Gather ‘round, Internet. Have you heard “The Tale of Florida Man and the Trash Gator?” You know, the guy from Florida who recently captured a six-foot alligator in a trashcan? In less than two days since its original posting, the 52-second clip has amassed 12 million views, multiple news stories, and the folk anthem it so richly deserves. But, like so many oral traditions, its origins are already being called into question.
Marvelously, it is already, quite literally, the stuff of legend. In recent years, onlookers and commentators have applied the “Florida Man” moniker to pretty much anyone partaking in reckless, offensive, strange, and/or uncouth activities within the Sunshine State’s tropical climes, as was the case in this most recent reptilian saga. But, upon further examination, it seems the Ballad of the Florida Trash Gator Wrangler is not what it full seems.
“I don’t know the procedures, so I did it my own way,” military veteran and novice alligator handler, Eugene Bozzi, told Philadelphia’s NBC 10 local news. Classic Florida Man soundbite... or so it would seem until one reads further to learn that Bozzi isn’t a Florida Man at all, but simply a Philly native who happened to be in central Florida at the time. Gasp!
If that weren’t enough, it doesn’t seem like the trash can was accurately described by so many, either. In a tweet posted by Orange County’s official account yesterday, local representatives reminded everyone that “alligators are not recyclable in your blue lid cart.” We even double-checked Orange County’s official recycling guidelines and confirmed this to be the case.
Good lord. A recycling bin.
And so, in all actuality “The Tale of Florida Man and the Trash Gator” should more accurately be titled as “The Saga of the Philly Expat and the Recyclable Reptile,” a humble reminder to us all that legends are not born, dear readers, they are made.
But regardless of Bozzi’s origins, the story’s moral appears to remain the same: Inside each and every one of us resides a Florida Man just waiting for their time to shine. Sweet dreams, everyone.
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