Alright, here is our new Indian terminology for the day…..House Lizard. To be accurately used in sentences such as, “Lee…stop screaming like a ten year old girl, it’s only a HOUSE LIZARD!” Or “Why are you standing on the kitchen counter? Did the HOUSE LIZARD frighten you?” Look, I am not a girly man, okay? I can hunt, change tires and pull wings off flies like the best of them. But sneak attacks by flicky tongued, bog eyed, fast like greased pig lighting reptiles can be a little unnerving when one is not accustomed to it…and I…….am not. I don’t think it breaches any article of The Bro Code or involves me turning in my “Made of Authentic Hairy Man Club” membership card to admit that.
These are the facts as presented by the all knowing Wikipedia: The common house gecko or Hemidactylus frenatus is a native of Southeast Asia (and apparently my bathroom). It is also known as the Pacific house gecko, the Asian house gecko, house lizard or Moon Lizard (and Irving…more on that later). Most geckos are nocturnal, hiding during the day and foraging for insects at night (except for Irving, who seems to be a huge Kiss fan and prefers to rock and roll all night and party every day). They can be seen climbing walls of houses and other buildings in search of insects attracted to porch lights, hence their name “house gecko”. These small geckos are non-venomous and harmless to humans. Medium to large geckos may bite if distressed, however their bite is gentle and will not pierce skin (coughbullcrapcough).
So, that, in a nutshell, is Irving. Irving is a house lizard that has recently taken up residence in Chateau Hippy. He was lovingly named shortly after moving in whilst I was performing my morning necessities…in the privacy of our tastefully decorated ensuite bathroom, with my newspaper……and him. Staring at me. From the ceiling. Blank, unblinking eyes reading the sports section with me. “Irving?” I asked. He continued to stare, so Irving it was.
I am not totally disenfranchised from the whole lizard community. I mean, I am aware in Canada, people do keep them as pets. A former employer of mine kept a rather large reptile in a terrarium in his office. “He has quite a personality this one”, he used to tell me, “They all do you know, once you get to know them”. Clearly he had NOT met Irving. Irving has all the personality of a golf ball. The teenage son of a coaching associate had an iguana named Biff, or Zug Zug…I dunno….we found him after football practice one day hanging for his life on the second story bedroom window screen he had managed to pop out. Now he had personality!
But Irving was mine. Unintentional, uninvited and most certainly unwanted….but mine. According to Mrs. R… “You practically invited him in here! Begged him even!”
“MA! How so?!?!?” I do ask, somewhat perturbed with arched eyebrow and bemused smile. She continued to explain that I firstly had created a sauna for him. Our bedroom has floor to ceiling windows, which face west. Therefore in the late afternoon, the sun creates a lovely industrial blast furnace effect in that room. To combat this, I installed blinds on the outside of the window…on the balcony side…it was quicker…easier….and it instantly created a lizard sauna between the blinds and glass.
Secondly, Mrs. R was pointing out with great relish, (she has a nasty streak, my wife, when she has me helplessly pinned to the floorboards with facts) I love to leave the balcony light on all night, it creates a romantic and dreamy soft lighting effect that cascades gently down over my sleeping head. Nice. It also attracts every insect species currently living in India and some from Nepal, to my balcony. Hence……..All Night Lizard Buffet. Alright, I had to concede. I may have inadvertently hung out the “Irving, Where Are You?” sign on our front porch. Maybe I did create a lizard spa with a rolling menu. But unintentionally invited or not, he had to go.
This was an immediate and iron clad decision made the morning Irving tried to dry hump my big toe in the shower while I was washing the conditioner out of my hair AND he was no longer content to remain in the cozy confines of the bathroom. Bedroom and kitchen sightings were becoming more and more frequent. Bolder and hornier…he had to go. So I began my research, one by one used all the tried and true methods the internet had to offer, the best of the cyber world rushing to aid me in home defense…..But,
Irving didn’t read! (all those mornings in the toilet with me, sharing the sports…A LIE!) so,
Use my Tabasco sauce? Are you serious? In MY house, that stuff is like gold! Next idea!
Ya well, like most unwanted guests, Irving was unable to take a hint, rude and more than a little self centered.
So it appears he is here to stay. Mrs. R doesn’t mind. She was raised with them and she is completely enamored with Irving’s mosquito eating talents (I must admit, I do admire that quality in him also) and he doesn’t seem to rattle our maid at all (Although, nothing does really. I once saw her beat a rat to death……with her foot!). I suppose I would miss him if he was gone. I would miss our morning reading sessions (Even though he fakes it). I would miss the “startle and scream at midnight” moments we share on my way to the kitchen. A House lizard named Irving, who would have thought….and I suppose in some odd way, I would just miss having him around…..after all….he has personality…..once you get to know him.