Florida Man Talks About Pizza Bear Monster at Hurricane Irma Press Conference

In general, when you need an interpreter for a press conference, you want to make sure that you get one who is fluent in the language you need them to translate to. You probably wouldn’t hire someone to interpret Italian if the only thing they could say in Italian was “Andiamo fratello, non Mastroianni tutti i funyuns.” This need for “qualifications” and “competence” did not occur to the Manatee County Commissioners when they issued an evacuation notice for Hurricane Irma, and they just grabbed some dude with a deaf brother. There’s a video on YouTube that captions his attempts at signing.

Look at that gorgeous nonsense. “Pizza want you are. Need be bear monster.” “That. Z tv. Crazy.” “You want dog cat. Erates. PP eat medicine for ADA.” I want to hire this guy to interpret Donald Trump’s tweets, they might actually start to make sense when run through another nonsense filter like this.

According to the New York Times, the county said they asked Marshall Greene to interpret because they were “in a pinch” and didn’t have time to find someone who knew sign language. This turned out about as well as you’d have expected.

“We just need you to be safe,” Robin DiSabatino of the Board of County Commissioners in Manatee County said at the Sept. 8 briefing. She urged those in low-lying areas and flood zones to seek higher ground and consider staying at shelters.

But for residents who were deaf or hard of hearing, the message was quite different: “Pizza,” the interpreter appeared to sign. Then, “Bear monster.”

I’ve had nightmares about a pizza bear monster. Delicious, horrifying nightmares. It didn’t actually end there.

Mr. Rosenblum tried to decipher the beginning, starting when officials announced the evacuation, but he could only make out a jumble of disconnected phrases. “On that news” was followed by “need evacuate” and later, “pray wait water.”

I don’t know what all the fuss is about, he said “need evacuate”. That’s the main thrust of what they were saying. He should have just signed “evacuate” over and over again, like a safety dalek, because he seems to know that one.

According to local station WFLA, he made some other faux pas, such as wearing a yellow shirt, which meant no one could see his hands, which, as we now know, wouldn’t have helped anyway. He also looked over at the person speaking, while sign language interpreters are supposed to look straight at the audience or camera, which seems a bit nit-picky considering the guy didn’t actually know sign language.

To be fair, he actually knew a bit of sign language. He wasn’t like the mental patient who wandered on stage next to President Obama at Nelson Mandela’s funeral and just started waving his hands about. But next time, Manatee County, home of the Fightin’ Sea Cows, call this lady who signed for Snoop instead. Or just anyone who actually knows sign language.

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