The U.S. State Department, which issues travel warnings cautioning Americans about visiting potentially dangerous foreign countries, has for the first time in its 226-year history issued a warning for an American state: Florida.
Addressing reporters at a daily press briefing at the White House today, Secretary of State John Kerry explained the unprecedented new warning. "Florida has been an area of concern to us for a very long time. We've tried collaborating with state officials to turn things around but nothing ever works. We now realize there's no way to fix Florida. Our only option left is to ignore it. The president has instructed FEMA, the National Guard and other federal agencies to stand down on all issues related to Florida."
The State Department's website elaborates further on travel warnings: "Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. We want you to know the risks of traveling to these places and to strongly consider not going to them at all."
The Sunshine State, Kerry said, meets all those criteria and more: "Florida's mixture of unpredictable weather, third-world politics, social combustibility, deadly animals, toxic algae, widespread gun ownership and general lunacy make the state a terrifying place to visit."
Kerry's warning places Florida on a list alongside countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and North Korea, prompting several reporters at today's briefing to express concern about traveling to the state to cover local news. Most of the hilarious, nonsensical stories popular with their readers, they said, originate in Florida.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a high-ranking State Department official told The Plantain, "You're still free to travel to the state, but when the shit hits the fan - and in Florida it eventually always does -- you're on your own."
The source went on to explain that prominent figures within the government have argued for years that Florida should be on the Travel Warning list, but their concerns were always overruled to avoid angering Florida's important white swing voters. Demographic shifts and growing progressivism, however, have nullified that concern, making it possible for the federal government to ignore the Sunshine State once and for all: "We can now finally say to Florida, 'Later Alligator' without fear of a political backlash."
In a moment of candor, John Kerry ended the White House briefing with the following statement: "If you're planning to go to Florida, don't. If you're already there, leave. You'd be amazed at how quickly your Florida fantasy can turn into a horror show."