Florida has no shortage of weird and wacky stories that contribute to its reputation as the 'punchline' state.

Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittman has spent decades collecting those stories. He’s made regular use of the #OhFlorida hashtag on Twitter for years thanks to a seemingly endless supply of bizarre news fodder. Now he’s compiled many of his favorites into a book. "Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country" is in bookstores now.

Craig Pittman

A good story comes with a good setting,  and Craig Pittman, a Tampa Bay Times reporter, sets the scene for some of Florida's wildest stories in his latest book, Oh Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.

Pittman says Florida has gained a reputation for producing some of the nation's most bizarre stories, like alligators battling pythons or unique government positions titled "mermaid." But Pittman hopes to link these stories to the rest of the world. 

Perhaps embodying the experience of many Miami residents, Jonathan Brooks is torn between two lands. His American father and Cuban mother raised Brooks in an environment that he describes as equal parts “Que Pasa U.S.A.?” and “I Love Lucy.”

Brooks, a writer, photographer and filmmaker, recently published the book "True Cuba," partially in response to "Vamos a Cuba," which was pulled from Miami-Dade County public school libraries in 2006 for portraying what critics called an unrealistic depiction of life on the island.