Saturday, November 20, 2010

When Alligators Attack

A few years back, I read a news story about a guy.  This particular guy was smokin' crack, naked and found himself in the jaws of a 12 foot long, 600lb alligator at 4AM in Florida.  I won't go into the obvious evils of drug use at this time (This is your brain....This is you brain... on drugs... being eaten by an alligator...) but felt the need to state some things which might appear obvious but are apparently not obvious to some folks.

The Florida newspaper story had a link to the actual audio recording of the 911 call.  I listened to the recording twice with my jaw on the floor.  Surely this was a joke.  

In an effort to advance the ball and improve on human interactions and communications, I offer the following advice to anyone I know that, in the unlikely event that (i) I'm ever being eaten by an alligator (naked or not) and (ii)  we are together when it happens, PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS until my semi-conscious body is safely on a helicopter.  (Please note:  The following questions are taken, verbatim, from the 911 call recording.  The answers are how I would personally have responded if the questions had been asked of me.  Feel free to play along at home and add your own questions / responses in the comments section.  This is a family show so please keep it PG-13).

Close your eyes and in your mind, imagine the sounds of crickets, walking, breathing, rustling of clothes, general chatter between the caller and 911 operator, etc.  The caller is explaining he heard “someone” yelling for help in the middle of the night and is going out to investigate with his cell phone.  Upon arriving at the shoreline, the caller “discovers” there is a person, in the swamp, in the jaws of a large alligator, yelling for help.  You can clearly hear the questions and responses in the exchange between the caller and the naked, stoned guy in the marsh.  The caller explains the situation to the 911 operator and then starts asking Marshman questions.  (Remember, the questions are REAL and were actually yelled to the high, naked guy who was in the process of becoming dinner.  The answers are my theoretical answers.)

[fade in from black]

1.  "How big is it?"
How big is it????  Heck if I know.  Do you mean length or weight?  Let's put it this way, big enough to grab me so I can't get way.  

2.  "What's it got?  Your leg, your arm, what?"
While perhaps relevant to the plastic/reconstructive and orthopedic surgeons, the fact that I'm (a) in his mouth and (b) can't get away should be enough information at this time.

3.  "Does the gator still gots your arm?"
I realize now is not the time to correct your grammar.  YES, Matlock, it still "gots" me!  I thought this was obvious since I'M STILL IN THE WATER, YELLING FOR HELP, AND SHOUTING SUCH THINGS AS "A GATORS GOT ME"  Please note, I did not say "A gator HAD me but that, in fact, a gators GOT me (present tense).

4.  "Hey, try to punch him in the nose, he might let you go!"
First, no reason to call out "Hey" and get my attention before your suggestions.  Believe me, being stuck in an alligator's jaws does much to focus one's attention.  Second, thanks for the advice.  This is my fault.  I should have told you that both of my arms are broken.  I guess answering Question #2 was not such a bad idea.  Please understand, by this point in time, I have punched, kicked, scratched, gouged, shoved, pushed, pulled, pried and chopped the alligator many times.  It is quite determined and has not let me go.  I promise you, I plan to keep up the good fight and will inform you should the situation change.   

5.  "How the hell did you get in there?" followed by "How did you get out there, on a boat or something"?
Again, I'm in the jaws of an freakin’ alligator.  The trip and logistics leading up to this situation are not critical at this time.

6.  "That's got to be a helluva gator, you know what I mean?"
(Thankfully I only heard this from the tape of the 911 call and this was not said to me directly.  Your grasp of the situation is truly impressive.)


Other questions I'm really glad he did NOT ask:

"Is it male or female?  You know, the females are very territorial around their nests."
Thanks for the tip Jack Hannah.  I don't see any testicles or anything but then again, I'M IN HIS MOUTH.

"Do you see a nest?  It will look like a big pile of rotting vegetation"

"Prior to the alligator grabbing you, were you having any luck fishing?  I heard this is a good place for crappie."
Chris, is that you?  Will you PLEASE call someone for help??...  What is that sound?  Are you putting new line on your reel!!!  

"Help is on the way but will take a few minutes to get here.  Seriously, what were they biting on?"
White curly tailed grubs.

It appears this fine gentleman is a habitual naked alligator whisperer.

Larry - A Man in the Woods