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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

At Least It Wasn’t That Damned Geico Gecko

Here we go, bloggers, here we go!

Okay, let’s see if we can really keep the post short this time. Those 100 Things About Me aren’t writing themselves, you know. And apparently, I’m not writing them, either. So I’ll keep this short and sweet, but I needed to share. It’s link-to-a-story time, kids; gather ’round. Uncle Charlie’s gonna write something that looks like it actually might belong in a blog. For once. Here goes nothin’:

The folks at the University of Florida evidently don’t know an alligator from a crocodile. Which is not all that big a deal for most of us, of course — I personally don’t know the difference, either. Just that there is one. And the distinction has never really been an issue for me, so I haven’t bothered to find out what it was, or give even the merest hint of a damn. Ditto the separation between ‘dolphin’ and ‘porpoise’, or Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Or for that matter, the Barbi twins. Who among us really needs to know which is which? And why the hell would we care?

Ah, but this is the University of Florida Gators we’re talking about, so you’d think — you being an intelligent and reasonable person, of course — that someone at the school would have taken the time and effort to make a list of what makes gators, um, alligatory, as opposed to crocodilitatious. Personally, I’d have thought they’d have that info just lying around for when people ask, maybe printed on the campus phone list. You know, for emergencies.

But the very least they could have done would be to look it up before snapping a picture of some ugly amphibian and slapping it on the cover of their football team’s media guide. Right? I mean, it’s a simple chore, isn’t it? Even if they took a picture of the wrong snaggle-toothed, armor-coated beast, they’d at least catch it before printing off the guides and sending them out. Wouldn’t they?

Well, apparently not. The errant info books made their way to the media, and it seems that some newsman — those fucking smartass journalists, you know how they are — checked the Gators’ phyla as well as their facts, and found them wanting in the biology department. Another sad day for state schools, student athletics, and the sorry state of southern edumacation. The score in this round: Pigskin 7, Sheepskin 0. Ouch.

If nothing else, I’d have expected the football folks to have enough ‘mascot pride’ to do a little due diligence, wouldn’t you? After all, aren’t they and the hoopheads the only ones who really give a rat’s ass about the school mascot in the first place? You only see the cheesy costumes come out during games, or maybe pep rallies. So who better to know the details of the chosen school animal, or color, or tree, than the football department? Look, here in Beantown, we have the Boston College Golden Eagles. Not once have I seen them advertise with a Golden Cockatoo, or print up Pink Eagles in the game-day programs. It just doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult to stay on top of.

Speaking of birds, though, my favorite line from the story involved the Florida spokesman eating some serious crow. When asked about the mistake, he said, by way of excuse:

‘We asked for an alligator, we paid for an alligator and unfortunately we did not get an alligator.’

Well, that explains everything, doesn’t it? Maybe I’ll cut just a little bit of slack for the old U of F (‘F’ standing for the school’s grade in Taxonomy 101, apparently). Sure, it seems like a strange comment for the spokesman to make, but you know what? This may sound crazy, but my buddies and I had the exact same problem the last time we went to Vegas. Of course, we didn’t end up with an alligator or a croc for our money. Instead, we were ripped off even worse, and got stuck with a three-legged turtle, a newt, and a couple of bullfrogs. Which actually ended up working out okay for what we wanted, once we got the Vaseline into–

Hey! Look at the time! Whew! Well, this post has gone long enough, then, hasn’t it? *Yaaaawn.* Yep, I’d better wrap it up and get to bed without saying another word. Gotta keep these short, just like I promised. Yep, yep. Okay, then — nighty night. Nothing left to see here. You should probably move along now. Nice seeing you. Bon voyage, and all that. Or as the Greeks are fond of saying, ‘What happened in Vegas stays in Vegas. Especially when cold-blooded animals are involved‘. And who am I to argue with the Greeks?

Note: No amphibians were actually harmed — or even fondled — during the making of this blog entry. Any similarities to actual semi-aquatic animals, real or imagined, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

(Still, don’t tell Kermit. He gets all squishy when we talk about Vegas. Best to let sleeping frogs lie. Trust me on this one.)

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