Copyright is held by the author.
MORTY CALLED while I was drinking my coffee and pulling the burning toast out of the machine at the same time. The call made me drop my cup. “What!” Afraid I wasn’t too Christian answering my neighbour, but the summertime temperature was going up to 105 again today.
“Just want to alert you. There’s a crocodile in your backyard.”
“Are you out of your damn mind?” I slammed down the receiver and found a paper towel to clean the mess. Thing is I’d heard the warnings. “Crocodiles everywhere,” the TV news reader said like it was a joke. Not funny. I knew those monsters were out there because one ate my Jack Russell terrier last week. Killer wasn’t much of a dog but there’s such things as property rights, even with the Democrats in the Congress and liberals taking away what little I got.
Thing you got to watch about the Dems is that they want to help you cross the street, then they won’t let go when you get to the other side. That’s what I always explained to my wife Hildy, but she’s dead now so that’s not a good example. Anyway, that’s what I told one of those socialist bell-ringers after my Jack Russell got digested, “Don’t ever be knocking on the door of my trailer again!” I really got in her face. That’ll make an impression on her college-girl mind when she goes back to her Commie brain-wash factory.
I turned up the air conditioning and found a couple shells for my shotgun. Just in time, too, cause there was an awful racket down by the dumpster where we toss our garbage. The dumpster’s next to a big blue box where the left-wingers want us to throw our tin cans, as though that’s gonna get me a job.
I ran out with my 12 gauge and saw this overgrown piece of luggage chomping on somebody’s animal. Hard to tell what kind of animal, but it was small enough to be a pain in the ass.
Then I called Morty back. “That weren’t no crocodile I just shot at by the dumpster. It was an alligator. Can’t you get your facts straight, you old fart?”
Well, the day was hot as hell so I turned on the radio and opened a beer. Maybe one of those politicians might come up with the answers I’m still waiting for. I don’t recollect being menaced by gators when Bush and Cheney were in the White House and Hildy was alive, but maybe I was too optimistic that the future was still in front of us.
Hildy would’ve told me to put some charity in my heart. But, as bad luck would have it, Hildy passed away last month from a heart attack. Now, I’ve got to stick around, recycle tin cans, and fight gators invading our community.
I got a little inkling that someday there won’t be no more gators to fight, then what’s left to live for? That’s when I focused my eyes and spotted the iguana lying on my recliner.
“Hey, ugly, what if I want to lie down?” It opened one eye, decided I was no danger and dozed off again. “Wake up, you green monster. Look I got a dog treat for you,” and I tossed it one of Killer’s nibbles. Hit the iguana in the head and, easy-peasy, it turned and ate it. Opened both eyes and looked to see if there was more.
“Stick around, buddy. Every afternoon is snack time.”
“Did you see that, Hildy?” I called. No one answered and I realized I was still alone.
I suppose a guy could get attached to an iguana as easily as a Jack Russell. With Hildy gone now I gotta be satisfied with what I have and not what I really want.