Monday, July 7, 2014 | 2:03 a.m.
You have to pay attention in Florida. Things aren’t always what they seem to be.
For example, your barber shop might actually be a strip club.
Don’t laugh. It happened recently near Orlando, according to law enforcement authorities who raided Super Fades in Pine Hills and arrested the owner, Derrick Price.
“It’s a customer appreciation,” Price told a local TV station. “I thank my customers for supporting me. That’s all it was.”
Agents say that Price was operating his barber shop at night by charging at the door and serving alcohol while nude women were pole dancing to thumping music.
Hint: When the pole in your barber shop doesn’t have a swirling red, white and blue pattern, the place just might be functioning as a strip club.
Pay attention. You never know.
Last month, the Boca Raton Police raided the O Asian Wellness Spa & Massage in an office building across from a mall. The spa, it turns out, doled out wellness through a menu of sex acts, according to police.
For years, male clients have been going there and rating their experiences on a website devoted to massage parlors that offer illicit services.
“A little smelly inside,” one of the men posted. “Kind of reminded me of smoke and curry.”
Hint: If your wellness spa smells like stale cigarette smoke, you just might be getting more than a back rub.
It pays to be observant.
For example, parents of children attending the Balere Language Academy in Miami-Dade County grew concerned three years ago after discovering empty beer bottles in the school.
It turned out that this charter school, which taught kids from kindergarten to sixth grade during the day, had been operating as a nightclub during the evenings.
Hint: If your charter school employs a DJ at night, you just might be getting more “school choice” than you imagined.
And there’s no telling how long a 20-year-old St. Augustine man would have gotten away with pretending to be a police officer in North Florida if he didn’t pull over the wrong car last month.
Matthew Michael Lee McMahon activated a red-and-blue police light on his car when he made a traffic stop of a car driven by Chance Anderson. Unlucky for McMahon, the car he pulled over was an unmarked police vehicle, and Anderson was a detective who didn’t appreciate being stopped by a fake cop.
In Florida, first impressions are tricky.
Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist turned out to be a Democrat. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio turned out to be against his own immigration bill.
And Oneal Ron Morris of Miami Gardens wasn’t really a doctor after all, and that stuff she injected into the backsides of her patients was just Fix-a-Flat compound, a cement mixture used for emergency roadside repairs to flat tires.
Hint: If your doctor is using medications that can be bought at Advance Auto Parts, you might not be dealing with a real doctor.
In other news, Kevin Sutherland, the pastor of a Miami church, turned out to be a guy selling fake paintings purported to be originals by British artist Damien Hirst. The pastor is now serving a six-month jail sentence for selling the phony Hirsts for $185,000 to a phony art collector who was really a cop.
And as for the new attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, all that lush landscaping isn’t what it seems to be, either.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster ride appears to have real grass that blows in the wind, plus lots of real flowers, shrubs and trees.
But the theme park used a Chinese company to develop the real-looking fake grass, and there are 350 fake shrubs and 55 synthetic trees blended in with the real ones to give the attraction a more lush look.
At least the dwarfs haven’t put a stripper pole in their cottage.
Frank Cerabino writes for the Palm Beach Post.