Weird Wild Stuff

Words by Shelton Hull


The only April showers we’re bringing here this month are showers of nonsense, starting with our fellow Floridians, who really need to tighten up their game. According to a study by Innerbody Research, out of the 100 U.S. cities with the highest STD rates, seven of them are in the Sunshine State, including three of the top 25. Among them, Jacksonville ranked No. 16, followed by Miami at  No. 17 and Fort Lauderdale at No. 19. Orlando (No. 53), Tampa (No. 59), West Palm Beach (No. 83) and Daytona (No. 87) also made the list. Overall, Memphis finished first, if you wanna call it that.


Speaking of winning at losing, do you work out? It’s OK to say no; we’re not judging you. But we are judging this new cadre of gym bros who, according to TikTok, are just way stoked about the outlandish amount of protein in commercial dog food, and they are just out there, getting that work. Now, by “getting that work,” I mean that they’re slamming cans of dog food on social media, and that is just stupid. Best part is that certain culinary trends are developing, debates on flavors, and at least some casual discussion of the fact that they’re eating dog food, and maybe perhaps NO? Buzzfeed has a whole article about this. Don’t read it.


Here’s a tale of two marathoners who couldn’t just compete like regular folks. The first one Takanobu Minoshima finished the Tokyo Marathon in early March in 3 hours, 28 minutes, a remarkable achievement by any standard, but especially while wearing “Geta,” traditional wooden platform sandals worn in Japan and parts of China for thousands of years. He finished an hour behind, but at least he finished. Same goes for DJ/producer Diplo, who was apparently inspired by Oprah Winfrey to run the L.A. Marathon in late March. Problem was, he had only run 10 miles at any one time in his life. His solution — literally — was to put five drops of pure liquid LSD into his water bottle the night before. Diplo finished in three hours, 55 minutes — not bad for any 44-year-old, especially one in his state. (We could go into a whole discussion of psychedelics in various forms of exercise and physical activity but not today.)


Australian surfer Blake Johnson recently set a new record in his sport, spending 40 consecutive hours on his board in the ocean off Cronulla Beach in Sydney. He duly demolished the previous record of 30 hours, 11 minutes and taking it to a level that may prove too dangerous to even attempt breaking. Stopping only briefly for sunscreen, snacks and eyedrops, he rode over 700 waves (sometimes in total darkness) while dodging jellyfish and multiple varieties of sharks. Best of all, he raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars, all of which was donated to mental health charities in his community. This is the way.


Legendary comedian Dick Van Dyke has cheated death yet again, and thank God for it. The 97- year-old caught a wet patch of them Malibu streets that sent his Lexus LS 500 skidding into a gate at considerable speed on March 22, leaving his nose and mouth bloodied plus a concussion. We think. No one is sure, however, because he went home, instead of the hospital … because he’s Dick Van Dyke. It’s only funny because the man is clearly indestructible and has lived his golden years with no f*cks given. This accident comes a decade after his Jaguar blew up on an L.A. freeway. Onlookers pulled him out of the burning car, unconscious, after which he signed autographs and went home, instead of the hospital … because he’s Dick Van Dyke. (He later tweeted a picture of the wreckage, offering the destroyed vehicle for sale, cheap.) He almost died again, a few years later, when he fell asleep while surfing in Virginia Beach (at age 91), then drifted out into the ocean, where he was saved by a group of porpoises that gently nudged him awake before he could drown or be eaten by sharks. He noted that, although he was beyond sight of land, the porpoises pushed him to shore. That poor gate in Malibu had NO chance!


About Shelton Hull

Shelton Hull has been writing for Folio Weekly since 1997, but his resume goes back even further. He has written for almost every newspaper, magazine and zine in Northeast Florida, as well as publications like Orlando Weekly, Narrow GNV, Creative Loafing Tampa, Charleston City Paper, Ink19 and The Atlantic. He currently writes the "Folio Weed" column, which he created in 2018; he remains one of the widest-read and most influential cannabis writers in the world today. He also compiles material for "Weird Wild Stuff" column, and he previously wrote the legendary "Money Jungle" column for Folio Weekly from 1999 to 2009. He is a regular contributor to "First Coast Connect" on WJCT, as well as the Jacksonville Music Experience. He is a co-host of "The Contrast Project" and the "Bold City Civics" podcast. He is also a co-founder of the record label Bold City Music Productions. He can be reached at [email protected].