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A Lobster Tale

The Onion has a running gag involving headlines in which a “Florida Man” does something outrageous and often criminal. Then you find out the headline is for a real story from the land of the bizzaro.

Examples: “Florida Man Dances on Top of Police Cruiser to Ward Off Vampires” or “Florida Man Puts Dragon Lizard in His Mouth, Smacks People with It.”

Having grown up in the Sunshine State, I can personally attest that life there is pretty weird.

Take, as another example, this story involving a “Florida Woman.”

Fortunately, it doesn’t involve a machine recount, or a hand recount, or stories of some guy putting on a Groucho nose and glasses so he can vote twice.

It involves a lobster pinched at a Red Lobster (possibly, it was a rock lobster…either way, imagine The B-52s song as the soundtrack to this item).

In St. Petersburg on Nov. 10, a woman named Kimberly Gabel, 42, was in a Red Lobster restaurant, and she was loud and apparently drunk. At 1:15 in the afternoon.

The manager asked her to leave because she was disturbing other customers. She started cursing and making a scene. Walking to the door, she spied a tank containing live lobsters (who knew they kept real lobsters at Red Lobster?).

She grabbed one of the crustaceans and ran. Manager called 911.

A short distance from the restaurant, the cops found Gabel – she smelled of alcohol and was slurring her speech, according to the police report posted by The Smoking Gun.

Where was the lobster? Gabel, still cursing, said she didn’t know because she was “blacked out drunk” and that she “did not care because she did not do anything wrong,” according to the police report.

Oh, to live in a world of alternate facts, where there is nothing “wrong” with being blind drunk on a Saturday afternoon and disturbing a restaurant full of people. Kind of like living in a world where the “Shaggy Defense” (A claim that “It wasn’t me!” – despite eyewitness testimony and video evidence) gets you off every time. Good luck with that.

Gabel was charged with disorderly intoxication, a second-degree misdemeanor carrying a possible 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. She was released on a $100 bond. Smokinggun.com reports this won’t be Gabel’s first rodeo in court: she has a long rap sheet that includes arrests for theft, drug possession, domestic battery and drunken driving, to name just a few.

Here’s the question that no doubt everyone is wondering: What happened to the lobster? Officials in Pinellas County, Florida, said that the critter is still missing, according to the New York Daily News.

I’m hoping that the lobster makes it back to his briny home and lives a long, happy life.

Picture the lobster telling his wee grand-lobsters the story of his salvation and personal exceptionalism, a tale that becomes the stuff of lobster legend, even myth: “And then, little ones, the Drunken Goddess of Liberation reached into the Tank of Certain Death and chose me…”