What is it about Florida, seriously? It's Spring Breakers who get the bad rep, but it's actually the citizens of the Sunshine State themselves that we should all be afraid of. From sex-crazed strippers to brawling parents at a kids' party, there seems to be, literally, no holds barred when it comes to Floridians and ratchet behavior.
Florida's so ratcheted that it has Miami, the first city in the United States to be charged by the SEC for fraud. The agency accused the city in 2013 of cooking the city bank accounts and misrepresenting its finances. A study published in the Washington Post in 2015 might hold at least one clue as to why the state is renowned for questionable behavior with a trashy kind of flair. Looking at IQ, SAT and ACT scores, along with the percentage of college graduates in each state, the study concluded that Florida is indeed one of the stupidest states in the nation, ranking 46 out of 50.
There are many things that may contribute to making life in Florida challenging, we'll admit. Florida has the most bugs of any state, the highest rate of identity theft, and is among the top ten states for poisonous drinking water. It's been called a sunny place for shady people, and Florida newscasts are full of the weird, the dark, and the dangerous. Here's a look at some of the pictures that prove it: Florida is ratchet.
15 Ratchet Regi And The Sausage Castle
Hey, it's not our label. Ratchet Regi calls herself the "most ratchet stripper" in Orlando and she shot to fame – of sorts – a few years ago after a Juggalo gathering. Regi was videotaped giving what she called a lap band lap dance to a 500lb man -- with her trademark librarian glasses on -- in a segment that was picked up by TMZ, MTV and other media outlets. She repeated the feat on stage a few weeks later. Regi, along with a group of other female freaks called the Busey Beauties, lives at a place called the Sausage Castle, run by a Juggalo by the name of Mike Busey. "If you're not 500 pounds, a midget, or molested by your dad, we don't have a need for you," Mike says of the place he's made a haven for serious freaks. Located in Osceola County, the Sausage Castle hosts wild parties, like the one where Regi was penetrated by a beer bottle, and in another, Mike used a drone to pull an American flag from one of the Busey Beauty's butts and then fly around with it. Naturally, there are guns available for fun times too.
14 Think Of The Children
The presence of children doesn't deter your average Floridian from any ratchety behavior, apparently. Fights at Chuck E. Cheese in Florida are par for the course. In Miami in October 2016, a massive brawl garnered worldwide headlines as the video went viral. The fight eventually engulfed nearly everyone in the place. Adults battled it out while the little ones scrambled to safety. According to a teen who filmed the melee, the fight started over someone looking at somebody the wrong way. No one was arrested in the incident. An earlier Chuck E Cheese fistfight in the state featured women pulling off each others' tops in front of rattled families trying to eat and have a good time. To be fair, there seems to be a rash of Chuck E Cheese violence nationwide, with several incidents cataloged from Cleveland to Louisiana.
13 Channing Tatum Is Florida Trash
Even heartthrob A-listers who hail from the Sunshine State have a seamy past. Sure, in Magic Mike, the 2012 male stripper film that helped cement Channing Tatum's reputation as a heartthrob leading man, the ripper game looks pretty glamorous. The female customers are hot, the club is clean, and the dancing happens onstage to an adoring crowd with slick production values. But, back when Channing was just a Florida boy hustling his way to a buck like anyone else, it looks a lot more bumpy and grindy, and the clubs just like any other semi-grimy bar you've ever been to. To the actor's credit, Channing has never denied his past, and even admitting to dabbling in drugs during his strip club days.
12 Redneck Christmas
The "Florida Santa" is a symbol you'll see used occasionally in the Sunshine State -- we'll let you imagine your own fat Santa on the beach, beer in hand. Other tropical locations have their own version of Christmas in a warm climate, but in Florida, there's always a trashy element thrown into the mix. In 2014, the town of Chumuckla, Florida had to cancel its annual Redneck Christmas Parade after 17 years because of beer-fueled shenanigans on the part of onlookers, including vandalism and property damage. On the same theme, and as proof that Florida's seamy ways extend beyond the boundaries of race, creed, or religion, we offer the December 2016 arrest of a bad Santa who was selling drugs from the back of a U-Haul on breaks from his gig at a shopping center in Jacksonville. Cops found pot and MDMA in his truck and taped to his leg.
11 Trashy Tattoos
There's a whole specific genre of Florida trashy tattoos – we didn't make that up. Part of the whole ratchet culture of Florida is its brashness. It's not just about drinkin' and fightin' anywhere and everywhere, it's about the pride Floridians take in their swampy lifestyle. So, it's only natural that they'd want to wear it on their skin permanently. There are many images, list, and other compilations of trashy Florida tattoos to choose from -- and that's just the thing about them. They reference the panhandle state in some way or another. Sure, there are probably a lot of douchebags in Seattle too, and probably a lot of them have tattoos, but we just can't picture the Space Needle on some West Coast biker's forearm.
10 Cash Me Ousside
Florida teen Danielle Bregoli shot to dubious fame in early 2017 after appearing on the Dr. Phil show to challenge audience members to fight her, or "cash me ousside." On a later show, she told Dr Phil, "You were nothin' before I came on this show," among other choice gems. She's not all talk, it seems. Police were called to the 13 year old's home no less than 51 times in 2016 for reasons that range from lewd lewd and lascivious behavior to obscene calls and fraud. In February, she got into a brawl on a Spirit Airline flight going out of LAX. Later that month, she showed up outside a bar in Lake Worth, Florida, inviting people to take selfies for $10. But, she and her girlfriends soon ended up in yet another fight. She may currently be the most famous feisty Floridian, but she's hardly alone on the list.
9 Jesus And Cars
Jesus, driving, and a complete lack of taste have somehow gotten completely mixed up in the state of Florida. As evidence, we present the Jesus car. Not just one Jesus car, but many such religiously themed vehicles. It's not just relegated to the realm of white trash trailer dwellers, either. In 2009, as the state was considering designs for custom made license plates, there were actually two heavily religious options on the table, including one that featured Jesus on the cross. The ideas were defeated on the basis of that old fashioned premise of the separation of church and state. In late 2016, a woman made headlines for her refusal to pay a fine. Her pick-up truck is airbrushed with religious scenes. What she got the ticket for was vinyl lettering on her windshield; however, she insisted she was being persecuted for being Christian. "I’m going to court for Jesus," she said of her battle over the $100 fine.
8 Sketchy Cities
We didn't come up with this ranking. Homesnacks.net measured various parameters including poverty, unemployment, crime, and public school funding levels to come up with the idea that Kissimmee is last on the list. So what's up with Kissimmee? High unemployment rates and poverty to start. There's a lack of affordable housing that strains the projects to capacity. The city's crime rate is well above the state average, and ranks among the country's most dangerous 10 percent both for both property and violent crimes in particular. Drugs seem to be another major problem, with rumors of trafficking along the same motel strip the city uses to lure tourist dollars.
7 Trashy Trailer Parks
Naturally, you knew that a trailer park had to be on this list at some point. Trailer parks are many people's vacation or even permanent home of choice. When land prices rise, though, making the development value of the land too high to pass up, it's textbook gentrification at work. That's what happened to the Little Farm Trailer Park in El Portal, which closed up in the summer of 2016 after decades in business. In this case, it disrupted a Haitian community that had thrived in the park for many years. Most of the residents owned the buildings they lived in, even while the land itself belonged to the park, and many, it has to be said, did maintain and even beautified their homes -- although not all. After a contentious process, the residents were evicted with $8,000 compensation per household. The property is being redeveloped into a multi-use complex.
6 Ratchet Criminals
Ya, we know. We're pretty sure that if we checked out mug shots from across America and around the world, that we'd come up with a pretty sorry looking collection of miscreants. Still, there's something about those Floridians, isn't there? As evidence, we'll cite just a few examples of what crazy criminals were up to in Florida during 2016. In June, a man tried to bury his boss with a front-loader at a construction site. The man, whose nickname is "Pork Chop," dumped a load of dirt on his boss, and then beat him with an aluminum level. In September, an Ocala woman was startled to wake up with a naked stranger beside her. The man, clearly drunk or high, bit the woman and attacked two other residents of the home before they over powered him. He later died mysteriously in hospital. In March, a woman tried to steal over $3,500 in souvenirs from Universal Studios theme park. Even visitors aren't immune. In December, a pants-free Canadian commandeered a luggage vehicle from the tarmack at Orlando International Airport. It's clearly something in the air.
5 Redneck Weddings
They call the part of Florida that stretches along Highway 98 from Panama City Beach to Pensacola, the Redneck Riviera. It shouldn't come as any surprise that it's also home to many redneck weddings. Suits and dresses in camouflage, or bikinis and shorts, mud wrestling bridesmaids, guns, guns, and more guns -- in Florida, redneck weddings are definitely a thing. Here, white people who can trace their roots in the area to pre-Civil War days are proud to be called crackers, and they're not ashamed to let their gun-loving freak flags fly. Our image comes from a 2012 wedding, where the invitations asked guests to join the happy couple in a "a big ol' muddy redneck wedding". The reception was held in the mud pit at a place called Hog Waller, and involved live music and mud bogging, whatever that is.
4 Crazy Catfights
Florida's not for pussies, apparently, not even if you actually have one. Catfights seem to be a regular feature of life in the Sunshine State, as ladies from all walks of life settle their differences with a left hook or two. In March 2017, a video posted on Facebook of a cop breaking up a catfight at an IHOP went viral. The scuffle started after the restaurant manager noticed a group of women had brought in their own boozy drinks in plastic cups, and asked them to get rid of them. The request apparently didn't go over well, and fists were soon flying. Five people were eventually arrested. That's nothing, though. During a single week in May 2011, two women tried to run over their romantic rivals with their cars in separate incidents. Just a casual perusal of headlines and Youtube videos reveals a plethora of catfight stories and vids, including a beach bikini dust up in April 2016, and in July 2015, a grocery store manager who made headlines when his girlfriend and his wife got into it in the store during his shift.
3 Even The Doctors...
It doesn't matter what demographic you fall under, or how upper class your profession or pedigree. Florida's ratchet-ness will suck you down into its grimy depths. A fourth-year neurology resident in Miami was caught on camera freaking out on a hapless Uber driver in January 2016. The Uber driver had been called by a group of people, but when he drove up to the sidewalk, he instead encountered the drunken fledgling doctor. Although he explained he was waiting for other clients -- who videotaped the encounter -- the woman tried to harass him into taking her instead. When he refused, she had a complete meltdown, yelling "You don’t know who the f--k you’re messing with right now!" Kicking and screaming, she grappled with the driver. At one point, the driver leaves the car, and she climbs in, screaming at him to get in with her, then throwing his possessions out of the car when he refused. She gave up shortly before the cops arrived and tried to just walk away, but the video evidence was enough to charge her. In the end, she escaped with a cash settlement in lieu of arrest but was placed on administrative leave from her residency with Jackson Health System in Miami.
2 Baked Possum
If you Google "baked possum" you'll find many, many recipes for this traditional Southern dish that is not only kept alive but celebrated in the panhandle state. The tiny town of Wausau, Florida is deep possum country and it's home to the Wausau Possum Festival, an annual celebration of North America's only marsupial. So much interest is there in the funny looking little animal that the festival draws about 7,000 to 10,000 people per year to the town of only 350 -- and that's for a dry, as in alcohol-free, celebration. The popular festival has become a frequent stop for local politicians on the campaign trail. Now, we do get it. During the Depression, there just wasn't enough to eat, so people had to get creative. But apparently, it's a custom that has survived, at least in some circles, to the present day. Squirrel is good too, so we hear.
1 8-Year-Old Robbers
Sadly -- as in, very, truly sadly -- it doesn't get more ratchet than 8-year-old armed robbers. The clerk at King Foods and Meat Bazaar in West Palm Beach was startled one evening in February 2016 when an 8-year-old boy pulled out a piece and told him to, "Give me the f---ing money." The boy was wearing a winter jacket and motorcycle helmet, with a sweater pulled up to cover his mouth. According to the store's staff, the youngster was pretty confident and sure of himself as he demanded that staff empty the till. Still, when you're 8 years old, it doesn't take much to be overpowered, which is just what a couple of staff members did. The kid later told police that he'd stolen the gun from his mother. The mother told the media that she would've locked the gun up if she'd thought her son was capable of the unbelievable act. Lucky for him, the courts decided he was better suited to a diversion program than jail, and the charges of attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault were dropped.
Sources: Explore Southern History; Orlando Weekly.