Friday, January 18, 2008

Inflated Dewlaps

Two weeks ago, my family and I moved to Florida from Virginia. I lived in Florida when I was a boy and we've visited many times in recent years, but I'd forgotten just how different Florida is. In Florida, for instance, you hear people speaking Spanish twenty times a day. You rarely heard Spanish in Virginia. And you know what else I rarely heard?

My wife screaming in terror and disgust.

But here in Florida, we have lizards - which means that I get to hear my wife's terrified screams every couple of days.

At first, I thought Bridget was overreacting. When they're mating or threatened, lizards naturally seek to make themselves seem larger and stronger - which explains why lizards strike aggressive intimidating poses whenever you see one.

I suspect that, in humans, this may also explain the Hair Club for Men.

But lizard poses barely bother my wife. The lizards could inflate and deflate their dewlaps all day long without ever causing my wife to scream. What bothers my wife is the lizards' insistence that they run over her feet in the dark. This has happened to her four times in two weeks. It has not happened to me at all. My wife thinks that the leathery lizards are deliberately targeting her. And she may be right.

This morning, the lizards escalated.

I heard my wife's horrible scream coming from our bathroom at 8 a.m. Her scream sounded so terrible that I didn't suspect a lizard at first. I heard her second scream and her uncontrollable sobbing when I was halfway to the bathroom. I expected to find something horrific - blood or something. There was no blood, but something horrific had happened.

I want to explain this delicately because my wife reads this blog. Unfortunately, "delicate" usually gets in the way of "funny" and I can't have that. So here goes:

A small lizard decided to cling to the toilet paper in our bathroom this morning at roughly the same time my wife decided to urinate.

You can probably figure out the rest. There is, however, no fun in that and I've decided to describe the incident. To be delicate, I'm using nothing but verbs.

Cling. Wipe. Wiggle. Scream. Wiggle. Jump. Scream. Cry. Run. Laugh.

To be fair, that last verb was not the lizard or my wife. That was me.

My wife was still shaking when I took her to work this morning. In the front yard, I saw maybe three lizards on branches smugly inflating and deflating their dewlaps.

What's a dewlap? It's a flap of skin just under the throat that lizards puff up to attract mates. It may also explain some women that I saw at the mall.


Anonymous said...

Clearly if they are trying to attract your wife as a mate, they need to rethink their approach.

Anonymous said...

Boy - there's only two things that come from Florida, ... lizards and hanging chads.

Rev. Sharon said...

Two things come immediately to mind:

1) Horrible person that I am, I probably would have laughed too.

2) Had I been in your wife's situation, I'd have screamed too. :)

And the bonus comment: you were in Virginia until recently?? And I never realized! *prangs forehead on desk* We could all have met for coffee! Wah!

Anyway, there's a lot of good in FL but alas, much that is strange... good luck in your sojourn!

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