Tampa Bay – Invitations to the birthday pool party for 8-year-old Marshall Jones announced two special guests. Friends and parents jumped into the water to photograph and swim with the pair, Cupcake and Burger, two gators from the Alligator Attraction in John’s Pass. “Not a single kid freaked out,” said Chris Jones, Marshall’s dad. But investigators at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission think “gator parties” are unsafe for kids and parents. They have told Alligator Attraction that alligators no longer will be allowed to swim freely in residential swimming pools. The wildlife commission’s decision came weeks after the “gator parties” were featured in local media outlets. For $175, workers at the Madeira Beach facility take alligators under 4 feet long to pool parties in Tampa Bay area and allow guests to hold and photograph them. Then the phones started ringing. At least 10 complaints were filed with the wildlife commission. Bob Barrett, the facility’s owner, said handlers already take the necessary precautions. Before the gators are placed inside the pool, he said, a handler speaks with party guests about precautions, such as no pulling or chasing the gators. The reptiles’ jaws are bound with electric tape. At Marshall’s party, Jones said about five kids were allowed in the pool at a time to interact with the reptiles while the handler held the gator. Another is handled by a second worker outside the pool.
It’s basically pick your poison with kids b-day bashes nowadays, huh? You could get a pony that might put a hoof through an 8 year old’s chest plate. Or maybe one of those bouncy things where you got a no-holds-barred battle royal complete with leg drops, spears & bloody faces. And now Florida has upped the ante with alligators taking dips alongside these snot noses, with a few spins of a 99 cent roll of electrical tape preventing a bloodbath. I guess we can tally a point against the pussification of America – but if I ever get an invite, I’ll respectfully RSVP “no”. Cupcake & Burger want nothing more than to rip off a face-painted cheek while these stupid kids are lulled into a false sense of security. No reason to be scared of gators IN FLORIDA anymore, kiddies. You swam with one at a birthday party. Burger was a friendly bastard. So when you and your friends are skipping rocks at a pond, go ahead and laugh when your pals hightail it outta there like pussies when one of the MILLION gators inhabiting Florida approach. But you’ll soon find out alligators are like black people – just because you’re cool with one in a controlled environment like the office, that doesn’t mean the rest of them will hesitate for a second to tear you limb from limb & eat your intestines in the wild.