What is it about frightening party themes? Some kids (and adults) are scared of clowns, others are creeped out by Chuck E. Cheese’s. Everyone, or at least we thought, is wary of hopping into a pool with a live alligator — but Bob Barrett, owner of Alligator Attractions in Florida, is gambling on that not being the case.
Barrett’s business model is basically that any children’s pool party will be spiced up by letting man-eating reptiles get in on the fun. Seems like the threat of drowning just isn’t enough for some people.
(PHOTOS: A Look Inside the Animal Kingdom)
According to Barrett, the thrill factor is enough to triumph over initial hesitations. “We had the idea of, well, if we do a home, and they have a pool, let’s put the gator in the pool,” he told Bay News 9. “People were very leery at the beginning, but it has taken off and people just enjoy it.”
Leery, or terrified? Pools in Florida are ideal because they’re mostly impervious to carnivorous creatures. To be fair though, Barrett is careful to ensure that the gators are nothing more than novelty playmates. He uses young alligators with taped-up mouths and names like Burger, Fido and Kermit. Kermit the Crocodile! Muppet parties are so Thanksgiving 2011.
Naturally, the Fish and Wildlife Commission began investigating after it got wind of the concept.
So far, Barrett’s business is safe. The FWC told Bay News 9 that all of his permits are up to code, but it still needs to inspect the entire operation.
If it fails the inspection, we recommend poking holes in inflatable pool toys as a fun alternative.