Yesterday, as the Missus, the Mistress of Sarcasm, and I drove from Destin, Florida to Savannah, Georgia, we found ourselves traversing a part of the Nation’s Landscape made famous by the eminent cartoonist Walt Kelly.
I speak, of course, of the Okefenokee Swamp…or as Walt would have it, the “Okeefenokee.” Home of Pogo Possum, Howland Owl, Churchy LaFemme, Miz Hepzibah, and numerous others.
And, of course, Albert the Alligator.
Of course, thinking of Albert made me think of Jimbo, who is legendarily averse to oversize reptiles of any kind. Jimbo’s dislike of gators borders on the pathological, unless you step back a moment and consider that it’s not entirely unreasonable to harbor a certain distaste for a creature that is capable of grabbing you in its monstrous jaws, hauling you underwater until you drown, then parking your carcass several days until it softens enough to be extra palatable and easy to gnaw upon.
It’s no wonder Jim hates alligators. Fact is, I believe Jim would rather be pretty much any place on Earth other than in the Okefenokee Swamp.
And yet, I know Jim well enough to know that he is, despite his Army o’ Peculiar Dislikes, a man who is willing to face his fears, to surmount the Pharookin’ Phobias that keep a person from leading a happy and fulfilled life.
So it was not a complete surprise when, as we drove through Waycross, Georgia – smack dab in the heart of the Okefenokee – I glanced out the window and saw – thought I saw, anyway – something… something vaguely familiar…