Saturday, January 31, 2009

Taming Dragons with Tupperware

Below is a tale of lizards, windows, and Tom being a dork.

I decided I was going to do something productive on an otherwise lazy Saturday.  It had come to my attention earlier in the week that my girlfriend's house is damn cold.  Today, I finally decided to do something about it and went over to her house to seal up some noticeably breezy spots.  

First up were the front windows.  I moved the surrounding furniture back, pulled the blinds up a bit, and found this....

It's the middle of winter, why is this guy (or girl?) not hibernating?  This isn't the first time I have had to evacuate a lizard from the girlfriend's place, but that time the lizard was in the middle of the ceiling and also half the size. (Side note: keep ceiling textures flat otherwise capturing baby lizards on your ceiling becomes very difficult.)

So how to deal with this one...
  1. Shoo it out the window. 
  2. Kill it
  3. Attempt to reason with it
  4. Find a container of some sort and try to catch and release
  5. Leave it there and hope the girlfriend never looks behind the TV
First option, shoo it out the window. The means to open the window are right next to the lizard, the window is screened, and if I try to shoo it, it may very well just run off away from the outdoors and into the tangle of TV cords nearby.  X nay on the ooing shay.

Second option, kill the damn thing.  I tend to avoid violence if at all possible, not to mention I really didn't want to deal with the clean up, especially if I only kinda killed it and it ran away bleeding all over the house.

Option three, try the impossible and hold a conversation with a lizard.  Worth a shot right?

Option four, catch and release.  This would be the preferred method, however I have to find a container large enough to accommodate the lizard (its not huge or anything, but its tail is really long). Also the lizard is right in the corner which makes placement tricky.

Option five, keeps the bugs away right?  So I left it there.

Psyche. (I did give it away in the title.) I went into the kitchen to try and find an appropriate sized container, eventually I discovered a nice rectangular one.  I checked it against a neighboring window sill and it was a perfect fit.  However, I also made another important discovery.  The window had a small metal lip on it so people could open it or something. Whatever its purpose, the lizard's head was directly underneath it so a simple drop was not going to work.

After fetching a green folder (the stiff, thin, flat object that would be slid under the soon to be contained lizard), I stared the lizard down. I said, "Look I know your brain is smaller than my pinky, but it would simply be easier if you mozied out the door.  Why there haven't been more advances in inter-species communication is beyond me."

I grabbed the container and held it over the window sill... 

I hesitated. (It's amazing how much more bravado we men have when the women are watching.)  I contemplated just slamming the container down, but then realized I might injure the lizard and somehow lop off it's tail or kill it. I didn't like that option, and that little guy is going to need his tail once he gets outside.

I slowly lowered the container towards the sill. Slow and steady... Please don't run into the tangle of cords by the TV...  Steady now... Maybe the girlfriend wouldn't mind... almost there... the inner edge dropped onto the metal lip of the window.  Ok, the lizard hasn't moved yet, (maybe reasoning with it worked a little?) I lower the outer edge. I can feel gravity pulling the edge on the window lip. I release...

The last edge of the container falls and the lizard flips out.  It landed on his head! He frantically struggles for a second and then pulls his head back runs to one corner of the container, runs to the next, then stops. 

I notice the lizard's tail poking out through the thin sliver of space between the container and the window sill edge and quickly slide the container a quarter inch in. He shifts to another corner.

Ok, I can breathe a little easier now. I grab the green folder and gently slide it under the container.

I fetch a sturdier magazine to put underneath the folder to ensure that the folder doesn't bend while transporting the lizard outside.

I let him go in some bushes near the house and spent ten minutes feeling awesome while sealing up two small holes underneath the window. 

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