Is the cold-blooded legend ready to warm up?

After years slinking out of the swamps and bayous and terrifying unsuspecting Americans, Manigator is trying something different these days: he’s looking for love.

“I got sick of being a figure of fear,” he said. “It gets tiring and worse, it gets lonely. This year, on New Year’s Eve, I made myself a promise, which was to have a date by Valentine’s Day.” 

Manigator wasted no time, slinking out of the swamps in mid-January and beginning to set up profiles on several dating services, including Zip, Gallop, Piltdown Passions, HeartTime, HeartMark and HeartStart. 

“It was tough at first,” he said. “When it said ‘height,’ I had to put in a foot and a half. Really the relevant measurement is length, which is fifteen feet, but if you write that you create the wrong impression. I wasn’t looking for those kinds of hookups.”


Gradually, he got the hang of it. “I worked it out,” he said. At that point, the responses started coming in. 

“Even that was tough,” he said. “I needed to figure out what kind of women I liked, after years of just dragging people into the swamp or bayou and devouring them. Like a friend of mine said, it was going from who you want to eat to who you want to meet.”

And then things went from bad to worse, as a few tentative forays into the singles scene soured Manigator on the process. “They were terrible,” he said. “It was probably my fault. I was nervous. I spilled coffee on myself and bit the barista’s hand off at the wrist.” And a trip to a disco was even worse. “You know when people say that they have two left feet?” he said. “Well, I do!”


But then Ellen popped up on his screen. “She just seemed so nice and down-to-earth,” Manigator said. “Blonde hair, which I guess is my preference — this is all kind of new to me. And when I looked at her picture, I didn’t see any equipment in the background that suggested that she was an undercover naturalist, and certainly not one coming to shoot me with a tranquilizer dart or worse.”

“I’m not,” Ellen said. “Who would even suggest that? I don’t even know what a naturalist is. Why would I?”


The two spoke by phone and have been texting. And then Manigator gathered up his courage and invited her out for Valentine’s Day.

“A holiday is tough for a first date,” he said. “But in another way, it takes the pressure off.”

“I agree,” Ellen said. “We can act like two crazy kids, instead of a half-man half-gator who is suspicious that his date is an undercover naturalist coming to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart or worse and a woman who definitely is not that thing, I mean, no chance, no way.”


“Will it be love?” Manigator said. “I’m as excited to find out as everyone else.”

Reservations are for 8 pm at Wilkie’s Cafe on Juniper Street.

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