Fark.com is the web's original destination for weird news. Chugging along for 16 years, the community-based site collects odd stories from all over and links to them with tongue-in-cheek headlines. You shouldn't be surprised that a site dedicated to weird news has a special fondness for Florida, but recently the site went too far with its Florida shade by attacking Publix.
It did not go over very well.
Linking to what is actually not a very weird story about Publix launching at-home delivery, the site used the headline "Publix, the Walmart of the south, will soon offer at-home delivery so your chances of being shot, beaten, or assaulted at the store are greatly reduced."
The Walmart of the South? First of all, Walmart is the Walmart of the South. Second of all, Publix, where shopping is a pleasure, doesn't even belong in the same sentence as Walmart, where shopping is a form of last resort.
Readers were not having it and took to the comment section to accuse the site of trolling and, oddly, share their fond memories of shopping at Publix.
And it just goes on and on like this for 70 comments with almost everyone discussing how much they love Publix. Fark is not a community known for heaping love upon things, by the way.
Fark, of course, is one of the internet's earliest and most influential traffickers of weird Florida news, but this stunt shows that even making fun of Florida has its limits.
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You can poke fun at our ridiculous politicians and we will nod in sad agreement. You can laugh about our batshit-crazy neighbors and we'll join in. You can be amazed by all the strange wildlife down here, and it's fine. Old people? Sure, go for it. Our education system? Fair game. The fact the state could be underwater in a century or so? Actually, please do keep attention on that fact.
You can make fun of Florida in almost any way, and we Floridians will take it. We have thick skin for that kind of thing.
But come for our Publix? Well, that's a step too far.
Love of Publix is one of the few things that unites the citizens of this crazy melting pot of a state, and maybe that's because, honestly, it's one of the few things we can be completely proud of.