Weird Wild Stuff

Words by Shelton Hull


Let’s not bury the lede here: Donna Deegan actually won the mayoral race, by a pretty comfortable margin, despite the concerted efforts of the incumbent mayor, the governor, their two chief strategists, the new sheriff, a handful of alt-right websites and, last, but maybe not least, her actual opponent. This was, without question, the weirdest, wildest stuff that’s happened in local politics in many years, and it’s so nice to see Jacksonville in the news for something truly positive and uplifting. And now, back to the usual insanity …


New Jersey is lovely, but facts is facts, as they say up there: If you hang out there long enough, you’re gonna get hit with something. In this case, it was a dang ol’ meteorite, roughly four inches by six inches. A remnant of the Eta Aquarid shower, it smashed through the roof of a home in Hopewell Township at an estimated 140 miles per hour, a velocity that would have been very much terminal for anyone unlucky enough to be in its path. Thankfully, by the time it entered our atmosphere and impacted the earth, it had slowed bigly from its speed in space, which can reach upwards of 44 miles per second. At that speed, you could drop an airplane or sink a cruise ship with a projectile small enough to fit in your pocket — even if you’re a woman with those tiny pockets that the fashion industry forces on you to make you buy more purses. The funny part is that original news reports compared it to the pork roll (aka Taylor Ham), a Jersey delicacy. If it had been a pork roll, a lot of Jersey bros would’ve taken the risk of trying to catch it.

Drunk driving is wrong, and that is something we can all agree on. People will go to all kinds of crazy lengths to avoid catching a DUI; they’ll do damn near anything, except to not drive drunk. A Colorado man took this to an extreme when he was pulled over in Springfield on May 15. He was going 52 mph in a 30 mph zone, but as the cop was walking toward the man’s car, he saw the guy pick up his dog and place him into the driver’s seat, then sit in the passenger seat himself. Once he was called out on that, he tried to run, badly. Despite driving drunk for over 90 miles, he only made it about 20 yards on foot. We would normally say “allegedly” at some point here, but this seems to be one of those situations where even the most hardened “defunder” would admit that, yeah, the police are right this time. He caught several charges, along with two active warrants, but the dog was released on its own recognizance.

We turn next to Florida, specifically St. Petersburg, where Mutts and Martinis opened last month. Not only is it the very first full-service waterpark for dogs in the state, but it’s also the first dog park of any kind that also has a full liquor bar. The whole area is very pet-friendly, in fact, with pet stores and other amenities for the hundreds of dogs who congregate there, as well as the humans they bring with them. They offer day passes, as well as full memberships. The only requirements are that the dogs are fully vaccinated and neutered. Because we all know what happens when you get a bunch of Floridians together near water, whether they’re human or not.

From St. Pete, we turn to Key Largo, where a professor at Florida Atlantic University just broke the record for most time spent underwater. He has spent the time doing experiments to learn more about the physical and psychological effects of being underwater for so long. His lodgings are at Jules’ Undersea Lodge, which is located at the bottom of a 30-foot deep lagoon. He broke the old record of 73 days in mid-May, but he intends to stay put for a while longer. He’s also hosted more than 30 adults and 15 kids during his stay. It’s unclear just how long he plans to stay underwater, but hopefully he leaves soon because we want to use that place for an Airbnb next time we’re down that way.


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].