When we moved to the Sunshine State, we heard jokes about watching out for the gators. We had seen the occasional picture of a gator standing at someone's back door. We didn't really think there would be gator stories on a daily basis.
About a week after we moved here there was a story on the news about a guy who got his leg chomped by a gator. He had fallen asleep by some local body of water. While taking a naked nighttime stroll. While smoking crack. Whaaaat?
The next week we went to a state park with a nature preserve that had park rangers talking about the critters. We stood at the edge of a pond with a wire fence around it. We asked the ranger how many gators were in the pond. He offered to give us a demonstration. He started making a low noise that sounded like ooowaaaa, oowaaaaaa. The water began to ripple and we saw about 14 sets of gator eyes come out of the water and swim toward us. The ranger was making a noise that sounded like a baby gator in distress. Gators don't have the brain power to realize who's baby is in distress so they all come when they hear the cry. I wanted to make a noise like a grown woman in distress. We're still a little creeped out by the thought of it.
The first time I visited my friend's apartment he pointed out the electric fence around the community pool. He said it was to keep out the gators. He also taught me how to tell if there were gators in the pond.....no ducks in the pond!
I saw a news report that said "Former Gator dies of Ecstacy intoxication". My first thought was that the local club kids were messing around and the gators were "rollin on the E". My brain didn't even register that the U of FL sports teams were the Gators.
The latest gator news was too close for comfort. A condo complex on our street had a gator in a breezeway. It was 8 feet long. And climbing up the stairs to the second floor apartments! The local police wrassled him and tied him up in perfect gator cowboy style. They also got a reprimand for not waiting for the local authorized Critter Control Officers to arrive on the scene. I would have given them an award and a big raise!
See ya later, alligator.