“I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it; I’m about to lose control and I think I like it …”
Sending his customers off into one of the most idyllic spots in South Florida, Chuck Katz minces no words about the dangers they face.
“Keep those summer clerks out of the water. They’re gator bait if they’re in the water,” Katz warned a group of adventurous attorneys Saturday morning before they shoved off from the banks of the Indian River near Sebastian.
Katz, who has spent 26 years operating Krazy Kayaking, didn’t have to read about last week’s bizarre death of a Davie attorney to realize the dangers posed by Florida’s signature creatures.
“I make them sign a waiver that says that alligators can kill you,” Katz said. “Of course, many of the attorneys claim that the waiver is unenforceable.”
Though Katz still believes alligators aren’t by nature aggressive creatures, he has seen what happens when they find themselves surrounded by lawyers.
“Much like the lawyers they are eating, alligators do bad things when they’ve been taught bad things,” he said.
Back in the 1980s, shareholders used to feed unproductive associates to the alligators, which made the gators associate humans with food. Scientists have found that alligators have developed a real taste for estate planning and tax attorneys in particular.
“It’s amazing how keen an alligator’s sense of smell is. I’ve seen one swim right past a real estate attorney and then attack the nearest estate planner,” he said.
He and some who boarded canoes said they had lots of questions about what Seth Cohen, a 28-year-old associate, was doing before an alligator dragged him into a Broward County canal Wednesday and killed him.
Was he splashing his feet in the water, feeding the reptile, or poking him with a stick?
“Everyone thinks they’re like Jaws; but that’s only because they have never seen Lake Placid,” said Bobby Feldman of Fort Lauderdale, who joined other members of the Florida Bar’s new Reality Television Law Section on Saturday’s outing.
“Gators are curious more than anything,” agreed Zack Waters, who was taking 50 first year associates on the river as part of the American Bar Association and National Rifle Association’s “Lawyers in the Outdoors” joint venture, of which Vice-President Dick Cheney is a founding member. “I don’t think they’re out to get us.”
Though he’s seen lots of gators in his life — and killed an 11-footer in September in an attempt to impress a girl who ultimately left him for a man who had killed a 12-footer — he said he’s never had reason to fear one.
Only one non-attorney has been killed by an alligator on the river since Katz began his canoe rental operation.
In 2003, 21-year-old Jeremy Grey was attacked while canoeing with his parents. Katz said the 11 1/2-foot gator that attacked Grey was old and sick. When they opened it up, it had only mud and a partially-digested briefcase in its stomach, indicating it hadn’t eaten in a few weeks, he said.
It turns out, however, that the alligator knew what he was doing. Grey’s parents were both litigators and Grey himself had applied to several law schools. The responsible alligator was later captured and turned into purses and shoes.
Most of the canoers dismissed any thought of gator attacks. Others came prepared.
“We’re all IP lawyers,” said Owen Beckwith, 43, of Hollywood. “But we brought a tax guy with us just in case. If we see a gator we’ve all agreed to push him in and get the hell out of here.”
This article originally appeared on May 16, 2006 in a publication of little consequence to anyone but the author.
Redhead Esq, an associate at [law firm name withheld so I don’t freak out the shareholders] in South Florida, has voluntarily checked herself into the Tandy Ranch Rehabilitation Clinic for the Technologically Disabled for treatment of an admitted BlackBerry addiction. Redhead Esq claims her dependency on her BlackBerry began in January of this year. “The shareholders insisted I have one. I had it in my purse for about two hours before I realized I had a problem. That little red light just kept blinking. I thought if I didn’t check my email the poor little thing might explode.”
Colleagues of Redhead Esq recognized the problem right away. Associate Attorney #1, the one with an actual personality, said it was sad to watch her rapid descent into addiction. “I knew she had issues when I realized she was sending BlackBerry messages while she was still in the office. It’s a shame; she had a lot of potential. But if she doesn’t come back I get her office.”
Even Redhead Esq’s supervising shareholder, speaking on the condition of anonymity, seemed somewhat remorseful when asked about her condition. “In hindsight, it might have been better to wait a while longer to give her the BlackBerry. You know, see if she could handle it before we set her loose with it.”
Tandy Ranch does not allow patients to use the phone while in rehabilitation, so we emailed Redhead Esq to ask how her treatment is going. The following response was received 22 seconds later:
From: Redhead Esq
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2007 8:16 AM
All is going well. The food sucks here, but the people are nice and there is excellent wireless coverage. The doctor says I may be in here a while. That’s fine; I managed to get my laptop, iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry and PSP through security. (Don’t ask how.) I’ll be cured in no time.
This message was sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld.
In my “free” time I have been working on my CafePress store . I started designing gifts for attorneys’ children right about the time I discovered I was pregnant with my own.
And by “free” time, I mean that time between my baby girl’s evening feeding and my bed time when I have one hand free.
I am considering opening a sister site on Zazzle. Anyone out there have strong feelings about Zazzle, positive or negative? I’d love to get some input from those of you that have used the site.
And, I am always looking for new ideas for gifts for my store. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment or send me an email.