Well . . . I prefer to think that I have a way with words, a way to make a story come alive. And while I may substitute hunky verbs for the wimpy variety, I do not exaggerate the facts.
Last week at Glen Eyrie I was sitting at a table with lots of lovely folks when the conversation veered toward alligators. I'm not sure why; I think we were talking about weird things in certain localities. And I remarked that everyone in Florida knew not to venture too close to lakes, canals, etc. Why? Because of the alligators.
A little backstory: when I was a child, we didn't worry about alligators so much because they were nearly extinct. Floridians passed a law to make it illegal to kill an alligator, even, I suppose, if it had invaded your house and pinned you in a corner.
But later, once alligators resumed their hold on the ecosystem, the authorities relaxed a bit, and you could hunt gators 1) with a permit 2) and a license 3) and as along as the gator was a certain size.
Now, of course, gators are running amuck, being eaten by imported exploding pythons, and running into traffic. They are also finding their way into people's garages, swimming pools, and becoming stuck beneath cars. You doubt me? Check these headlines from just the past three months:
So when I tell my lunching companions that gators are something that every Floridian watches out for, they really shouldn't look at me with distrust in their eyes. No matter what my husband says.