"Daddy, what are you doing on the compooter?" My five-year-old son asked moments ago.
Staring intently at the screen, I responded without looking up, "I'm looking for column fodder."
His response came after a long, confused pause.
"Whose father? Colin's?"
When desperately searching for column fodder, or even Colin's father, there is one always-reliable source - the freaks of the state of Florida.
I don't know what it is about the state to our south, but they weekly post the strangest headlines (with Germany being a stout second). Witness the weirdness I found in just a quick perusal of my "compooter":
Ernie's House of Cats.
The Key West City Commission recently exempted a home from city law prohibiting more than four domestic animals in a household. Why? Because descendants of Ernest Hemingway's six-toed cats live there - 50 of them.
According to an Associated Press story, the USDA has been locked in a longtime dispute with the Hemingway House over the cats. The city commission found that the "family of polydactyl Hemingway cats are indeed animals of historic, social and tourism significance.'"
That's not actually that strange for Key West.
I can find better.
Use what you have.
A Florida man was arrested after allegedly hitting his brother with a garden gnome and a ladder.
The alleged gnome-hurler, Johnathan Gesell, is facing charges of aggravated assault, criminal mischief and two counts of aggravated battery in connection with the incident.
In addition to the gnome, Gesell, who is listed as being unemployed (a trait among gnome-hurlers), is also accused of hitting his brother with a ladder. Apparently, no pillows were handy.
Use what you have, II.
A Destin, Fla., man is accused of stabbing another man with a fish.
Police said one of the men threw a catfish at his 22-year-old friend during an argument.
The fins went in about three-quarters of an inch and stuck in the unidentified man's back.
Lifeguards cut the fish away and the victim was taken to a hospital.
I need 12 CCs of Glitter, stat!
An undercover Orange County, Fla., deputy claims he went to a Florida hospital for a shot of pain medication, but instead the syringe was filled with glitter.
The officer claims he was injected with cosmetic glitter, and has suffered health problems since the injection. An analysis determined he was injected with "green and red sparkling material" - glitter - in his buttocks.
The matter is now going to court, where I'm sure, they get to the bottom of it.
Bad driving ain't just for the very old.
A chase with speeds of up to 100 miles per hour ended when the driver flipped the car in an Alabama beach town. The driver was charged with drunken driving, and she was also 11 years old.
From the Reuters story, the young driver was from Perdido Key, Fla., and ended the chase in nearby Orange Beach, Ala., suffering minor injuries in the crash.
What a dummy! Why would anyone want to escape to Alabama? She'll know better when she's 13.
Or for the unlucky.
Single mom buys her dream home. Two hours later, a drunk driver crashes a car through the house, causing an estimated $50,000 in damage.
When the shaken homeowner walked outside, she saw the driver of the vehicle, covered in blood, with a cigarette in one hand and a cell phone in the other.
"Do you have a light? I'm on house arrest," the woman, Jennifer Rae Parr, is quoted as saying. Parr was charged with DUI, escape from custody, violation probation, resisting with violence, and resisting without violence.
How exactly can one resist with violence and also resist without violence?
It's only possible in one place - Flor-a-duh.
Len Robbins is an award-winning columnist whose weekly column appears in