I should have seen it coming.
“What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?” the sommelier at the little wine bar in Knoxville, Tennessee, asked.
It was about a month ago. We were in Knoxville for the wedding of my brother’s oldest daughter.
“Actually,” I answered, “I really don’t know. But I’d like to. What is the difference?”
See, I thought he was being serious.
“Well,” he answered, filling our glasses, “if you see him later, he’s an alligator. If you see him after while, he’s a crocodile.”
Feel free to groan. We did.
Thinking about that corny quip, which, I must say, I not only found mildly amusing, but also have repeated several times, I find myself singing (in my head, anyway) an old song with an alligator in the lyrics.
“The Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton.
How I loved that song. How I still do.
It’s about the War of 1812. It opens with this:
In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans,
And we fought the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.
I’ll skip to the gator part.
We fired our cannon till the barrel melted down
So we grabbed an alligator and we poured another round
We filled his head with cannonballs and powdered his behind
And when we lit the powder off, the gator lost his mind.
As Greg Kihn sang, “They don’t write ‘em like that anymore.”