Alligator Meat

Everyone says I should get a car phone. This seems to be the general reaction to the alligator story. And I say "OK" as long as it's connected to a loud speaker that will warn all creatures on the night road of my approach.

"Heads up! all you crossing creatures--this car stops for nothing!" Something like that. But seriously, what good would a phone do?

"5th precinct."

"Good evening officer, I'd like to report running over a crocodile umm--er, alligator just now."

"Which is it lady, an alligator or a crocodile?"

"Well, I don't really know, officer. I've never understood the difference between the two of them. Or even if there IS a difference. Does it really matter?"

"Look lady, I'm the one to ask the questions here. Now which was it?"

Sigh . . . "An alligator."

"All right. Now, why don't you tell me what happened?"

"I ran over an alligator."

"What did you do that for?"

"It was in the middle of the road."

"And just what road was that?"

"U.S. Highway 30."

"Couldn't you have gone around it?"

"Officer, it was huge and took up most of the road. By the time I saw it it was too late to do anything but go over it."

"Just how fast were you going?"

"I don't know--er--certainly well under the speed limit."

"You don't know how fast you were going?"

"Well not exactly at that precise moment."

"Give me the location of this alleged incident."

"Officer, I have absolutely no idea where I was . . .. what do you mean alleged?"

"Lady, technically, that's what it is. Now, if you'll be able to give me some idea of the location . . .. "

"The best I can do is tell you that it took us twenty minutes to get home after the accident."

"And just where would home be?"

"G. P. Crackerbarrel State Hospital."

"The psychiatric facility?"

"We have a house on the grounds, officer, my husband is a psychiatrist there."

"I bet he is. Your name, please."

"Victoria Castalinguini."

"Castalinguini, Victoria. Address?"

"53D yellow brick road . . . well, that's what my husband and I call it . . . it doesn't really have a name, you see. It's just a residential lane that juts off the main hospital road."

"Let me see if I've got this now. You were barreling down . . ."

"Officer, I was driving."

"You were driving twenty minutes away from your home on the grounds of the nut house on U.S. Highway 30 when you plowed into an alligator."

"Hit, officer, hit."

"OK, lady, you hit the alligator. Then what did you do?"

"Why . . . I kept on going."

"You didn't think to stop?"

"Well, it crossed my mind."

"So, you wacked this alligator and continued to speed through the night?"

"Who are you, Serpico? Just kidding officer . . . I'm kinda not myself right now...a little shook understand."

"Not as shook up as that poor alligator out there. Are you aware that you have committed a hit and run?"

"Does that apply to alligators?"

"Especially to alligators, lady. An endangered species, you know."


"I'll have to ask you to turn yourself in."

"For what?"

"Hitting an endangered species and leaving the scene of the crime."

"Good God, officer . . . that endangered species placed itself in MY path and there was nothing I could do about it. I left the scene of the cri . . . alleged incident because I was shocked and traumatized. I could no more have stopped to check the condition of that horrendous hulk on a dark and lonely road at eleven at night than fly to the moon! I tried to do the decent thing by calling in and reporting it. The whole thing should end there!"

"We'll let the judge be the judge of that!"


Copyright 1997 The Courage of Our Confusion. All Rights Reserved. Comments? E-mail
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