Earlier this week, I shared that my new preferred method of self-actualization and anti-anxiety was to create a Google Alert for the phrase "Florida woman," because, as we all know, Florida women be crazy. It must be the humidity and the close proximity to gators, right? And the isolation that comes with living in the worst state in the country? (As a friend pointed out earlier this week: "There’s a reason why Wild Things took place in Miami.") I can’t pinpoint it, exactly, but I do know that my "Florida woman" Google Alert continues to bring me complete and utter joy.
This biggest story this week is about 45-year-old Kathryn Cohen Allen, who was arrested on Tuesday for sending fake Anthrax to Floridian senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. I mean, when you live in Jasper, Florida, a town smack-dab in the middle of North Florida (or, my Hell), the only thing to do for funzies would be to crush up over-the-counter medicine and mail the dust to your government representatives.
But that’s just obvious. What I do love about Florida and its denizens is that they seem to find the most inventive crimes to commit. Take, for example, Barbara Aqueveque, who was caught "switching labels for pricey Lego toys that retail for more than $100 with ones for cheap $7 items like baking pans." Surprisingly, the woman kept the police at bay for months, because, you know, Florida:
"At first I thought, ‘This is crazy. How can it be this easy to steal this much?’" Lauderhill Police Detective Alex Iwaskewycz, who led the investigation, told CBS 4. "There were months she was making over $30,000."
Det. Iwaskewycz spent months tracking Aqueveque, pilfering through her store receipts, bank records, and even her trash. At the time she was arrested, Aqueveque had $36,000 in her bank account.
This would definitely be the pilot for my new hour-long drama series, Law & Order: Jacksonville. Ripped from the headlines!
And then there’s Martha Herbentha and Stephanie Edgell, bless their hearts. The 66-year-old Herbentha was being carted off to jail and naturally asked her 32-year-old friend to take care of her parrot, Buddy. When Herbentha returned the next day, Edgell claimed that poor Buddy "flew out the window." Those parrots are so hard to tame! Of course, Herbentha smelled Edgell’s bullshit.
Herbenthal didn’t believe her, sent friends scouring pet shops and finally found Buddy, who, authorities said, had been sold to Shady Hills Pet Shop for $225. The owner had a note where Edgell wrote her name, address and phone number prior to the sale, the report states.
Luckily Buddy is back with his owner, but the most interesting part of the story is this unexplained bit:
Herbenthal, of 15345 Dennis Drive in Hudson, was originally arrested on charges of obstructing an officer. She is accused of driving her son away from the scene of a battery, which happened at Edgell’s house. Herbenthal’s son is accused of beating Edgell and Edgell’s boyfriend, who told investigators the fight might have been "drug related," the report states.
Emotions do run high down south, and the ties that bind us all are very thin. But here’s something we can all agree on, despite the dramatic situations in which we find outselves entagled: Buddy the Parrot is probably the most normal being in Hudson, Florida.