“i see an alligator down there.”
and who would doubt that on a freezing day in michigan
on the cusp of winter, with a hint of autumn still remaining
and you are wearing your unicorn hat and sparkly skirt?
when i was 7 or 8 years old
my father came home
from his job at the ad agency
with a new pet for our family
and it just happened to be a baby alligator.
he was not more than 9 or 10 inches long
in a small box and cute as could be
i was really excited
and pictured myself playing with him and his friends
(just as in the vintage postcard above)
i thought he would just fit right in
with my family
in our colonial house
in the suburbs
though, there were a few ‘glitches’ with this scenario.
i had my alligator for a few days and i was very excited to have my friends in my class meet him. when the big day came for show and tell, i carefully carried him in his little cardboard box, climbed onto the bus, and jerry and i headed off to school. i remember it was a bit chilly that day, but i didn’t know anything about natural alligator habitats, so i didn’t think much of the weather. i was bursting with excitement.
i put my box on my desk and when i was called up for the big reveal, i opened by box, only to find that jerry lewis had passed away on the way to school and was now stiff as a board. i couldn’t believe it and i felt so sad for him. looking back, i’m sure that any baby alligator given away in a promotion, was not long for this world, but i had hoped that we would be together for a long while. my teacher was very nice about it, and helped me wrap up his box and i rode home that day on the bus with jerry, ready to have a funeral for him. i learned so many life lessons from my short time with jerry lewis. – r.i.p.
(not me, or jerry, but how i imagined us at show and tell)
” i go where the action is.”