I’ve written about this a time or two before, but we’re going to go over everything again this week one more time because frankly I’m not quite sure everyone took seriously enough my warnings of the danger that lurks just beyond the woodland’s edge in the thick of the night here in Florida, when darkness provides the perfect cover for all things creepy and crawly to roam the land in search of their next victims.  I’m not joking around here, folks – if you only read one column about mutant, killer cockroaches this summer, god help your soul, let it be this one…

Now don’t get me wrong – the Sunshine State is a wonderful place to live and work and even visit to come spend your hard-earned tourism dollars from time to time, but you’re fooling yourselves if you think that it’s all white, sandy beaches and talking mice down here.  No, there’s another side to Florida that doesn’t usually make it into the relocation guides and travel brochures – a side that only comes out at night, if you know what I’m saying.  And if you think that sounds somewhat creepy, well, then at least we’re all on the same page finally.

You see, what a lot of people fail to realize when they envision our picturesque state is that low and behold, it’s actually made up almost entirely of swampland. Sure, we’ve managed to build all sorts of neat theme parks and fancy houses on top of said swampland, but it’s still down there … and worse yet, there’s still all sorts of creepy, crawly stuff living in it, too.  Mind you, most folks don’t even think about it because they’re so caught up with the beautiful weather and the plethora of tourist attractions and the driving around in their convertible automobiles, but nonetheless just out of sight, out of mind swarms a horde of spiders and snakes and beetles and the occasional gigantic lizard with an uncanny resemblance towards prehistoric creatures gone past.  And they’re hungry…

Still don’t believe me?  Well, the next time, oh say, seven o’clock in the evening rolls around, just put down your Mai Tai down for a second and take a brief walk “outdoors” – you’ll know you’re there when the artificial lighting fades and you can’t help but feel like there are things moving around you.  That buzzing that just brushed the side of your leg; that rustling sound coming from the neighbor’s hedges – that’s what I’m talking about, people!  You may not be able to see ‘em, but there are things out there – big things, little things, and even things that seem like they shouldn’t be that big of a deal because they’re very little, but in fact are even more scary that several of the big things combined.

These things have lived in the fair state of Florida longer than we have … yes, even longer than our crop of retired folks … and needless to say, it’s a somber moment for us all when it becomes painfully apparent that not everything that lives in the swamp knows how to play a banjo and spends its time sitting around with friends of bear and swine and whatever, singing songs about rainbows and the liking.  As they say, reality can be a harsh mistress…

“So what can we do about all of these things?” you ask.

Well, certainly nobody likes being eaten, or worse, and thus there must be something that we can do to protect ourselves from all of the reckless carnage happening out there in the animal kingdom right beyond the glow of our porch lights and imitation tiki torches.  Fortunately, I do have one solution, and although I can tell that right off the bat, some of you probably aren’t going to love it, just tell me … how much do you love getting your foot bitten off by an alligator or being swarmed from head to toe in vicious fire ants or, at the very least, finding yourself assaulted and verbally degraded by a pack of roving armadillos???

You don’t love the sound of any of those things at all, you say?

Alright, so here’s the plan, and it’s only a one-parter, so I’m fairly confident that everyone should be able to keep up.  If you need to get a piece of paper and something to write it down, go ahead – the rest of us can wait because seriously, we cannot afford for anyone to screw this up at this point.

Ready now?


Again, those keywords:

  • Don’t
  • Outside
  • Nighttime
  • Florida
  • Summer

And you don’t have to tell me – I know – it sounds like a hair-brained, ultra-paranoid reaction, but all in the same, folks … really, how many more people need to be terrorized by creepy things around here before we finally stand up and say, “We’re not gonna take this anymore!  If anybody needs us, we’ll be in the house!” Besides, it’s not like I’m saying that people can never go outside again … I’m just suggesting that we all wait until those cooler months when the consumption period has died down a bit and all of those things tend to spend more time sleeping than stalking the human race, that’s all.

Now I know that this is going to be a tough thing for some of you to get used to, but I’m here to tell you this – after this column, you’re on your own! I mean, I’m all about trying to look out for my fellow man and help them from becoming just another devoured Floridian statistic, but like I said when we first started this column … we’ve been over this a couple of times before. There’s only so much I can do to spend this infinite wisdom to the masses, and you pretty much just read it, so from here on out, if anybody needs me, I think by now you’ve figured out where you won’t find me!