I have a friend who lives on the bayou and has a pontoon boat. The first time I went out on the pontoon boat with him and another couple was the first time I had been on a boat in the bayou. It's beautiful and peaceful and I was told we would ride around the bayou and drink and swim and drink and ride and swim and barbeque and, just generally, relax.
I thought that sounded great but I knew there was no way in hell I was swimming in that bayou knowing there were alligators and snakes everywhere. Although I had never been on a boat in the bayou, I had eaten at many restaurants where you could go out on the porch and see the alligators swim by.
However, drinking and 90 degree heat can weaken even the strongest convictions. I put on a life jacket and carefully descended into the wonderfully cool, still water. Someone handed me my girlie drink (my bayou friend's specialty - a wonderful blend of vodka, frozen raspberry lemonade and frozen limeade, the perfect boat drink) and I was in heaven. We would swim around the boat and under the boat between the pontoons and I never gave a thought to snakes or fish or alligators.
At one point, the other girl with me and I noticed the men had swam off a short distance away from us and were talking quietly and staring off into the distance. She said, "What are they doing?" I said, "I don't know, I think they see something." That's when we saw it. An alligator on the opposite bank slipping into the water. My friend and I made a beeline for the boat ("F**k, f**k, f**k, f**k...") but realized the men weren't following.
My friend hollered, "What are you doing?" They turned around to us and said, "Stay in the water. It's alright. We're going to scare it away." My friend started yelling at her husband to come back and just get on the boat, but it was too late. The testerone and the vodka had blinded and deafened them to common sense and to the sounds of silly women's voices. Off they swam, smacking the water with their hands and feet like idiots trying to scare the alligator away.
If they were hoping to look like manly, cavemen, save-the-women-folk, heros, they were sadly off the mark. Instead, they looked like spastic dolphins smacking the water with their hands and feet and sounded like seals honking across the bayou. It was not a pretty sight and we were praying that no other boaters would come by and see us with those two goofballs. Of course, this being Southeast Texas and all, any men who would have passed would have happily jumped into the water and joined the fracas for fear of being called pussified.
Eventually, the alligator, which I'm sure was laughing it's ass off, went back on the shore, the men came back and the rest of the day was uneventful and we went dancing at the Rodair. Now, that's a full day.