27 November 2011

The Top 10 Things That You Know You Have Arrived in the State of Florida

This past Thanksgiving weekend I decided to not mess with the Black Friday crowds and instead take a jaunt over to Jacksonville. While there I did some sightseeing including taking a side trip over to Folkston, GA and the famous "Folkston Funnel", where practically all trains from the country have to pass through on their way to Florida with the exception of trains coming from the west.

I stopped at the Florida Welcome Center - not once, but twice - just to get that welcome home feeling coming back from Georgia. Unfortunately, the Welcome to Florida signage bears the name of our 45th Chief Crook and Executive Thief of the State of Florida, none other than Rick Scott. It really tiffs me to even have to see the Welcome to Florida sign with Tricky Ricky's name on it - since it's posted right at the state line, you can't avoid it one bit.

So, while I was at the Florida Welcome Center on southbound Interstate 95 north of Jacksonville, I pulled out my trusty BlackBerry and jotted down ten items that you, as a Florida resident returning home or a visitor coming to enjoy the Sunshine State, know that you have arrived in the great State of Florida!

Without much further ado, here we go with ten items that you have arrived in the State of Florida, in the tradition of the Late Show with David Letterman (which can be seen on your local CBS affiliate; here in St. Petersburg it's on WTSP-10 News at its appropriate starting time of 11:35 PM weeknights):

10. You stop at the Florida Welcome Center on I-75 or I-95 and pick up your obligatory sample of orange juice.

9. Move over or slow down for emergency vehicles.

8. Our great state's Interstate shields are better to read than Georgia's.

7. Our Interstate highway overheads are much better than Georgia's.

6. Home of the Florida merging traffic symbol.

5. Home of the near extinct Draw Bridge Ahead warning sign in Highway Gothic Series C. (After all, the Florida DOT has been pulling up these classic Draw Bridge Ahead warning signs of this type and replacing them as part of drawbridge reconstruction or update projects with a similar sign in Highway Gothic Series D produced at the Florida DOT sign shop in Lake City or produced by the Florida DOT contractor)

4. Come to Florida on vacation, leave Florida with a trespass warning thanks to 810.09. (What does Wal-Mart, Black Friday and Florida have in common?)

3. Your children are learning new words in their vocabulary: Foreclosure and homelessness.

2. Cash or your state's EZ-Pass is worthless when you drive onto the Florida Turnpike or practically any toll road or bridge in Florida for that matter.

And the Number One thing to know that you are in Florida is:

1. You see our Chief Crook and Thief's name, Rick Scott, plastered on every Welcome to Florida sign at our welcome centers as well as every port of entry into the great State of Florida!

And you, the Florida taxpayer, spent $7,000 to let Tricky Ricky make an idiot of himself on every Welcome to Florida sign!

The next time you stop at the official Florida Welcome Center on Interstate 75 south of Valdosta or on Interstate 95 north of Jacksonville remember these things when you see Rick Scott's name plastered on the Welcome to Florida signs:

1. The disposal of 25,000 potential jobs by rejecting the high speed rail money.
2. The voters of this great state elected a crook and a thief (HCA, anyone?).
3. 10%+ unemployment rate in Florida.
4. Foreclosures driving down house values.
5. Homeowners insurance skyrocketing.
6. The turning of law enforcement against the people.
7. Everyday, law-abiding citizens arrested on trumped-up charges, such as trespassing after warning.
8. Turning public property into private property.
9. Your children receive nothing more than drill and practice for the FCAT test instead of a quality education you pay for with your tax dollars.
10. More and more public schools in Florida keeping you, the parent, out of your child's educational progress by using threats of trespass warnings against the parents (does Mike Rio and Virgil Mills Elementary School in Ellenton ring a bell?).

So, there you have it. Now that Thanksgiving 2011 has come and gone and that the holiday season is well underway, enjoy the holiday season!

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