The Wendy’s Alligator and Other Current Events

The Internet allows us to stay on top of the important events in the world. Thus we know the following:

• The U.S. is sending an additional 700 to 800 members of the Second Battalion, 87th Infantry, to Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, where government forces have been pushed to the brink by Taliban fighters. The troops are there to train government forces but have increasingly found themselves drawn into combat.

• Following recent a recent nuclear test and rocket launch by North Korea, that country—not Iran—is now the primary nuclear threat to the U.S., according to national intelligence director James Clapper. North Korea is run by Kim Jong-un, who occasionally has people he is no longer friends with executed. Using anti-aircraft guns because it’s good TV.

• Donald Trump, who no doubt envies Kim this ability, continues to draw breath. What’s more, he has won in New Hampshire. (Donald and I are, statistically, a good match: I’m white, male, older, low-to-moderate income, and angry at everybody. It’s not him, it’s me.)

None of these stories is receiving anything close to the Internet coverage of a man who was arrested yesterday in Florida for having thrown a 3 ½-foot alligator thought the drive-thru window of a Wendy's last fall in what was apparently nothing more than a really stupid prank. Joshua James, of Jupiter, Florida, apparently knew an employee at the Wendy's. He ordered a drink and, when her back was turned, tossed the gator through the window and drove off. It was 1:30 a.m. Given the hour, my very educated guess is that alcohol may have been involved. A responding policeman taped the gator's mouth shut, took it to a nearby canal, and released it, according to WPTV:

James, who was tracked down using a credit card receipt, was jailed and charged with three crimes: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; the unlawful sale, possession, or transporting of an alligator; and petty theft (he apparently left with the soft drink). His bail was set at $6,000.

The story has gone insanely viral. It has been picked up by news organizations in other countries. It’s trending on Facebook. The United Nations Security Council is meeting tomorrow to discuss a response. President Obama has dispatched a carrier task force to the waters off Palm Beach. We will show the world that we take this kind of lawlessness and threat to freedom everywhere with the utmost seriousness.

Linda James told WPTV that her son's actions were a "stupid prank,” and said, "He does stuff like this because he thinks it's funny.”

James P. Ross, professor emeritus at the University of Florida’s Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, said a 3 ½-foot alligator would likely weigh about 20 to 30 pounds. He likened its bite to that of a dog’s—unlikely to cause serious damage, although it could tear tendons. It’s true that a 3 ½-foot gator is not particularly dangerous. I’ve met Cajuns who will pluck such beasts from the water, turn them over, hold their mouths shut with one hand, and stroke their bellies with the other. This hypnotizes the gator into a completely nonaggressive state.

None of this matters. If a man goes unpunished for such actions, it won’t be long until people are throwing 15-foot gators into drive-thru windows. Fast food restaurants throughout gator country will close. Thousands will be put out of work. Thousands more will be without the fast food that fuels the American economy.

When I’m elected president, all drive-thru windows will have electrified steel bars over them to ensure that this never happens again. And I’ll make the gators pay for it.

Photo by Jimmy G