National News

Tennessee Valley Meth Gators: The Rise and Fall

Less than a month after international news sources picked up the story of the Alabama meth-crazed, attack squirrel, the Tennessee Valley was making the news again. On July 15th, in its Americas section, Britain’s “The Independent” reported, “Flushing drugs could create ‘meth-gators,’ US police warn.”

The story also made TIME magazine, CNN, Newsweek, ABC News and USA Today, among others. Closer to home, the Nashville Tennessean’s Juan Buitrago implored, “Think of the animals.”

The facts, as they say, are these, as posted by the Loretto Police Department and reported on Huntsville’s WAAY website:

“Early this morning officers with the Loretto Police Department, with assistance from the Lawrence county deputies, served a search warrant at 112 First Avenue in Loretto. Once inside the home, officers found Andy Perry attempting to flush methamphetamines along with several items of paraphernalia. He was unsuccessful. Perry was arrested for possession of schedule II (meth) for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence. Twelve grams of methamphetamine, 24 fluid ounces of liquid meth, and several items of paraphernalia were seized. Perry is being held at the Lawrence county jail.”

“Ever since the late 1990s,” reports WebMD, “the science community has recognized that pharmaceuticals … are found in sewage water and are potentially contaminating drinking water.”

On that note, continued the Loretto police, “When you send something down the sewer pipe, it ends up in our retention ponds for processing before it is sent down stream. Now, our sewer guys take great pride in releasing water that is cleaner than what is in the creek, but they are not really prepared for meth. Ducks, Geese and other fowl frequent our treatment ponds, and we shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do. Furthermore, if it made it far enough, we could create meth-gators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River down in North Alabama. … So, if you need to dispose of your drugs, just give us a call, and we will make sure they are disposed of in the proper way.”

“CRACKODILES!,” bawled The Sun UK. “US cops warn new breed of crazed ‘meth-gators’ could be spawned by drugs being flushed down toilets.” Journalist Lottie Tiplady-Bishop went on, “Police have warned that a new terrifying phenomenon of drug-crazed bloodthirsty alligators could be created by druggies flushing meth down the loo. … Ducks, geese, and other fowl could potentially become crazed monsters if they accidentally ingested the drug, a powerful stimulant known to cause aggression, paranoia and even extreme arousal.”

But then Ms. Tiplady-Bishop acknowledged, letting the air out of things, that the dire warnings and prophecies were, in her words, “jokey.” 

As should have been apparent to anybody, the Loretto police were having some fun. But, as has been observed since the first human being laughed at anything, “There are those who get the joke, those who don’t get the joke, and those who don’t realize a joke has been made.” 

Even when the Loretto police’s introduction of, “On a more or less serious note: Folks … please don’t flush your drugs m’kay?” Some folks just won’t recognize a leg pulled or a cheek tongued.

About the author

Brad Hall

Brad Hall

Brad Hall is a pastor and the author of "Lousy Roger and Other Tales: A collection of Lectionary-based Sermons," available on In 2014, after 27 years of courtship, he married pop culture scholar Deborah Ann Miller. They share a place with two dogs, Scotty and Demitasse, and two cats, Quirkie and Brucie.

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