Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Up until recently, it was still fairly warm in New Orleans, with temperatures averaging in the mid 60's. As a result, the local gecko and lizard population was still up and holding steady. I guess the recent surge in the fly and insect population stemming from the abundance of rotting food from the hurricanes in addition to the warm weather was helping to keep the lizard census at a record high.

Throughout the summer, it's not unusual to find one of these lizards on the screen door, crawling about trying to catch an insect or two. Opening your front door to find a lizard plastered to your screen door is not a fun surprise. I'm not the world's biggest lizard fan, so I often take great joy in flicking the screen from the inside to cause the lizard to bounce off backwards off of my screen door and go flying across the porch. (Not to worry lizard sympathizers, they often land in the bushes and dash away unhurt.)

Last night, as I opened my door to take the trash outside, I was quite surprised to see the silhouette of a lizard plastered to my screen door, lit up nicely by the streetlight. A little dismayed at seeing such an unwelcome being clinging to the outside of my screen door, I took careful aim at the lizard and prepared to flick him off of my screen door as hard as I could. I kind of set a goal in my mind to launch this guy over the bushes this time.

When I released my finger, instead of feeling that usual taughtness of the screen, my finger hit something completely unexpected: It landed with a dull *spubt* noise onto a rubbery but firm, lukewarm body, which then fell to the floor with a soft splat, and then quickly wriggled away into the house. As my hand jerked back in disgusted recoil from that unexpected sensation, my brain reeled with the revolting notion that I actually made flesh to flesh contact with a lizard. As my mind tried to recover from the surprise of finding out that the lizard happened to be on the inside of the screen, I came to the realization that the lizard had run into the house.

He was nowhere to be seen now. Probably hiding under something, waiting to make an appearance at the most inopportune time and cause quite a commotion. I let Nathalie know that a reptile had taken refuge in our house and went on to take out the trash.