Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Woman Versus Nature

Two days ago, I sorted a pile of laundry but left it on the floor overnight. Yesterday I gathered it up to wash it, and as I threw the clothes in the machine, a small green lizard jumped out…and into the washer. For those of you who don’t live in Florida, these lizards run about 5 inches long…and run around everywhere. This one is smaller than that, so it’s probably a lizard-teen.

I promptly pulled out the clothes and tried to catch the lizard, but it hid under the agitator. I decided that I didn’t need those clothes washed all that badly, so I gave up for the day.

Today doing the laundry is more urgent. I hoped that somehow the little thing had climbed out, but when I peeked in the machine, I saw its tail sticking out from under the agitator ever so slightly. (When it jumped in the machine yesterday, its tail was a stub, so it must have regenerated it in the meantime.) I tried filling the washer with water just a little, just barely above the point where the agitator’s base fans out, hoping that it would come out from under and perch on the dry agitator as if it were a desert island. No such luck. I kept checking back ever so often. No lizard.

I figured that it either found a way out under the agitator or I was just going to have to proceed with the laundry, although I didn’t want to agitate the lizard around in clothing and suds. I mean, I have to wear these clothes. Finally, in desperation but also hoping that it really was out, I put the washer through a rinse and spin cycle. I felt like a lizard murderer, but truly, I don’t have time for the laundromat right now!

I know what you’re thinking: only a woman or a liberal would worry about this. So?

Finally I got up the guts to look in the washer, and there it was, its limp little body at the bottom of the machine. I couldn’t deal with its corpse just then, so I went back to the school work. After a while, I decided that this was silly, that I needed to get the clothes washed. So I wadded up a paper towel, determined to get rid of the evidence of my crime.

As I brushed it with the paper towel, it twitched.

I ran that little guy through five or six minutes of agitation and a ten-minute centrifuge, and it twitched.

I brushed it with the paper towel again and it ran under the agitator.


It finally occurred to me that if I bundled the clothes back in the washer, it might climb into them again, and then I could scoop lizard and clothes out later. This is, after all, how the whole adventure started.

The dry clothes are now in the washer. Wish me luck!


Alanna said...

Dear Bitty:

Only You--but that's what makes you so delightful!

Bitty said...

I wish I could report success and clean clothes, but last time I looked, “Liz” as I’ve now named her (why NOT a her?), was at the bottom of the tub, staring at the clothes but not hopping on.

So I’m wearing short pants and a t-shirt today!

This standoff could go on a while, so I’m really glad I don’t have to leave the house tomorrow.

jo(e) said...

So now you have a pet lizard?

Bitty said...

I finally got Liz out, and it was indeed by getting her to burrow into the dry clothes.

Is she my pet, jo(e)? For as long as the cat doesn't find her or she doesn't dry up from lack of water...of which she had plenty when she was in the washer...