His books are filled with miscreant characters - thieves, lowlifes and shady politicians – characters who Hiaasen insists are inspired from real people and true occurrences. He’s quoted as saying "The Sunshine State is a paradise of scandals teeming with drifters, deadbeats, and misfits drawn here by some dark primordial calling like demented trout. And you'd be surprised how many of them decide to run for public office."
When 60 Minutes anchor Steve Croft asked Hiaasen why all of this stuff seems to happen in Florida, he gave his standard reply: "The most common answer that people give is if you took the continental United States and you tilted it a little bit, all the sludge would drip all the way down the peninsula, all the way down this highway … right past my house."
As a fellow Floridian, I tend to agree with Hiaasen. And about ten minutes ago I ordered three of his books from Half.com. I can’t wait to read them. However, this grim reality comes at no surprise. I’ve know this all along.
While growing up in St. Petersburg, a Gulf Coast city located in West-Central Florida and part of a tri-city metropolis, which makes up the Tampa Bay area, I learned pretty quickly that this was not at all like, Connecticut, the home of my mother and father. The place they grew up had history. The place I grew up had humidity. Their place of birth had family values. Mine had family issues. There were redneck hillbillies from the south, carpetbaggers from the north, migrant orange-pickers from Mexico, immigrant raft-riders from Cuba and Haiti alike.
I soon became aware of the truth after my outspoken Uncle Mark solidified it for me into words, “All the scumbags from all the different states in the union move to Florida in order to start over”. Uncle Mark’s not the authority on many subjects, but on this he is spot-on. Florida is a scumbag state and I will probably run for Governor someday.