Saturday, December 27, 2008

freak-out in texas

Oh. My. God.

I know it's the South. I know it's got its share of "wildlife" due to its sub-tropical climate. I know there are flying roaches. I know the mosquitoes suck blood all year 'round. But nobody said anything about the lizards. LIZARDS!


I never even knew I was afraid of the things until I moved here. Today marked the second time I was inside the house minding my own business when I spotted one. The first time I was at S's place in the Heights. (So notice we're talking two different houses.) I'd been there maybe a few weeks. I glanced up at the wall, and there it was, still as night, near the ceiling. I called Schmin, screaming, and he said I had no choice but to trap it and throw it outside. I couldn't do it, and by the time I got back into the room from cowering in the kitchen, it was gone. The last time I saw it, it was hanging out behind Mira's litter box. I did not want that cat to catch it, because it would've been carnage. Luckily, S's boyfriend was over, and she had him get it. He's from the country, she said. He can handle these things. He did. Just picked the thing up barehanded and took it outside. I told S she should marry that guy, ASAP.

These lizards are small, like 3 inches plus that scary little sharp pointy tail, specifically designed to poke out your corneas. I can confirm this because when I went to raise the blinds on one of the windows in the living room this morning, there was this:

I hollered like a beeatch, ripped down the blinds with the flailing of my arms, called Bubs, couldn't get him, then called Schmin, who told me I'm going to have to find a way to make peace with the lizards instead of waking him up crying and screaming at 8am Pacific time. I made him stay on the phone while I tried to sweep the thing out the window. It was an experience worse than childbirth. The lizard kept hopping all around the panes, sticking to them, jumping on the broom and back on the panes. I thought I'd finally gotten it out, then I saw that it had fallen inside a box that was sitting under the window. I closed it, ran outside, and dumped its contents on the lawn, where they remain, even though it's raining cats and dogs.

Speaking of cats, Mira hid under the bed when I started screaming, so she was no help. This time I was hoping she'd come out and eat the thing, as long as I wouldn't have to watch.

Once I calmed down, I tried to follow Schmin's advice and make friends with nature.

Just as I'd worked up the courage to get my stuff off the lawn, I noticed this:

Yep. Another one. Peeking out from the slats.

This is as close as I've come to moving back to Los Angeles. Like I told Schmin, I'm way too citified for this. I wish I was more like my maternal grandmother, who raised me. Once, when I was about 11, I was in the bathroom at our apartment when I saw a mouse. I had a conniption, yelling, Big Mama! Big Mama! Help me! She ran in, saying, Girl, what's the matter? I said It's a mouse! It's right over there! She looked at it, scoffed, and said, Aw, chile, that ain't nothing. Then she proceeded to corner the mouse behind the bathroom door and whack it to death with her slipper. I was like, Are you serious?! She'd been raised on a farm; she was fearless with critters.

Dear God I just don't have that in me, and it looks like I'm really going to need it.


Stacy said...

Seriously, I'm glad I didn't pee my pants while reading this post! Here's to a day with no lizards inside.

Laurie Ann said...

I think the lizards have a crush on you. I'd probably be squealing like a beeathch too.

Adrienne said...

ACK!!! I don't like them either!!! *shivers*

Anonymous said...

You are a big fat LIAR, there is NOTHING worse than childbirth!! However, had I come across this cold hearted thing as I was raising the blinds, I too would have had a conniption. But seeing as to how there is no big country boy living with you and screaming like beeatch ain't gonna do you much good, you're gonna to have to learn to tackle this on your own. (Or get yourself a big country boy). I'm not saying bared handed or anything. But you know, keep some rags in a central location so that when they come up again, you go grab your rag and grab that little sucker and throw it out! Did I ever tell you about the time there was a mouse in my house?

Ellen Bloom said...

Survival of the fittest.
You're bigger than the lizard, therefore you should be the survivor!

I like Elbee's idea of being prepared with some handy old rags so you can just overpower the varmint and get rid of it.

THe lizard is probably afraid of you!

Monique said...

You are too funny! I loved this because I was thinking of relocating to Florida and all I've heard over the past few days from those who have lived there is about the flying roaches and lizards and spiders and how big the bugs are, ect...Today someone mentioned rats. Said there are more than in Ohio. LOL! I can handle the anoles and other lizards. We've got geckos for pets. Yep! LOL. But the flying roaches!!! Got me to rethinking this relocation thing. Anyway, I have a grandmother (maternal side also) just like yours! Raised on a farm and wasn't afraid of a little thing like a mouse. Meanwhile, I'm almost cerifiable if one darts past me! So I do feel your pain and if it was one of those flying roaches out there, my stuff would still be on the lawn too!

woolanthropy said...

Glad you womanhandled that lizard and sent him packing to the lawn. hehe.

Zenzele said...

When I visited South Beach a few years ago, I saw lizards when I walked down the street - a city street, mind you. I thought they were the cutest things, bright and colorful and all, but then again, they weren't in my house. You wanna see someone freak out? There was a bat in my house. For twelve hours. I went out for the day, but made sure I came home with a friend, who had way more experience with wildlife than I did.

AllyB said...

Perhaps you should do some research on the lizards and get to know them better, then they wouldn't scare you so much. They do eat small bugs and mosquito's and such, so they are beneficial. Little lizards don't bite and generally aren't messy, like, say a squirrel. When I lived in Atlanta I had a pet lizard, I thought he was pretty cute! Embrace the nature...and buy some caulk!

Angela said...

Seconding what AllyB had to say. The lizards are your harmless friend. Now the flying roaches, THOSE are what you should be afraid of.

Also, one point of order that'll save you grief down the road. Texas, while south of most of the other states in the union, is not "The South" (as in the royal "The South.") Texas is Texas - it was it's own country at one point, and still in many ways likes to think it is. For Texans, "The South" is everything east of here - Louisiana to the Atlantic. (My husband's also from Los Angeles and he doesn't get it either.)

Anonymous said...

Aaahhh, lizards are cute as ever, I love them! They are in your house for a purpose, and that is to eat all those other nasty insects that will certainly drive you up the wall.

I can't guarantee that they'll eat the flying roaches (btw, those only fly at a certain time of the year....maybe before the rains? can't remember)BUT, they will eat all the other little roaches like those ones that like to inhabit your ones you call 'German' roaches' LOL...
My mom suffered for years with this plague, no amount of pest control helped, then 2 lizards moved into her is fairly seems they ate the eggs...yes, yikes! the little roaches were gone gone gone....the big roaches though, those will probably require bigger lizards...LOL....
I have an idea, get a chicken to keep inside your house for when the cockroaches fly in........better still, get some window mesh.

Remember, lizards are harmless....just don't let them drop on your head, you'll have to cut your hair out to remove it...ROFLMHO...I know, I'm dreadful!

Orchidophile said...

I know you were afraid, but this entry has tickled me.

When I see the lizards, I know that summer has arrived in my neck of the woods. I love the ones that lift their heads as if they were working hydraulic switches.

Hari said...

Oh come, now. I've found that making friends is the best thing to do in most situations.

With things that you absolutely can't imagine yourself living with, take something and move it outside. Don't kill them! They're harmless and it's unfair and cruel!

Another crazy hint from me: try talking to them. Most animals are pretty rational. "Look, I know it's cold outside, but you can't live in my house. Come on, I'm going to take you outside." Usually that makes the catching process easier.

Look at nature as an extension of you. If you'd accidentally wandered into someone's house, would you prefer them yelling and screaming and beating you to death, or them calmly showing you the way out?

Have a happy new year!