Monday, January 19, 2009

It's a long way to tip a rari.

And a long way back home.

But we got off the road early enough Saturday to get unpacked sufficiently to head out to Lenny's Bar and Grill and Swapmeet (not pictured - that's Tipperary in the photo) for dinner. Was nice: a couple miles in the car with no suitcases stacked on top of laundry baskets beside coolers on the back seat. Burgers. Onion rings. Cold beer. Home.

We checked out the new stuff on the swap meet tables; didn't see anything we needed (we're hesitant about TV antennas just now - waiting on Congress), so we moved to the bar for dessert and a final beer and some conversation with the folks sitting there: Terry and Grace, Ron, Lynn - the regulars.

We'd only had a couple bites and a couple sips when a stranger came in carrying an alligator. Now, it's not like we live so terribly far from 'gator country that we haven't seen 'em before. But we're far enough off the coast so it's not an everyday thing, so we kinda perked up. More curious than anything.

And the dude says to no one in particular and to all of us in general, "Here’s the deal. I'll open this alligator's mouth and place my genitals inside. The gator will close his mouth for one minute, then open it, and I'll remove my unit unscathed. If it works, everyone buys me drinks."

Like I said, we live close enough to 'gator country that we mistrust 'em. We agreed by acclamation.

The guy opened his Wranglers and stuck his junk - all of it - in the 'gator's mouth. The 'gator closed its mouth. After a minute, the guy grabbed a beer bottle and rapped the 'gator upside the head. The 'gator opened its jaws back wide open, and the stranger removed himself unscathed.

So we all bought him drinks.

Then he said: "I'll pay anyone $100 who's willing to give it a try."

After a while (a long, quiet while) Lynn raised her hand. "I'll give it a try," she said, "but you have to promise not to hit me on the head with the beer bottle."

Now. I realize that versions of that tale have been floating around since before my grandfather was born, but I swear it's true in this incarnation (hat-tip to Miss Cellania for reminding me to tell it).

And somehow, with the inauguration tomorrow, the idea of a guy sticking his junk in a gator's mouth seems appropriate, except for the image. This will be the 44th President of the United States to do so. Some few, as did the man in the bar the other night, have withdrawn unscathed. Some haven't.

I hope the White House doesn't run out of longnecks.

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