Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Christmas time in Florida
While most residents of Florida are busy preparing for Christmas by setting up vaguely futuristic and disturbing nativity scenes made from mannequins, other Floridians find themselves stressed out by the holidays.
Like Matthew P. Lankford of Winter Haven.
Mr. Lankford's sister, Audra, got in some kind of a beef with a neighbor, Douglas Sheldon, while Mr. Sheldon was parking his truck. Audra called Matthew and told him about it.
Matthew must have been having a rough day. Maybe the $179 worth of lottery tickets he bought didn't pay out; maybe his pit bull got eaten by an alligator. Perhaps his inflated sense of family honor kicked in and he couldn't bear the idea of anyone disrespecting his sister. Who knows.
What we do know is that, shortly after getting that call from his sister, Mr. Lankford drove through Douglas Sheldon's yard, running over all of Mr. Sheldon's Christmas decorations. He even decapitated a snowman.
Mr. Sheldon responded by running over to Mr. Lankford's house, where, according to this story in the Orlando Sentinel, "an argument ensued between the men and several other people." (**Note: white trash neighbor disputes are a prized form of entertainment in certain communities, and frequently draw good crowds.)
Well, this madness had to come to an end eventually. So Mr. Lankford produced a .45 handgun and shot Mr. Sheldon a couple of times to prove his point.
Mr. Sheldon underwent surgery and is recovering. Mr. Lankford will spend Christmas in jail; a holiday meal of turkey loaf and pruno is a small price to pay for defending your sister's honor.