Florida, or “America’s Wang”, was annexed by Andrew Jackson after the War of 1812 against the orders of President James Monroe, who thought it would cause nothing but trouble. James Monroe was a smart man and one of our most underrated Presidents. One writer describes Florida at the time as “a volatile no-man’s-land, a center for international intrigue and illicit commercial activities.” It hasn’t changed. The state is divided into beaches, which make up one percent of its land area, and pestilential swamps, which make up the other ninety-nine percent.
The largest city in Florida is Jacksonville. The largest metropolitan area is Tampa-St. Petersburg. Some sources claim that the largest metro area is Miami, but the United States Census Bureau has defined Miami as “a free-flowing mob” since 1970. The Miami city government was almost dissolved in 1997, and I am not making that up. Miami’s nickname is “The Magic City”, which they stole from Birmingham; this is appropriate as theft is Miami’s third-largest industry after drug-running and tourism, just beating out bribery and land swindling. Miami is the home of writer Dave Barry, whom I am not ripping off at all.
Miami has been the setting for several television shows featuring massive shootouts and explosions, including Miami Vice, Burn Notice, Dexter, and, most violent of all, The Golden Girls. The most important musical acts associated with Miami are KC and the Sunshine Band, the Bee Gees, and Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. So let’s just leave music alone.
Miami’s greatest sports hero is Dan Marino, who never won a Super Bowl and has a great sense of humor about it; be sure to bring it up if you see him. The 1972 Miami Dolphins were the only team in NFL history to have an undefeated regular season and go on to win the Super Bowl. Every year, the surviving members of the team have a ritual: when the last undefeated team in the NFL loses, they break open a bottle of champagne, which they pour on the ground as a libation to their Lord and Master Satan, to whom their souls are forever bound by dark and secret oaths. The Florida Marlins have won two World Series in their existence, but their fans are waiting until they win a division title to come out to the games. Miami also has a professional hockey team, due to South Florida’s longstanding reputation as a winter sports hotbed.
The highest point in Florida is the top of Shaquille O’Neal’s head. Florida’s official state animal is the pet python that escaped and lives in the Everglades and eats dogs.