Kielbasa, but no bologna

A 425-pound kielbasa. A 600-foot noodle. And an alligator in the bedroom -- three alligators, in fact. Some days this seems like a mighty peculiar world.

The kielbasa's already made. It's set for display at Milwaukee's annual Polish Festival, Labor Day weekend. It's 425 pounds of beef, pork, and seasonings. No bologna.

That's a little big for the average picnicker's grill. But no more oversized than the 600-foot noodle: This one isn't pasta-d together yet, but the four Colorado families making it don't think it'll be all that tough, consistency aside. After all, they've already made one 334 feet long, last Labor Day.

Which would be quite a mouthful, even for alligators like Victoria Bicardo's. For the moment she, her husband, and their three mouthy friends use the same bedroom. Simultaneously. Ultimately the gators will have their own aquarium, but their owner doesn't seem to mind today's cramped quarters -- although ``when the lights are off at night,'' she reports, ``we can hear them thrashing around.''

She says the noise doesn't bother her rest, on grounds gators don't bother humans as long as they're not hungry.

In a lot of homes we know, they'd be sending out for 425-pound kielbasas and 600-foot noodles for the gators, just to be on the safe side.

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