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As the modern ancestor of drunken American folk hero Jigger Johnson, Florida Man’s list of accomplishments reads like the strangest police blotter in the history of drunken hijinks: beating up a swan, throwing an alligator through the window of a Wendy’s drive-thru, driving into a house while attempting to time travel, using a mixtape as an official form of identification, and launching an exploratory committee for a presidential run, among others. But one Florida resident's joke response to the imminent arrival of Hurricane Irma may capture America’s id as its finest.
Last week, out of “a combination of stress and boredom,” Florida man Ryon Edwards invited his fellow Sunshine Staters to literally “shoot at Hurricane Irma” on Sept. 10 in a goofy Facebook event invite: “YO SO THIS GOOFY LOOKING WINDY HEADASS NAMED IRMA SAID THEY PULLING UP ON US, LETS SHOW IRMA THAT WE SHOOT FIRST.”
It’s a great joke, even if “stand your ground” is no longer legal dogma in Florida, but when more than 54,000 signed up to attend the statewide shootout, local law enforcement literally had to remind Florida residents to please, for the love of God, don’t discharge your firearms in the direction of Hurricane Irma.
To his credit, Edwards told the Associated Press on Sept. 10 that his call to arms was clearly intended as a joke that “may have gone over many people’s heads,” adding that “I’ve got people in my inbox mad as hell because they think this is actually happening. I don’t know whether to laugh or sigh.”
To be fair, falling bullets are no joke. Out of the 284 stray-bullet shootings analyzed by University of California researchers in a 2012 study, some 5% were the result of falling shells from “celebratory gunfire” — less than other bystander gunfire incidents, but still significant given that those 284 incidents resulted in 317 deaths or injuries.
According to The Trace, this problem is particularly salient in a state like Florida, where city officials frequently beg residents to avoid celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July.
"I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself,” Edwards told BBC. “It has become something a little out of my control."
As of Sept. 10, Edwards had updated his event with a reminder to "attendees" with a more serious call to action in the face of Hurricane Irma. "Make sure to help each other out during and after the storm in whatever way you can," he wrote. "While the news will make countless stories about us "encouraging" people to shoot the hurricane, there will be far less coverage on how Floridians always have each other's backs in times of need."
Okay, so Facebook isn’t actually a call to unleash a hail of lead at your local storm system, but it is chock full of great memes! The only one that’s missing — this gem from 1996’s Independence Day:
Photo via 20th Century Fox
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.
The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.
We salute the foul-mouthed Navy vet remembered as 'the most inappropriate guy with the biggest heart'
Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.
"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.
The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.
Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.
A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.
William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.
He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.
Reuters) - Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, was killed in a U.S. counter-terrorism operation, the White House said on Saturday.