Our dumb state
Yet another installment of our semi-regular compendium of idiocy
Published: December 2, 2010
Long before the incessant water-cooler gurgle of pat downs and “backscatter,” full-body exposure inspired by the Transportation Security Administration’s foray into security voyeurism, the hostile locker-room potential of said technology had already made its Benny Hill entrance in Florida. During the last year, goateed TSA unpleasantry Rolando Negrin, 44, allowed himself to be a test-case for one of Miami International Airport’s shiny new electronic humiliation machines, holding his arms up and putting it all out there for his TSA colleagues to see. Well, what they saw was not much (and not in that squinty “is it a constellation or a galaxy?” kind of way). After about a year of displaying his diminutive personal baggage, Negrin had become the butt of the wet-towel snap hilarity common among underpaid workers. He fielded an untold number of snail or macaroni jokes until May, when his temper flared in a manner perhaps his penis could not. A supervisor pointed, laughed and sent Negrin into a fury; he “could not take the jokes anymore and lost his mind,” according to the police report.
Like anyone in need of alternate equipment in a pinch, Negrin reached for a long police baton and followed one of his coworkers out into the employee parking lot. When his intended victim, Hugo Osorno, cowered in his car, probably not giggling anymore, Negrin knocked him in his head and back with the bully stick, then demanded that Osorno get down on his knees and beg for forgiveness. Osorno did just that, then jetted off in his shamemobile. Negrin was greeted at work the next day by police who charged him with aggravated assault. No one – not even the littlest of ones – are safe.
TRIMMED TO DEATH
For 13 years, good ol’ boy Daniel Antrobus, 48, prided himself on his ability to trim unwieldy branches from Florida’s ever-ascending pine tree brush. He also, apparently, was rather fond of his frugality; his Leesburg tree-trimming business was called Bottom Dollar Tree Service. So when 5 p.m. rolled around one Tuesday in March, Antrobus wasn’t about to let a little on-the-job accident send him running to the timeclock or the tourniquet. From 40 feet in the air, Antrobus hollered down to his support staff that he had cut himself, but because he was already so comfortable perched up in the sappy branches, he would keep working and deal with the bone-exposing four-inch gash he had just carved into his own leg later.
“He’d look around every once in a while so you knew he was awake,” neighbor Elizabeth Hopkins, who eventually called 911, told the St. Petersburg Times. “You think about it and you think about it, and you want to go back and say, ‘You’ve got to get yourself down.’”
Antrobus would not get himself down, though. That would take the services of Pasco County Fire Rescue, which eventually pulled Antrobus from the tree strapped to an extended ladder. By the time he hit land, it was already too late. The last branch Antrobus ever trimmed was his own.
> Email Billy Manes