After ascertaining that it would be safe to walk back to the ‘gator pond at Magnolia Plantation (it was a designated wildlife trail after all) we fixed on a nine o’clock start for the morning so that we could snap the alligators (snap, ha!) and then “do” Charleston in the afternoon. Finally getting away at 10:15, we turned up at the boat dock, last to board and huffing and puffing, to be greeted with “You English?”
“Yes.” Puff. Puff.
“Well this is what you would have had,” the tour guide said with a grand sweep of his arm, “if you hadn’t been so greedy.” Jimmy and I exchanged puzzled looks and didn’t put our minds to his comment until much later when we realized that he had been talking about British taxation in the 1700’s and the American War of Independence. Charming man! Jimmy muttered to me, “Nothing’s changed then,” referring to current exorbitant taxation in Britain.
Memories are long in the South. The not-very-civil American Civil War is still referred to as “the recent unpleasantness” and the British are obviously still a target of derision for some people nearly 250 years after the Revolution.
Prince Not-So-Charming seemed to be having an off day as he puttered his passengers around a pond that had been “built” by erecting dykes filled with “sweet” or fresh water. Sweet water is siphoned off the top of the high tide when the salt water sinks to the bottom as the river ebbs. Used originally for hunting and fishing on the estate, the pond is now serves as a conservation area. Duckweed formed an unbroken surface on the water which looked like a bilious green carpet sturdy enough to walk on, but we easily cut a swathe through it leaving a wake of clear dark water behind us.
Ms. Excitable here sat front and center pointing out all the wildlife as Prince N-S-C had informed us, “You do the lookin’. I’ll do the talkin’.” True to his word, he cruised quickly past several basking alligators on the outbound trip, not even giving us a chance to lift our cameras, while he droned on and on. Then he nipped so close to the ‘gators on the way back to the dock, he startled them into the water so none of the passengers got much of a look – just heard the plop.
We arrived back at the dock after half an hour of a supposedly 45 minute trip. My photos were few and out of focus, out of frame or just plain boring. We saved ourselves the expense of a tip for the indifferent tour guide, but we would have to hunt ‘gators on foot.
Could this be my most dimwitted plan yet?
Posted this at 6 am then hit my own like button. Speak of dimwitted!
8 thoughts on “‘Gators and Civil War Antagonism”
Ill will doesn’t have to just between Brits and Americans. Was riding bike in Chesapeake City, MD one day when an old grouch tried to run me off the road because I was most likely one of those damn Pennsylvanians!
Well if he’d known you were from Maryland he would have given you a lift. Peace and goodwill to all and good luck with that!
Your guide must be centuries to still be carrying that antagonism 😦
Sorry, fingers too fast…. I meant “centuries old..”
I knew what you meant and yes he was an old coot.
I have been the brunt of the ill will between the British and the Americans, too. I was in a cab in London and the driver was unbelievably rude. I finally realized that he thought I was American. When I set him straight, he became nice as pie. He said, “Oh, you’re Canadian? Well, you people are welcome here.” I couldn’t believe it!
I’m sorry this oaf ruined what should have been a pleasant tour. You should write a TripAdvisor (or something similar) review. Lots of people read those – he won’t have a job for long. 🙂
I’m hoping the ‘gators have eaten him by now.