Frozen alligator filets
Yummm! Tastes like chicken.


Having traveled through much of The South now, I can confidently say, southerners do strange things with alligators. First, they eat them. This must take a great deal of effort, and considering the fact that it tastes like chicken (actually it’s a cross between chicken and frogs legs—which taste like chicken) it seems like more work than it’s worth.

For one thing, chickens can’t eat you while you’re trying to catch them. In fact, they willingly waddle over to any human who calls them to a meal. They don’t even seem to be suspicious that they might be the main course, no matter how many of their friends and family have disappeared lately. Alligators, on the other hand, seem offended at the very presence of humans even if they come with alligator food.

Secondly, chickens have skin you can eat, thus saving you the time of removing it. I have yet to see anything saying “Deep Fried Alligator Rind” down here, although I imagine it’s been attempted. The advantage of alligator, I suppose, is that, after you’re done killing it, you get to decorate your walls with what’s left. But only if you live in the south where they don’t think that’s strange.

Alligator heads for sale
Alligator wall hanging anyone?


There’s also the added bonus that alligators make purses, hats, boots, and other clothing, but I think the southerners send most of that up to New York. Decorating with alligator heads is apparently politically correct, but I didn’t see anyone wearing it.

Speaking of wearing things, southerners seem to be cold in any temperatures lower than 90 degrees. At one meeting, it was easily 75 or 80 in the back room where we met for the Chinese language. And there were two non-old people wearing coats. Everywhere we went, there were coats while we were ready to go swimming. It’s a good thing they are comfortable in higher temperatures, because when we left it was 90 degrees and getting hotter.

As we drove north, we thankfully crossed what they call the “gnat line.” and could finally go outside without a gnat or two struggling to extricate itself from our eyelashes. After spending a few days within the gnat zone, I can’t imagine how Pharaoh made it past the gnats without surrendering. I would definitely have preferred frogs. At least you can eat them. Actually, you can eat gnats too, but not on purpose.

Just before we left the area with the worst gnats, a sister let me in on the secret of gnat repelling. She stuck out her arms, rubbed her skin and said, “barbecue sauce!” No wonder I was hungry at every meeting.