The Palm Beach Post

We make fun of Canadians, however we’re the ones who created ‘Florida man’


Florida ought to charge an entertainm­ent fee to the rest of the world.

Seriously. Forget oranges. Our biggest export is weirdly entertaini­ng news stories.

This week, our gift is the story about a lumpy guy in Stuart who insists on doing his yard work in the nude.

Oh no, he’s out there with his weed whacker again! Get a photo.

The neighbors have been documentin­g his landscapin­g chores, particular­ly from behind when his assets are on full display. And I can’t figure out if they’re complainin­g about it to the local TV news, or they just want everybody else to know what a good time they’ve been having.

“I came out Sunday night to put the trash out, and I look over and he is bent over, winding up his hose, and I’m, like, that is my view of the neighborho­od,” neighbor Melissa Ny told WPBF-Channel 25.

OK, that’s no way to wind up a hose. On the other hand, nobody’s forcing you to be the neighborho­od Zapruder.

“He works on his car, and he does it naked and everyone has called the police. He is just out there doing his yard work, whatever he needs to do outside,” Ny continued.

This is the sort of Florida story that confirms our state’s place in the universe. The story of the nude yard-work guy has been devoured by news outlets — particular­ly in Canada.

I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because the nude yardwork season in Canada is very short, probably only the last two weeks in July, and by now, there are already millions of Canadians pining to be outside with their Saskatoons in the breeze.

The newspapers in both Calgary and Edmonton, in Alberta, have picked up the story.

The Brantford Expositor, the

Timmins Daily Press, and the Belleville Intelligen­cer, all in Ontario, were all over this story too.

“Being in touch with nature is one thing,” the story in the Brantford paper began. “But gardening au naturel is quite another for some neighbours of a Florida man who has been doing yard work in the nude.”

The key words in that lead are “Florida man,” a signal to readers that they’ve just entered a news fun house, where a seemingly inexhausti­ble number of “Florida men” perform all sorts of ill-advised activities to lighten the day’s parade of soul-crushing news stories.

The headline in the Times Colonist, in Canada’s British Columbia, was perhaps the most pithy of all:

“Man who plants without pants irks neighbors,” it read.

I guess the editors there went with “plants without pants” over “hoes without clothes.”

Yes, every province of Canada was getting into this one. And while Canada seemed to take a special interest in this story, it was certainly well shared in the United States and beyond.

The Daily Mail in London was all over it, as were U.S. print and television outlets in Dayton, Boston, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Washington,

D.C., Houston, as well as national wire services.

And it’s not like the nude yard-work guy had an open lane to internatio­nal fame. There’s a lot of competing “Florida man” news out there, and it’s not easy rising to the top echelon of Florida men.

For example, during this month alone, the nude yard-work guy had stiff competitio­n from the Florida man who dropped off a live alligator at a Wawa near Bradenton; the 23-year-old Florida man from Citrus County who ended up in jail after tangling in a fistfight with his oxygen-tank-swinging grandmothe­r; and the Florida man from Orlando who fired three shots into a woman’s home because she wrote a negative online review of his friend’s restaurant.

The nude yard-work guy isn’t even the only nude Florida man this month. Florida men frequently make news without clothing. It’s one of our signature moves.

And so there also was the naked, stoned and drunk Florida man in the Panhandle who accidental­ly set his house on fire while trying to bake cookies on his George Foreman grill.

As crops go, Florida men are always in season, and in embarrassi­ngly great abundance.

So, you’re welcome, world. Speaking on behalf of Florida men, past, present and future, we are happy to amuse you and offer you some relief.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to check for news updates from Stuart. It’s looking to be a perfect day for weeding the beds.

 ??  ?? Frank Cerabino
Frank Cerabino

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