Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Ft. Lauderdale is a Crazy Magnet

Image found here.
I'm going a little off topic here, but is it just me, or is this place is chock-full of crazy people?  I'm not talking about the garden variety crazy person you see on any normal city street, I'm talking about certifiable, 100% should-be-in-an-institution looney-tunes.  The kind of people you genuinely fear making eye contact with.  Keep in mind Scott and I lived in the city of Chicago, so we're no strangers to the bizarre...but as far as we can tell, pretty much one out of every five people we see looks like they're about to either defecate in their hands, open fire or spontaneously belt out in song.

What gives?  Is it drugs?  Alcohol?  Too much sun? We've seen a 300lb woman strolling around in her underwear pushing a grocery cart, a leather-skinned elderly man talking to himself while cowering in a corner with a maniacal grin, and a stringy haired, pock-faced waif of a man (or was it a woman?) shaking so badly I thought s/he was going to croak - and this was just in the parking lot of the Publix! Yesterday as I was walking with Isla I had to stop and wait on the sidewalk to allow the drifter who was walking twenty feet ahead of me take a pee behind a bus bench.  This was along a major road.  Dude just whipped it out and started peeing.  So awkward.

Scott overheard the following conversation while picking up take-out last night:

"...Oh...shoot!  I forgot to tell you something!  She hit me in the back of the head with a baseball bat...(pause).  Yeah, I went back to the farm to get some of my stuff, and she said "You're not leaving me!" and then took a bat to the back of my head."

And this doesn't even cover the characters we met in our last motel (which is another story all together)!  We have been here three days.  That's a lot of crazy in three days.

So my question is this:  Do the crazies flock to the sun?  Or does the sun make you crazy?  We have a vested interest in this query.

Sigh.

It's possible we spent too much time in the suburbs.

Love,
Brittany, Scott & Isla

15 comments:

Tytti said...

Sad to hear. This is what I found:

"Florida ranks second to the bottom among states in per capita mental health spending nationwide"
http://www.news-press.com/article/20120821/HEALTH/308210008/Southwest-Florida-children-s-mental-health-care-lacking-

"Despite being the fourth most populated state, Florida’s per capita funding for mental health and substance abuse services is ranked 49th and 37th, respectively, in the nation. Florida’s foreclosure rate is the second highest in the nation; our unemployment rate is over 11 percent and, food stamp applications have tripled within the last year. Florida’s economic downturn affects us all and hits hardest for those with disabilities, including individuals with substance abuse and/or mental health disorders."
http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/samh/

Michele said...

So, I believe I may have a semi-unscientific answer for your question about crazy people. I would guess that at least a portion of the people that you are seeing are probably in some degree of permanent homeless/joblessness. Some estimates say up to 75% of homeless people are certifiably mentally ill (drug, war, or sun induced, who knows?) Now, I'm no pyschologist/sociologist, but I've always said that if I was a homeless person, I would sure not stick around in Chicago or New York for very long.

Courtney said...

Like Michelle, I'm not an expert or anything, but I always figured that if I were homeless and/or crazy, why stay in a city that was cold and miserable, subject to terrible weather? If I had to be homeless, I'd flock to somewhere warm and sunny, like Florida. Sounds like you've encountered a lot of crank addicts in the process...bummer.

nomad artist said...

Well, I am only a mile or two away from you and I seem to have had a much tamer experience. The only strange thing that has happened to me was three Italian grandmothers spontaneously breaking into song last night on the patio of the Italian restaurant. They sang Italian songs together for about 30 mins much to everyone's delight. Otherwise everything else is pretty normal. Having lived in constant sun for the past 11 years I haven't found it makes you crazy, though of course that could just be my happy delusion!

Brittany Meyers said...

@ Nomad artist - Sue, we're coming to you then! I absolutely LOVE Italian singing grandmas! Having lived in Rome for 6 months, there is nothing unusual about that! Todo bene! Bellissima! ;)

Jill, Tim and Toby Dog said...

Everyone above is correct - South Florida is a haven for drifters, drug addicts and the like. Have you ever seen the show "Intervention" on A&E, they are ALWAYS sending the person to a rehab somewhere in South Florida (and why not? be somewhere warm & beautiful as you recover) but you have to imagine that not everyone "graduates" from those rehabs and ends up somewhere down there when they fall off the wagon...they make for an interesting experience, that's for sure!

Anonymous said...

Love your posts and adventures! Since you are an accomplished blogger already, I hope you will accept this observation in the gracious spirit with which it is offered. The expression for something that is filled to capacity is "chock-full" rather than "chalk-full." I only mention it because you've now used it a second time (first time was 9/21). Best wishes on your big move to the new boat!

Anonymous said...

Check out any online news source (left or right leaning) and you will see that 90% of the bizarre stories, news and occurrences take place in Florida. It's is certainly the "Vortex of the Weird". In fact I was recently reading a rather interesting "news" report regarding college frat boys consuming alcohol via a funnel inserted into their rectum. I thought for sure this was more Florida antics, but no, the shocking part was this event occurred in Tennessee, as opposed to Florida. Maybe the frat boys were from Florida? Go figure!

Brittany Meyers said...

@Anonymous - ThANK YOU for correcting me...it's funny, I was just out walking with Isla and I literally thought to myself "I'll bet it's chock full and not chalk full" and lo and behold, I return to your comment. Much appreciated ;)

SailFarLiveFree said...

"If we weren't all crazy, we'd go insane". There's some truth in those lyrics! Crazy is all around, embrace it!

Laura and Hans said...

When we drove down to Florida from PA last August we spent a horrible night at what I called the Crack Head Motel because it was pet friendly. It was so filthy I didn't even want Wilbur to touch the torn bed sheets and as much as I love to take baths, I couldn't bring myself to sit in the bathtub. We've seen some strange things since moving here but your 300lb underwear lady beats them all!

Paul A said...

Brittany, I lived half my youth in Chicago, the other half in Florida and the only difference between the crazies is the tan! If you’ve been on the El late at night, you know I’m right. It could be the burbs. Not too many people pushing shopping carts around Northbrook or Winnetka.

dpddj said...

I was in Seattle last week (lived there many years ago) for business. Pike Place has been taken over by the same type of people. I was eating a panini at a sidewalk cafe when one pulled out his schwantz and peed in the street. Nice. The whole market smelled of urine. I read in the Seattle Times a survey results that indicated 2/3's of them were on the street because they wanted to be.
Oh, the sun was shining, but I suspect that would have made no difference.

ravenous-reader-book-reviews said...

FARK didn't give Florida their own tag for nothing...

I'm on the Nature Coast and we have some doozies over here too!

Anonymous said...

You know what they say about south Florida, it's a sunny place for shady people!

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