Saturday, April 20, 2019

Gators Are Fun

Question: what's more fun than an alligator? Answer: HUNDREDS OF ALLIGATORS! The way they wag their tails when they see you coming, and their little eyes crinkle up... why, I just want to hug them and give them Gator Snax™ (which happen to be shaped like little human hands for some reason). Today's three scans are all from one (or possibly several) gator-themed tourist attractions in Florida, circa 1968. From what I can deduce, Florida had quite a few of these little roadside parks.

Many of us learned long ago that one way to make your home stand out among the others is to festoon it with large reptilian skulls. This lady loves it, and is taking notes for when she returns to Michigan. "Won't Janet turn green with envy!". It'll be so sweet. The armored shell of a snapping turtle adds a touch of elegance.

We all love alligators, but admittedly they can't do too many tricks. They can hiss loudly. Some of them can walk up a ramp and slide down the other side; and they will eat a chicken carcass suspended from a string (that trick is my favorite). And that's about it. Looking at this man's expression, I feel like he might actually throw that young alligator in this direction. "So help me, if you snap your gum ONE MORE TIME...".

If you do a Google search for good names for baby alligators, you get some interesting suggestions: Chomp the Magic Gator; Glub Glub; Cranky; Psycho; Lego my Lego; Green Scum; and so many more.

There's a whole gaggle of 'em. Bring a package of hot dogs to throw in when nobody is looking. I can't help thinking about the Alligator Farm in Buena Park - as a kid I liked it, but then again, I was happy to be doing anything out of the ordinary.

I had the bright idea of merging the Buena Park Alligator Farm with the Japanese Deer Park. They both closed shortly thereafter.

I hope you have enjoyed today's post.


Nanook said...


As delightful a word as 'gaggle' sounds in describing a group of alligators, the correct word is actually 'congregation'-! Sounds like so much fun, does it not-??

I can't wait to start redecorating my rumpus room, as you've given me so many grand ideas for 'wall hangings'-! (Who needs to incorporate deep, burled wood paneling...)

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, as for Gator Snax (sorry, I don't know how to type the little "TM")...."Gators Just LOVE 'EM!" It's sort of like Sandy Duncan and her Wheat Thins.

I like your idea of merging the two Buena Park tourist attractions. Tossing a couple live alligators into Movieland Wax Museum might have also been good for a few laughs. But what do you get when you merge Buena Park's Alligator Farm with Disneyland? Answer: Walt Disney World!

K. Martinez said...

I'll have a gator sandwich please, and make it snappy!

stu29573 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stu29573 said...

You know you're from the south by the strange creatures you semi-regularly eat. Frogs, snakes, crawdads, gators, revinuers...all quite tasty! (Don't fall for the "tastes like chicken" line...chicken tastes like rattler!)
Now there was a point to all this, but I'm kinda getting hungry, so....

JC Shannon said...

Nothing says I have arrived, like a gator skull on your front door. I usually like small mom and pop parks, but I draw the line at alligators. They must not get many visitors these days since gators are everywhere. Nanook, my mom used to say rumpus room. Today it's family room, not near as much fun. Anyone remember Wally Gator cartoons? I loved that show. Major, your comments today were great, but you used all the good jokes!

Nanook said...

@ JC Shannon -

Check out my last comment from yesterday's GDB, where I add some info regarding Disneyland's 'dark water' & 'clear water' systems...

K. Martinez said...

JC Shannon, I remember Wally Gator! I loved those cartoons too.

Nanook, here's on article from Disney on what they do nowadays with the water they drain from their water systems.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I actually looked online to see what a group of gators was called, but let’s face it, “congregation” is awfully churchy. Decorating with any dead animal is the ultimate in taste.

TokyoMagic!, on a Mac you press the option key and the number two to make the ™. Maybe on a PC you use the “alt” key? Oh man, that joke about gators at WDW is DARK! I didn’t think of it, but I’m not sure I would have gone there. I have to maintain my family reputation!

K. Martinez, I had gator at a party once, it was prepared (and tasted) just like Kentucky Fried Chicken. It would be good on a sandwich.

stu29573, I haven’t had snake yet… I think I’ve had frog legs. Definitely snails. I would try snake, though. Revinuers, ha ha, that’s something I used to hear in old movies and cartoons and never knew what it meant.

Jonathan, my brother watches some fishing dudes on YouTube, and when they fish in canals in Florida, they are chock full of gators. There must be millions of them now. I think they are cool animals, but am not interested in getting very close. Yes, I remember Wally Gator! He sounded like Ed Wynn.

Nanook, I missed your comment from yesterday, so… time to go back and read it.

K. Martinez, I have a real fondness for Hanna-Barbera cartoons from that era. At some point they lost their charm, but Huckleberry Hound, Quickdraw McGraw, Yogi Bear, the Flintstones, the Jetsons, and more, were so much fun. Thanks for the link on what happens to the water!

Nanook said...

@ JC Shannon-
Thanks for the link. I kinda figured in THIS day and age, a reasonably-sophisticated reclamation system would be afoot, in conjunction with whatever local water district was providing its water wares - and I see there is one. (Now... about all those 'puny' waterfalls and [former] water features...).

stu29573 said...

Major, I actually have had all that stuff (ok, not the last one). The rattle snake really did taste like chicken. It was in little grilled strips....I had exactly one, lol!

JC Shannon said...

Nanook, thanks for the info on the water in yesterday's post. I knew it had to go somewhere.

Chuck said...

My dad tells a story of a classmate of his whose uncle had gone to Florida and brought him back a baby 'gator he'd bought at one of these places. It was pretty cute when it was little, but it grew up and became a hazard. They barricaded it into a corner of the basement and threw a hunk of meat at it every now and again.

They eventually donated it to the Toledo Zoo just to get it out of the house. This must have been a fairly regular occurrence since they had an unusually large collection of alligators in and next to their Reptile House up into the '70s.

Melissa said...

but let’s face it, “congregation” is awfully churchy.

Our Congregational church is lovingly referred to by local musician types as "The Congo."