A Florida state of mind


 We all like to believe that our own home town / state / country is the ding-dang screwiest place on earth.  It’s a point of pride.  Recently, for example, I could only nod in agreement as Partner read me a newspaper article saying that the incidence of serious mental illness in Rhode Island is nearly double the national average.  Well, of course it is!  We’re a bunch of lunaticsButler Hospital, which used to be the local mental hospital and is now a well-respected research center, is still remembered in local speech; we still say, after a hard day, that “we’ll be headin’ for Butler any time now.”



But I just came back from Florida, and I tell you, it’s a wacky world down there.



Social commentators like Carl Hiaasen and Chelsea Handler have plastered DANGER stickers all over the state of Florida.  But I think you have to experience it to believe it. 



First of all, I do not think I have ever seen billboard advertisements for psychiatrists before.  Now I have seen three.  One of them featured a nice family photo: Mom and Pop and the kids, all with horrible frozen smiles.  I think Pop was the psychiatrist, although – who knows?



Then I noticed a skywriter over the Disney property.  “What’s he writing?” I asked Partner.  “It can’t be English.  But – “






The writing went on all afternoon.  By the time he’d get a word done, most of the previous word had blown away, leaving a lot of merry gibberish.  It was extremely devout of the pilot, however, and you had to give him credit for trying.



Also Florida has the most interesting stores.  Just in the neighborhood of our motel, I saw a light-bulb store, and a Murphy-bed store, and a swing-set emporium.  I also saw a Chinese restaurant called CHINESE RESTAURANT, which is either the greatest victory of minimalism I’ve ever seen, or just an instance of giving up.



Anyway: if you’ve never gone to Florida, you owe yourself a trip.



It will keep you entertained, and you will feel much better about your home town when you get home.



See you at Epcot!


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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