Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Alligator Story

I was at the gas station recently and a man approached me, you can always tell the ones. They look a little out of place, a little hesitant and bold at the same time.

"Excuse me sir, I never do this but I just have to ask"

Ok, here comes another one. Another panhandler, hell bent on making my day suck.

"You see, I have a daughter and she called me late last night. She got pulled over, got arrested. I was driving down here from the Woodlands."

He needs gas. They always need gas. If they only knew how routine this story was.

"They impounded her car and the charges went up. She initially called me around 11:30 and needed only $165 but now they have added another $50 for holding the car another day."

He's not nearly done telling me this story. I know because he's really into the routine now. It's been well rehearsed. And so much DETAIL! These stories always contain lots of details.

"So you see, Mister, the price went up on the impound fee. I have the extra money to get her car I do, I'm not asking you for much. I just need about $8.00 to buy gas to make it back up to the Woodlands."

I'm thinking, adding in my head. Yes, about $8.00. This is also the cost of VERY cheap cigarettes and VERY cheap beer, combined. $8.00. I won't share with you how I know this, but I know.

"So Sir, God Bless you. I am not lying. I DO LIE, probably ever day I do. But I am not lying right now."

I found this confession odd. I imagine that he thought it might make him appear more sensible or genuinely human.

"So you see, I am telling God's honest truth. Can I have $8.00?"

I have been listening and nodding and saying things like "Uh hu, I see." I'm not giving him $8.00. I could give him a couple bucks I suppose. But you know what? I don;t have a lot of money either and I work hard for the little that I have. I consider my writing goals and I decide to be creative. This thing will make for a fine little blog post. He had been using a nice Texas accent, maybe natural, maybe overblown a little but a good southern drawl. I say in MY best southern drawl:

"Ooooooh Man, Lordy! You have come upon a stretch of bad luck ain't ya'? And God bless you and your daughter. My heart goes out to ya' my friend."

You have to show empathy and kindness. It helps to get you off the hook.

"But let me tell you what happened to me just the other day. I was takin' my lil' dawg, her names Misty. She's a Shitsa'Poo mix breed, I was takin' her for a walk down there at Oyster Creek in Sugar Land. We was walkin' right up close to the creek. You know them signs out there that reads 'beware of alligators?' I never pay attention to them signs. But I'll be DAMNED if an ole' gator didn't jump right up and bite Misty's hind legs off! What with the vet bills and all, I ain't got a dime to spare!"

I'm telling you now, you can't go wrong with an alligator story.


  1. Great story.
    I've had the same experience of being approached at the gas pump. A poor college kid just trying to get home for the holidays. I guess I have "sucker" written on my forehead. Yeah, I floated him a 10. He didn't look like the drinkin' type.
    Now, if you get your car impounded there's usually a really really REALLY stupid reason for that. Stupidity should not be rewarded.
    Thanks for entertaining me!

  2. Don't want to comment - the story is complete in itself - but thought I'd say 'hello' as a way of saying I enojoyed it!


  3. I couldn't get away with that story. Alligators aren't the most common sight in England. Maybe I ought to blame a really large pike instead.

  4. love the alligator story - i always wonder how to get out of those situations. i unusually tell them about my 10 pound tumor and the month stay in the hospital with no insurance - and how i didnt go the easy way and declare bankruptcy - but paying it off a bit at a time... but that story doesnt work - it must be the delivery

  5. An entertaining blog - Verily thou'rt bookmarked, my friend!

  6. Did Steve Harvey copy the book title Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man

    and theme from an earlier book?

    Book with same title & theme copyrighted and published by Sharon P. Carson in 2003

    CHICAGO, IL – Sharon P. Carson the author of the original title: Act Like A Lady –Think Like A Man, watched the February 27th episode of the Ophra show on which Steve Harvey was promoting his book of the same title. She was hoping that Steve would reveal to Oprah where he got the title and the theme for the book. It just seemed odd to her that his book had the same title and theme as her book that was copy written in 2003.

    Upon subsequently purchasing the book, she found some interesting parallels and realized that it is not unusual for a high profiled person to take a great title and theme, rewrite a book and use their celebrity status to sell it. This she says happens too often to the unsung poets, authors and entrepreneurs of the world.

    Steve wrote in his book that his hope was to “empower you with a wide-open look into the minds of men”. Sharon P. Carson wrote in her book in 2003 that her hope was for women to gain some insight into how men think in terms of relationships. Sharon also noted that in chapter 8 of Steve Harvey’s book titled “Why Men Cheat” he came to the same conclusion that she did in chapter 37 of her book, titled “Why would a man cheat”, and the answer was, “because they can”.

    Sharon actively promoted her book before the release in January 2009 of Steve Harvey’s book, and would not like to see her promotion efforts hindered. She feels that her book has much to offer from a woman’s perspective and seeks to empower women to practice self love and tough love in relationships.

    Before the publication of Steve Harvey’s book of the same title, Sharon bought the domain name: www.actlikealadythinklikeaman.com from which she has been selling her book. She has also held seminars with women at a Chicago University in promotion of her book, and can be viewed on the following youtube clip as she was being interviewed on a cable television program about her book in 2007 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxVVQX15X2Y.

    Mindful of all the self - published poets and authors who have a hard time finding publishers for their works, Sharon is currently consulting with attorneys regarding her options, and hopes that her book with the first and original title of Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man will finally receive the recognition it deserves for the wisdom, encouragement, and empowerment that it provides to women.