Thursday, September 23, 2010

Larries and other potentially deadly driving hazards


Last weekend I threw out some old musty dog beds that had been sitting on the back porch. Because I am lazy, they had sat out through a couple of rainy days and were even grosser than normal, so I just threw them in the back of my car and took them to the nearest dumpster rather than waiting on trash day. But then, when I threw them in the hatchback, I saw movement. Oh God. There were larries in them thar hills.
Larries, if you don't know, are a totallynontechnicalmadeupbyme name for the common Mediterranean House Gecko i.e.Hemidactylus Turcicus. I affectionately named one Larry years ago when the cute little lizard guy lived on my window sill in Hyde Park. This was back when I was unaware that Larry had 2047 cousins also living in and around every single one of my windows and crawl spaces and that if it ever got rainy, they'd all congregate on the glass panes like some sort of lilliputian hitchcockian horror movie. They're tiny and cute and the size of my pinkie, but when there are that many of them, I just don't doubt their ability to crawl into my ears and eat my brains. Larries, however, are a way of life in Austin. You just get used to them and hope to god you don't accidentally slam one in the sliding glass door because then your door smells funny for a week.

I mean, it's certainly better to have a colony of Larries than it is to have more than one Texas Spiny Lizard living in the tree in your front yard, because, as you might note from this picture below, the Texas Spiny Lizards are QUITE LARGE. And they have claws. And when they dart through the leaves and leap on to the tree less than 2 feet from you, it can cause you to believe that your front yard is being haunted by an invisible, pissed off cat. Or maybe that's only when you're drunk. Or me. BUT ANYWAY, the Texas Spiny = WORSE THAN A LARRY....only, not when one is in your car. And since last Sunday, I KNOW THERE IS A LARRY IN MY CAR. I've seen it darting to hide when I get the stroller out. I've shaken out the towels I have laid down in the back. I inspect Hopper's car seat before I put him in there, every time. I've even removed the floor mats and vacuumed three times. It's still there. I could sense it. And all I can do is pray that maybe, this time, it really IS just one Larry back there. Because if there is a colony of Larries in my car, I'm going to have to sell it and get a new one.

And then, this morning on my way to work, it happened:
About a block from my office, I was stopped at a stopsign and was about to put my foot on the gas when: slither slither, RIGHT OVER MY FOOT. I slammed on my brakes, exited the car and ran around in circles kicking my foot and swatting my leg for probaby five straight minutes while screaming. And that's when the nice policeman rolled up and asked me if there was something he could do to help.

"OMG, OMG, THERE IS A LARRY IN MY CAR!!!!" by the way, does not make them think you are any less high. Thank god I am visibly pregnant or I think he might have made me take a breathalyzer. As it was, he just got out and looked around the floor boards, and said, "uh. All clear. And your inspection is expired. You should take care of that." You have a nice day too, officer.

And that, my friends, is why my car is sitting in our parking deck with every single door and window and hatchback open. I'm going to get the maintenance guy to go in there with a leafblower at lunch.
#*$#ing Larries. Shudder.

4 comments:

Allison said...

OMG I have seen those little guys all over my yard lately! It's an infestation! I still think they are cute, but maybe because I've only seen a few. So far.

My yard is really infested with toads, though. We caught (and let go) five the other night.

Stinkydog said...

They are everywhere, Allison. EVERYWHERE. Nothing can save us.

Anonymous said...

and this is why I cannot live in Austin...LOL I hope the maintenance guys gets him! CES

Robyn said...

Thanks sister, now I will have nightmares. Larry nightmares.