Unwelcome guest sends me scurrying

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 20, 2001

Even through sleep-filled eyes, I could tell something was wrong. Nothing was supposed to be moving that fast in my bathroom at this time of the morning, especially scurrying on the floor.

Startled by the fast-moving brown blur, the only reaction I could muster was, I’m ashamed to admit, a rather girlish &uot;Aagghh.&uot;

Frantically, I reached for my glasses. As my eyes focused, I saw the culprit of my early morning fear – a lizard.

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Well, I’m certainly not an animal hater, but I have a &uot;thing&uot; about sharing a shower with an animal, especially reptiles.

Call me crazy, but I’ve always thought most reptiles and amphibians as wild animals rather than lap pets.

Immediately, I began looking around for a good implement of death for said lizard.

At this point the 4-inch brown blotched beast had begun to hide, which I’m sure meant he planned on stealing dental floss or toilet paper later, when I wasn’t looking.

Since he was quickly getting out of easy arm’s reach, my search for a lizard murder weapon changed a bit.

After a few seconds I settled on a piece of pipe left in a closet by some previous tenant.

By the time I returned with weapon in hand, my little morning pick-me-up was gone, slithered away into a crack in the wall, I suppose.

The morning ritual proceeded, though I did take a quick peek behind the shower curtain before stepping into the shower. I thought it wise since the only thing more unpleasant than chasing a lizard around your bathroom is squashing a lizard with your foot.

The day proceeded without another lizard sighting.

I don’t know why it startled me so, but it was better than a cup of coffee at jolting me out of a sleepy stupor.

Perhaps the unnerving thing about seeing a lizard in one’s house is the prehistoric appearance of the animals.

They look like little creatures from the set of Jurassic Park IV.

Now logically, I know that at 5’10&uot; and, well, more than 150 pounds, the lizard is of no real threat to me. But pretty much anything moving that quickly in the morning is enough to scare the heck out of me.

The interesting part is, while I was convinced I was the lone human tormented by lizards, apparently there are droves of annoying lizards – and other creatures – that insist we built bathrooms and living rooms for their enjoyment.

Once I headed to work and began sharing the lizard tale, I was quickly one-upped by co-workers.

&uot;Oh, you mean those little brown, flat ones?&uot; one asked. &uot;We get those all the time. I hate when they wind up in the light globes.&uot;

&uot;Lizards? We had a live chipmunk in our house once,&uot; another chimed in.

Chipmunks? Wow, that hand beats a pair of lizards and a roach.

One by one, each person in the room retold the terrifying squirrel episode and the dreaded ant invasion. My favorite though was the family dog, named Lady I think, who lined up tiny mouse carcasses in the bedroom of their home. Now that’s a loyal family dog.

Somehow talking through all of our animal &uot;problems&uot; helped us feel a bit more, well, human.

Kevin Cooper is managing editor of The Democrat. He can be reached at (601) 445-3541 or by e-mail at kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com