I suppose that if you decide you want to crowd around the beaches of Florida as COVID-19 is raging, I could say you’re inviting the Grim Reaper to throw an errant scythe in your direction.
I would mean that figuratively. Daniel Uhlfelder, on the other hand, would think I’d hit upon a great idea — if, of course, he hadn’t hit upon it first.
Uhlfelder, a man who either can’t wait until Halloween or really needs some attention, is a lawyer who sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to get the state’s beaches closed, according to NBC News. DeSantis would eventually issue a 30-day beach closure notice, but reopened the beaches Friday.
This is a real tweet and probably ample evidence — in addition to the fact that Tom Brady is a Buccaneer, people are hosting pub trivia on Zoom and Fiona Apple actually released an album — that you must be living in a dream world, about to realize you’re standing in rocket-ship tighty-whities in your high school gymnasium two hours late for the SAT, except it’s not really your high school but something that’s kind of like it, plus Joey Buttafuoco is the test proctor and then you’re going to wake up and it’s Christmas morning 2019 and your wife is asking you whether you want blueberry or apple pancakes and all will be right with the world.
Except no, it isn’t, and this is your world now:
Many of you have asked if I am willing to travel around Florida wearing Grim Reaper attire to the beaches and other areas of the state opening up prematurely. The answer is absolutely yes. Beginning May 1 we will hit the road here in state. Please retweet and spread the word. pic.twitter.com/UO7QKg161n
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) April 22, 2020
“Many of you have asked if I am willing to travel around Florida wearing Grim Reaper attire to the beaches and other areas of the state opening up prematurely,” the liberal lawyer tweeted Wednesday.
“The answer is absolutely yes. Beginning May 1 we will hit the road here in state. Please retweet and spread the word.”
Those who are familiar with my writing (that’s not most of you, but bear with me, because there is a point) know this is always the part in these stories where I usually try to come up with a “to be fair, though…”, where I start off a sentence with those words and assure you that maybe this isn’t as crazy as it looks or maybe you’re jumping to conclusions.
Maybe this guy was off his Haldol. Maybe there was a … well, you know, this guy, he has a history of dressing as death and it’s kind of a weird time with the coronavirus and all, and… all right, so maybe he …
Yeah, OK, I’ve got nothing. Here’s my “To be fair, though”: This guy’s from Florida. There you go.
There’s all sorts of craziness down there and, yeah, he’s “willing to travel around Florida wearing Grim Reaper attire to the beaches and other areas of the state opening up prematurely.” Beats walking into a Denny’s high on meth and smeared with mud and detritus from the Everglades and demanding a Moons Over My Hammy. That’s it. That’s all I could come up with.
To be fair, though, most Denny’s are closed for anything but takeout, so that would be a little difficult.
So here was his explanation:
“I felt like something needed to be done, because they’re moving very quickly to open beaches prematurely,” Uhlfelder, of Santa Rosa Beach, told NBC News. “Wearing a Grim Reaper costume seems like a good way to send a signal that this is too fast and that we need to think seriously before we take that step.”
So a bit of background on Uhlfelder: He has a bit of history with Florida beaches. Not just now, because that would be normal enou… well, it would be more normal than this.
Late last year, Uhlfelder got a bit of a Twitter following because of the fact that he was trolling former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee over a dispute whether the beach in front of Huckabee’s property was his property or that of the public. At the time, Uhlfelder got great press despite the fact he was an obvious Twitter troll — calling Huckabee a “beach thief,” posting information on the dispute with obsessive regularity and retweeting generally obnoxious material.
Here’s one of his retweets, as per ABA Journal: “I’m trying not to picture Ol’ Man Huckabee slathered in Noxzema, clad in a Fox And Friends t-shirt, khaki shorts, calf-length black socks and sandals, wandering along the beach with a metal detector.”
A response, also retweeted: “Worse would be Sarah [Huckabee Sanders] all slathered in a thong bathing suit.”
Uhlfelder’s misogynist response: “You’ve gone too far,” he wrote. “Please stop before you break twitter.”
Eventually, Huckabee tried to attenuate Uhlfelder’s rather creepy and insistent attacks with a complaint to the bar in which he cited Uhlfelder’s “vile and unprofessional attacks” and “repeatedly posting disparaging information.”
In the wake of the battle, Uhlfelder launched the Make My Day PAC, “dedicated to fighting bad actors” and “pushing back against the silencing of Americans.”
But that was Mike Huckabee, the battlefield was Twitter and December of 2019 feels like “American Graffiti” compared to April of 2020.
In a piece published Dec. 6, South Florida Sun-Sentinel columnist Steve Bousquet’s take on the dispute was headlined: “Mike Huckabee’s outrageous campaign to silence a Florida critic.” In the column, Bousquet described Uhlfelder as “a lawyer on the public side of the beach access battle” who tweets “with sarcasm and humor.”
So what’s the Grim Reaper doing sitting up on lifeguard stand trying to discourage people from being out on the beach by being out on the beach, Steve? Is that sarcasm or humor? Is this wit? Or is this maybe someone who’s taking either too much or too little of his prescribed medication?
And while we’re at it, was that sexist remark about Sarah Huckabee Sanders “sarcasm” or “humor”? Enquiring minds want to know.
Anyhow, if you’re a Floridian and missed this guy’s beachfront act the first time around, don’t worry. Halloween has come early for those of you who don’t know if you’re going to stick around until the actual holiday.
“Uhlfelder added that he will use ‘the COVID Grim Reaper’ tour to raise money to support Democrats running for office, including Phil Ehr and Christy Smith, who are running for Congress in Florida and California, respectively,” NBC News reported.
Wow, so he’s drawing attention to himself people will come out and see him which is absolutely what he says he’s trying to avoid by going out to these beaches in a Grim Reaper outfit ASFDLKJASDF;LAKSDFJAFV,NMZXVCQASDF;JLsadffoijasdf;lasdzxcv;kl I’m done.
This is nothing more than an attention junkie in a Party City outfit who was desperately unhappy his 15 minutes of fame elapsed so fast and brought him so little.
So look at him! Look at him out on Florida’s wide beaches, protesting how opening them so soon kills people by being out there and, by his own logic, endangering the lives of other people!
This is a lawyer. He can fight this in court — but a suit-and-tie getup behind the plaintiff’s table doesn’t quite have the appeal that tweeting yourself from a lifeguard stand dressed as death does, right?
Whatever. Your relevance has an appointment in Samarra even this nauseating stunt won’t forestall, Mr. Uhlfelder.
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