Bernstein: Go, Gator, Go!

There's an alligator on the loose in the Humboldt Park Lagoon, and it's high comedy.

Dan Bernstein
July 10, 2019 - 1:50 pm

(670 The Score) Nothing against "Alligator Bob" or "Bob the Snake Man" or whatever he wants to be called in his role as volunteer wrangler of discarded and escaped exotic pets in Chicago waterways, but I'm rooting for the alligator to make this interesting.

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I know this eventually has to end with the confused reptile captured safely and transferred to an appropriately boring existence back in captivity, because the earth isn't yet quite overheated enough to accomodate a cold-blooded interloper much into September. So let him or her have some fun with his or her freedom while possible. This could be it for the poor thing, finally tasting the sweetness of life in the wild only to have it be in the Humboldt Park Lagoon amid rental paddleboats that look like swans. Who knows if there's even anything edible enough in there for it to subsist, though we can assume enough now-overgrown goldfish are probably around. And it could always pick off a duck or two.

That a metropolis the size of Chicago has to rely on the offered help of an amateur herpetologist is already hilarious. This isn't Miami, for sure, where there are as many gator removal services listed as auto parts stores or hair salons, but you'd think we could make it a bit more official than a guy from Bridgeport in a green canoe and a life jacket snapping into action to save the day.

Related: An ode to the Humboldt Park alligator

It's going to be hard to top the scene Tuesday, when a police spokesperson was literally in the middle of saying the sighting was to that point unconfirmed when onlookers near the boathouse saw the thing surface and pointed it out excitedly. And there went Bob, hurrying to give chase.

Now Bob says corralling the gator -- and they continue to say it is indeed an American alligator and not a caiman -- "could take days," according to the dogged reporting of Block Club Chicago. And I'm all for that, particularly during this, the slowest time of the calendar year for sports news.

The matchup here is the one we need right now, with the still nameless alligator at press time successfully eluding Bob, and the best thing now is for it to become an episode of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

Bob orders increasingly bizarre and contrived packages from Acme Co. in varying efforts to lure and/or incapacitate his prey: adding rockets to the sides of his boat and flying directly into the reeds and exploding, rigging an anvil to fall strategically and accidentally triggering it himself or sumberging in a crude bathysphere only to have the gator interfere idly with the air hose.

Extend this bit for a while, alligator. Live your best life while you can.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.