The other day I got a frantic knock on the door. It was too early for pizza, so I ignored it. The insistent knocking continued. I didn’t know Sheldon from the “Big Bang Theory,” so I ignored it some more. There was more knocking, knocking, and knocking. “What,” was my welcome. “We need a man,” the next-door neighbor exclaimed. “None here,” I answered. “Try two doors down. Ask for Arnold.”
She didn’t know Arnold and I was it. “What’s the problem?” I asked in a manly manufactured voice spoken through my cupped hand instead of a toilet paper roll that I relied on as a kid. “There’s a lizard in the house. You have to get it.” She was pasty white and frantic. “Why is he there?” I inquired. “How would I know?” she answered. “Did you invite him over?” The color returned to her face as I became more annoying than the reptile. “What’s wrong with you? No, it wasn’t by invitation.” I was beginning to enjoy this interruption. “So it was an open house,” I smiled back. She didn’t return the bonhomie.
It was get serious time. I always dreamed as a kid that I’d grow up and slay dragons. You can imagine my dismay at the downsizing. As a general rule I don’t like slimy, crawly things until they’ve been made to be not slimy and crawly by others. I like lizard, snake and shark skin cowboy boots for insistence. It gives me another very needed two inches in height. Makes me feel manly. I also think my closet full of boots is a deterrent in keeping their living relatives away. This was probably why the lizard was visiting next door where footwear was synthetic and not genuine like my place.
Of course, there may be another reason why this lizard came to visit the beach. According to lounge lizards at the local watering hole, the scuttlebutt amongst the reptile community is that development is on its way in the canyon or should a building moratorium pass, it will be short lived. The critters are none to happy about it. They don’t trust coldblooded humans to protect their habitat. So, on the QT they have organized a clandestine operation to infiltrate developed areas first. Two reptilian groups, Yikes and Yeeks have joined together to invade houses to make known their disapproval of urban expansion.
It remains to be seen how many residents come around to the reptiles dislocation protest. Exterminator experts have noticed a dramatic increase in resident calls for assistance. “Business has never been so good. I hope the controversy goes on until I can get the kids through college,” explained one happy pest man. And the Restoration Hardware representative adds that demand for higher tables is off the charts in the village of Laguna Beach. “Yikes, my Restoration Hardware stock options have vested in half the time and I can now go ahead and build my 60,000 square foot Laguna Canyon retreat.”
An open house for the public is planned after construction and is being looked forward to by some residents who need a night away from the critters at home.
Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.