Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nathan, the 'Gator Man

It comes in flavors.
Some of my family stories are true to the letter, while others have been stretched yet maintain that kernel that started it in the first place.  The following was told to me by my brother, as his son had told him.

Late fall was coming on, with blast of premature snow.   Nathan Peck was a Chicago city engineer who worked with all departments. Nathan has a gift, one of many.  He makes friends, tells awesome stories, and plays the most imaginable practable practical tricks on any vulnerable person.

The saran wrap across the toilet seat?  Amateurs.
 
Change out the keys of the keyboard?  Smirk.

Collecting all the chairs from the waiting room and stacking them in the CEO’s office? Hmph.

In one freezing November in Chicago, Nathan received a call from one of the field workers who reported something that caused Nathan to race out the office and squeal out the parking lot.  

When he arrived, the guys pointed to the frozen specimen of a five-foot alligator, sticking out a drainage pipe. They wrapped orange cord under and around the frozen carnivore, and it took all eight men to dislodge the swamp dweller from the ice.

Their best guess was that it was someone’s pet that outgrew its welcome, and was thrown into the sewer.  During the warm season it did well with all the rats, but when there was a freeze, poor ‘gator found its way to a drainage tube, headed out that way, only to freeze to death.
 
Alligator in pond ice, somewhere
This is not the alligator from this story, just so you know.

It was dead, really dead.  Then Nathan said, “Boys, I got me an idea…”

Nathan returned to his office, drinking a cup of coffee while looking out a window.  “Well, I’ll be damned!  Look…” The nearest secretary Jenny (this was her 2nd day of employment) leaned over and looked out.  She began a scream that went all the way to the next office, talking illegibly. Jenny raced off to share her find. Nathan waved at his guys below, who picked up frozen fellow and carried around the next corner.

Jenny was hysterically telling a colleague what she had seen, when she glanced out the second window and saw the alligator staring at her window.  Off she went.

This went on a good fifteen minutes until a crowd edged outside and approached the beast, which was now under a mini-van, only tail visible.  While they were all standing five inches deep in snow, Nathan drove quickly out from the parking lot on the other side of the building.

There you are: Nathan, still developing his talents.  How I love him.

This story is dedicated to Gail  who has shared some 'gator stories in our email conversations.
                                     

21 comments:

  1. What a wonderful tale/tail. Coming from a long line of practical jokers, I see the mastery in this.

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    1. Nathan is a true master, and the half has never yet been told.

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  2. I have a nephew who is a practical joker, and one son who sometimes indulges us with his jokester talents too. ;)

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  3. lol that was perfect. So there really are alligators in the sewers

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    1. Yes, apparently there are during warm weather. I wonder if the sewer were really deep, would the gator survive??

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  4. i think Nathan owes some alligator boots, or at least a wallet, to Jenny after that scare.

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    1. Nathan moved to North Dakota or South, so Jenny will have just the memory. The rest of the office grew familiar with Nathan and his skills.

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  5. My brother would have appreciated and helped Nathan. Just for slow times he kept a small, stuffed, remotely controlled mouse at hand.

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    1. I think the mouse would be more practical generally. Coming upon a frozen alligator was a rare find.

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  6. I think the practical jokester gene is male. And some of them have it by the bucketload. Or perhaps I mean the truck load...

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    1. Nathan holds the prize for a gifted practical jokester.

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  7. I live in a house of men. I have a feeling of trepidation whenever I hear giggles. It always means something is up. I've been tortured with snakes and frogs, but no gators...yet.

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    1. May plastic alligators leap from the laundry basket? that would be fun,

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    2. This was such a great story! We could all use a "Nathan" in our lives, though I don't think I would've taken it quite as well as his hysterical secretary!

      Julie

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  8. Was it April 1st? Please tell me it was April 1st.

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    1. No, it was in late November, before the snow got heavy.

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  9. That is really, really, funny.

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    1. f only you could know Nathan. As a boy, he was unbelievable. Now his jokes are more complicated.

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  10. Replies
    1. It was. I laughed myself to tears when my brother told it to me.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!