I Am a Crocodile, and I’ve Done Terrible Things
In 1978 my mother told me I couldn’t eat cereal and watch TV. I was eating Sugar Corn Pops and watching a Corn Pops commercial at the same time. My five year old self was impressed that the yellow hatted cowboy was talking about the same thing I was eating. Then here comes Mom with the rules. I ignored her.
“If you won’t go in the kitchen, then go to your room,” she screamed.
Now an alligator would have listened. An alligator would have gone to the kitchen with his delicious Sugar Pops, but the Croc came out early.
“Go to your grave!” I shouted while pushing her down the apartment stairs. She lay at the bottom of the stairs whimpering well after I finished my third bowl of cereal. She survived with nothing more than a sprained elbow
I was sent to live with my Grandmother for about a year until Mom forgave me. They always do.
In 1995 I spread a rumor about an old man at work. His wife left him for another woman. Everyone believed it. What else would they go for? His wife caught him and his daughter lying on the couch together in their underwear. Incest. They’ll believe anything. I started stealing jewelry. The most expensive retail item and pawning it off. Nobody noticed until I ratted the old man out. They found the jewelry to be missing from inventory. The old man was arrested, but got off on a technicality. Not enough evidence. He did lose his job though. The thief got what he deserved.
When I was 14 my best friend from school, a fat kid named Ron, broke his arm. Disgusting black hairs grew under the cast like light starved plants trying to reach the sun. The day before he was about to get the cast off I tripped him. He fell down and re-broke his arm. I laughed the whole way home. The best part was when he lay there crying after me, “I hate you!” Hilarious.
When I was 26 my neighbor’s kid kept crawling onto my back porch. I don’t know if they didn’t feed the thing enough, but it kept coming in and eating the food out of the cat’s bowl. The last time I came out on the back porch and started shooting him with a BB Gun.
It was starting to hiss at me like it was infected with rabies. I threw an empty pizza box on top of it so it couldn’t bite me and started stomping it. As it scampered away I beat it over the head with a pipe until it was unconscious.
Mom came running out shrieking, “What’s going on?”
I was so angry by this point I was actually seeing red. “Go get a garbage bag,” I yelled as I grabbed a shovel. I thrust it down to separate the beast’s vertebrae and break its neck, killing it. I picked it up by the tail and dropped it into the bag that Mom held open and threw it out with the trash. Damn Possums!
In 1986 I picked up a stereo out of the trash. It was the kind with lots of knobs and plenty of juice. We had some good times together. Like the time when I told my sister to hold onto the speaker wires and kept turning the volume up and up and up. Her little hands clenched together into the powerful claws they are today. She shook around a little bit then went to sleep. The neighbors were particularly annoying that day. After the electrocution, I decided to teach them a lesson. I hooked up the speakers, balanced them on the window and blasted “We Built This City.” This is regarded by many as one of the best songs for increasing neighborly relations. It’s also good for getting confessions. It was all too loud for me so I took off leaving the radio on and my electrocuted sister taking a rest.
Later on, when I got back, I found out from my Mom that the police had arrested my sister for something like disorderly conduct or noise pollution and she had to spend some time in juvenile hall. She was always getting herself into trouble.
I have to tell you, I wasn’t always a Croc. For a brief time around 1992 I tried my hand at being an alligator. After high school I met up with an old friend. He told me he had brain cancer. Using the compassion and positivity of an alligator I cheered him with an encouraging message. “Cancer? That’s nothing! You can beat that.” He sort of laughed. The kid was dead within a month.
That same year I was working at a department store as a stockboy. This nerdy older girl kept flirting with me. The gator in me decided to show her some mercy and take her out. I even let her choose the movie – Mr Saturday Night. I met her at the theater. Immediately after we were seated, and before the movie even started, she was sobbing. I sat there for two hours, saying nothing, hoping it was going away. The crocodile was saying, “How am I supposed to get any action off this crying hag?” The Alligator just waited it out. After the movie we went out to my car to talk. Ten minutes of alligator style kindness and I got to the bottom of it. She spilled her guts. She prefaced her story by revealing that she was a born again Christian and that at 23 years of age she had never had sex.
Because she was so pure, I guess she felt very guilty about something that had happened earlier in the day. She told me she was at her parent’s house hanging out with her two friends. One a guy, and one a girl. The girl was messing around and started coming onto the guy. The 23 year old crier knew her friend didn’t even like him. They had talked about it. She said he was a dork. As the 23 year old sat on the couch, the couple started having sex right in front of her. The girl, her friend, was looking right at her making faces. Faces to say, this guy is so bad at sex, and making fun of their friend while he was fucking her.
The 23 year old really let out with the tears when she got to the end. “Why did I just sit there? How could I watch them?” This was an interesting question. My normal crocodile would have twisted it to his advantage. Told her she was a sinner already and taken advantage, but I was being an alligator then.
“It’s alright,” I told her. “The universe is a big place. So big that our actions are insignificant. No matter what we do, it doesn’t affect anything. Whether we live or die, nothing changes. Nothing we do matters.” This seemed like a great philosophy to me. Still does, but born again Christians don’t think like that.
“Nothing we do matters?” she said, and began crying even worse than before. I hadn’t made her feel better, instead it seems I stole her innocence without even laying a hand on her. To end it, I told her it was late and she reluctantly left the car. Last I heard she became a low priced call girl in Camden NJ for a while, then committed suicide in ‘98.
That was the last time I pretended to be an alligator. After that it was all “happy mother’s day from your aborted fetus” or “It’s only wrong if we think it’s wrong.” or “I’m getting your friend pregnant.” If you’re a crocodile, you’ve got to do your terrible things. After all the universe is a big place, and none of it matters.