Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Gatorland and Gatorlove

My friend Anthony calls my omission of Gatorland thus far "nothing short of gross negligence." In my own defense, what does it say about O-town when I can put up 47 other tacky fabulous posts before even mentioning "The Alligator Capital of the World"?

If you live in Orlando and haven't been there, shame on you. It's un-American and just as bad as living in NYC and not going to the Statue of Liberty. I am not kidding when I tell you I'm completely psyched that we have bragging rights to Gatorland here in Central Florida. Take that, gay Paris! Why would anyone wait in line for hours at a museum to look at a lame painting you can just as easily view online, when instead, for 10 bucks you can do some "Gator Wrestlin'' in Kissimmee?

According to Gatorland's website, the place is filled with "Old Florida Charm." Yessiree Bob, it is! The last time I was there I watched a guy in overalls tie a chicken carcass to a rope on a stick so that he could wave it over the water and get the gators to do a little dance show. They call it a "Gator Jump" and it certainly was a crowd pleaser.

The website also proudly proclaims, “you won’t believe it started as a roadside attraction.” To tell you the truth, I'd have a hard time believing it started as a teaching hospital or a satellite office for NASA, but the roadside attraction thing? I had an inkling.

The best part about the website, though, is the Gator Cam. It's extra cool because they put the cam in the "breeding marsh" so it's got a little porn feel to it. Oh, come on now...admit that you are just a wee bit curious to see how gators "do it."

Since I'm in confession mode, I should also mention a somewhat steamy conversation I had online with with Ally Gator. She hosts the "Ask Ally" Q&A page. Ally does say you can ask her anything, day or night....soooo....(you know where this is going).....I kind of embraced the whole anonymity of the online world by giving the fake name "Patty Scialfa" and asking Ally the cartoon alligator the very personal: "How do gators breed?"
I completely expected Ally to ignore the question or change the subject (which is what my neighbors do when I ask about their breeding habits), but Ally actually gave it to me straight:

"Romance among us alligators can be pretty strange. Male alligators will rub their snouts all over a female and blow bubbles at her underwater. Do you want to learn more about alligator romance, Patty?"

I didn't know if she was setting me up to have my IP address recorded on some kind of sicko list, but I answered "yes", and thankfully, I was redirected to a very tame site dedicated to the reproductive habits of gators.

To answer your next question - 10 cm is about average for an adult male.

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