FLORIDA: Gators, Big Cats, and Other People's Poons

Gator on Trail

THE TRAIL: I stood on shore with my feet nearly touching the water, totally engrossed in the act of tying on a new fly. Then I felt the sensation of being watched. I looked up to see an alligator floating in front of me, close enough to lean down and touch. It hadn’t been there a minute ago, but now it sat motionless, staring. Instinct took over and I pulled out my Glock and busted a cap in its ass stood there frozen like a total idiot. Then I came to my senses and thought, I should take its picture. The gator must not have liked the sound of the zipper opening on my camera case, because it turned tail and swam away. I returned to my rental car thankful I am not a small dog.

THE BAR: In Florida, Fly fishermen get chicks. It’s a proven fact. I went to the bar near the marina where I was staying, and the following is an excerpt of an actual conversation with a woman who sat next to me. [Set to the background of the live entertainment singing “Sweet Caroline” while playing guitar and using a synth to add drums and base.]

Lady: You going to share that quesadilla?

Me: It’s my last wedge.

Lady: You could buy me a beer then…[senseless blather]…You’re new in here. How old are you?

Me: 36.

Lady: You’re a pumpkin!

Me: What?

Lady: You’re a baby! My kid’s your age…[more minutes of senseless blather]…It’s cold outside. You looking for someone to keep you warm tonight?

Me: Um…no thanks, I’m good.

Lady: Damn. I’m sick and tired of the rest of these bums.

THE AIRPORT: I’m sitting around waiting for my flight home, when who should walk by but Jeremy Cameron of Flies and Fins. He was returning from an eight-day fly fishing binge, in contrast to my few hour Trail sneak-away. We compared notes. I told him of the lone snook I hooked and lost on the jump. He pulled out his laptop and showed me some of his usual sick video footage. I get preyed upon by gators and cougars, and he and his buddy jump a bunch of baby tarpon. Sometimes life isn’t fair.

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