Flashback Friday: Lizards and I are not friends

Posted on March 4th, 2011

It’s Flashback Friday, where I blog about Junior’s past and revisit some of the things I loved best about my baby being…a baby!

I like animals. Really I do. Well, I like most of them. The truth is, anything that belongs to the rodent or reptile family is not my cup of tea. Of course, Junior loves all animals, even disgusting ones that have no business being anything but a pair of shoes and a matching purse*.

I have never understood the attraction of little animals as pets. I mean, what are they good for, really? When I was young, my sisters and I all had hamsters. I don’t recall ever asking for one. I couldn’t stand them. For one thing, they are nocturnal. Who thinks that having a small, furry, creature that is up all night long spinning a very loud wheel in your bedroom is a good plan? Nobody sleeps when the hamster works out.

And it’s not just that. They don’t do anything. Take a dog for example. A dog is a good pet. A dog sleeps on your bed when you are sick, eats anything you spill on the floor, walks with you, fetches sticks and barks at strangers. Does a hamster do that? I don’t think so. Mostly the hamster sits around waiting for dark so he can spin a wheel to nowhere really fast.

And yet I agreed in a moment of weakness to let Junior have a gecko.

I don’t know how this happened. Maybe it was the way Junior would bat his big brown eyes at me while showing me pictures of geckos. Or maybe it was the way he begged and pleaded and promised to keep his room clean “forever and ever” if I allowed him to have one. Or maybe it was the way Harry and Junior went down and picked a gecko out and brought it home.

Yeah, that could be it.

This one is a leopard gecko. I wish I could tell you how exciting he is, but he doesn’t even have a wheel. As far as I can tell, this guy sits around in his aquarium, soaking up the heat lamp’s warmth and licking his eyeball.

But hey, Junior and Harry think it’s a big thrill.

They get all excited when he goes for a cricket. Yeah, like it’s some contest. I mean, please. Who thinks the cricket has a chance? It’s in a closed environment, dusted with calcium powder and being chased by a reptile100 times its size. But Harry and Junior act like they are watching big game hunting on Animal Planet. Right. As if the crickets are ever going to win. Even if ten of them got together and lassoed the gecko to his feeding rock, those crickets are still toast. Eventually the gecko would get loose and eat them all, one by one. Crunch, crunch, crunch.

And then there is the exciting game of “Letting the Gecko Out for Air.” First of all, there is a big screen on the top of the aquarium. The lizard has plenty of air. But no, we have to let it out into the house where the potential for it escaping and living in my pantry for years increases exponentially.

Once out, the gecko crawls up Junior’s arm and onto his shirt, where the gecko hangs until he gets bored. Then he runs down Junior’s shirt, and stops at the Hot Wheel Crash and Burn set on the floor. This is just a diversion. Because what that gecko is really doing is planning his escape. Oh, he doesn’t do it openly. But he looks at me, licks his eyeball, and slowly puts out a clawed leg.

Then he tries to run up my arm.

That’s when I scream. Junior and Harry grab the lizard and it goes back in its cage. It’s a nightly ritual. Frankly, I can’t figure out who is more stupid, the lizard or me? I mean, I hang out in the room when the lizard is out. And he always tries to run up my arm, which gets him put back into his house. I don’t know, maybe we are both just conditioned to play this game, like Pavlov’s dogs.

I guess I can take solace in the fact that no spinning wheel is keeping me awake at night. But I swear, if that lizard even thinks of running up my arm again—well, let’s just say that he would make a very attractive wallet.

*Hello PETA? I was joking. I don’t do lizard wallets.

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One Response to “Flashback Friday: Lizards and I are not friends”

  1. Andrew A. Sailer Says:

    Wow,great blog. Thanks for your post.

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