Chris Saxman: Cold Fusion – God, Gators, and Government Edition
During the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday morning down here on the bayou off Vacherie Road in Glencoe, Louisiana, a hearty band of hunters set out to do their part in controlling the alligator population.
Here’s how it works – the State of Louisiana gives out a certain number of gator tags based on estimated population of the gators for whichever parcel of land is being hunted. Glencoe Vacherie Plantation of largely sugar cane and, oh by the way, natural gas, has well in excess of 15,000 acres and for the last two years has gotten 61 tags.
The folks who do the hunting usually have the hunting leases from the property owners and they will split up the proceeds from the sale of the alligators at the market. This year prices are getting around $27 a foot.
Some quick math can underscore the economic possibilities to the hunters and landowners. 61 tags at $27 times 7.5 feet for the average alligator and you are looking at over $12,000. Even delegates to the Democratic National Convention could get that the longer the alligators are, the more money you make. Right?
Time is of the essence for the gator hunters. They only have but so many tags, so much water/land acreage to hunt and only the month of September to do the hunting.
So when these hunters get out on the bayou at 6am, they are serious – but in a fun-loving Cajun way.
The harvesting of alligators has been made famous by the reality television show “Swamp People”. The reality of that reality show was not lost on our merry band of gator hunters. Every time a hooked gator is pulled up for his ending caused by a .22 caliber bullet, the crowd of hunters and spectators say “Choooot hiiiim, Troy…Chooot im”
Crack! Dead limp alligator. Pulled in the boat. Moving on. Next tag line. Same thing. Pull up the line…. “Chooot iiiim, Troy! Choot iiim!” Crack!
For the first two hours we did not see a hooked gator. The next two hours? We swamp peopled 18 alligators and by 10:00am they were tagged and in the back of a pick up truck headed to market. Approximate revenue for the four hours? About $3600.
Not bad. Certainly different. Definitely interesting. Actually, kind of fun.
I fell in the bayou.
The tree branch I was holding onto in order to bring two of our boats together while several members were about to enter an alligator into the competitive and regulated free market gave way. So, while I am going head first backwards into the alligator filled bayou, someone above me is placing a .22 caliber pistol to the head of a gator with the assembled saying, “Choot iiim..Choot iimm!”
Our host on this Four Hour Tour…A Four Hour Tour, the intrepid and, at that point, laughing hysterically, Steve Raupe of The Oklahoma Raupes, said ,”Man, were you pissed off!”
I replied, “No pard, I was FOCUSED! I was getting out of that bayou and back into the boat!”
Which I did. Quickly. Very Quickly. Very Very Quickly.
Sure I was a little embarrassed to be in front of the Rajun Cajuns now all doubled over laughing at the site of me sitting in that flat bottomed boat soaking wet head to toe. But I was out of the water and that’s all that mattered to me. Laugh all you want. I. Am. Alive!
There was no time to think. Only react. Right? Fall in gator infested bayou. Get out.
Simple, right? “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” And the doctor says, “Don’t do that.”
There was no time to ponder, take questions, or Google an article entitled, “Should one get back in the boat after falling into an alligator infested swamp?” Uh….
Nope. Instinct. True belief. Action. Without Emotion. No Reflection. Just Reflex. Get. OUT!
So imagine my relief when I learned that the Platform Committee at the Democratic National Convention actually removed any mention of God from their platform and had to have a floor vote to put it back in! Holy Guacamole, Batman! You mean, I wasn’t the biggest moron of the week?
The best part of my Swamp Bath was that my boon travel companion, Jack Mitchell, of the Murfreesboro Mitchells, cannot upload the video of me coming out of the water! The even better part of the week is the video, now building a viral quality, of the Democrats shouting down the efforts of the Democratic leaders to put God BACK into their platform!
Instinct. Thought. True Belief. Action.
Paraphrasing St.Paul in his letter to the Corinthians – “God, Gators and Government, abide these three. But the greatest of these, is God.”
And Thank God for Democrats.