16

Gator Family Reunion – Part 2

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

Where we are – Stan, Adele, Suzy, and Justine have arrived at Granny Gertie’s farm in the Florida Everglades for the family reunion. You can read part 1 of the story here.

Stan: Mom! You look great!

Gertie: Welcome, everyone! Come in and make yourselves at home. Adele, you’re beautiful as ever. And girls, you look just like your mother.

Adele: Thank you, Gertie. It’s good to see you.

Suzy: Hi, Granny! We missed you.

Gertie: I miss you too, Sweetie. Make yourselves at home.

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Norm: Hey, bro! Welcome! Hop in the truck. We have to go get Stu. He took a wrong turn off of I-95 and is trapped at some roadside attraction. He said they want to put him in a cage and charge humans to look at him.

Gertie: Poor Stu! I told him to take the bus.

Stan: Let me say hello to John and Jacob before I go.

John: It’s been a long time! How’s it going?

Stan: Good! Did you guys get the wild boars here?

Jacob: Pretty much.

Stan: What do you mean?

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Jacob: We managed to arrive with 10 of the 12 we started with.

Stan: I thought you were only coming across the state.

Jacob: We were, but John got hungry.

Stan: John! You promised!

John: I said I wouldn’t eat them all. And I didn’t. Ten should be plenty. Mom has lots of other food.

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Suzy: There’s Danny! Let’s go say hello!

Justine: Okay. But I don’t want to cuddle.

Suzy: Hey, Danny! How’s school?

Danny: Hi Suzy! Hi Justine! It’s going well. Bird studies are a lot harder than I thought they would be. So many of my patients are afraid of me. I don’t understand it.

Justine: Duh. You’re an alligator. We’re kinda known as apex predators.

Danny: I know. I have to be really careful about what I eat. And I have to brush my teeth before I can go to class.

Suzy: Think you’ll make it through?

Danny: I hope so. But I might have to switch to a general practice if things don’t improve.

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Adele: Hi, Danny. Girls, do you want to get something to eat? Granny has all kinds of food prepared. You’ll be excited to know that she did get some boa meat.

Suzy: Ooh! I can’t wait to try it!

Justine: Hmm. This isn’t as tasty as I thought it would be from the way everyone was talking about it.

Adele: You’re right. It kind of tastes like…I don’t know…maybe chicken.

Suzy: Well this is totally disappointing. I’m going to put it on GatorGram anyway. At least everyone will know I tried it.

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Penelope: Hi, everyone! I want you to meet my new boyfriend, Maxwell.

They all smiled at Maxwell.

Penelope: We met at the beach. He’s such a sweetheart. He cleared off a spot for me to sun in.

Adele: Hi Maxwell. What do you do for a living?

Maxwell: Oh, I don’t have time to work. I spend my time sunning on the golf course.

Justine: That sounds interesting. So you entertain the humans?

Maxwell: They entertain me really. It’s fun to watch them when I crawl out of the water. My family is pretty well-off so I don’t have to work.

Penelope: We’re planning a trip to the Florida Keys later this year.

Suzy (whispering to Justine): She hates to work and he doesn’t need to. They’re perfect.

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Gertie: Okay! It’s time for games.

Suzy: Oh, I hate this part! Someone always takes the death-roll challenge too far and we have to do a resuscitation.

Justine: I’m going to watch the tug-of-war. It’s a lot less dangerous, and it’s fun to see who gets dragged all the way into the water.

Penelope: Why can’t we ever play something nice like Charades?

Adele: I’m going to rest in the shade. It is way too hot for this Carolina gator down here.

Later.

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Stan: I’m glad we made it back before the food was all gone.

Stu: Thanks for rescuing me guys! I can’t believe I was almost part of a circus.

Norm: You weren’t going to be part of a circus. They wanted to put you in a petting zoo.

Stan:  That’s crazy. Who wants to pet a gator?

Stu: They thought I was an iguana.

Stan: Humans are weird.

Gertie: Time for family pictures! Everyone smile!

As the family lay in water relaxing, Gertie started telling stories about the boys when they were younger. Suzy and Justine closed their eyes and listened. It was their favorite part of the reunion.

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Pictures courtesy Google Images.

23

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

5

Presidential Debate – Invasive Species

In honor of Super Tuesday tomorrow, we are presenting our first debate. The topic is immigration reform.

Moderator: Welcome to our first debate of the election season. We’re honored to have you with us. The format of the debate is that I will ask a question of one of the candidates who will then answer the question. The other candidates will be given the opportunity to respond. No hissing, spitting, biting, or eating. We do not want the voter to confuse us with the Republicans or Democrats.

Let me introduce you to the candidates:

  Charles Scruffikan from Detroit, MI

  Edward “Biff” Kellingham III from Braintree, MA

  Creamsicle from Los Angeles CA

  Jaime Tiggs from Washington, DC

(polite applause)

Moderator: Mr. Kellingham, let’s start with you. How do you feel about the country’s immigration policy?

(Biff looks confused.)

Biff: Would you mind clarifying the question?

Moderator: Are you in favor of allowing foreigners into this country, either illegally or legally?

(Biff still looks confused.)

Biff: Where would they be coming from?

Moderator: Mainly Central America and the Middle East.

Biff: Oh, OK. You’re talking about Chihuahuas and Caucasian Mountain Dogs. That type of thing. I’m definitely against it. We already have way too many dogs here.

(The other cats nod vigorously. Now the moderator looks confused.)

Moderator: No, I meant people.

Creamsicle: I don’t mean to interrupt, but you mean that we would have to decide one by one who gets to come into the country? I mean, how else would we know if they are cat people?

Biff: I agree with Creamsicle. There is no way that the immigration question can be about people.

Charles: I think I know what the humans are talking about. We have zebra mussels invading the Great Lakes. I definitely think we should get rid of them and not allow any more in. They impact the fish population.

Biff (nodding): That makes sense. My favorite trout is getting hard to find. Some other breeds have invaded the water and bred with them.

Creamsicle: And those fish that walk out of the water. They’re really creepy.

Jaime: In Florida, my home state, boa constrictors have invaded the swamps. They eat anything around them. They’ve even killed a couple of alligators.

(The other cats look horrified.)

Jaime: Not only that. There’s all kinds of plants that are coming in from somewhere and killing off the natives. Pretty soon it won’t even look like the Everglades.

Biff: And there are all those plants and trees the rich people imported that are taking over the East Coast.

Creamsicle: And the West Coast.

Charles: We have purple loosestrife taking over all the land it can get.

Jaime: And kudzu is all over the South.

Moderator: I think we can all agree that those are problems. But what about the people?

(The cats stop talking and look at him.)

Jaime: Obviously the humans are going to have to figure that out. We’ll be much too busy.

(The others nod.)

Biff: I heard that if you stand still too long, the kudzu will grow over you.

Charles: I think we’ve handled this question. What’s next?

Moderator (shaking his head): I think we’re done for today. Remember to prep for the next debate. We’ll be talking about the budget.

(More applause and the lights are turned off.)

Biff: Anyone interested in a nice bowl of cream? It’s on me.

Creamsicle: Ooooh, yummy!

(The cats all walk off together talking and laughing.)

Ed. Note: Exit polls show a great deal of indecision about who won the debate. The only comments were on the candidates’ looks and speaking voices.