Tag Archives: alligator rodeo

Animal Magnetism

7 Aug

So I got bit and stalked by a god damn enormous tortoise. Well…. nibbled.

It was like the size of a bucket upturned- it wasn’t a tiny little pet turtle. A garbage can sized tortoise.

There I was, cheering for this girl wrestling her first alligator out of the pond, and keeping an eye on the pile of gators edged up against the fence nose first, just waiting for an errant hand to cross over… considering their size… thinking about the gator the girl was wrangling and… then I felt something MOUTHING MY TOES.

On my list of fears it goes:

  • -Spiders
  • -Snakes

…well, no emu comes before snakes. Or maybe they are tied. Whatever. At any rate turtles just freak me out.

My toenails are painted blue and they told me they thought maybe she wanted berries, or a flower, or that it was the bright color (note to self, next year do not wear nail polish to the reptile rodeo rescue).

Then they told me if she did really chomp down I might lose a toe but she’d spit it out once she realized it wasn’t a plant. She is a herbivore.

This coming from people who have actually sewed digits back on or stored them in formaldehyde.

I was all fuck that but then that dang turtle followed me like a total creeper. If I took a step away, she took 3 steps forward. I went right and so did she. Mind games, man. Every time I turned around she was there. I tried doing a figure 8 and she did a little dance whilst staring me down. It was a stand off.

I got to live my nightmare. And I LIVED. So maybe that is progress? Who knows. Whatever.

Last year I helped man the Open Space booth for the state fair and I got like a few minutes to get away and do Duck Racing (didn’t win) and on the way back I petted a donkey. In serious slow motion it turned slightly and opened its mouth and BIT MY FINGER- mind you didn’t chomp because that’d be amputation right there- but bit down on my finger and wouldn’t let me go until the owner came out and got it off me. It hurt. A lot. My coworker, who would usually laugh at that (as would I), got worried. It held on hard and for a while. Maybe I looked like a carrot.

Maybe I’m just in high demand *wink*

I have gotten bitten by a lot of random things:

  • black widow
  • chagas beetle (just google that one cause it’ll be easier than me explaining it)
  • a bat
  • a frog
  • fish
  • I got a tick while sleeping overnight in the Boston airport. That one is a puzzler.
  • A friend one mine once bit me at an art show. Why? I don’t know.
  • bed bugs (thanks, Amber)
  • a rabbit

Anyway… just absurdity

If I see a llama, I assume it will spit on me, not that it might. Because if it chose one out of thirty people, it’d be me.

It’s just my animal magnetism.


Alligator Rodeo

9 Aug

Had the privilege this weekend of tagging along with a friend to an Alligator Rodeo in Southern Colorado.

You read that correctly.

Wranglers wade out into an alligator pond until they bump into one underwater, toe around and feel where its legs are, then hop on its back, lasso it around the neck, and drag it ashore. Points are given for speed and length of the alligator.

I was an observer and data recorder, NOT an actual participant. I’d like to stress that. I’m well aware that I’m not the kind of person who should be dancing with danger so closely. I know this. It is pretty awesome to watch others do it, though.

A local vet tech scans the gators for tags, and if they are new (untagged) they get a tag and a name. I have an alligator named after me after this weekend. If there are any injuries (apparently alligators’ hobbies include beating the crap out of one another) they are treated and then sent back into their habitat. I got to see a toe amputation- that was gruesome.


Sometimes I wonder if rednecks aren’t having the most fun of us all. After a day of mud and gators, we went to a local hot spring to relax and then drank some wine by a fire and enjoyed watching the stars. I slept in the bed of a truck. In the morning we pointed an old iron cannon at watermelons (firing gumballs) until we actually blew up the cannon and were forced to contemplate our own mortality. Funny, how gratifying terror can be sometimes. On the drive home we stopped and explored an old ghost town. Fun times.

How was your weekend?

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