Another great post from my husband Brad:

Okay, I admit it. While generally I am an intelligent being – sometimes I do downright stupid things. I blame my kids. Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket. There’s always a little part of you that has to prove you’re cool, or tough, to your kids, and when the opportunity presents itself, your brain goes right out the window.

The trip to the Colorado Gators Reptile Park in Mosca, Colorado was definitely not my high point. First, I was responsible for booking the accommodations. I went to my Choice Privileges account to book my typical cheap “but I know there will be no cockroaches and at least a breakfast that I can call a breakfast” lodging. I searched for Salida, the nearest town to the Gator Reptile Park, and booked my hotel. (Note to self: Pay attention to where the lodging actually is located—I picked the first available on the list without noticing it was in Canon City, 50 miles away. Fortunately, I did find an available room in town—but without my reward points, dangit!—and the crisis was averted.)

That night, I took the kids to the pool, which is the highlight of any lodging with kids. We did the Rocket (put the kids on your shoulders, duck under the water, then jump as high as you can and launch them—obviously this should be done in the middle of the pool and with nobody in the immediate vicinity) and the Shark (duh-DUN, duh-DUN, duh-DUN)—prowling after kids in the pool is fun). Amazingly enough, when I jumped off the side into the pool, I managed to pull a muscle in my calf. (You know you’re getting old when….)

The next day found us at one of the quirkier spots in our Colorado adventures, the Colorado Gators Reptile Park (see my other guest blog ). As we walked toward the entrance, I noticed a family of four looking in the ditch off to the side. I went over to see what they were looking at. There, with its head hidden in the culvert, was a very fake-looking alligator, maybe about five feet long. Obviously, it had to be fake. Why would they have a real, dangerous, alligator outside the fences? (The fact that there was a two-foot high chicken wire fence might clue a normal person in that there were indeed live creatures, but is that going to deter Super Dad? Hell no!)

Fake Alligator

I decided to step over the chicken wire with my good leg (my pulled calf muscle was starting to look like a big black sausage) and tap that thing on the back to prove that it was, indeed, fake. By this point, Dana, the love of my life, had removed herself from the scene, shaking her head.

I tapped the stuffed alligator on the back, and…man, those suckers can move! It was a real, no $#@! alligatorus americanus big teethasaurus! All I saw was one big, gaping pink mouth full of teeth…and all I heard was a big hiss!

Real Alligator

I got out of there in a hurry.

Even with my impaired leg, I was able to move quite quickly, executing a graceful leap out of the chicken wire enclosure. I judge my vertical leap at about five feet, but I’m not sure my judgment can be trusted at this point. I limped over to Dana, sitting on a bench and laughing hysterically at my misfortune (okay, stupidity). She reported that the father of the family originally gazing at the alligator had walked by, shaking his head and saying, “What a f#$%ing idiot.”

I can’t argue.