A Traumatic Sunday Afternoon. But First: Stick A Cracker In My Eye

Once when I was in middle school, I was eating a pretzel at lunch. As part of my pretzel-eating process, I was removing some of the outer salt, because I don't like anything overly salted. By mistake, one of the huge flecks of salt shot directly into my eye. I spent the remainder of the lunch period flushing out my eye in the girls' bathroom (eww) and had to tell my embarrassing tale when I returned, late, to my class.

You know why I remember this?

Because last night ALL I DID was take a bite of a tortilla chip and a giant chip-crumb shot right into my eye. It hurt like hell, but unlike middle school, I didn't have to go far to get to a bathroom. And unlike the pretzel salt, which (it turns out) dissolves pretty quickly in eye fluid, chips aren't as swift to break down. So I was able to fish the piece of chip out of my eye in one piece.

Not that this is riveting blog material, but honestly. Have you ever had food fly into your eye TWICE in your life? It's not like I go around asking for it. It's not like I'm doing something totally out of the ordinary or unusual by removing salt or, you know, simply BITING a chip. But here I am, a grown adult, having to excuse myself in front of guests to go get tortilla chip out of my eye.

It's times like those I don't exactly feel evolutionarily advanced, you know?

Speaking of which:

I have a long blog post coming about the first "childbirth preparation" class that Ish and I took last week, but it's taking me forever to write for no reason, but IN THE MEANTIME, I'm sort of experiencing a crisis at this very moment and didn't know what to do about it so I decided to blog it because maybe that will at least calm me down a bit.

About 45 minutes ago, I noticed Eddie (the cat) coming into the house with what seemed like a leaf stuck to his face. I asked Ish to please check it out and if it was not something...er...leafy...to please hurry and get rid of it.

"It's not a leaf," Ish said as he brought Eddie to me. "Here, hang on to him. I need to get it out of the house" Ish said and I got all squeamish.

"What is it?"

"A lizard. Still looks alive."

Now, we did not have many lizards growing up in Connecticut. Oddly enough, I never had a lizard run-in while living in San Francisco, either. So this is new to me. And why a cat would want anything to do with a lizard is beyond me, but what do I know?

So next thing I know, Ish walks by on his way to put the lizard outside. I watch him bend down and return to the house rather quickly. To which I say, "Did you just put it outside?"


"Like, in our yard, right outside the door?"

"Yes. Where else should I put it?"

"Well, I was thinking maybe NOT in our yard? Like OUT of our yard, where the cats won't get it again?"

"I can't lizard-proof our yard!"

Well, and so that was the end of the conversation. If I'm not ballsy enough to remove the lizard myself, I don't really have a right to complain about Ish's lizard-removal techniques. And I figured if the lizard had any sort of lizard-sense -- and it must, right? Haven't they been around since prehistoric times? -- he'd not want to stick around a yard that had so many fanged creatures. To do so would make no evolutionary sense.

But again, what do I know?

Because Ish left to go on a bike ride and won't be home for another hour. And naturally, about 5 minutes after he left, Monster came through the room making a yowling sound and having something sticking out from his mouth.

He got as far as the dining room and stopped. I was too afraid to go look. But then, I also felt bad for the lizard -- assuming it even WAS the lizard -- and didn't want to abandon it to my darling but potentially blood-thirsty carnivorous cats. So I eventually crept SORT OF near to the dining room and saw the lizard, just sitting on the carpet, with Monster, just sitting on the carpet also, staring at it. Then Sherlock rushed to the scene.

So there I was, standing about 7 feet from the terrifying-to-me tiny lizard, watching my two cats also staring at the tiny lizard, realizing that none of the four of us had any idea what to do.

(Speaking as the representative human being in this equation, I apologize. Darwin would be so disappointed in me.)

But I knew, deep down, that I had to do something, even if it IS a scary (tiny) lizard.

So eventually I DID do something. I grabbed a decorative wire bowl and inched toward the three of them (da da daaa dah! evolution! opposable thumbs! wire bowls!) and then put the bowl over the lizard. Brilliance! The lizard was safe, I was safe, my unborn baby was safe from whatever completely harmless thing the lizard wouldn't have done to her anyway, the cats couldn't get into the bowl, and I believed the situation was pretty well contained. At least until Ish could come home and fix it.

I sat back on the sofa. Eventually Sherlock got bored and left, and then so did Monster. Victory!

But I was still (am still) a little nervous, so I decided to blog so I thought, hey I should take a picture.

Want to see a picture of the lizard under the bowl?

What's that you say?

You say, "Huh? I can't see the lizard?"

Oh, well, turns out, NEITHER CAN I.

It has escaped. Meaning that, at this very moment, there is a lizard with a death wish scampering through my house. Part of me hopes the cats don't know it's free and roaming our halls -- I do not want harm to befall the lizard. But part of me really hopes the cats HAVE discovered the thing, so that I don't have to go to bed tonight wondering if I'm going to wake up with a big, fat, suicidal lizard crawling on my face.

And, Darwin be damned, I understand that I am no longer rational. As I write this, I keep looking at my feet hoping the lizard doesn't suddenly jump out at me from under the sofa. Yes, my evolved brain knows that I am bigger than the cats AND the lizard and that I should be able to intervene and not have this be traumatic. The icky-creepy-crawly part of my brain, however, cannot deal with hunting for a lizard that may or may not be in one piece any longer.

And that icky-creepy-crawly part of my brain IS WINNING.

UPDATE: Shit. Monster is outside lounging and Sherlock is asleep on our bed. Score one for the missing lizard.

UPDATE UPDATE: Ish is home. The situation has been explained. Also, he is far less concerned about the lizard situation than he is proud of his 20 mile bike ride that I should be paying attention to. Instead, he is now in hot pursuit of a lizard in our dining room for the second time today.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE: Ish just walked by me and out the door as I was writing my last update. "Did you find it???" I asked. "Most of it," he replied. UGH.

UPDATE THE LAST: Turns out, the cats had abandoned the lizard and it was just chilling behind the dining room curtain, but with only about 80% of its tail. Ish claimed the lizard was otherwise okay. He has been safely removed to outside the fenced area of our yard. NEVER TO RETURN. (DO YOU HEAR ME, LIZARD?? NEVER! TO! RETURN!)

Thank you for hanging in there with me.


  1. Lizards are impossible to avoid here in south Florida. They mostly keep out of my apartment, but one night...one horrible night...I couldn't sleep, and I looked up from my computer, and there it was. A giant t-rex on my wall. Uhm, or a small lizard. My brain reacted as if they were the same thing. So I had to go and wake up my husband and explain that there was A Situation, and he had to come and get it. Which he did, because he values his sleep. (PS - You lizard's tail will totally grow back!)

  2. So funny! I have to things to share:
    1) I once got a peice of barbecue chicken in my eye. I was spreading the wing to take a bite and the wing slipped from my fingers and flung itself into my eye. I was at a BBQs restaurant and it hurt so bad! I was howling, "Ahhh! Owww! as I flushed and flushed my eye in their nasty bathroom. I came back out 5 minutes later, with my eye closed. Doing a Popeye impression for the rest of the meal.
    2) I once got toothpaste in my eye. I was brushing my teeth one morning while also looking int he mirror. I saw some sleep in my eye and decided to wipe it off. And I guess I had toothpaste on my finger. Well, talk about excruciating. It hurt SO bad! O howled around my apartment for quite some time. Menthol does not feel so good in your eye.

  3. I am staunchly pro-lizard, mostly because I am far more adamantly anti-cockroach and the lizards eat the roaches. Also, I think lizards are kind of cute. My roommate, on the other hand, does not like the lizards at all. On a couple of occasions, I've had to catch one (I let it run onto a piece of paper, then hustle lizard and paper outside) if it got in the house. But once, when I was getting ready in the morning, I heard my roommate scream and ran down the hall to find she had accidentally ironed one when it ran across the ironing board. Poor thing was only mostly dead, so I flushed it to hopefully put it out of its misery.

  4. I have saved so many lizards from my cats! That's one reason why I'm happy with indoor cats only. Then the only thing I have to worry about is the odd fly...or so you would think. I will always remember 9/11 because all the that morning before finding out about the terror, we were chasing a mouse out of our apartment and hoping to keep our cat from eating it! Cats gotta love 'em!

  5. Oh lord, you always crack me up, Loved it. You can make even that totally bizarre story an epic adventure and SOOO entertaining !!

  6. Whoa, don't ever go to Hawaii on vacation. Geckos are all over the place and they have these cute little sucker feet so they can climb walls and stuff. I think small lizards are adorable (under six inches or so) and it was one of my favorite parts of Maui. Oh yeah, we also had a mouse invasion there. Double whammy for you if you are multi critter creeped out. Do. Not. Go. There.

    As I live in Southern California I run into lizards regularly. There is one that suns himself every day on my boss's window screen and I had a mating pair in my back yard for a couple of years. I actually put off clearing out some brush until they were finished with the most recent generation. Cute!!

    Oh, and did you know that lizard eggs look exactly like slightly misshapen Tic Tac mints? Now you do.

  7. Some lizards have tails that sort of come right off, I think, in case of such situations. Like an escape hatch. Unless that was a made-up story I believed from childhood. I rather like lizards, but I'm from the desert SW.

  8. How funny! There are lizards all over the place here, so I'm used to them and think they're kind of cute! And don't worry - their tails grow back!

  9. hysterical entry. I hear lizards can grow their tails back, so I'm happy to hear that was all that was missing. But honestly, that lizard is one stupid idiot. He's asking for it...

  10. Oh my Lord...I've laughed until I'm weeping while reading your blog. That is such a funny post. Usually the cats bring their "gift" to you and leave it there. Lizards can live without their tails...it is an evolutionary thing that actually did help them survive through time.

  11. Oh, Kristy, that was precious. I've been doing forced-lurking for months because something about my laptop won't let me post on anyone's site even if it's my own Vox host. So, I dragged out my pc. Finally, I will say: I am so freaking overjoyed you're about to enlarge your dear family.

    And to anonymous: Lizards lay EGGS???? WOW. I've come across one giving live birth (aligator lizard, I think), but I never knew about the egg-laying business.

  12. Two Words: SAFETY GOGGLES

  13. It was in your house unattended?!?!? oh man I am creeped out! blegh, wretch, gag


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