While covering the news as a television cameraman, often a story required traveling a great distance. Such it was one day on the back roads of Louisiana. For those unfamiliar with Louisiana’s back roads, let’s just say it is an easy place to get lost. Straight cut roads run for miles and miles, flanked only by non-diminishing rows of sugar cane and Cypress tree-lined bayous, or bridges that lead nowhere.
Upon such occasions roadside bathrooms can be hard to find. Purged by cups and cups of Louisiana’s incredible Community Coffee, it was sometimes necessary to stop frequently along the way. During one such pit stop, and while in the process of taking care of business, I found myself standing on a small chunk of land that separated two bayous from each other. A moment later, a huge alligator crawled up onto the same patch of ground upon which I was intently concentrating.
The fat alligator was no more than 7 feet away.
I had heard that one should never attempt to run away from a curious bear, but I must admit I was somewhat unsure how I should handle a brooding, ten feet long alligator. I selected to stand perfectly still.
Well, ALMOST perfectly still.
The slow-witted creature watched me fulfilling my mission, then ambled off, unimpressed. It slipped silently into the dark bayou on the other side, swished its powerful tail once, and was gone.