May 10, 2006 | Issue 42•19
BATON ROUGE, LA—In a breakthrough study that contradicts decades of understanding about the nature of alligator–drunkard relations, Louisiana State University researchers have concluded that people's drunkenness does not impair the ancient reptiles' ability to inflict enormous physical harm.
"Our data strongly indicates that human intoxication does not transform an alligator into a docile creature that enjoys wrestling," said professor Ryder McCrory, chair of the Wildlife Taunting Department of LSU's prestigious Center For Bullying And Hazing Studies. "Despite its slow-witted demeanor and tendency to bask motionlessly in the hot sun, it's a mistake to believe that an alligator will passively tolerate a half nelson, no matter how much Southern Comfort is fueling it."
McCrory said the study yielded statistics that speak for themselves.
"In 10 out of 10 documented cases of violent alligator–drunkard encounters, the reptile was not influenced by the fact that the victim was 'just kidding' or 'just having some fun,'" McCrory said.
To an alligator, McCrory explained, a human forearm, even drunkenly dangled between the creature's casually opened jaws, still appears to be prey.
In field experiments, members of the control group performed no better-—and often far worse—than their sober counterparts in defending themselves against a 300-pound, seven-foot bull alligator. Even when armed with an empty tequila bottle.