Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Enter the Dragon

The annual trip to Aruba is over and done with, and it was lovely. I did exactly jackshit except read on the beach, swim with the pelicans, eat fresh fish, drink rum, make $20 at roulette, and save a sick lizard (again). Awesome.

I've mentioned the iguanas in Aruba before, and they really are quite charming. Mark adopted a small colony outside the cafe at the resort, whom he met for breakfast every morning. On the way home, we both decided that iguanas were indeed bitchin', and we should totally get one. We also decided that if we did not do this soon, we never would do it. So two days after we got back from Aruba we drove out to Annandale and got us a goddam iguana.

Now, one cannot just waltz into the Super Petz and declare their desire for an iguana expecting to take it home immediately. We had to prep by procuring the most ginormous leezard cage known to man. It looks like a phone booth made out of mesh. The leezard also requires more lighting than a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, so we had to get that as well, so leezard will think he's in the tropics, and not a climate-controlled, overpriced one-bedroom in downtown DC. Leezard also requires climbing things, and many, many greens. Leezard eats better than we do. So these had to be acquired before the Super Petz people let us take an iguana home, to ensure that we were properly equipped. They then plopped leezard in a paper bag which they stapled shut and sent us on our way.

It turns out that iguanas are skittish creatures, and they can be a little freaked out when they first come home. They demonstrate their displeasure by not pooping. It may seem intuitive that a lack of lizard poop is not necessarily a bad thing, but after a week we were a bit worried. Not to be indelicate, but in the people world it seems that such a movement is required at least once a day to keep one agreeable -- preferably just after breakfast and maybe around 11:30 as well. After a week, well, I know I'd be pretty unbearable. I can only imagine that leezard was in a great deal of discomfort.

We were then faced with the prospect of forcing our lizard to shit. Reptile vets proscribe soaking the lizard in warm water to get them to do this. This is not easy, especially when the animal in question is still freaked out at you and won't let you near it without scratching your hands and whipping you with its tail. Ouch. So I donned a pair of gardening gloves, wrassled the lizard into submission (no, that is not a euphemism -- don't be cheeky), and confined our scaly friend in a tupperware container filled with half an inch of warm water and a few holes provided so he could breathe. We stared down at the box for a few minutes, awaiting the appearance of lizard scat, but the poor little guy was having some kind of performance anxiety, so we went away.

We returned a few minutes later to a lovely tupperware box filled with skanky, befouled lizard water, and a very animated lizard who wanted out immediately. Never have two people been so overjoyed to see reptile crap. It will be the last time, I assure you.

So Leezard is happily munching and pooping away, but he/she still lacks a name. Trogdor, Krang, Larry, and Neil Diamond have promise, but none seems to stick. We're not sure at this point if it's a boy lizard or a girl, which complicates things. We are accepting suggestions, however, if you feel you have some insight on the matter.