I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. Like anyone from the state, this means I have experience with alligators. To be more exact, I’m a certified wildlife handler for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, also known as the FWC. I got the experience by working at Gator Golf Adventure Park, on International Drive. With both Mini-Golf and alligators, what more could you want? I loved my time there, and the experience I earned was invaluable.
Experience in catching alligators, I mean.
Alligators are extremely dangerous, yes, but they’re also idiots. This makes dealing with one a matter of outsmarting it. Sounds easy, isn’t. They can reach a top speed of 35mph on land, and have one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom.
I don’t fear them anymore, despite all that. I know that if something went wrong, I could just run away from them. They’re extremely fast at first, but with a decent headstart, I should be able to endure for long enough to escape. That’s all I’d have to do, get far enough away that it was out of eyesight.
Or so I thought, until I learned about… him.
He is the peak alligator. He is what keeps me from sleeping peacefully. Faint of heart, turn back now.
Picture the following scenario.
You meet with a gator in the woods. You realize that things are going sour, so you need to get away. You break off quickly, running in a full sprint through the forest. The gator gives chase, impossibly fast at first, but quickly slowing. Your sudden departure gave you enough time to put distance between the two of you. As you continue to run, the crackle of leaves and broken sticks fades from behind you- the gator is gone. You stop to catch your breath.
Then… you hear it. You swat your ears for bugs, but that’s not where the buzz is coming from. The buzz grows into a hum. The hum grows into a roar. It’s right behind you now- you try and begin to run again, but you’re sore and out of breath, too weak to go on. You turn around and in your last moment you see him, your old foe, the alligator…
…on an all-terrain vehicle.
The one benefit I had over the alligator is now gone, as he can relentlessly pursue me over all terrains. I try to escape, but he descends on me, and I am never heard from again.
There’s no other way it could’ve happened, I suppose.
My Biggest Fear.
My other biggest fear is not being popular enough, and I live in terror every single day- follow @JeffShutUp on Twitter to help me out with that.