The Lizard

We recently returned from a two-week vacation and, in that time, it appears as though the Animal Kingdom got together and discussed our absence. Apparently it looked as though we were never coming back so they came to the conclusion to simply move in.

Well, we did come back. And not two days after we returned, I saw him. The creepiest, slimiest, last possible thing you want to see in your house. A lizard. I was walking through the kitchen, en route to unpack some more things, when I suddenly saw a streak of scaly hunter green dart past my foot. Of course it gave me the heebity-jeebities and I jumped up on the nearest kitchen chair, just in time to see the ugly thing dart under our dishwasher. Ugh! Of all places! The one appliance I couldn’t maneuver out myself. Why couldn’t he have scurried up behind the microwave? Or better yet, the coffee maker? Then I could have tossed him right out along with the grounds. But, no, he chose the dishwasher.

Knowing that my husband was not going to be home for another 4 hours or so, I did the only thing I could think to do. I barricaded him in. Grabbing random boxes, cookbooks, newspapers, and magazines, I proceeded to build a wall of sorts around the dishwasher. Of course I took care to stuff paper towels in any remaining holes, and by the end of it, I thought I had a pretty fine fortress assembled. There was no way he could slither past that construction. Feeling confident in my work, I went back to unpacking and waited for Drew to get home.

Later on, the minute Drew walked in the door, I grabbed his hand and shoved him towards the dishwasher. I proudly showed off my impromptu structure and informed him that he simply needed to pull out the dishwasher and retrieve the waiting salamander. He seemed skeptical of my work and even felt the need to point out several spots I’d failed to cover. No matter, I knew that even if the repulsive reptile made it past the stack of Kleenex boxes, he surely wouldn’t have been able to scale the Blue Ribbon cookbook collection.

I was wrong.

Drew pulled out the dishwasher and loudly announced that the space under the counter was officially empty. After shining a flashlight under all the cracks and crevices, he informed me that my plan had failed and there was, in fact, a lizard now running loose in our house.

I became crazed. Insane. Constantly shining a flashlight around before we entered a room, lifting up blankets to reveal possible hiding spots, requiring every family member to tiptoe around and wear thick-soled boots. I even prayed: “God, please help me find this lizard. And let me find him in such a way that I don’t have to actually touch him when I throw him out.”

Well 3 days went by and i was beginning to lose hope. Was he hiding in a cupboard? Our DVD cabinet? The shower? Our bed??? Where was the lizard?!? Just when I was about to give up, I laid down for a nap with my kids one day after lunch and in the peaceful quiet of the afternoon, I heard it. A slinky, slithery, rustling noise. My mind immediately sprang into lizard-defense mode and I scrambled out of bed to search out the noisy culprit.

i finally determined his location: Drew’s still-unpacked duffle bag. i couldn’t see the dirty chameleon but I could hear what I knew was lizard feet scratching all over the traditional duffle nylon. He was scurrying around in there, no doubt sliming up every last pair of socks and underwear Drew had left in the bag. Unsure of how to go about the tricky maneuver, I eventually decided on the bag’s handles as my getaway vehicle. Tiptoeing up to the bag, I gingerly reached over and plucked the handles up and away from the bag. At the same time, I positioned myself to be able to make a quick break for it, out the door. On a silent count of three, I lifted the bag up lickety split and made a manical dash for the door. I was running break-neck speed by the time I hit the front door and swiftly unlatched the door and continued the crazed eviction. With one large heave-ho, I flung the bag out the door and into the yard, hoping that he was still indeed in the bag and not straggling behind me in the house somewhere.

Fearful that he might not like his former outdoor home, i quickly slammed the door behind me – locking it too, just in case he was a dexterous lizard who knew how to pick locks. I kept an eye on the bag from behind our kitchen curtains, just to see if he’d show himself. He didn’t. But I knew he was there.

Drew returned home later, slightly confused at the placement of his duffle bag in the back yard, but knowing my ways, correctly guessed the development that had taken place and simply motioned to the door and said, “Looks like you must have found the lizard.”

Yes! i did find the lizard! Oh, happy day! That blue-tailed skink won’t be bothering my family again, as long as I have something to say about it. And i told the scaly creature to go tell his friends and cousins that anybody else who tries to move in will eventually find themselves sailing through the air in a backpack as well, headed right back for the great outdoors. Where they belong.