck types certain that relocating to Florida will turn around their life.  The state that boasts the southern-most point in the continental U.S. shouldn’t market itself on its climate and theme parks, but its ability to generate entertaining news.

In the span of a few days in January 2020, the Palm Beach Post reported the following fantastic stories:

A former West Palm Beach stripper recruited to be a pharma sales exec was sentenced to a year in prison for her “role in using her sex appeal to bribe doctors to prescribe dangerous fentanyl spray to patients who didn’t even need it.”  No word on any disciplinary or legal action against any of those doctors, presumably because it’s tough making a living in medicine these days and they need those little side gigs.

● After overnight temperatures at Palm Beach International Airport dipped to a not-so-balmy 41 degrees, “Iquanas dropped from the sky like living hailstones…”  Seems the cold-blooded fellows tend to be stun-gunned by chilly temperatures and lose their grip on the trees where they’re sleeping.

● A Palm Beach Atlantic University biology class collecting water samples along a canal trail “found a man’s body.”  When bodies are discovered in Florida it is apparently assumed, and therefore need not be immediately specified in the news article, that the body is dead.

● 74-year-old rock icon Rod Stewart, perhaps tussling above his bantamweight class, entered a plea of not guilty for (according to police statements) throwing a punch that struck a security guard after Stewart became “agitated when (his) family was denied access” to an event at the equally iconic Breakers Hotel.

All this on top of rampant local government corruption, con men returned via extradition to face charges of defrauding naïve residents who moved to Florida hoping to change their luck, and multi-million/billionaires entangled in massage parlor stings and other random acts of misdemeanor sexual folly.

So, beware when visiting South Florida: if the Palm Beach Post is delivered with breakfast, you’ll be lucky to be out of your room before noon.