The Sunshine State is consistently the source of some of the most bizarre news stories ever often involving oversized reptiles, crazy crimes, stupid criminals and mind-boggling scandals.
After gazing into its cloudy crystal ball, Tallahassee's Sachs Media Group offers 10 predictions just strange enough to be plausible Florida news items in the new year! From randy grannies to voting zombies, from fresh-from-the-tree mixed drinks to medical mistletoe, this list has something for everyone.
Take a look, and then let us know: Whats your prediction for #WeirdFL2014?
1. TEBOW MAKES RUN FOR GOVERNOR
Native son Tim Tebow the popular former University of Florida Heisman Trophy winner whose NFL career went from Denver to New York to New England to out announces in late spring his plans to run for governor of Florida. The lackluster contest between incumbent Gov. Rick Scott and ex-incumbent Gov. Charlie Crist creates an opening for Tebow, and early polls show a surge of support for the Gator legend, across all lines. When it is discovered that he cant pass (the minimum age requirement of 30), Tebow is sidelined once again.
2. FLORIDA BANS WINTER
To boost its tourism industry, Florida lawmakers pass a law to extend summer to six months, with a three-month break for fall, thereby banning any winter in the Sunshine State. In their own redux from the title song of Camelot, Visit Florida marketers promote that the winter is forbidden until forever. Snowbirds flock in record numbers to Floridas second summer: December through March.
3. KUMBAYA TO NO RECOUNT
When all of the votes are counted in the closest race for governor in Florida history, Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist score an exact tie, with each registering 4,253,656 votes. Rather than submit to a controversial recount, the two collaborate on splitting the term with Gov. Scott to serve two years, followed by Gov.-elect Crists two-year term.
The two leaders call for a new Golden Era of bipartisan leadership and state lawmakers agree to work together for the common good. (And then we wake up.)
4. IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO STAMP OUT STDS
Finally responding to public pressure over the shockingly high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases in retirement communities across Florida, honor students from high schools statewide form a truth squad to present sex ed classes for retirement community residents old enough to be their grandparents. The program is informally called Condoms in Condominiums.
5. FAST NUDE INDUSTRY CREATED IN FLORIDA
Amid stunning news that Florida has more tanning beds than McDonalds locations, bold entrepreneurs see a golden-bronze opportunity to create a new industry: Drive-Thru Tanning Salons, for those who dont even want to take the time to get out of their cars. Tan Lines in Florida now come to mean queued-up cars, waiting for their nude drivers and passengers to get zapped by a quick blast from solar radiation devices.
6. THE SOUTH SHALL RISE AGAIN
During an organized python hunt, a 173-year-old Confederate soldier is found alive in the Everglades, having discovered the real Fountain of Youth while getting lost after a battle in 1863. Pvt. Jeremiah J. Jeremiah is introduced to all the current-day comforts, including air conditioning, fast food and professional football. Hes delighted to learn hes the oldest living person and he smiles upon learning the war is over.
However, when a news reporter informs him the South lost, he gasps, I wish I never came out of the dang swamp, clutches his chest in pain and suffers a fatal heart attack.
7. FLORIDA ORANGES GET NEW SQUEEZE
To boost sagging citrus sales, Florida orange growers forge an alliance with Absolut to develop a hybrid crop of oranges that are vodka-infused dubbed the screwdriver fruit. The new citrus farms have an adult section and a family section.
8. PLANTING KISSES YEAR-ROUND
Looking to capitalize on mistletoe that regularly sprouts on their trees, Northwest Florida pecan growers push to spread the leafy substances spirit-lifting properties beyond the Christmas season. Partnering with noted attorney John Morgan, they launch a medical mistletoe petition drive seeking incentives for year-round use of the distinctive flora. A proposed constitutional amendment would allow cultivation of Florida-grown mistletoe in quantities designed for personal mood elevation. Campaign organizers emphasize the health benefits of kissing beneath the mistletoe, embracing as their rallying cry, What the world needs now is love, sweet love.
9. JAGUARS GO FROM WORST TO FIRST
Following three straight miserable seasons, the Jacksonville Jaguars shock the football world through a new approach to team-building: Every player grows a waxed mustache like the one sported by team owner Shahid Khan. The Boston Red Sox had their beards, and weve got our Khans whatever it takes to win, proclaimed new Jags quarterback and former gubernatorial candidate/college football analyst Tim Tebow.
Playing as a single unit for the first time in history, the Jags squeak through the regular season and then really wax their foes in the playoffs, winning the Super Bowl behind the rallying cry, We Khan Do It. Tebow is named the Super Bowl MVP after amassing six TDs (3 passing, 3 rushing) and running for more yards 135 than any quarterback in Super Bowl history.
10. VOTING: ITS ALIVE!
After election supervisors find that large masses of dead people have voted in 12 Florida counties, a lawyer representing Florida zombies comes forward, claiming they are not completely dead and insisting that courts must reaffirm undead voting rights. A census recount is required and it is discovered that, although Florida is home to 19 million residents, more than 1 million of them qualify as voting zombies with more joining the ranks every day.
As the zombie population grows, so too does a movement for the Zombie Party whose first open political convention in Orlando is boycotted by every elected official and candidate. Zombie PR spokesman Ima Stiff is widely quoted as saying, Well get them all, eventually.
Run with permission from Sachs Media Group. ... Whats YOUR prediction? Comment below or share on Twitter with the #WeirdFL2014 hashtag.