Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 34

I'll tell you one thing, my two friends doing this post-a-day thing are certainly posting more interesting stuff than I am.  John's just put up a really incisive mini-essay on Ayn Rand and Dez has some fascinating reflections upon animals in space.  Whereas I, this morning, plan to write about a TV show in which men hunt alligators.

It's called Swamp People.  My wife got into it last season.  I think it reminds her of certain folks she knows in Texas (even though it's set in Louisiana).  The show's heroes are professional alligator trappers. They're local boys from small towns who've spent most of their lives in and around the immense swamps that cover most of southern Louisiana.  Some of them have accents so strong it's hard to understand what they're saying.  Many of them are missing prominent teeth.  They have names like Willie and Junior.  And  one month a year (during the 'season') they spend every day out in the swamps looking for 'gators.

The job, as you would imagine, is not exactly safe.   Alligators are not especially happy animals, and they really aren't happy when they have a hook caught in their mouth.  The hunters' goal is to get close enough to the animal to put a bullet through a small, quarter-sized area in the head called the 'kill spot.'  If they miss the kill spot by a few inches, the bullet can ricochet off their skull.  If they miss it by more than a few inches, they can damage the alligator's hide, and lose out on the money they get from selling the animal to people who want it for its skin.  In its essence, the 'hunt' consists of tugging these angry animals high enough out of the water that someone in their boat can get a clean shot at its head.  All the while the alligator is trying to either attack the people in the boat, or pull the person holding the line into the water where, presumably, they will be eaten.

The whole thing is really something to see.  I'm still not totally sure how I feel about it, but it's definitely a spectacle.

And I haven't even talked about the alligator 'relocator' who catches them alive, WITH HIS BARE HANDS, and moves them from one part of the swamp to another.

I think it's on Animal Planet?  Or Nat Geo, I don't know.  Some cable channel.  Worth checking out.


Barbara Carlson said...

I know how I feel about it. Bad. I know it's their livelihood (lively, indeed), but...

I guess when you grow up doing this kinda violent stuff with 'gators you start to think like 'em and can anticipate their moves. Kinda like Cesar Millan and the worrisome dogs he can magically calm. But dogs have fewer vestigial reptilian brain parts than, well, reptiles.

Barbara Carlson said...

Plus, it's not WHAT you write about that is important, is is HOW. There is no subject that cannot be made riveting -- maybe that's just me.

JMW said...

It's like someone smarter than me once said: if you introduce an alligator in the first act, it better go off by the third.

That show sounds terrifying.

Barbara Carlson said...

...terrifying and viewers do wanna see flames! Why else watch? It's like an addition to Sarah Palin. You watch through partically-covered eyes and ears.