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Texas Bow-Fisherman Lands Giant Alligator Gar, Loses Head

Photo by Stan Shebs

I just happened to be sharpening the blade of my favorite guillotine when the red phone rang.

“I need Don Parnell’s mailing address. I have a present for him.”

It was my friend Monty Gelstein, speaking with the voice of a man who’d just found a fix for his schadenfreude jones.

That’s a strange coincidence, I thought. It was only yesterday that Don posted a comment on The Daily Maul that read: “I hope Monty will be addressing this vileness,” and included a link to a post on GrindTV’s Outdoor Blog whose lede tells us: “Whether Brent Crawford has captured the world’s largest alligator gar will never be known … But this much is clear: The gar Crawford landed while bow-fishing recently in Texas’ Lake Corpus Christi is among the largest specimens ever captured.”

“What kind of present?” I asked, suspecting with good reason that it might involve something the U.S. Postal Service would decline to ship.

“It’s a piece of Texas history,” Monty told me, as I followed a link in the GrindTV blog post that brought me to a column by David Sikes in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

“Does it have anything to do with a guy named Brent Crawford?” I asked calmly, not wanting to give Monty any ideas he didn’t already have.

“Why?” Monty demanded to know, “Did you know him?”

He used the past tense, didn’t he? I asked myself rhetorically.

“Don’t say anything to Don,” Monty insisted. “I want this to be a surprise.”

“Listen, man,” I told him, “I don’t have Don’s mailing address.”

I felt somewhat relieved, until Monty laughed and let me know that he’d already looked it up and put a “very special gift” in the mail.

“Don’t you want to know what it is?” Monty asked excitedly.

“No, I really don’t, to be honest,” I began, before Monty interrupted, saying, “I know you want a hint, David. Check your e-mail.”

And there it was: evidence of a felony. Attached to Monty’s e-mail — whose subject line read: “Shrunken Head for Don Parnell” — was a photograph of what I can only assume was Brent Crawford’s headless carcass strung up like a murdered alligator gar.

I hung up the red phone and resumed sharpening the blade of my favorite guillotine, my own schadenfreude jones satisfied, at least for the time being.


  1. Don Parnell wrote:

    This literally brought tears of joy to my eyes.

    Friday, June 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  2. David Brensilver wrote:


    Would that I could ask you to send me a photograph of the bastard’s shrunken head.


    Friday, June 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink
  3. Caroline wrote:

    Pity it’s not true. What the f is it with Texas and this impulse to KILL EVERYTHING.

    Friday, September 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

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