Monday, February 22, 2010

Beware the Lizards

Get your facts straight first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
Mark Twain

Beware the Lizards
By Kelley Williams

I have a fear of lizards. They terrify the crap out of me. I’m not talking big gila monster, iguana, Komodo Dragon, lizards-the-size-of a-truck lizards. I’m talking your run of the mill, brown, scurry in front of you as you walk down the sidewalk, lizards. When people find this out, the conversation usually goes something like this.

“You’re afraid of lizards?”


“Why? They can’t hurt you.”

“And your point is?”

“Well if they can’t hurt you, then why are you afraid?”

Allow me to explain. Some people have irrational fears, like a fear of alligators, or a fear of heights or a fear of public speaking. However, can any of those hurt you? I think not.

Okay, maybe alligators can hurt you, what with their bone crushing bites and death rolls and take you to the bottom of the lake and drown you and come back later for a tasty snack tendencies.

And maybe heights can hurt you if you’re, say, standing at the top of the empire state building and the railing breaks lose and you flail to your death.

And fear of public speaking? Come on people! Can that really hurt you? I don’t think so. Unless you are such an incredible bore that someone from the audience throws an axe at your head to shut you up. But really, unless you’re speaking at a lumberjack convention, what are the chances someone in the audience will have an axe?

Convinced that all those fears are irrational?


Convinced that lizards are scarier than alligators, heights and public speaking?


Well then let me ask you: Can any of those fears make you jump up and scream your head off like a raving lunatic in front of the entire student body as you wait for cheering practice to start? Can any of those cause you to emit a blood curdling scream and make you run from the kitchen while your husband wonders who just stabbed you with a steak knife and your dogs run so fast to get away from you that they aren’t actually running because you have tile and they can’t get a grip so their feet just spin under them like the roadrunner? Can any of those make you bolt to a sitting position on a lounge chair, forgetting that your bikini top is untied thus exposing yourself to the entire neighborhood? Can any of those crawl up your pants and die at a party? Can they?

The answer to all those is no.

But you know what can do all those things horrific things?

That’s right, my friends. Lizards.

And that is why I am afraid of them.

And now you are too. Right?

Still not convinced?

Fine. I will elaborate because I believe it is my duty as a good citizen of this world to inform one and all of the dangers and evils of lizards, and hopefully provide some attack-avoiding tips in the process.

The first attack happened when I was a Junior in high school waiting “on the patio” for cheering practice to start. I was sitting on my friend’s lap when I felt something on my leg. I calmly looked down, because if you know me, you know I am calm by nature, and saw a lizard, on my shin. A lizard. On. My. Shin. Did you see how fast that happened? One minute I was calmly hanging out with the members of my fabulous squad and the next minute there is a lizard. On. My. Shin.

I of course did what any reasonable person with a lizard on their shin would do. I flew off my friend’s lap, sending the ambushing reptile to kingdom come, and screamed my head off in front of the entire student body.

All I can say is thank goodness for my friend Juli who realized the severity of the situation and coached me in taking deep breaths - in through the nose out through the mouth - while my heart returned to my chest and the blood to my head.

The second near death experience occurred several years later in the kitchen of the oh-so- lovely-upside-down-mortgaged-town-home in which my husband and I reside. We were cooking dinner, salmon I think, and my dogs told me they too were hungry. As soon as I touched their bag of food, this hideous, monstrous, brown creature, a.k.a. a lizard, came flying at me. (Okay, maybe it wasn't exactly monstrous in size – more like two inches, at most – but their small size makes them all the more terrifying, allowing them to venture into places they should never go, like my kitchen, and other places much more personal in nature, as you will later see.)

So, I did what any warm-blooded female would do and emitted the most blood-curdling scream you have ever heard and tried to bolt from the kitchen. But my two dogs, who wondered what the heck was going on, got in my way (see roadrunner description above) thus increasing the panic and the high-pitched hysterical screaming. My husband grabbed his Uzi, ready to make Swiss cheese out of the intruder who’d just plunged a steak knife into my gut, but much to his surprise no one was there.

“Lizard!” I screamed.

“Seriously, Kelley. People are going to think I’m killing you,” was his ridiculously calm reply. He must not have heard me say there is a lizard in the house.

I peered around the corner as my husband tried to find him and release him into the wild, when the evil thing came running at me again. Yes, it was running at me. Not I’m-a-terrified-baby-lizard-in-a-strange-place-with-a-screaming-psychotic-woman-so-I’ll-run-erratically-until-I-hopefully-end-up-outside kind of run. No, this thing was running at me. WITH A PURPOSE.

“EEEEEEEEE!” I screamed again.

My husband, whose eardrums I could see exploding at the noise I had emitted, ordered, “Kelley! Go upstairs!”

I bolted up up the stairs while he miraculously captured the evil creature and set him free. Thank goodness I have a husband brave enough to go to war with lizards, or the salmon would have burned, the oven would never have been turned off, and the four of us would have stood outside and watched our house burn to the ground. (Which I know was the evil lizard's plan the whole time.)

On to attack number three. I was lounging by the pool, soaking up the sun, reading a book, minding my own business, when it happened.

First of all, let me just say that I deserve a medal for lying by the community pool of my town-home. The pool deck is Evil Lizard Paradise, a.k.a my worst nightmare. But I am a fiend for the warm rays of the sun, so I brave my nightmare. And also, getting a tan makes you look skinnier so you don’t have to work out as much. It’s science.

Anyway, I’m minding my own business when once again I feel something on my shin. I do not have to look this time to know what it is. I bet you think I screamed my head off, drawing the attention of the entire neighborhood. But this time I was so terrified I was rendered speechless and decided to draw the attention of the entire neighborhood in another way. I kicked my leg up, sending yet another lizard airborne, and flew to a sitting position. And…forgot that I had untied the straps of my bikini top, because there is nothing worse than tan lines (except maybe lizards), and flashed the entire neighborhood. I was too concerned with making sure the lizard was no where near me, that I did not immediately realize my lady friends were exposed.

Upon realizing it, was I completely horrified? Embarrassed? Distressed?

No. I was too busy trying to retrieve my heart, which had once again been extricated from my chest and was flopping around on the pool deck. Once it was situated securely back in place, I tied my straps, called my husband and recounted the attack. “This just proves you should always keep your eyes on lizards,” I said.

“I think it proves that you should always keep your straps tied,” he replied.

Uh, no. If I do, that means they win. And I will not let them win. I will not have tan lines.

And finally, the battle that changed the war. Attack number four. This time there were casualties.

Here’s how it all went down.

The hubs and I are getting into our car to go to an awesome party in V.B., (I know, a party in V.B, stop the presses.) when I brushed against the shrubs that line our drive. Moments later I felt something on my – you guessed it – shin.

My immediate reaction was to rip my pants off and check it out. But instead I decided to be a big girl and tell myself it was only my imagination.

So hubs and I were cruising along on our way to the fabulous V.B. party when I felt something on my knee. I was now at a freaked out level of Six. But again, I realized I am big girl and convinced myself it was just the sensation of my jeans pulling away from my body as I stretched.

Now would be a good time to remind all you ladies out there that women’s intuition is a real thing and you should always, always trust it. Is this camel leather Prada handbag a fake? Yes. Is the creepy man in the parking lot following me? Yes. Do these jeans make me look fat? Yes. Is my coworker a conniving backstabber who’s going to steal my promotion? Yes. Are these weird sensations on my leg actually not sensations at all, but something crawling up my leg? Yes!

So we arrived at the party. We knew maybe two people and being the SUPER outgoing person that I am, I headed straight to the hunch punch bowl. I sipped the hunch punch and talked to my husband. Or maybe talked to the two people I know. Or maybe talked to myself. This is where things got fuzzy, because now the sensation was on my inner thigh, and I was at a freaked out level of Off The Charts.

Let’s recap shall we? Sensation begins on shin, then travels to knee, then on to inner thigh. We all know where it’s going next, and there’ll be none of that. Time to investigate.

I headed to the bathroom, yanked down my jeans and saw nothing. I reached into my pants, because the best thing to do when you think you’ve got an unidentified creature crawling around in your pants is to blindly reach inside them to retrieve it. But all I was awarded with was a ball of lint. Hmm. How odd that a ball of lint would be responsible for all these sensations. Shrug. Whatever. Problem solved. I pulled up my pants, ready to rejoin the punch bowl, I mean party, when I felt this huge bunchy thing on my inner thigh.

That. Is. It. I have had enough. I reached inside my pants and pulled out this big bluish ball of lint. I looked at it and thought this is a big ball of lint. And then…

This lint has eyes!

Yes, my friends, that’s right. A lizard crawled up my pants and died.

Okay, I’m not exactly sure it died in my pants, although it was blue and in the shape of a ball, but I’m pretty sure brain trauma was induced when I threw it to the floor in horror. The next four hours were spent with my head poking out of the bathroom while I called for my husband and people gave me weird looks. He saw one look at my ghost-white face and sent me outside for fresh air.

So there you have it. Four horrific stories of evil lizard attacks. Although you are now sufficiently terrified – I am sorry – you have also been sufficiently warned – you are welcome.

But as for those aforementioned attack avoiding tips. Well I lied. There aren’t any. Lizards are everywhere. They are taking over the world. And they will find you.

1 comment:

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