April 29, 2004

Alligators, A Confession. (Updated)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:08 pm

I read this story today over at Straight White Guy about a woman who was attacked while working in her garden by an alligator in excess of nine-feet long. The alligator dragged the 74 year-old woman the into the nearby lake. I have to tell you that the story sent a cold shiver down my spine.

The fact is that I am scared shitless of alligators. Sure, there are more dangerous animals on the planet, especially when they are hungry or angry. But there is something special about alligators that creeps me out, big time. They are ugly as snot, and they lurk around in rivers in the Southeast like large, heavily armored, spiked turds, just waiting to eat whatever they damned well please – and they will eat ANYTHING.

Sure, the environmentalists say that we should be able to live alongside alligators, and that if one follows all the safety tips, one probably will never be attacked (the operative word is “probably”). They will also remind us that, since the 1950’s there have been only slightly more than 326 reported attacks, with only slightly more than a dozen being fatal. That’s quite enough for me, thanks.

I’m sorry, but just the sight of an alligator scares the dogshit out of me. As much as I like Florida, you can bet your boots that I would never, ever buy a house near a river in the Sunshine State. Although it is often said that most alligator attacks occur in the water, try telling that to the lady in the above story linked by Eric, or to the lady who was riding in the back of a pickup truck with her feet hanging over the side, when one of these nasty beasts lunged up and grabbed her by the ankles. Oh, and if one of them decides to make you his land-lunch, running away probably won’t work, as alligators have been reported to be able to run up to 35 miles per hour for short distances (about as fast as a race hours, as I recall).

I am sure that environmentalists and those folks who (God knows why) have a fondness for alligators would urge that gators play an important role in the ecosystem, although I am unaware of exactly what that might be. Again, I’m sorry, and I know that I am being politically and environmentally incorrect (Is there a difference?), but I’d be just as happy to see these terrifying monsters on an alphabetical list a few rungs about the dodo bird.

The good news is that we don’t have these ghastly creatures in New Jersey. I’d rather deal with the mob, thank you.

Update: Reader, Jennifer Jenkins has advised me that one of the links, which appears in a few places throughout the post, is broken. She suggested that this page contains the type of information that was in the broken link. Thanks, Jennifer!


  1. I’m with you. Gators scare the crap out of me. Once we stopped at a rest stop in the Everglades & there were a bunch of gators in a fenced-off pond. We were taking photos when I noticed one of them stalking me. Everywhere I went around the enclosure he followed me. Really creeped me out.

    Comment by Rita — April 30, 2004 @ 8:32 am

  2. My List of Animals that Need Killing :

    1) Alligators

    2) Canadian Geese that dump all over and close the beaches and sicken swimming children

    3) Squirrels

    4) Pitbulls

    5) Pigeons

    6) Animals with nice, soft fur

    7) Snakes, bats and spiders

    Animals that Need to be Roughed Up and Put in Their Place

    1) Bears

    2) Lions

    3) PETA Activists

    4) Sharks

    5) Rep. Gerald Nadler

    Remember, if the geese invented guns, it would be us hiding in the bushes !

    Comment by cousin gary — April 30, 2004 @ 9:00 am

  3. Where I come from, we have no fear of alligators. It is the crocodiles that, on occasion, drag young joeys off for a sumptious dinner.

    Comment by Kang A. Roo — April 30, 2004 @ 12:13 pm

  4. When I was stationed in Orlando, we’d watch the gators sink from that creepy “eyes only” floating position as the tourists ran back and forth over them on waterskis.

    Comment by Pogue — April 30, 2004 @ 12:29 pm

  5. They are not handbags, yet

    Ya’ll remember when I made that trip to Florida and came back after havin’ driven all the way through The Everglades without seein’ a single alligator? I suspect James thinks I was a lucky fellow, and crazy because I actually…

    Trackback by Read My Lips — April 30, 2004 @ 12:47 pm

  6. Kang,

    Crocodiles, like those that are plentiful in your country, scare me even more than alligators and are even uglier.

    Needless to say, I think that “Crocodile Hunter” guy is a nutbar.

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — April 30, 2004 @ 5:12 pm

  7. Alligator tastes pretty decent when properly cooked.

    Here in Louisiana, you’re never far enough from the water to where you can positively guarantee that you WON’T see a ‘gator.

    Me, I worry less about them than I do John F. Kerry and Hillary (spit!) Clinton…

    Comment by mostly cajun — April 30, 2004 @ 11:02 pm

  8. ~ Sunday Psychosis ~

    Welcome to issue #4 of Sunday Psychosis.
    A weekly roundup of notable posts found in the blogsphere.

    Mrs. du Toit has an excellent essay on how the Nightline/Ted Koppel broadcast was politically motivated.

    John has a well written article expressing hi…

    Trackback by Extreme Psychosis — May 2, 2004 @ 8:03 am

  9. …I know what you mean, Jimbo.. Gators are some ugly sumbitches… and, dangerous… luckily, it gets too cold up here in Tennessee for them..

    Comment by Eric — May 2, 2004 @ 1:16 pm

  10. A guy that I dated lived on a pond of brackish water in Bradenton FL. One morning I heard this sound like a snowmobile on water right outside his lania. There was a 7′ gator, on it’s hind legs and tail trying to reach a bird in the tree outside his screen. Talk about freaking me out. I was so scared I grabbed the cat and locked the sliding doors. Didn’t even think to get a picture. Now, I live in an end unit townhouse with a bond of brackish water right to the side of me. I keep an eye on the birds. If they start disappearing, I’m not going outside. Not my favorite creatures either Jim.

    Comment by Tammi — May 2, 2004 @ 6:06 pm

  11. Tammi,

    Just the thought of seeing an alligator standing on its hand legs and tail outside my window loosens my bowels. Oy!

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — May 2, 2004 @ 8:22 pm

  12. FLA USA – Visit Florida

    When I read stuff like this I continually wonder why folks who live in ‘gator country can be this careless. You know there are ‘gators about and your up to your ass in prime habitat why should anyone be surprised…

    Trackback by A Secular Franciscan Life — July 23, 2004 @ 9:03 pm

  13. I did indeed remove your vulgar comment, which referred to me as an “idiot,” using a particularly unpleasant adjective before the word idiot. I will, however, leave your most recent comment in place and let your words speak for themselves, particularly the “beaten to death” and “idiots” parts.

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — September 5, 2004 @ 12:15 pm

  14. I need help proving to guys at work that an alligator can stand on it’s hind legs. Anyone have a photo? They can email me at wjtvamp@aol.com.

    Comment by Warren — October 15, 2005 @ 2:45 pm

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