Tossing my teeth away in Margaritaville...

By the time this week’s paper hit the streets, I was sitting on a plane heading down to Florida for a week-plus of sunshine, live music and a few cocktails.

Of course, there’s always the chance that the duration of this vacation could be filled with rain, bad music and, well, yeah, cocktails. Regardless, I’ve been filled with excitement for this trip for some time now, and I decided to go online and see what interesting things have been going on in Florida lately. I kind of like to know what’s going on in an area I plan to visit. For instance, are there active serial killers hunting bald guys down there? Has the cost of beer tripled because of some strange accident in a warehouse? Are there going to be people lining every street corner protesting something or another?

Plus, it’s the proverbial bus driver’s vacation for me, as one of the things I look forward to every time I go out of town is reading their local papers and seeing (stealing) what good things they’re bringing to their readers.

But before I got into town, I wanted to do that research on the surrounding area. A quick Google search found me a UPI story on a man in Key Largo who was arrested for burglarizing a home and a boat. UPI picked up the story from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and what made it remarkable was not that this was just another case of a bad guy robbing a good guy — it was the method in which he was caught by police.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was reportedly able to trace a palm print found on a toilet seat in the burglarized home to one Robert Johnson. According to police, Johnson stole a TV, multiple DVD players, DVDs, a 12-pack of beer and electronic equipment from the homeowner’s boat.

I couldn’t help but wonder if Johnson drank the 12-pack at the scene of the crime, thus explaining the palm print on the toilet seat.

The problem I encountered while surfing for stories on the Keys is the same problem I run into nearly every time I surf the Internet for any reason — I get a bit sidetracked. My attention quickly went from solely Key West and the area surrounding it to Florida as a whole. And that’s where I found the following tidbit from the Naples area.

According to a UPI story, police arrested an intoxicated woman who had stripped naked, tossed rocks at people and pulled out her teeth to throw in a canal.

Yup, they had me with the opening paragraph.

Deputies reportedly arrived on the scene after receiving a call about a naked woman throwing rocks and they arrived to find Tina Masta, 46, wrapped in a blanket on the dock, as cited in the Naples Daily News. Police said she opened the blanket to expose herself to the police and advised them that she had thrown some of her teeth into the canal. She then reportedly asked the police for some pliers so she could continue.

Look, we all like to strip down from time to time and alternate between winging rocks at people and tossing our teeth into canals. I get that. I do. But we can only do it so many times before we run out of teeth or catch a horrible cold and ...

But I digress.

Admittedly, those two stories gave me a little apprehension about my visit to Florida. I decided to just cut my losses and forget about finding more Florida stories, so I just started scanning headlines, no matter where the story originated. Then I came across this one:

“Police: Machete in limping man’s pants”


The Jersey Journal reported that a patdown search of a man with a suspicious limp revealed an 18-inch machete concealed in his pants. Apparently, he was not just happy to see them.
The story said that police observed Leissam Trujillo repeatedly adjusting his pants while pacing on a street and limping oddly. They searched him and found the dangerous weapon. But it was the last line of the story that made me chuckle.

“... police are familiar with Trujillo and he was arrested under similar circumstances Jan. 12 last year.”

See, I was originally wondering about probable cause when they patted down a man who was limping. I have a bad knee and limp all the time. But I suppose when you have a reputation for walking around with a machete in your pants ...