Many of us have been attacked at one time or another by a pest or an insect. It could be something as inane as a housefly or a mosquito, sometimes it’s something a little more life threatening like a hovering bee or wasp. There are times when a scuttling cockroach could cause screaming in the office. Once back in school, we were all seated on a long table when a flying cockroach tried to make a landing at the table but changed its mind at the last minute. However that didn’t stop the boys from screaming and jumping away from the table while the 3 of us girls just sat there looking puzzled and wondering what the fuss was about.
Another time we were all sharing a hotel room in some remote part of town. Scuttling in one corner was a cockroach. No one wanted to catch it. the only boy of the group first wanted to smack it dead with a pair of slippers but no one wanted their Havianas defiled. I got him a plastic bag to grab it but he said he would still be able to feel it wriggling in his hands, even if I were to add layers of toilet paper to the plastic bag. In the end, I grabbed it myself with the plastic bag and threw it out. It was either that or risk it crawling into my ears when I was asleep.
I may seem really gungho when it comes to cockroaches but that’s only because in my opinion, they are easy to kill and less gross. One smack of the broom and they are crunchy bits. Lizards, on the other hand, are my number one mortal enemy. I can’t say for sure what is the one thing about them that gets my goat; the beady eyes that stare at you as you run screaming around the room, the clamminess when they fall in your hand… oh yes. A lizard fell in my hand once. It actually fell into a plastic bag that was holding my breakfast, which I simply overturned into my hand one fine morning. Out came one bun and one lizard. It was cold and so very lizardy. Cue screaming and a lot of hand flapping. It is not an experience I’d like to repeat. Ever.
I think my earliest memory of a lizard attack was when I was 11. We were walking around school in almost darkness as we had gone there pre-dawn to prepare for an event. While walking towards our classroom, a lizard just decided to kamikaze in front of us, almost landing on our faces. We screamed like there was no tomorrow and ran for our lives. I think the lizard was so scared it ran in the other direction.
Just a month ago, I was innocently sitting at my work table talking to my team and my boss when I looked down and there staring at me with its beady eyes was a baby lizard. It was perched precariously on the edge of a mount board staring at me. I screamed. my team mate screamed. I screamed at my boss to catch it. That MAN took one step back and said he was not grabbing any lizard. My team mate was still screaming. I tried to get out but she was blocking the way. I was stuck in my cubicle with a baby lizard staring beadily at me. It was an awful experience. Luckily, another colleague was standing nearby and I screamed for him, “UNCLE CHUA! UNCLE CHUA! SAVE ME FROM THIS LIZARD!!!!” and that brave brave man just grabbed it with tissue and tossed it out.
A colleague who sat a few metres away, heard the screaming, and thought out loud, ah must be a lizard, and went back to work.
Last night, I was sitting on the toilet thinking, when a lizard decided to scuttle across the floor. I let out a weak scream and contemplated opening the door so I wouldn’t be trapped with it, but of course I was on the loo so it really wasn’t an option. That and my bedroom was right next to the toilet so if the lizard ran out, there’s a high chance it might run in the undesired location. for a good minute I deliberated seriously on what to do.
My dad was sitting outside watching some kungfu movie so I asked hopefully if he caught lizards. Distracted by the show, he didn’t respond immediately so I went to hide in my room from the bathroom lizard. However, I later heard banging from the bathroom and I realised it was my dad trying to scare the lizard or something. Thinking that I should be the good daughter and cheer my dad on (after all I did ask him to catch the lizard), I opened a tiny crack in my door and peeped out.
My dad heard the door open and turned towards me. In one hand, he was brandishing a toilet brush, which I assumed was the Instrument of Loud Scaring Noises. His eyes however were concentrated on the floor. As he looked in, I thought he was trailing the movement of the lizard which was running into my room. So I did the only thing I could do, I screamed and did a funny dance. It was a dance of DO NOT MOVE OR YOU WILL STEP ON THE LIZARD mixed with a little BUT IF YOU DON’T MOVE, IT WILL RUN OVER YOUR FEET! so i hopped in a tip-toey manner before jumping out of my room in one grand leap.
My dad ran into my bedroom still waving the toilet brush in a menacing manner. He looked around and asked, “where! where’s the lizard!” We couldn’t find it coz my floor was parquet and it was really hard to see a dirt coloured creature against brown floor. I was petrified and refused to return to my room. My mom came out of her room to see what the commotion was about coz I was still screaming. At her behest, I got the insect repellent and passed it to my dad, who sprayed it around my room in a bid to chase the lizard out. No lizard came out. My dad tried to convince me that the lizard was really gone. At that moment, it felt like my dad was trying to reassure his little girl the boogeyman was really gone.
What really made it funny was I belatedly realised that the lizard might not have entered my room. When I opened my bedroom door and my dad turned towards me, his eyes still on the floor looking out for the lizard, I thought he looked into my room because the lizard did come in and I screamed. Because I screamed, my dad thought I saw the lizard and he was convinced the lizard did enter. So it was a whole cause and effect situation. For the life of me, I don’t know where the lizard is right now. But I applaud my dad for his heroic attempt to save me from my number one enemy.