Quiz: Weird Florida news or a vaccine fever dream?
A Publix sub saga, penalties for keeping rocket parts and a brazen wedding couple.
Publix chicken tenders sub or vaccine side effect?
Publix chicken tenders sub or vaccine side effect? [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ]
Published Apr. 30

More people have been getting their second doses of COVID-19 vaccine. You may be sleepy, sore, queasy, fuzzy around the edges, which means your immune system is doing its job.

But how can you be sure if you’re reading real Florida news or experiencing a vaccine fever dream? As always, the Sunshine State feels one blink shy of reality. I’m not even talking about the Legislature shoehorning dead bills into education packages at the last second, the way one crams an I HEART NY mug into one’s backpack at LaGuardia Airport.

Get your Pedialyte and Tylenol PM ready! Here’s a hazy guide to recent events.

Publix snub

Did Publix silence a Twitter account called “Are Publix Chicken Tender Subs On Sale?” Reader, you were not in a suspended state of Pfizer animation. This was real news.

University of Central Florida grad Bryan Dickey, 26, runs @pubsubs_on_sale, which does exactly what it says. He claims Publix applied legal pressure over his adjacent text service, which sends notifications if you text “PUBSUB.” Honestly, a brilliant business mind. The Founding Fathers are fist pumping in their early-American graves.

Publix has not commented, but this move tracks. Publix is the Mariah Carey of grocers; you must not look Publix in the eye. Years ago, I asked to do a behind-the-scenes story about their heartwarming holiday commercials. I repeat, I wanted to investigate how good their commercials are. The answer was something along the lines of, not this year, nor the following years, but thank you. Publix is a vault.

Quick props to Kyle Wood with Fresh Take Florida, a news service of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, who broke the sub scandal open and wrote this vivid description of the questionable comestible: “double hand-breaded chicken tenders with cheese and condiments on a doughy sub roll.” Get Kyle a sandwich!

Rocket flam

Did you wake up with aches and chills and shout, “GAIL, ARE THERE SPACE PARTS ON OUR LAWN?” You could be forgiven.

On Monday, lawmakers passed a bill that requires Floridians to turn over parts of rockets and space debris that fall from the sky or face a misdemeanor and fines up to $1,000. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found un-manned capsules next to the recycling bin.

According to rocket types, this is necessary because SpaceX, which launches out of Cape Canaveral, is reusing parts to cut costs. Yes, SpaceX has become your mother, who sends you home with an old Country Crock tub full of baked ziti.

Nearly beloved

Hey, is that injection site pain making you toss, turn and have wild dreams that a Florida couple tried to throw their wedding at someone else’s house?

Nah, that happened! Courtney Wilson and Shenita Jones invited family to their nuptials in a Fort Lauderdale mansion, with a bowling alley, pool, tennis courts. It was a red-carpet affair, with a brunch the next morning. Sounds plush!

Well, according to the owner, the couple definitely didn’t have permission and showed up anyway, calling it “God’s message.” That’s a line I have used to get into several parties, with mixed results.

Wilson told the Sun Sentinel, “I don’t want to talk about it,” which is great energy to keep in mind for the rest of 2021.

Sleep it off, friends. It’s only getting weirder from here.

Related: Read more columns from Stephanie Hayes

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