Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Think the Gecko is a Democrat

Technically, the gecko belongs to my son, but we moved it out of his bedroom because the crickets were keeping him awake at night. The chirping. So we put the gecko in the Judge Judy Room.

The instant Spot’s tank moved, whatever small amount of responsibility my son felt for his pet’s well being vanished.

I drive five miles each way to procure Spot crickets. I usually make two trips a week. I used to delude myself into thinking this was just a small part I played in the larger gecko care arena. That he was a “family pet.” But, really, I am his only lifeline. I am my gecko’s keeper. And as such, I pride myself on knowing all the little nuances of his life.

The pet store guy always thinks he’s doing me a favor by filling the bag with 50 crickets. “I only want ten,” I say.

“I’ll only charge you for ten,” he assures me. He winks.

“Please only give me ten. The rest will die and Spot only eats live crickets.”

I know that Petco has nothing to do with the current economic downturn, but you’d think after a year like we’ve been having, store clerks would have stopped, well, giving away the store.

He rings them up with my Petco discount and hands me the receipt. (In case I want to return them?)

I bring them home and dump them into his cage. I love to watch him chomp on the crickets. He waits for one to stroll by and he just snatches it up. He only takes what he needs. It’s a good lesson on a lot of different levels.

Not long ago, I could always expect to find Spot inside his log or under his rock. But now he’s out more during the day. A veritable gecko-about-town. He doesn’t seem so sullen and alienated. Maybe he’s just finished with adolescence, but the difference occurred right around Obama’s inauguration.

Spot is happier here in the Judge Judy room. It’s true, he doesn’t seem to like Her Honor too much. (Maybe she intimidates him.) But we’ve watched most of Obama’s speeches together, and I think Spot, like most of the world, finds Mrs. O an absolute delight.

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