This vital herpetological up to date appeared within the Miami Herald as we speak.
Dave Barry: Fellow Floridians, beware of bathroom lizards and rising iguana aggression
BY DAVE BARRY UPDATED JULY 15, 2022 2:47 PM
We have to discuss concerning the lizards. I believe they’re as much as one thing.
Right here in South Florida we’re accustomed to lizards, in fact; they’re all over the place. Once I moved right here a long time in the past, the lizards have been one of many issues I needed to modify to, together with the hurricanes, the 250 p.c humidity, and the truth that Miami drivers really pace up for cease indicators.
However the lizards didn’t trouble me, as a result of regardless that there have been a number of them, they have been small and cute and non-threatening. They appeared to spend most of their time simply standing round doing nothing, like members of a miniature highway-repair crew.
Probably the most aggressive lizard habits I’d see was the occasional male lizard attempting to draw a intercourse accomplice by displaying the pores and skin flap underneath his chin, which known as a “dewlap.” Apparently it’s a strongly held perception amongst male lizards that the chicks actually go for a man with an enormous dewlap. It’s type of like weight-lifter human males who imagine human females are drawn to giant biceps and consequently put on tank tops all over the place, together with funerals.
However I used to be not threatened — nor, for the file, attracted — by the dewlap shows. I left the lizards alone, and the lizards left me alone. If I encountered lizards, say, on a sidewalk, they at all times respectfully skittered out of the way in which, in recognition of the truth that I used to be, in comparison with them, Godzilla.
However these days the lizards are totally different.
I don’t know what’s inflicting it. Perhaps it’s world local weather change. Perhaps there was a leak from some type of top-secret Chinese language lizard laboratory. Regardless of the trigger, there appear to be much more lizards round than ordinary. However what’s actually disturbing is that many of those look like a brand new type of lizard: They’re larger, and so they’re uglier. They’re not the lovable li’l Geico Gecko varieties. They’re extra alongside the strains of junior-varsity velociraptors.
And so they have an angle. An increasing number of, after I encounter sidewalk lizards, they don’t skitter away. At finest they casually saunter off in an insolent method. I think they might even be vaping.
Generally these lizards don’t transfer in any respect: They simply stand there defiantly, giving me that beady lizard eyeball, clearly conveying, by their physique language, the message: “Why ought to I concern YOU? You could have a small dewlap!”
Which, a lot because it pains me to confess it, is true.
Maybe you suppose I’m overreacting. Maybe you’re pondering, “OK, possibly the lizards are getting larger and extra aggressive. However why ought to I care? I spend most of my time indoors anyway, so this concern doesn’t actually have an effect on ME.” Oh actually? Let me ask you a query: Whilst you’re indoors, do you ever have event to make use of a rest room? I ask due to an alarming report I noticed July 8 on NBC6 TV information. The report begins with a digicam shot wanting down into a rest room bowl, which incorporates a big iguana. As we’re seeing this, information anchors Jawan Strader and Jackie Nespral have the next alternate:
STRADER: Think about strolling into your toilet at residence and seeing this! An iguana in the bathroom!
NESPRAL: OK, I don’t wish to think about that.
This alternate introduces a report regarding retirees Janet and Bruce Bleier, who, since transferring to Hollywood from Lengthy Island, have encountered not one, however TWO commode iguanas
The primary time was in October, when Bruce went to make use of the lavatory late one evening.
“I yelled to my spouse, ‘There’s an alligator in the bathroom!’ ” he remembers.
Janet found the second iguana. She provides this recommendation to NBC6 viewers: “Look earlier than you sit.”
In each instances, the Bleiers referred to as Harold Rondan, proprietor of an organization referred to as Iguana Life, who got here and took the iguana away. (Iguana elimination is a serious trade in South Florida.)
Maybe at this level you’re pondering, “OK, so this one couple had two iguanas present up of their rest room. It’s in all probability only a fluke. It’s not prefer it’s an epidemic.”
Oh actually? Nicely maybe you’d have an interest to know that on July 10, simply two days after the NBC6 report concerning the Bleiers, one other native station, WSVN 7News, carried a report about one other Hollywood resident, Michelle Reynolds, who got here downstairs one night and appeared into her rest room. Guess what she discovered?
That’s proper: Rudy Giuliani.
No, that may be fairly nice, however that’s not what occurred. She discovered an iguana. A LARGE iguana.
“He took up many of the rest room bowl,” she tells 7News. There’s video of the iguana being eliminated, once more by Harold Rondan of Iguana Life, who identifies it as a Mexican spiny-tailed iguana. Even by iguana requirements, that is an unsightly animal, and it doesn’t look blissful. You’ll be able to inform by its facial features that its objective in life is to develop a lot larger in order that at some point it might probably come again and eat Harold Rondan of Iguana Life.
And that’s not the top of our story. On July 11, at some point later, the Bleiers have been as soon as once more on the native TV information. It seems that they had one more rest room iguana. This was their THIRD.
So please don’t attempt to inform me this isn’t an epidemic.
I spoke by cellphone with Janet Bleier, who stated she and her husband are attempting, with the assistance of Hollywood authorities, to determine how the iguanas are getting in, however to this point they’ve had no luck.
I requested her in the event that they ever encountered rest room iguanas once they lived in Lengthy Island.
“Nope, nope, nope,” she stated, including, “nope.”
I requested her if that they had thought-about transferring again to Lengthy Island, and he or she stated that they had not, however she added this: “We by no means, ever, stroll into one among our loos any extra with out checking. Even when we’re not going to make use of the bathroom, we glance.”
In case you suppose this epidemic is confined to Hollywood, I urge you to Google “rest room lizards.” You’ll uncover that this has been occurring for some time now, and never simply in Florida; it’s occurring in hotter climates everywhere in the world.
So I repeat: The lizards are as much as one thing. However what? Are they planning some type of coordinated assault? Are we going to seek out ourselves in a real-life model of the traditional Alfred Hitchcock thriller film “The Birds,” during which instantly, out of nowhere, a peaceable California village is terrorized by an enormous, mysterious flock of violent rest room iguanas?
I don’t have the solutions. As a journalist, all I can do is increase questions, in hopes of getting web clicks and creating widespread panic. It’s as much as the authorities to take no matter steps are essential to finish this disaster, even when that finally means relocating your entire inhabitants of South Florida to Lengthy Island.
However for now all of us have to do our half. This implies preserving our rest room lids down, in fact, however it additionally means standing as much as the lizards and letting them know we’re not afraid of them, regardless that we really are. The following time you encounter a lizard, both on the sidewalk or, God forbid, in your toilet, look it straight in whichever eyeball is closest to you and inform it, in a agency, clear voice: “We all know what you’re as much as.“ If it’s a Mexican spiny-tailed iguana, it is best to say this in Spanish.
Additionally, you probably have a dewlap, it is best to show it. They respect that.