Fall has finally come to Georgia, and that means the temperatures have finally dipped below 70. Otto and I spent a day wrestling the pool cover in place, which made it all the more fun the next time the children accused us of planning wild partying for when they go off with their dad; usually we tell them that we swim naked while eating candy. This time, of course, Monkey said, “NO YOU CAN’T! The cover’s on the pool!” He looked so triumphant that I almost felt bad for telling him that, naturally, we grease up with frosting, slip under the cover, and use our empty pixie stick wrappers to suck air from the surface.
(He knew I was kidding, but that flicker of uncertainty—however brief—made it worth it.)
I’ve brought in the last of the green tomatoes, and one night when we had a freeze advisory I even brought in all of my miniature trees, which was interesting, because suddenly the dining room was transformed into a tiny forest.
There is a problem with dropping temps, though.
Apparently when it gets cold outside, everything wants to come inside to get warm. Stands to reason, I suppose.
And as much as I hate the superbugs here in Georgia, I get it. I’m used to it. The weather turns, the bugs start trying to come inside. Been there, done that, shrieked for my husband to come kill it, thanks.
This year, however, something new is happening. It’s the first time I’ve experienced it, and I’m left with a disturbing but inescapable conclusion:
Lizards are stowing away on my dog.
I mean, look: I never had a lizard in the house before this year. October isn’t even over and I’ve had FOUR of them in the house this month. It’s not as though someone went and installed a tiny little lizard door, so I am forced to conclude they’re just hitching a ride when Licorice comes in from doing her business.
The first one was scuttling around in the dining room. I dispatched Monkey to execute a catch and release, and all was well.
A week later, I let Licorice out of her crate one morning and a lizard jumped off the crate and ran up the wall. I screamed, because at first I thought it was a giant bug. Licorice—who is pretty much afraid of pocket lint—immediately melted into a puddle of boneless goo at my feet, just in case the Apocalypse was imminent or something scary was coming to eat us.
Then we had the following conversation:
Me: Licorice! Get the lizard! Get it! Bite his nose off!
Her: *rolling over onto her back so that I can rub her belly*
Me: No, Licorice, GET IT! I mean it! Get the lizard!
Her: *rolling back onto her feet, cocking her head at me*
Me: Licorice! MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL!
Her: *ignoring me completely, chewing on her paw*
Me: Monkey! Come here, baby!
So that was fun.
A few days later we found a baby lizard in the kitchen.
And yesterday I was sitting here working when I glanced over at the bookcase directly to the right of my desk. A lizard was sitting on top of a sweater I’d tossed onto one of the shelves, quietly sunning himself.
I handled it like a mature adult, this time; first I informed Twitter that the designated lizard-catcher was at school, and I said some Very Bad Words. Then I caught it in some Tupperware and took it outside.
I happen to LIKE lizards. I think they’re kind of cute. And they eat yucky bugs. But I DID NOT INVITE THEM INSIDE. And I would like to know how they’re coming in with the dog without my noticing. Maybe in her ears?
Clearly I’m going to have to shave off all of Licorice’s fur. Or start a side business making commercials for Geico.