Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Yoys: Gator Bait

After a good old fashioned Florida thunderstorm, the temperature outside had cooled to an almost bearable degree.

I decided to take the boys out on the golf cart path and burn through the remainder of their boy energy.  My dad joined us and we were off.

My parents' neighborhood is so far West, they basically live in the Everglades. There is such an amazing array of wildlife that a simple walk can turn into an adventure.

This evening, we encountered not one, but two alligators on our walk. 

The first one wasn't very big, but I'd recognize those creepy eyes anywhere.  As a University of Florida alumni, I learned to be very alert on campus.  Forget about the drunk fraternity boys, it was one of these suckers you really had to worry about.  You never knew when a hungry gator would come ashore and attempt to eat your Birkenstock-clad foot for lunch. I'm talking to you, Lake Alice.


I kept my distance. My dad, on the other hand, gave zero f*cks.  He walked right down to the water's edge, while I took my offspring and safely climbed up a nearby palm tree.

As we continued on, we encountered a much larger lake with some cool birds. The birds here are big. Not like swoop down and eat your dog big, but like starting center for the Miami Heat big.  They have legs that rival mine.  They are quite beautiful. 

And it was then that I spotted the second alligator.  My dad doubted my latest find. He thought it was some floating plant.  But again, those creepy eyes.  Just breaking the water plane to keep an eye on his next meal while the remainder of his prehistoric body remains submerged.


And this thing was big. I could tell by his snout. He would gladly eat all of us for dinner.  My dad walked closer to the lake. 

ARE YOU SURE THAT'S A GATOR? 

Um, yes. And, again, I began to make my way cautiously away from the lake.

The pictured bird flew off and just then the gator, that my dad wasn't so sure was a gator, gave a good thrashing and repositioned his eyes on us.

We screamed in unison and sprinted off, while laughing like fools.

My dad and I ran straight.

But my kids, they ran zig zag.

You see, in the early 80s, I spent a few years in the Brownies, the pre-cursor to the Girl Scouts. I learned a few songs, how to eat a sh*t ton of thin mints and not get ill, and most importantly, if I was ever being chased by an alligator, because this is the kind of stuff you learn in Glades Troop 101, you are supposed to run in a zig zag pattern because while alligators are fast, they have a terrible turning radius.

In passing, I must have told the Yoys this.  And they remembered.  So as I'm running away (in the incorrect way), I'm watching my kids scatter onto the golf course yelling ZIG! ZAG! ZIG! ZAG! at the top of their lungs while they actually zigged and zagged.

It was perfect.  And the alligator ate none of us for dinner.


The only type of alligator I want chewing on my kids. Albert.

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