Jan 23 2008

Alligator Fact and Fiction

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Our resident mutated alligator, Agent Orange, offers this look into the brutally competitive world of reptology.


The University of Georgia, as you might imagine, lags behind more prestigious reptological institutions. According to its “researchers,”

Keep your pets and children away from alligators. Large alligators do not recognize the difference between domestic pets and wild food sources. When they are hungry, alligators act on their hunting instinct and might attempt to feed on your house pet if given the opportunity.

FICTION: “Large alligators do not recognize the difference between domestic pets and wild food sources.”

 

FACT: Domestic pets incorrectly differentiate large alligators from other friendly neighbors.

 

FICTION: “When they are hungry, alligators act on their hunting instinct and might attempt to feed on your house pet if given the opportunity.”

 

FACT: Alligators may defend themselves from your house pet if forced to. Similarly, if your dog attacks the mailman, the mailman should defend himself. If he did so, we wouldn’t describe that with loaded language like “feed on your house pet.”

 

Unsurprisingly, Georgia is somewhat more accurate when it comes to alligator football prowess. (Not that you need a reptologist to explain what happens when a Bulldog and a Gator mix it up).

 

Keep your distance. Although they may look slow and awkward, these animals are extremely powerful and can move with a startling burst of speed on land over short distances. A safe distance from an adult alligator is about 60 feet.

 

FACT: “these animals are extremely powerful and can move with a startling burst of speed on land.”

 

FICTION: “A safe distance from an adult alligator is about 60 feet.” Gator football strategy actually relies on two concepts.

  1. We play every down like it’s 4th and long.

  2. 4th and long isn’t time to punt, it’s time to stomp.

 

FACT: You are definitely not safe within 300 feet, the length of the field. In fact, the stands aren’t much better. Try the parking lot.

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