Feb 062018

In a recent conversation with somebody who was asking me for suggestions on places to spend the winter in his RV, I told him about some of the places in Florida we like. His immediate response was, “Oh, hell no! I don’t want to get eaten by an alligator!”

I assured him that probably wasn’t going to happen, but he said that the people whose child was killed by an alligator at Disney World a few months ago probably didn’t think it was going to happen to them, either.

While that was a very unfortunate tragedy, it doesn’t mean that everybody who sets foot inside the Sunshine State is going to become alligator food. We have fished and kayaked around here for years, first as winter snowbirds and now as residents. We’ve seen a lot of alligators in our time, paddled past them on our Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks, and they have ignored us.

Sure, alligators do attack sometimes. So do dogs, and bears, and mountain lions. But very seldom do we hear of an alligator attack where the victim wasn’t doing something careless, or even downright stupid. If you poke your hand someplace you can’t see, you might get bitten. If you try to mess with an alligator, you very well might get bitten. And you would deserve it.

But if you leave them alone and use some common sense, you’ll be fine. Yes, the child at Disney was a rare exception. The key word here being rare.

I lived in bear and rattlesnake country out west for many years, where I spent over 25 years publishing small town newspapers. I can count on one hand the number of bear attack or snakebite stories we ever covered. It’s the same thing. Some fool picks up a rattlesnake and it bites him. Gee, who could have seen that coming?

So stop worrying about the gators and come down to Florida. It’s a beautiful state with a lot to see and do, and I guarantee you, you won’t get eaten by an alligator. And I’ll back up that guarantee by promising to buy you dinner anyplace in the state that you choose if you do happen to wind up in a gator’s stomach! That’s how confident I am that it won’t happen. But even if I am wrong and you do become a gator buffet, it’s like my old commanding officer used to tell all of us young soldiers – you have to die of something!

Now the mosquitoes and no-see-ums here in Florida? That’s an entirely different story. The will eat you alive!

And finally, just because you can never be too cautious, here is today’s sign.

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Thought For The Day – Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad. – Norm Papernick

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “You’ve Got to Die Of Something!”

  1. Stop promoting Fl., there are all ready too many idiots on the roads and it is getting worse.

  2. You’re right about the mosquitos and especially tne no-see-ums. We left one campground because the no-see-ums were so bad. But now we’re in the middle of the State and NO no-see-ums! Apparently they are only near the water. Got to admit that I miss the beach, though!

  3. It is very rare, but once in a while an alligator does attack. Back in the late 70s, a coworker at KSC was out birdwatching in a fold-a-boat with his wife and a friend on a lake near Geneva, Florida. A big momma gator attacked the boat and took a big 2 foot wide chunk out of the boat and a hunk of his friend’s butt too. Luckily, they managed to shift weight so the boat wouldn’t flood and paddled to a bit of raised land in the swamp. He left them there and walked a mile through the swamp to get help. Only when he returned, did he find out he had left them where momma gator’s nest was. That’s not an urban legend — I saw the boat!

  4. I’m a hiker, as you may or may not know, and I like the pic of the gators lined up in a row on the road edge with the sign “hikers and bicyclists keep off the pavement.” think the gators put it up?

  5. I think the best thing you could’ve said,, if he’s that paranoid is stay home and watch the paint dry,, bake cookies ,,,or watch the Travel Channel.

  6. In today’s day and age it’s the Two Legged Animals that will do more harm then by anything nature has created.
    Be safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  7. Well f the in-laws flight was on time you will still have time to see the launch of it goes. Hope Ms Terry is better.

  8. Deep-fried alligator is sorta tasty if you throw a lot of ketchup on it.

  9. Hope you were down on the dock at 3:45 today with your margaritas in hand watching the rocket launch,,, shame on you if not. You could probably hear the cheers and sonic boom’s all the way up to NSB

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