12

Gator Family Vacation: A Punk Croc Odessey – Part 2

Alligators spotted at Lake Worth over Memorial Day Weekend | wfaa.com

Where we are – The gators decided to head north for a family vacation on Lake Michigan. Meanwhile, Uncle Stu has been road-tripping with his favorite punk croc band, Acrocalypse. Stu called Granny to have Stan meet him in Detroit. Stan and his family pull up outside a landmark club on Detroit’s west side, The Swamp. You can read Part 1 here.

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Justine: Gee, Dad. This place looks a little scary.

Stan: Don’t worry, girls. It’s just showing its age. This club has been around for years.

Stan walked up and tried to open the door, but it was locked. He walked around back and tried that door.

Stan: That’s odd. I know Stu said The Swamp.

Adele: Knowing Stu, he got the right club in the wrong city. Try calling him.

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Stan dialed the number and it rang. No answer and the mailbox was full. Stan let out a low growl. He called his mother.

Stan: Hi, Mom. Have you heard from Uncle Stu? I’m at the club, and there’s no one around.

Granny: Didn’t you get his message?

Stan: What message?

Granny: The band went out last night, and the bus broke down. They need you to pick them up in Flint.

Stan: Flint! We just drove through Flint. Why didn’t he call me?

Granny: I don’t know, dear. But they need to be back in Detroit in time for tonight’s show, so you better hurry.

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Stan was growling loudly by now. He turned the car around, and they drove an hour back to Flint. It wasn’t hard to find the Acrocalype bus. There weren’t many black-and-purple VW buses roaming the streets. 

Stan: Uncle Stu! We finally found you!

Stu: Stan! You made it! I was getting worried about you. Adele! It’s so nice to see you. Beautiful as ever. And the girls growing more gorgeous daily. C’mon. Let me introduce you to the guys!

The Three Crocodiles. The sun crept below the mangroves… | by Auden Wright  | The Authentic Eclectic | Medium

Stu introduced them to three rather small crocodiles. 

Stu: This is Billy Joe, Iggy, and Mick. Better known as Acrocalypse.

Stan: Pleased to meet you.

Billy Joe: The pleasure is ours. We appear to be stranded.

Stan: What happened?

Stu: We decided to see a band up here on our night off. When we got up this morning, the van wouldn’t start. I need you to take a look at it.

Stan: Me? I’m not a mechanic. You had me drive all the way down here to look at your van?

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Stu: Don’t be silly. I invited you to the club. But first we have to get to the club. So I need you to get the van moving. (Whispers) These are nice guys, but they don’t know the first thing about anything practical.

Stan rolled his eyes. He could hear Justine and Suzy giggling. Adele was trying not to smile. Stan opened the hood and told Stu to try to start the engine. He listened for a minute.

Stan: When was the last time you put gas in this thing?

Stu: Um. Probably about three days ago. It usually lasts about a week while we’re on a gig. We should still have a couple days worth of gas left.

Stan: How far do you usually drive?

Stu: Just around the city.

Stan: You’re not in the city. You’re in Flint.

Gator Snaps Up Low Fuel Prices at Flagler Airport - GoToby.com: Florida  Real Estate Newsalligator at flagler airport - GoToby.com: Florida Real  Estate News

Stu: Oh yeah. I shoulda got gas.

Iggy: Man, Stu, you really shoulda got gas.

Stu: Okay. Let’s get gas and get back. We gotta get Stan ready for the show.

Stan: What do you mean, get me ready for the show?

Mick: You’re our bass guy for the next few nights. Iggy’s got a bad paw.

Stan: I’m not a bass player.

Billie Joe: Stu said you can play.

Global Times - 【Odd】A baby crocodile holds an electric guitar as it leans  against a tree at a crocodile breeding sanctuary in Tangerang, Indonesia.  Photo: IC http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1030457.shtml | Facebook

Stan: I’m an accountant.

Iggy: Stu, you said he could play. You said he could play our stuff.

Stu: He can play your stuff. He was in a band called Blind Justice. They were very popular locally.

Stan: That was years ago. And we weren’t punkers. We were rockers.

Stu: You were good.

Justine: You were in a band, Dad?

Stan: It was a long time ago. When I was in college and just after.

Adele: You still play once in a while.

Stan: Not professionally.

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Suzy: Dad, you have to try.

Stu drove with the gators back to Detroit. By the time they arrived, Stan had agreed to try playing with Billie Joe and Mick.

Mick: Okay. Let’s start with “I Wanna Eat Your Dog.”

Stan joined in after a few notes and kept up with the band. Stu was nodding his head and keeping time. They moved through a few more of the old hits: “I Wanna Be Your Frog,” “Eat on the Brat,” and “Cairo Calling.” Stan was having a great time. The girls weren’t sure whether they were impressed or appalled.

Suzy: Dad, you’re actually pretty good.

Justine: I’m impressed. I have to post this on my GatorGram.

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The band mates huddled together, whispering. Stu looked at them nervously. Finally, Mick motioned him over, and they whispered some more. 

Iggy: The doc says I can’t play for about a week. Think you can cover the gig?

Stan: I don’t know. I’m supposed to be back at work.

Stu: Call them. Tell them it’s a family emergency.

Adele: Go ahead, honey. How many chances like this will you get?

And Stan got to live out the fantasy of many middle-aged former rockers.

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

16

Gator Family Vacation: A Punk Croc Odessey

Why Are Alligators Showing Up on Beaches? | The Weather Channel

Stan and Adele were basking in the warm Michigan sun. For some reason, the family had decided to vacation Up North by Lake Michigan this year.

Suzy: Hey, Dad. Who planned this year’s vacation? It’s really pretty here.

Justine: It is pretty. But I got cold last night. You should have packed blankets, Mom.

Adele: It’s no worse than home in the winter.

Alligator On Sand - DesiComments.com

Stan: We’re only going to be here a few more days. I really like the sand. It doesn’t catch in my toes like the rocks by our creek.

Adele: I’m pretty sure your cousin Danny suggested it. He came up here when he was interviewing for a residency.

Suzy: I can’t believe he graduated from Animal Tech and is a real bird doctor.

Justine: I still think it’s goofy that he wants to treat birds. Where’s he going to work?

Stan: He got a really good offer from a clinic in the Everglades.

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Justine: Ooh! Gator nirvana! And he won’t have to worry about snow like up here. I can’t believe he even considered Michigan.

Adele: I guess they have a lot of birds in all these trees.

Just then, they heard a loud splash. Cousin Penelope had married her boyfriend Maxwell. They were trying to get their son Stephen into the water.

Penelope: C’mon, sweetie. Let’s go in the water.

Stephen: I don’t want to, Mama. You know I don’t like water.

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Maxwell: Don’t be ridiculous. You’re an alligator. We love water. It’s how we cool down.

Stephen: I’m not hot.

Maxwell: We’ll just get our feet wet.

Stephen: I don’t wanna.

Penelope: It’ll be fun.

Stephen: I don’t wanna.

Maxwell snuck up behind Stephen and pushed hard with his snout. Stephen landed in the water with a thud. The water only came partway up his legs, but Stephen was not happy. He started howling.

Young alligators basking under the sun. - Picture of Alligator Adventure,  North Myrtle Beach - Tripadvisor

Penelope: Stephen, just relax. It’s only water. You’ll have fun if you stop complaining. Look at your cousins. They’re having a great time.

Stephen: I don’t care. I don’t like water.

Finally, Penelope and Maxwell gave up. They all returned to the beach. Stephen was shivering.

Justine: How bizarre.

Suzy (giggling): You know what a princess Penelope has always been. The kid’s just like her.

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The gators laid on the warm sand and enjoyed the sun with their eyes closed. Stan was just about asleep.

Granny: Stan! Wake up! I have to talk to you.

Stan opened one eye.

Stan: What’s up?

Granny: It’s your Uncle Stu. He needs your help.

Stu was a beloved elder member of the family. He kept the others entertained with his stories. Part of the reason he had so many stories was his legendarily bad sense of direction. He spent many hours being in the wrong place and trying to get home.

dreamt that alligators and crocodiles became famous music artists and it  was very popular news, they also wore headphones for some reason : r/Dreams

He hadn’t joined the family vacation because he was spending the summer touring with his favorite punk croc band, Acrocalypse. He had been a fan for years, since it had evolved from its swamp rock roots, the band Creedence Crocodile Redemption.

Stu had been welcomed by the band and had been traveling with them on the tour bus. He did odd jobs along the way. It seemed to be working out well for everyone.

Stan: What happened? Did he miss the bus?

Granny: I don’t think so. He said he needs your help.

Gators – Gatorland

Stan: Doing what?

Granny: He didn’t say. But he want you to meet him in Detroit.

Stan loved Uncle Stu, but it was always an adventure when Stu needed help. Nothing was ever easy.

Stan: Why me? Everyone’s in Michigan. Can’t someone else go? What about my family?

You can take them with you. Please? Do it for me.

Stan sighed. He talked to Adele, and they made plans to leave for Detroit in the morning.

Next week: If he wasn’t lost, why did Stu need Stan?

Robert Irwin Shares Video Of Alligator Enjoying A Car Ride | ETCanada.com

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

10

Gator Family Christmas – Part 2

This is the Santa Alligator, he brings presents to every Alligator who serves in the Alligator Army, you all have been added to his nice list :) : r/Alligator_Army

Where we are – Stan and Adele have invited the family to South Carolina to celebrate Christmas. On his way to pick up his son Vinny, Uncle Stu met a woman and thinks he’s in love. You can read Part 1 here.

It was two days before Christmas. Vinny pulled into the driveway and everyone went out to meet him.

Stan: Welcome! Glad you made it.

Stan looks in the car.

Stan: Where’s Uncle Stu?

800-pound gator caught on camera - CNN Video

Vinny: The last time I saw him, he was baking Christmas cookies.

Granny started laughing.

Granny: Stu’s never baked anything in his life. Your mother was afraid to let him in the kitchen.

John: Remember when he tried to grill that turkey? He didn’t realize you had to light the fire ahead of time. He ended up setting the turkey on fire.

Vinny (laughing): Yeah. We had to go buy clam chowder for everyone to eat. Maybe I shouldn’t have said he was baking. He was sitting in the kitchen while Katya was doing all the work.

Granny: That sounds more like Stu.

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Adele: Is Katya his new soul mate?

Vinny: I guess. She seems nice enough.

Adele: How did he meet her?

Vinny: He went up to her house to ask for directions. He couldn’t figure out how to get to my house. She asked him to come in, and he’s still there.

Granny: We should have guessed. So he wants to stay with her rather than us for Christmas?

Vinny: You know Dad. She was nice to him, so he thinks he’s in love.

Gator Country - Gators need cuddles, too!! | Facebook

Stan: In fairness, he does irritate a lot of people. It was probably nice to find someone agreeable.

Vinny: He’s safer with her than some of the other characters he runs across.

Justine: Reading his stories on GatorGab is amazing, Uncle Stu leads a very interesting life for a retired gator.

Adele: He does have some interesting adventures.

Granny: He’s too trusting. He lets other people talk him into doing stupid things. So he’s not coming for Christmas.

Vinny: Katya told him he was welcome to spend the holidays with her if he would like. He thinks it would be a nice change.

Granny: Change from what? He’s never been to Stan and Adele’s. It’s our first Christmas here.

Vinny shrugged. He was disappointed his father hadn’t come with him, but knew that there was no point in arguing with him. His father was as stubborn an alligator as he’d ever met.

  • Pin on Animals, Animals, Animals

Suzy: Well, that’s disappointing. He’s funny and he tells great stories.

Adele: I agree, honey. Maybe we can invite him again next year.

The rest of the gators spent the evening catching up with Vinny. On Christmas Eve, everyone put their presents under the tree. They drank eggnog and at cookies while Granny told stories about Stan and his brothers when they were young alligators.

Justine, Suzy, and Danny listened intently. They loved hearing about Christmas at the swamp. Before long, it was bedtime.

Granny: You kids better get to bed. It’s time for Santa Claws to come.

Suzy: Oh, Granny! You know we’re too old for Santa.

Granny: I know, dear. But I need some peace and quiet. I’m not used to having everyone around. I want to be well-rested for the big meal tomorrow.

In the morning, they were opening their presents when there was a commotion outside.

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Adele: What is all that noise?

Stan: It sounds like sleigh bells.

Adele: We live in South Carolina. It can’t be sleigh bells.

Justine: It’s definitely bells.

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Someone knocked on the door. Then rang the doorbell. And rang the bell again. And again.

Adele: Hold on. I’m coming.

She opened the door.

Adele: Stu! What are you doing here?

Stu: I thought I was invited for Christmas. Today’s Christmas.

Adele: You were invited. But you told Vinny that you were staying in Florida. With Katya.

Stu: I never said that. I said I wasn’t coming with him.

Vinny: Dad, you said you were staying there.

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Stu: I did stay there. But now I’m here. Can I come in?

Adele: Of course. How did you get here? Did you drive by yourself?

Stu: No. Katya drove me. She has an excellent sense of direction.

Adele: Where is she?

Stu: I told her she wasn’t invited. She’s in the car waiting for me.

Granny: Stu! You’re an idiot. Tell her to get in here. It’s Christmas. We’re not going to make her wait in the car after she was nice enough to bring you all the way up here.

American Alligators resting

Stu: Okay. I didn’t want to impose on Adele. You’re really going to like her.

Stu went out to the car and invited Katya in. She explained that Stu hadn’t told her that he was supposed to be going to a big family Christmas. Once she found out what he was missing, she insisted on driving him up so he wouldn’t get lost. Her own family was celebrating later in the week so she wouldn’t miss anything by helping Stu.

Stu acted as if nothing unusual occurred. He sat at the head of the table and got the biggest slice of roast beef.

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

21

Gator Family Christmas

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Stan and Adele and their daughters Justine and Suzy are hosting the family Christmas this year. Most of the relatives from south Florida will be coming to South Carolina for the festivities. You can read about their family reunion here and here.

Justine: I’m so excited! I can’t believe Granny’s going to be here for Christmas! When are they arriving?

Adele: Your Uncle John is supposed to be driving everyone up the week before in his camper.

Suzy: What about Cousin Danny? Is he coming?

Adele: He’s in school until that Tuesday. So he’ll be coming separately.

Alligators avoid some beaches but not all

Stan: Cousin Vinny’s going to be able to get some time off from the resort for the holidays. So he and Uncle Stu will be coming separately. They won’t be staying as long.

Adele: Thank goodness! I was afraid Stu was going to try to find the house by himself, and we’d never see him again.

Justine: It is kind of scary how bad his sense of direction is. We’re friends on GatorGab. Last week, he was walking on the beach and was partway to Daytona before he realized he missed the turn into his subdivision.

Adele: We should probably start cleaning so we can get everything decorated before they get here.

Alligator basking in the sun | One of the alligators at Sant… | Flickr

Suzy: Where is everyone going to stay? Our house isn’t that big.

Stan: I’m renting a sauna. They said it feels just like southern Florida in the summer.

Justine: Oooh! That sounds nice.

Stan: And I’m going to set up a sunlamp in the basement.

Granny Gertie arrived with John, Jacob, and Norm a few days before Christmas.

Suzy: Hi Granny! Did you have a good trip?

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Granny: It was long. Your Uncle John doesn’t really believe in taking rest breaks while he’s driving. I feel stiff.

John: Mom, you’re an alligator. You always walk like that.

Norm: Besides, it would have taken forever if we had stopped every time you wanted to. You wanted to eat every time you saw a picture of food.

Granny: It all looked so delicious.

John: How are things here? Adele, the house looks amazing.

Adele: Thanks, John. We’re doing well. Today was my last day of work before the holidays. We had our big potluck.

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Justine: Mom took swamp grass cookies. They’re always a big hit.

Adele: We exchanged “Secret Santa” gifts. Here’s mine.

She held up a package of “Roadkill Helper.”

Adele: Apparently someone thinks I don’t know how to cook.

Justine: You said your Secret Santa was that goofy chameleon. He’s just afraid of you.

Stan: You did threaten to step on him once.

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Granny: Don’t worry about it dear. You can give it back to him at next year’s gift exchange. Could someone show me where we’re sleeping? I’d like to take a nap before dinner.

The visiting gators settled in. Danny arrived a few days later. Three days before Christmas, Vinny and Stu still had not arrived. Justine was scrolling through GatorGab and saw a post from Uncle Stu.

Justine: Hey, guys. Uncle Stu says that he left for South Carolina yesterday. Has anyone heard from him?

Stan: No. Does it say anything about Vinny?

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Justine: He says that he is going to pick up Vinny and head here.

Suzy: He’s picking up Vinny?

Norm: It’s supposed to be the other way around. Somebody better call Vinny.

Granny: I’ll try to reach Stu. My brother has the common sense of a pumpkin.

Granny and Stan started trying to figure out what was going on while the others paced around the house. 

Granny: Stu got bored waiting for Vinny and decided that he would go to South Miami to pick him up at the club. He says he’s north of the city at a very nice lady gator’s house.

a congregation of alligators

Stan: So Vinny can pick him up there?

Granny: He’s not sure he wants to come anymore. He thinks she might be his soul mate. I told him he’s an idiot.

Stan: Vinny wants to know what he should do.

Granny: He should pick up his idiot father and bring him to the family Christmas.

Justine: Maybe we should invite the lady gator too. Uncle Stu just changed his relationship status to “It’s Complicated” on GatorGab.

Granny Gator began to make a low growling noise deep in her throat.

Next week: Will Uncle Stu and Cousin Vinny make it to South Carolina for Christmas? (see part 2 here)

Santa gator: Woman allowed to keep pet alligator in home - ABC7 New York

24

Gator Family Reunion

Hungry, hungry... alligator? Reptile 'crashes' Florida picnic, chows down on burgers - New York Daily News

The alligator clan was getting ready for the annual family reunion. This year, Granny Gertie was hosting at her farm in the Everglades. Stan was particularly excited since he hadn’t been home in several years. His wife Adele and the girls were less enthusiastic.

Adele: I can’t believe we’re going to South Florida in August. It’ll be a steam bath.

Stan: We’re alligators. We love hot, humid weather.

Adele: I guess. But I’ve gotten used to the ocean breezes here in South Carolina.

Hundreds of alligators gather at Florida watering hole for sunbathing session

Suzy: Yeah, Dad. And you know how your relatives are. Everyone’s gonna lay in a huge cuddle puddle.

Stan: Of course. We’re family. We only see each other at these reunions. And most folks don’t make it every year.

Justine: Well, I don’t want to cuddle with Cousin Danny anymore.

Suzy: Why not? He’s cute.

Justine: I know. But he thinks he’s too good for everyone now that he’s at Animal Tech.

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Stan: That’s right! He wants to be a bird doctor.

Adele: That’s very strange. What’s wrong with being a gator doc?

Justine: He says he wants to promote inter-species peace.

Suzy (giggling): He probably has plans to start an exotic bird trade.

Stan: Be nice, Suzy! He’s a good gator.

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Adele: Is your cousin Vinny going to be there?

Stan: I’m not sure. He’s been working a lot of hours at that resort in Miami Beach.

Adele: I can’t believe he actually lets humans touch him.

Justine: Eww! What kind of job does he have?

Stan: He’s a guard at an upscale beach club. Your mom has it backwards. He touches the humans. They don’t touch him.

Adele: Even so. He should be careful. They have germs.

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Suzy: And they smell funny. Speaking of smelling funny, I wonder if Roxanne will be there?

Stan: Does Roxanne smell funny?

Justine: Don’t you remember last time, Dad? She got caught in those rose bushes and ate her way out. She smelled like flowers for days. Not a natural gator aroma.

Adele: It could have been worse. Your Uncle Stu wandered through a pasture full of cow droppings. He’s so low to the ground that he picked up quite a stink.

Stan: Stu has a terrible sense of direction. He gets lost every time he leaves his own swamp. He really should use public transportation.

Justine (giggling): No one’s going to let an alligator who smells like cow poop on the bus. Most folks are afraid of us even when we don’t stink.

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Suzy: That’s true. Some of us are kind of scary, though. Like Uncle Charlie.

Justine: Yeah. He growls a lot. And snaps.

Adele: He just doesn’t have much patience. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

Suzy: Gladly? He almost took the head off our waiter the last time we saw him.

Justine: Yeah. The poor guy looked like he wanted to crawl in a hole when Uncle Charlie told him his food was overcooked the third time.

Suzy: He should have just brought him a raw steak.

Adele: It is unfortunate that Charlie normally eats his food wild. He has a hard time in restaurants.

Alligator eating snake: Dramatic photos show snake trying to escape alligator's jaws in Florida - CBS News

Suzy: Do you think Granny will be serving boa constrictor? It’s been trending on GatorGram and looks yummy.

Stan: I don’t know. I hear they can be hard to catch. I don’t want Mom getting hurt over a stupid picnic.

Adele: Maybe your brother Norm could catch some. She lets him live there rent-free. Seems like he could catch dinner once in a while.

Stan: I guess that’s a possibility. He’s pretty fast.

Justine: Maybe they sell them in the deli or at a roadside stand. Pickled boa is supposed to be good.

Suzy: And smoked. It doesn’t have to be fresh.

Adele: That does sound good. What are we going to bring?

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Stan: Since we’re traveling so far this time, I was just going to contribute to the wild boars.

Suzy: Ooh! Who’s bringing boar? I love pig!

Stan: Your Uncles John and Jacob know a farmer who lets them hunt on his land. I’m helping pay for the refrigerated truck to get them to the party.

Adele: That’s a good idea, honey. That way we don’t have to lug anything on the train. You’re sure John won’t eat them on the way, right?

Stan: He promised.

Adele: I hope so. He’s the biggest gator I know. He could probably eat a couple of them by himself.

Stan: That’s true. But he promised.

Swagligator | Swag | Know Your Meme

Justine: Did you say we’re taking the train? Why can’t we take the car? I hate the train.

Suzy: What’s wrong with the train?

Stan: I’m more comfortable on the train. Gators aren’t built to spend hours in a car. You can tell they were designed by humans.

Justine: I guess. But I hate the way everyone looks at me like they think I’m going to eat them.

Suzy (giggling): Some of them do look pretty yummy.

Justine: I’m serious. It’s embarrassing. And annoying.

Adele: I know what you mean. It’s like they can;t tell the mean gators from the rest of us.

Stan: Don’t pay any attention to them. They’re just being ignorant.

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Justine: Maybe we should travel with kittens to show how gentle we are.

Suzy: Ooh! Kittens are cute! And they could give us massages.

Adele: I don’t think kittens would enjoy the reunion.

Justine: Probably not.

Stan: If anyone gives you a hard time, I’ll growl at them. Sometimes you have to embrace your inner gator.

Justine: Love you, Dad.

Stan: Anytime, sweetie.

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Adele: We should bring your Mom a gift since we’ll be staying with her.

Suzy: Cool! We get to stay at the farm?

Stan: Of course. Granny insisted. She misses you girls.

Justine: We miss her too. Maybe she’ll teach us more authentic gator moves.

Suzy: And tell us more secrets about Dad!

Justine: I can’t wait!

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Next week: The reunion.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

19

Cheeseland Interview: George and Lenny

bear at a computer keyboard | Bear, Animals wild, Black bear

Eva Bruin, cub reporter at the Critter Cover High School Weekly Clarion, is sitting down with our editors George and Lenny for their first interview. They are excited that for once they will be the story.

Mouse using mouse: pics

How did you start your careers?

George: I started out like you, Eva, on my high school paper. I was editor my senior year.

Lenny: Yeah. He took over from a guy who got eaten.

George: An unfortunate case of mistaken identity. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Blog - Difference Between Mice And Rats

Have you always been a team?

George: Actually, we’re cousins. We come from a close family.

Lenny: Our dads are brothers.

George: We grew up together and the job just sort of happened.

Lenny: Yeah. We’re like brothers. I’m the good-looking one. He’s the brains.

George: Aww. Thanks, Lenny.

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What made you decide to come to Cheeseland?

George: I answered an ad on the MousterWorks job site for a blog editor.

Lenny: I saw it first, but they called George for some reason.

George: I actually sent them my resume, remember?

Lenny: Oh, yeah. I got frustrated with all the questions on MousterWorks. I think they might have closed my account, come to think of it.

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Is it hard working with cats?

George: Actually, Cheeseland is a zero-tolerance workplace. We’ve never faced any discrimination.

Lenny: They do all of the hiring virtually. Cat didn’t know that we were mice until we did the final interview.

George: It isn’t really a problem. We have all kinds of animals here: raccoons, rabbits, a gorilla, cats, …

Lenny: And Cat has a strict “No eating family members” rule. We’re all considered family.

Two cute alligators | Two alligators of the Walter Zoo lying… | Flickr

Are there any interesting stories coming up soon?

George: We heard an interesting news story the other day. At Yellowstone, the humans want to have garbage cans that are too difficult for the bears to get into, but easy enough that any human can use them. Apparently, there’s a problem because some bears are smarter than some people.

Lenny: We want to go talk to the bears and get their side of things.

George: It’s also been awhile since we did a reptile story.

Lenny: We have quite a few alligator fans, so we’re putting something together for them.

George: We’ve had several requests for a hedgehog-friendly story too.

Can Cats Tell Time? - The Conscious Cat

What are the best and worst parts of your jobs?

George: Paws down, the best part of this job is the animals we work with. I have never been at a place that is so mutli-cultural. And everyone is so nice. Very low stress.

Lenny: And there’s no pressure to make things more human-centric. With a human owner, the blog could have run in an entirely different direction.

George: I guess the worst part is the deadlines. We like to keep things fresh, but sometimes it’s a struggle to get it out on time.

Lenny: If we could just find a non-human typist, it would be a lot easier…

happy mouse. | Smiling animals, Happy animals, Cute animals

Do you have anything you want to say to your readers?

George: Thank you for all your support. We couldn’t do it without you.

Lenny: Please try to think of mice as something other than a snack.

Find Your Own Bear - 24 Carrot Writing

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

21

Springtime in the Subdivision – Part 2

Protesting Cats | Occupy Cuteness seantrank.com | sean.trank | Flickr

Where we are: Fred Fido and two friends have volunteered to police the subdivision for outside violations of the Association’s code. Some of the other residents think Fred is taking his responsibilities a little too seriously. Jim Giraffe, the Association President, has called for a meeting to discuss the rules. See Part 1 here.

Jim: Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for attending this meeting. We have some important business to discuss.

Al Angora: We certainly do. I want you to put him on a leash.

Angry Dogs Compilation - YouTube

He points at Fred, who bares his teeth.

Al: Figurative speaking, of course.

Fred relaxes a little.

Jim: Al, those are pretty strong words. Are you sure that’s what you meant to say?

Why Do Cats Hiss? | Cuteness

Al: Yes, I’m sure. He got Fluffy crying, and she begged me to come home and cut the grass. It wasn’t even a quarter inch over the required height.

Fred: But you admit that it was too long.

Al arched his back and sat down.

Peppi Pomeranian: I agree with Al. Fred is going too far. I was watering my lawn on the correct day when Fred came by and said that my lawn was wet enough.

Funny Dogs Playing With Hose Compilation - YouTube

Fred: She was wasting water. It was running into the street.

Peppi: That’s because I forgot to turn off the water when you and your crew started yelling at me.

Fred: So you acknowledge that you were wasting water.

Peppi growled and sat down.

Warm weather prompts early alligator appearances in Myrtle Beach ...

Jim: OK. Fred and his friends may have been a little over-enthusiastic. But that’s no reason to be hostile. Remember, he is volunteering his time, and the neighborhood looks a lot better.

Sarah Squirrel: I don’t care. We got a citation for having a lawn ornament. The “ornament” was my mother-in-law sleeping in the sun for a couple of days in a row.

Amelia Alligator: He did the same thing to me about my kids. He said he didn’t know that alligators have to bask in the sun to stay alive.

Meme Maker - everyone-talking-about-cats-and-im-like-bears-are-cool

Ben Bruin: He gave me a noise citation in the middle of the day. My neighbors didn’t call to complain. They know it’s just my natural voice.

The animals started to talk over each other, getting angrier as time went by. It seemed as if Fred had upset everyone in the neighborhood.

Cute animal picture of the day: baby giraffe

Jim: All right, everyone. Let’s settle down so we can discuss this like civilized animals.

Fred: I’m sorry if I offended you. I was just trying to be helpful.

Peppi: You used to be a good dog, Fred. We were buddies.

Amelia: Yeah. You were the first one to welcome us to the neighborhood.

12 Baby Skunks That Are Just Too Stinkin' Cute! - I Can Has ...

Some of the other animals nodded and shared stories.

Steve Skunk: I agree. But you still have to go. You complained about the smell in the house that was getting outside through the open window. Seriously, Fred? We’re skunks.

Al: Sorry, Fred. I agree with Steve. I want you to find something else to do with your spare time.

Fred’s ears and tail were drooping.

Do Dogs Grieve Other Dogs? – American Kennel Club

Fred: I guess I need to quit. You’ll have to hire a professional to do the job.

Jim: Wait a minute, Fred. I like your attitude. Let me think of some way we can compromise on this.

The animals groaned and looked at each other.

Al: You better think of something fast, or we’ll get rid of you too.

Black tabby is angry. | Turkish angora cat, Turkish van cats ...

Next week: Will Jim’s plan work and bring peace to Mountain Valley Estates?

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

14

Ellie Alligator, Exchange Student

Image result for alligator at school"

Swampland High School in the Everglades has started a student exchange program with Great Lakes Academy on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The program is 6 months long – July – December. Below are selected entries on the school’s blog. 

July 1 – Hey Fellow Swampies, It’s me, the Elinator. That’s right, it’s Ellie N. Alligator with her first report from sunny Michigan. I’m so glad you elected me as the first exchange student in our new program. The flight up here was a little scary. Can you believe they were going to make me fly cargo because some family of sheep felt threatened? Like I was a savage or something. I had to sit way at the back, but at least I was inside.

Anyway, I’m staying with the Stones. They’re really nice, but they’re Turtles! I knew there weren’t any alligator families up here, but I didn’t know there really aren’t many big reptiles at all. A few iguanas but that’s about it. These turtles aren’t big enough to eat the kind of food I eat. Mrs. Stone said we’d figure something out. Gotta go. They’re going to show me around Manistee.

Image result for alligator basking"

 July 15 – Michigan is so weird! Remember how we decided that this would be a good place to exchange students with because it’s hot and humid part of the year? They think 85 degrees is hot. I mean, it’s pleasant but what’s going to happen when it cools down? And the big lake that we all thought would be fun. Flash – it’s cold water! And it has a cool breeze coming off it. that kind of ruins the hot and humid. It’s really nice basking in the sun, but this is not what I expected.

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August 8 – I just found out about my classmates when school starts. The place is full of mammals. I mean the biggest collection of furry creatures I’ve ever seen. There are beavers, skunks, lynx, and even a couple of bears. Bears around here are big! If the bears are regular students, no one better tell me I’m scary. We toured the school. It’s all inside, can you believe it? They said it was because the weather gets cool and wet. And then it snows. How am I supposed to store up energy? Apparently that’s not a problem for furry animals. I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this.

Image result for alligator running"

September 12 – I am not having fun on this trip. The other animals are really nice to me, but I miss all of you. No one speaks Gator up here, so I’m always trying to find the right thing to say. And the teachers won’t give me enough time to get from one class to another. They say that I could move faster if I wanted to. I tried to tell them that we only run if we’re chasing food, but they don’t care. Maybe I should pretend they’re some kind of delicacy. Just have to remember it’s a game before I eat them.

Image result for alligator in a sweater"

October 30 – It is cold here. I can barely move most of the time. Both the Stones and the school have bought me heat lamps. I know they’re doing the best they can, but this is no place for alligators. If they turn the heat up high enough for me, everyone else is too warm. I saw something called a sweater in a catalog. They’re made out of wool or fake wool, and you wear them to keep warm. I wonder if they come in alligator sizes?

Image result for alligator in snow"

November 20 – Remember how we all thought it would be fun to see snow? It isn’t. It’s cold and wet and disgusting. And there’s a lot of it. It’s been higher than me since the first time it came down. All of the mammals love it. They can run around and play in it. I sit under my heat lamp and shiver. I want to know who did the research on this place. I am never coming back.

Image result for alligator in swamp"

December 5 – I’m back!! The people in Michigan felt so sorry for me that they let me come home a month early and still earn full credit. I’ve been in the swamp for 3 days and am finally beginning to feel normal again. It is so nice to be able to go out and lay in the sun. I’m surprised my tail didn’t freeze off up there. Gotta go. I still need a lot of sun to get my old energy back.

Advice: Michigan is nice to visit, but two weeks is definitely enough time to do everything that might interest an alligator.

Image result for alligator in lake michigan"

 

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

11

Road Trip! The Gators’ Summer Vacation – Part 3

Image result for alligators in mud

The gators made it to Tennessee, but ran into some bad luck there. They were tuned away from the motel because they were alligators. Then the place they chose to sleep turned out to be a cold river, and they were on the edge of torpor. When we left them, they had just been discovered by a couple of bears. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Bear (looking closely): It’s those two alligators from work. What’re they doing here?

Cub: Alligators! Our teacher told us about alligators, but I never thought I’d really see one! They live where it’s hot!

Bear: I know, Billy. These two came up to visit, but weren’t allowed to stay at the motel because the owner was afraid of losing business. They must have decided to sleep here.

Billy: But, daddy, it’s much too cold for them here. They probably can’t even move they’re so cold. We have to help them.

Image result for alligators sleeping

Bear: What do you think we should do, Billy? Won’t they get better in the morning?

Billy: The teacher said that it takes a long time in the sun for them to wake up. What if it’s not sunny tomorrow? We need to get them out and warm them up.

Abby and Al listened to this, and relaxed a little. At least the bears weren’t talking about eating them. On the other hand, the cub was right. If it didn’t get warm enough to revive them fully, the gators would start going into torpor. They hoped the little bear had some kind of good idea.

Bear (looking at the river): Umm. Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Gator. I’m Will Bear. I think we met earlier today in town. My son tells me that you may be in trouble and we need to get you out of that river. You look kinda long for me to do it by myself, so I’m going to get someone to help. Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out.

Image result for group of bears

Will and Billy walked into the woods. The gators waited, hoping for the best. The bears returned home and told the neighbors about the gators. Will’s wife Betty seems a little hesitant.

Betty: Are you sure they’re really alligators? Maybe you two were just looking at a couple of logs.

Will: Dear, we live in the woods. I know what a log looks like.

Billy: And they had eyes.

Betty: I don’t know. Couldn’t they eat us?

Will: They seemed nice enough when I saw them in town. No one would let them stay, so they came out here to sleep.

Billy: Besides, Mom, they can’t move.

Bob: There are more of us than there are of them. If there’s a problem, we can handle it.

Image result for bears at river

The bears went down to the river. They appeared to be puzzled.

Bob: There’s definitely a couple of reptiles in there. But they’re big and look like they’re stuck in the mud. How do we get them out?

George: I think we need three bears per gator. One at the head, one at the tail, and one in the middle. If we lift together, it should work.

Bob: OK. Then what do we do?

Will: We’ll take them back to my den. I’ll get my older boys to help us warm them up.

Image result for bear den

The gators were a little concerned about this plan, but really didn’t have a choice. They hoped they didn’t end up in three pieces getting out of the river. The bears climbed in and put their paws under the gators. With a little effort, they got the gators out of the mud. The six bears managed to get the two gators to Will’s den and lay them down.

Betty: OK, Joe and Jim are here. Now what?

They all stood in silence, watching the gators.

Billy: I know! We’re all warm and furry. Let’s put them between us tonight. Maybe it will be enough to get their blood flowing.

Abby was terrified. But before she knew it, she was between two large sleeping bears. She tried to relax. Before she knew it, the bears were moving again.

Betty: Good morning, everyone. How are our guests doing?

Billy: Let me see!

Image result for sleepy alligator

The larger bears got up and looked at the gators. The larger one tried to say something.

Will: What’s he saying?

Billy (leaning down): I think it’s “Thank you.”

Will: It’s quite all right, Mr. Gator. Are you OK?

Al closed his eyes again. Will nudged him with a paw to see if he was still alive.

Al: Need more sleep.

Image result for bears sleeping

Will: I have to get to work. The rest of you lay down again. Don’t get up until they can stand.

The bears surrounded the gators again and relaxed. By the time Will got home, everyone was up and talking.

Abby: Here he is. Our hero!

Will (embarrassed): It wasn’t me. If Billy hadn’t noticed you, none of the rest would have happened.

Abby: We were all laughing about how we were afraid we would be eaten by the other.

Betty: It’s such a shame that they couldn’t stay in town. They are such nice creatures.

Will: You know how they are in there. If you’re not a small mammal, they’re sure you out to make them dinner.

Image result for bears eating honey

Al: But you work there.

Will: As security. That’s the only job a bear can get. Just in case something bad comes walking through the door.

Billy: Well I’m glad they wouldn’t let the gators stay. I never would have met them otherwise. And now they’re staying!

Betty: I’ve convinced them to stay a couple of days with us. I’m going to show them a couple of nice sunny spots for daytime, and they can sleep here.

Will: That’s great! Welcome!

The gators ended up having a great vacation. They spent the days in the sun, and the bears caught fish for dinner. They knew the other gators would never believe them, so they took lots of pictures and promised to keep in touch.

Image result for animals on skype

 

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

11

Road Trip! The Gators’ Summer Vacation – Part 2

Image result for tennessee mountains

Al and Abby Gator have left their swamp in southern Florida for a visit to more temperate Tennessee. You can read Part 1 here.

Soon enough Abby and Al had a good idea of what the human’s desire to “go viral” was going to mean for them. It seemed like every time they started making progress on the drive, they would pull over. It was usually at a gas station or restaurant. The guy would get out and invite people over to see “his” alligators. Invariably he would draw a crowd of people to look at his “tame” alligators. It was totally humiliating, and the Gators hoped no one they knew would see it.

Abby and Al tried to endure it with dignity. It was terrible having a bunch of humans trying to put dirty hands on their bodies. It wasn’t even the children who wanted to pet them; it was the adults. Finally Al had enough. When one particularly obnoxious man said he wanted to “pet the suitcase-to-be”, Al snapped at him.

Image result for snapping alligator

The driver loved it. At the next stop, he showed the video of the “vicious” alligator he was courageously transporting. Luckily they arrived at Orlando before Al tried to discover how courageous he really was. They were dropped at the station for the Raccoon Brothers Regional Rail Lines.

Abby: Thank goodness! I thought we’d never get here.

Al (growling): It’s a good thing. The world was almost minus a couple of humans. Not that anyone would have noticed those two were gone.

Abby: Forget about them. I’m so excited! We’re finally on our way!

Image result for orlando train station

Conductor: Welcome aboard. We don’t see many alligators.  May I see your tickets, please?

(Abby hands them to him.)

Conductor (looking at the tickets): Don’t think I’ve ever seen a gator go that far north. You sure this is really where you want to go?

Abby: Oh yes! I’ve done a lot of research. We can’t wait!

Conductor: Well then, have a wonderful time.

Abby: See how nice he was? He wasn’t even afraid of us.

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Al: I guess you’re right. This will be a good trip. I’m worn out from that horrible truck ride. Wake me when we get there.

(Al fell asleep almost immediately. Abby cuddled up next to him and was soon asleep too. A while later, the conductor noticed that their breathing had slowed considerably. Afraid of what would happen if they got too cold, he found a large blanket and covered them.)

Abby: Al! Wake up! Look out the window!

Al (mumbling): mmm…why?

Abby: We’re almost there. It’s very pretty.

Al (looking out): Where are we?

Abby: Tennessee, silly. Don’t you remember?

Al: What happened to the ground? It’s not flat.

Abby: I know! The conductor says that the little ones are called hills and the big ones are mountains.

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Al: And the trees look funny. Where are the palms and the cypress trees?

Abby: They don’t have those here.

Al: We better take pictures of it. The other gators will never believe this.

(The train stops and they get off. The sun is hot, and Al relaxes a little. )

Al: So where’s the swamp? I want to bask and warm up a little.

Abby: This is Tennessee. They don’t have swamps. They have rivers.

Al: You didn’t tell me they don’t have swamps.

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Abby (nervously): I didn’t know they didn’t have swamps. I thought there were swamps everywhere, so I didn’t ask.

Al: What’s wrong, Abby?

Abby: Everyone’s staring at us. And I don’t see a single reptile anywhere.

Al: I’m sure they’re staring because you’re so beautiful. Where are we staying?

Abby (pointing): Over there. The Critter Comfort Inn.

(They enter the lobby. The lobby empties and the little opossum behind the desk faints. The gators look around, confused. The manager, a rather large raccoon, comes out. He is accompanied by two large bears.)

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Manager: May I help you?

Abby: Yes, please. We have a reservation. It’s under Al and Abby Gator.

Manager (looking at his computer): Did you register online?

Abby: Yes.

Manager: What did you put down as species?

Abby: Alligator, of course.

Manager (embarrassed): There seems to be a problem with your reservation. It shows the species as “unknown”. The system doesn’t recognize “alligator.” We’ve never had one stay here.

Al (irritated): Is that a problem?

Manager: Unfortunately, it is. We cater to small mammals.

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Al: And you can’t make an exception?

Manager: I’d like to. You seem like nice folks. But like I said, we cater to small mammals. If word got out that we had alligators here, it would ruin our business.

Abby: Why?

Al (sarcastically): Because they think we’re going to eat them.

Manager: I’m sorry. But alligators do have that reputation.

Al: Fine. We’ll take our business elsewhere.

(The gators stalked out without eating anyone. As a gesture of goodwill they left a bag of their favorite treats, Boa Bites. They thought the mammals probably didn’t like snakes either.)

Abby (sobbing): I’m so sorry Al. I had no idea they’d be so specie-ist. They looked so nice in the pictures.

Al: Don’t worry, honey. We’ll hydrate ourselves in one of their rivers and take the next train home.

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Abby: OK. But let’s go out of town. I don’t like it here.

(They found a nice spot with a soft sandy bottom. Neither of them realized that the night air would get as chilly as it did. They were unable to move when they heard a noise.)

Cub: Daddy, what are those?

(The gators looked up to see one of the large bears they had seen earlier at the Comfort Inn.)

Image result for mother black bear and cubs

 

Next time: Dinner Guest or Dinner? The Conclusion

 

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.