Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Tale of Two Alligators

Whew, we made it through Memorial day!  To celebrate the shedding of our winter coats and mud-covered boots, I’m going to tell you how I came to meet Bob and Joe.

The fun started when my daughter went to an end of the school year swimming party. I strolled up to the house to see half a dozen children jumping on a humungous plastic alligator. I watched in fascination as each child (mostly boys) gleefully grabbed the kid on the alligator, pulled him into the water only to climb up the gator’s back and take his place as the rightful conqueror of the raft.  The delighted squeals that came from the mouths of the kids made think of my own humble pool, a small play pool at best.  

Hmm, I thought, I need one of those alligators.

Not to let my neighbor know I was coveting her plastic reptile, I asked in the most casual way, 

“Where’d you get the gator?”  

“Albertsons, and they are already blown up.” She said.  That was it. I had to have one and fast.

After picking up my daughter, I said, “What do you think about getting an Alligator like they had at the party.”

Her gaze became distant and I could see in her face, she was imagining all the fun she and her friends would have in our pool.

I had an accomplice, and someone to blame my purchase on. It was time to move to phase two of my plan. We made our way to Albertsons. There was always the threat of others finding the display first, but we persevered. Then we saw the huge metal bin. It was all but cleaned out, nothing left but a wimpy dolphin and an awkward looking Orca.

We settled on the Orca and hauled to the car but I was still thinking about those alligators. They were two man, and had fake sharp teeth, nothing like the lump of lard we’d stuffed into the trunk of my car.

That night, my curiosity drove me to the internet. I knew then, nothing good could come of it.
I typed Albertsons into Google and waited breathlessly. There was another Albertsons only seven miles away from my house. I couldn’t tell anyone of my plans. The next morning, I claimed I had “errands to run.” 

I drove in silence, wondering if I was wasting precious time. What if they weren’t there? How would I explain my long absence? The Albertson’s parking lot was packed. A bad sign. More people to steal my toys. I moved through the memorial-day crowds, and then there in the middle of the room, I saw it.

Light from overhead shone down illuminating the biggest overstuffed display of blow up pool toys that anyone has ever seen and there beneath the orcas and dolphins were TWO alligators. 
I snatched them up, moving swiftly through the store with them. I heard the jealous children ask their mommies if they could have an alligator, but they couldn’t. Whahaha, they were all mine.

Like tall trophies I carried one in each arm.  By the time I’d reached the car, I’d named them Bob and Joe.

No one would question my doings now. I was the bearer of fun.  I was the queen of the pool and they would hail me with reverence.

At home, I stepped in the entry holding the gators by their tails.  “Everyone, look what I found!” I called out.

Reluctantly, they pulled their eyes from their computers to see my loot, and then put them back down again, with a mumbled thanks.

Defeated I threw my new friends in the backyard and went about my business until I heard it. Could it be, the laughter of children, in my pool? I pulled back my curtain and saw with my own two eyes. My daughter and her friends jumped and laughed, all the while wrestling with my gators. My mission was complete. 

Exhausted from a hard day’s work, I took a nap and so began my summer.

I hope you find your happy place this summer. Me, I’ll be in the pool.

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