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  #1  
Old 03-26-2013, 07:43 PM
e.fred e.fred is offline
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are alligators smart

I am thinking of taking a small alligator from the swamp and put it in my uncles pond. My friend said he took one and he feeds it hamburgers and hot dogs and can teach it to do tricks. Will this alligator grow up to be like a dog or will it bite people? also are they still dinosaurs
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2013, 08:05 PM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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Ladies and gentlemen: Darwin in action.
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2013, 08:28 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Originally Posted by e.fred View Post
I am thinking of taking a small alligator from the swamp and put it in my uncles pond. My friend said he took one and he feeds it hamburgers and hot dogs and can teach it to do tricks. Will this alligator grow up to be like a dog or will it bite people?
Plenty of dogs bite. You can condition most wild animals (from infancy) to wait for food to be brought to it and almost completely tamp down the hunting reflex (just make sure they are never hungry). The defense reflex is more difficult, so no matter how well trained your alligator is, he will probably still bite if he feels threatened, whether that threat is real or not. And unlike a dog, a reptile will feel no shame for having done so and probably won't even let go until he is killed or tranquilized.

Last edited by Elmer J. Fudd; 03-26-2013 at 08:29 PM..
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:36 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Originally Posted by e.fred View Post
I am thinking of taking a small alligator from the swamp and put it in my uncles pond. My friend said he took one and he feeds it hamburgers and hot dogs and can teach it to do tricks. Will this alligator grow up to be like a dog or will it bite people? also are they still dinosaurs
Eh. . . I might be going out on a limb here, but it almost seems as though everything after the first three words contradicts the first three.
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2013, 08:50 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
Ladies and gentlemen: Darwin in action.
Yeah.

But since I guess somebody has to take the bullet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by e.fred View Post
I am thinking of taking a small alligator from the swamp and put it in my uncles pond.
Assuming for half a second you are not yanking our chains for yuks, this is not a good idea. Because...

Quote:
My friend said he took one and he feeds it hamburgers and hot dogs and can teach it to do tricks.
Your friend if he exists is unwise and likely prone to either hyperbole or falsehoods.

Unwise because aside from hamburgers and hot dogs not being a nutritionally sound diet for your pet alligator, habituating them to seeking out people for handouts can lead to all sorts of potentially unpleasant consequences.

A possible liar because, no, they will not learn tricks. Unless your definition of a trick is extraordinarily broad ( "hey, watch him take a hot dog out of my hand!" ).

This is because...

Quote:
Will this alligator grow up to be like a dog or will it bite people?
Alligators are not dogs. There is some anecdotal evidence that some pet reptiles that are interacted with enough can learn to loosely recognize individual owners/handlers. And they can certainly learn to associate people with being fed.

But that's about as far as it goes. They are, like all animals, wonderful little marvels of evolution and extraordinarily successful at doing what they do. What alligators don't do is engage in significant daily social interactions with others aside from mating, policing territory, females guarding their young and adults occasionally eating smaller and weaker members of their own species. They can not be trained in any sense other than the roughest habituation and and can never be trusted not to suddenly decide to get aggressive. Doesn't mean they will - well fed, lazy pet alligators used to not having to work for a living will probably usually be indolent enough. As crocodilians go they are apparently more mild-mannered than many. Just means they are utterly un-dog-like in just about every category.

An exceedingly poor choice of pet.

Quote:
also are they still dinosaurs
They never were. Sister group.
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2013, 08:59 PM
PurpleClogs PurpleClogs is offline
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Gators aren't stupid. They have been around for millions of years. Dinosaurs are extinct.

If people feed an alligator (or most any wild animal in fact) it will learn that humans = an easy meal. Soon it will hunt for wild prey less, and seek out the human more. This not only puts humans in danger, but the animal as well. A gator who is bold and unafraid around humans is often euthanized because they can no longer be trusted. This is why signs in gator areas forbid you from feeding them.

Also, animals of any kind deserve a proper diet. If you feed them junk food, it's unhealthy for them and they probably won't eat the foods that they really need. It might make them sick or die young.

Before getting any kind of pet, you should consider its lifespan, its adult size, how much it will cost you in food and vet bills, potential hazards, your living situation now and in the future, future relationships, children, and who will take care of it if you die or are disabled.

I've spent a lot of time near alligators. I would strongly advise against taking one as a pet. If the pond is a good alligator habitat, a gator will find it and you can enjoy watching it live a long happy wild life.

Last edited by PurpleClogs; 03-26-2013 at 09:01 PM..
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:02 PM
saje saje is offline
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It's also illegal to take wildlife for your own.

And messing with gators is INCREDIBLY stupid, no matter how mall they may be.
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:08 PM
PurpleClogs PurpleClogs is offline
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Another thing... Alligators aren't entertaining, and there's not much to look at. I photograph them often and it takes an entire day in the hot sun just staring and waiting for maybe 2 minutes of movement. Otherwise, they're completely underwater, exposing just the top of their head, or if you get lucky, basking in the sunshine. They just don't move much.

Not very fun if you ask me.
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:09 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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I've spent a lot of time near alligators.
TMI.
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:43 PM
Capt Kirk Capt Kirk is offline
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Agreed with pretty much everything posted so far, really bad idea in short and add these

1. Not "smart" but have enough "smarts" to fill their niche, ambush predator as strike when prey is looking away, lulled into complacency, can't see gator etc.

2. You said little alligator, you are aware that little now means big later and big they get, no scary big, dog, human, horse eating big. See they ambush and drag into the water, jaws clenched with bone crushing force and spin their prey round and round to disorient and muddy the water, then after you are dead by drowning they stash you somewhere under water til you are a little ripe for eating.

Please do this and win a Darwin Award,

Capt
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:50 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Here's the OP's only previous thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=684617

He's demonstrated extremely poor judgement and a resistance to advice there as well related to gators.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:55 PM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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Forget the alligator. What you need is a saltwater crocodile.
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2013, 09:55 PM
Eleusis Eleusis is offline
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My dad and uncle tried to keep baby alligators back in the day. An alligator the size of a small lizard already has much bigger teeth and they BITE. No fun.
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2013, 10:06 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Here's the OP's only previous thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=684617

He's demonstrated extremely poor judgement and a resistance to advice there as well related to gators.
Dude sure seems gator-drawn.
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  #15  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:14 PM
stui magpie stui magpie is offline
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Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
Forget the alligator. What you need is a saltwater crocodile.
I was thinking that. They can be taught to jump for food. Also keep stray cats out of the back yard.

Here's one little one for sale from last year.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-burglars.html

Another from a few years back, but the photo looks like a fresh water croc not a salty.

http://www.news.com.au/national-news...-1225786458024

If you really want to keep one as a pet, some guidance here (again, for crocs not alligators)

http://www.mypets.net.au/pet-article...as-a-pet/193/1
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  #16  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:18 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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Mod note: Capt Kirk

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Please do this and win a Darwin Award,
[moderator note]
This kind of comment is inappropriate for General Questions. Wishing harm upon other Dopers is against the rules.

No warning issued.
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  #17  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:26 PM
stui magpie stui magpie is offline
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Originally Posted by stui magpie View Post
I was thinking that. They can be taught to jump for food. Also keep stray cats out of the back yard.

Here's one little one for sale from last year.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-burglars.html

Another from a few years back, but the photo looks like a fresh water croc not a salty.

http://www.news.com.au/national-news...-1225786458024

If you really want to keep one as a pet, some guidance here (again, for crocs not alligators)

http://www.mypets.net.au/pet-article...as-a-pet/193/1

Here's a nice article from the NT News with an amazing pic of a massive saltie coming out of the water for a snack.

Don't dangle your hands in the water boys and girls.

http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/201...11_ntnews.html
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  #18  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:37 PM
sqweels sqweels is offline
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Of course the OP can always just shoot the thing once its gets to a certain size and sell the hide.

Or isn't that legal?
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  #19  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:43 PM
PlainJain PlainJain is offline
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Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker View Post
Eh. . . I might be going out on a limb here, but it almost seems as though everything after the first three words contradicts the first three.
That made me laugh out loud. Thanks!
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  #20  
Old 03-26-2013, 11:45 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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Of course the OP can always just shoot the thing once its gets to a certain size and sell the hide.

Or isn't that legal?
That depends on whether you have the appropriate permits and/or licenses.
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  #21  
Old 03-27-2013, 05:09 AM
AaronX AaronX is offline
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But if you keep feeding it junk food until it's severely overweight and lazy, would that make it harmless to humans? I mean overweight to the point of being hardly able to move, etc.
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  #22  
Old 03-27-2013, 05:59 AM
Carryon Carryon is offline
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I went to an alligator farm and show in Florida and the trainer said, alligators are very lazy and when you get them accustomed to being fed daily, without any work, they will be appear to be quite docile. Appear being the key word here.

He said the American crocodile is vastly different and much more aggressive and is never to be trusted at all.
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  #23  
Old 03-27-2013, 09:03 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Having an alligator for a pet? Tame stuff.

For real excitement, try domesticating a hyena (based on the reputation of these animals, the accompanying photos will make your hair stand on end).
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  #24  
Old 03-27-2013, 09:50 AM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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Where do you live? If it's not in the deep South, an alligator wouldn't survive a cold winter.

Also, I hope there won't be any small children hanging around by this pond. Because gators tend to view them as snacks.

Normal diet for an alligator: birds, turtles, fish, whatever they can snap their jaws on. I've seen gator shows throw in whole raw chickens. Unless this pond is huge and has an abundance of wildlife, I would think feeding such a critter would get quite expensive.

Also, please realize that a small gator is just a baby gator. There is no such thing as a miniature variety. Gators can grow to be up to 12-16 feet.

Good luck with all that.
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  #25  
Old 03-27-2013, 02:03 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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On the other hand, cats don't take much shit from alligators.
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  #26  
Old 03-27-2013, 02:16 PM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
More cats telling crocodilians, "Lizard, please!":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvy9o9uJ0jM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF33e...endscreen&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCoxNJWLJTo

Last edited by voltaire; 03-27-2013 at 02:19 PM..
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  #27  
Old 03-27-2013, 03:00 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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I'll bet you could train one to beat a lion!
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  #28  
Old 03-27-2013, 03:04 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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I'll bet you could train one to beat a lion!
If there is one thing I have learned here, it is that nothing can beat a lion in a fight.
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  #29  
Old 03-28-2013, 11:09 AM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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Dude sure seems gator-drawn.
Did anyone else hear this in Larry the Cable Guy's voice?
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  #30  
Old 03-28-2013, 09:23 PM
LouLou7 LouLou7 is offline
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If you are going to try to make an alligator into a pet, I have a couple of suggestions to maximize your chances of success:

1. Alligators are used to warm, humid conditions. If you are going to keep him in the house, you'll need to go to the pet store and buy him some of those nice, argyle type sweaters to keep him warm in the air conditioning. Perhaps some shoes to keep his feet nice and toasty (Alligator shoes - HA!!)

2. You'll want to housebreak him as quickly as possible. Keep a rolled up newspaper on hand, and if you catch him piddling on the carpets, smack him on the nose smartly and tell him "NO!". Then put him in the litter box so he'll know the proper place to eliminate (Depending on his size, you'll need a sandbox size litter box, I'm guessing).

3. In order to keep him from chewing the furniture, you'll want to spritz him in the face with a water spritzer. This worked wonders to keep my cats from scraching the sofa. If he doesn't react to a water spritzer, might want to keep a regular garden hose hooked up to the kitchen sink and power spray him as necessary.

4. This is very exciting, and I'm hoping you will come back and keep us informed on how the alligator-to-pet experiment is going. If by some unfortunate accident your hands and arms get chewed off, please make sure you have a friend who can post your updates for us.

Best of luck to you and your new pet!!!

LouLou
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  #31  
Old 03-28-2013, 09:52 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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OP obviously needs aid. <Heads for exit.>
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  #32  
Old 03-29-2013, 04:29 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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are alligators smart

Their intelligence tends to exceed that of their owner.
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  #33  
Old 03-30-2013, 01:29 AM
brownsugar brownsugar is offline
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No their warninig system is to strong that will think like they are the hardest and toughfest
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  #34  
Old 03-30-2013, 07:03 AM
Meurglys Meurglys is offline
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This one's very smart!
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  #35  
Old 03-30-2013, 07:45 AM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Originally Posted by e.fred View Post
I am thinking of taking a small alligator from the swamp and put it in my uncles pond.
I think you should disregard the nay-sayers in this thread, and go for it.

Please post pics of your Uncle's injuries.
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  #36  
Old 03-30-2013, 07:46 AM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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I'm thinking about adopting a hippopotamus, btw. Should fit in the bath, I think.
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  #37  
Old 03-30-2013, 08:47 AM
kayT kayT is offline
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I think I have developed psychic powers. I read OPs like this one and can intuit the join date.
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  #38  
Old 03-30-2013, 09:08 AM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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As a kid I had a couple of gators, one grew to 4 ft and then I traded him for a tortoise. He became somewhat docile and seemed to recognize me as a source of food but that's about it. They do appear somewhat smarter than a snake I would say.
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  #39  
Old 03-30-2013, 09:13 AM
shijinn shijinn is offline
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you're just biased against snakes..
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  #40  
Old 03-30-2013, 09:50 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Originally Posted by Baron Greenback View Post
I'm thinking about adopting a hippopotamus, btw. Should fit in the bath, I think.
Are you prepared for this?* (This is the standard method, BTW.)


*I think I have cited this vid before. In any case, I will continue to cite it whenever it seems appropriate, which could be quite quite often, come to think of it, but I will restrain myself.
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  #41  
Old 03-30-2013, 10:58 AM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Are you prepared for this?*
That is quite remarkable It's a whole new level of farting,
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  #42  
Old 03-30-2013, 01:53 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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As I said, that's the way they always do it, and it isn't purely a fart. The excretion is always thereby propelled into propellers. Scent marking.
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  #43  
Old 03-30-2013, 02:00 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltaire View Post
Neither do lions. Vid at 0:30 s.
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  #44  
Old 03-30-2013, 02:11 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
Forget the alligator. What you need is a saltwater crocodile.
Weak. A daring pet owner will adopt an African Bush Elephant.

Stranger
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  #45  
Old 03-30-2013, 02:11 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Originally Posted by Leo Bloom View Post
As I said, that's the way they always do it, and it isn't purely a fart. The excretion is always thereby propelled into propellers. Scent marking.
Nevertheless, that's my hippo dream over. Hope you are happy, Leo

To be honest there's quite a lot of hippo turbo-honking videos on Youtube. A surprising amount.
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  #46  
Old 03-31-2013, 01:28 AM
JBDivmstr JBDivmstr is offline
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Originally Posted by Leo Bloom View Post
Are you prepared for this?* (This is the standard method, BTW.)


*I think I have cited this vid before. In any case, I will continue to cite it whenever it seems appropriate, which could be quite quite often, come to think of it, but I will restrain myself.
Thanks! I just woke up my SO with much hysterical choking/laughing!
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  #47  
Old 03-31-2013, 03:16 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Q: What the most common redneck last words?
A: "Hey, ya'll, watch this!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Greenback View Post
I'm thinking about adopting a hippopotamus, btw. Should fit in the bath, I think.
I wanted one for Christmas, and even wrote and sang a song about it, but no one ever gave me one. :: Sniff ::
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  #48  
Old 03-31-2013, 06:07 AM
JBDivmstr JBDivmstr is offline
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Q: What the most common redneck last words?
A: "Hey, ya'll, watch this!"



I wanted one for Christmas, and even wrote and sang a song about it, but no one ever gave me one. :: Sniff ::
Speaking as a 'native redneck', A. is usually preceded with "Hold my beer!"
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  #49  
Old 03-31-2013, 09:45 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
Weak. A daring pet owner will adopt an African Bush Elephant.

Stranger
And how will you tell if it's been raiding the fridge at night?

Anyone?
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  #50  
Old 03-31-2013, 10:43 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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I'm gonna cross breed a gator with a pit bull. Then cross breed that with a honey badger. The cross breed that with a West Borro Baptist Church member (hopefully the dad but I guess one of the daughters will do in a pinch).

At this point the OP is quite welcome to then purchase my gatorbullbadgerbaptist.

Then I'll work on my bonzai techniques and after a few more years the more timid members of the board can make their own safer purchases.
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