If you read enough Florida news every day, it's easy to wonder if nearly all of the state's politicians are suffering from head trauma. We're led by a governor unable to read the basic science behind global warming, by a junior senator who apparently sees phantom "left-wing extremists" trying to bring down the government, and by a county mayor who makes up reasons to comply with Donald Trump's unconstitutional orders.
If those sound like the actions of people who've recently taken a baseball bat to the head, maybe they are.
Last week, the medical-analytics company Amino tallied up the most disproportionately common injuries in each state. Residents in most states tend to suffer from garden-variety damage to their knees, like those uppity jogging types in New York, or scraped skin, like the fearless outdoorspeople of Hawaii. Floridians, instead, are suffering from an epidemic of head trauma. According to Amino's data, Sunshine State residents suffer from more head injuries than residents of any other state in the nation.
(We'll pause for a second to let you mutter to yourself: "Oh, that makes sense.")
To compile the data, Amino trawled through medical insurance claim data for each of the 50 states. For the record, the study didn't tally the most common injuries per state — minor cuts and bruises top the list of medical-insurance claims every year. The study instead tracked which injuries deviated most from national averages in each state.
(It's worth asking why six Western states seem to be suffering from a frightening epidemic of suffocation, but that's another story.) To give you a sense of just how skewed Florida's head-injury data must be, three other states — Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina — topped the list when it came to insect bites, and the Sunshine State is pretty damn experienced with those.
Sadly, the study didn't list what sorts of head injuries afflict Floridians daily, which leaves readers to guess what the hell is happening.
New Times' unproven theories about what's causing all of those head knocks:
1. Miami Marlins fans reflexively smacking their heads against hard surfaces whenever they hear the name "Jeffrey Loria" uttered in public.
2. People running into doorways while trying to flee alligators that have been thrown at them.
3. Celebratory July 4 fireworks, fired from the teeth, nostril, or ear canal, as is the traditional Florida way.
3. The classic Florida Panhandle take on baseball, called "hitting your brother in the head repeatedly with a loose car fender,"
4. Whatever happened to Rick Scott to make him the way he is.
5. Miami Marlins fans reflexively smacking their heads against hard surfaces whenever they hear the name "Joshua Kushner" uttered in public.
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7. Trying to drive literally anywhere any time of day, even 4 a.m. in your own driveway.
Hilariously, it seems drinking — which clearly beats baseball when it comes to Florida's pastime — likely isn't the culprit. When it comes to bar brawls, Amino says New Yorkers can't hold their liquor. That state apparently accounts for 10 percent of all bar fights in the United States every year.
That means we Floridians are clanging our heads on things without a drop of the Devil's juice inside us, just like God intended.