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May 17, 2009

A gift from Florida’s prison guards to Carl Hiaasen

Filed under: Commentary — editorialconsultant @ 12:56 pm
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Those who enjoy Carl Hiassen’s wacky novels about crazed doings in Florida probably think he’s got a wild imagination. And he does. But, folks who live in Florida also know that he gets plenty of help from the politicians, developers, crooks, liars and civil servants of our state.

The headline this weekend in The Miami Herald just begs to find its way into a Carl Hiaasen novel. And those who don’t read about it today will assume, when they see how he spins it in a year or two, that Mr. Hiaasen has to be making this stuff up because it couldn’t possibly happen. And yet …

A total of 43 children were directly and indirectly shocked by electric stun guns during simultaneous ”Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day” events gone wrong at three state prisons, according to new information provided Friday by the Florida Department of Corrections.

Also, a group of kids was exposed to tear gas during a demonstration at another lockup.

… In nearly every case, the guards had permission from parents or grandparents to administer the ”electronic immobilization devices,” McNeil said.

”I can’t imagine what these officers were thinking to administer this device to children, nor can I imagine why any parent would allow them to do so,” McNeil said. “This must not happen again.”

All that said, Mr. Hiaasen has so many screwball Floridian antics to choose among, he might not consider the above worthy when compared, say, to this item:

A parachutist landed on a beer vendor at a coleslaw wrestling match during central Florida’s raucous “Bike Week” celebration.

– Anita Bartholomew

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