Many months ago I was sitting around depressed from watching LSU baseball lose 2 straight for the second year in a row at The College World Series. OK, I admit it. I am spoiled. Lets think about the other 56 teams that didn’t even make it there and all the other schools that didn’t even get to a regional. This psychology helped a little but it wasn’t until I remembered the day that I found a dead alligator at Alex Box Stadium that I started to feel recovered. As I was leaving baseball practice in the spring of 1975, I spotted the dirty, dusty carcass of a 4ft alligator in the ditch next to the railroad tracks. It was in good shape. It wasn’t mashed or anything. I don’t know how it died but he was about to come back to life.
I placed it in a croker sack and headed for my dorm room on the 5th floor of West Stadium. My roommates, Tom and Rick were there and inquired, “What’s in the bag?” I flopped the carcass out of the sack and at their feet. They both jumped back thinking that it was alive. We had a quick laugh and pondered how many ways to use this 4 ft. reptile. Then, a singing voice came from the room next door. It was Dwight. He was from Hahnville and was a 6ft black guy. I looked in the hall and he was walking toward the showering room and entered the door. We waited until we heard the water running and gave him enough time to soap-up. As we entered, Dwight had started shampooing his hair and had his eyes closed. Now this was a big community shower and it was easy to sneak up. The hard part was not laughing as I placed the scaley skin lizard at his feet. I then noticed how good the gator began to look. The water cleaned and made the skin shiny which made the gator look alive.
For several minutes we stood there waiting for Dwight to step in just the wrong place. It was gut busting trying not to make a sound. Then it happened, a foot slid over and the gator’s toes curled up with Dwight’s. He let out a quick scream and was rushing as fast as he could to get the soap out of his eyes. He was murmering “Lordy Mercy.” With his first glance down he screamed loud, like he was kin to Betty Davis. He then slipped and fell on top of the gator. It was on now. I was laughing so hard. I then looked and Dwight was flailing his arms like he was racing Mark Spitz and screaming at us. I couldn’t understand everything he was screaming but words like kill and dead were used a lot.
After a half hour of laughing, we were off with the serpent for more fun. As we passed the lakes by Miller Hall, we noticed a car parked at the lake. It was an old time Impala that did not have a bar between front window and the back. The inhabitants were in the back seat and trust me they weren’t paying attention to 3 guys walking up with a 4 ft. gator in their arms. We proceeded to flop our Louisiana delicacy right on top of them. I think Betty Davis was in that back seat because I heard that scream again. We drove off with sounds of words like kill and dead again being yelled at us. We drove back about 10 minutes later and low and behold the car was gone and our little buddy was laying on the ground.
In the sack it went and off for some more ‘American Graffiti’ type antics. We didn’t have to drive far to be at the steps of one of the girls dormitories. We snuck in the bushes by the door and slid the gator out on the concrete, perfectly placed, for the goodnight kisses that were to come. It didn’t take long. A tall girl with a short guy walked up and she bent down, kissed him, hugged him and opened her eyes to see the gator staring straight at her. She was too tall to be Betty but she sure screamed like her and this short guy spun around with arms extended, he was poised to protect her from a dead alligator. The police showed up and ended the life of our dead alligator because if they hadn’t of hauled it off, I guarantee he would have lived a few more tales. Fortunantly Dwight had calmed down by the the time we returned to the dorm. We told him the stories and he loved us again. Until next time.