Note: The Gecko Chronicles are not posted sequentially, but you can find them all batched in a tidy little group at the left.
A LITTLE BACKSTORY
One of my friends is a real stickler about the use of the word “ironic.” It drives her a little nuts when people say something is “ironic” when it’s really just a wacky coincidence or an incongruous turn of events. I’m so gun-shy about using the term incorrectly, I barely ever use it at all.
I think it’s safe to say that there’s no actual irony in the fact that I own a gecko. It may be unexpected in some ways, but largely it’s a big ho hum.
What is truly remarkable though is that to feed the gecko, it is I who must procure live crickets.
Of course, I don’t go out into the wild and hunt them. As I’ve said, I buy them at Petco (at a discount, no less). But anyone who knows me from way back when (and that would be from childhood up until three years ago) knows that I simply cannot be in the same room, apartment, house, porch, car or swimming pool as bugs. Especially not ugly, noisy, unpredictable bugs, which, as far as I’m concerned, encompasses all bugs except for maybe those little roly polys bugs, and that’s only when they’re all rolled up. My entire youth was spent running hither and yon, screaming at lungtop over bees, wasps, spiders, cockroaches, waterbugs, caterpillars and, yes, crickets.
I am not trying to toot my own horn when I say that the level of good sportsmanship I’ve exhibited over these past few years is nothing short of astounding. In addition to training myself to carry a clear plastic bag of restless, agitated crickets from pet store to car, to single-mindedly driving while they rollick around on the seat beside me, and to untying that bag and shaking the contents out into the gecko tank, I’ve also trained myself to cope with the inevitable escapee that ends up on the second-floor landing or beside my toilet.
My eldest son is old enough now that he can do the job that he’s been put on this earth to do: kill errant crickets to save his mother’s sanity. So most of the time, I’m at peace.
Nevertheless, I would not call it a “wacky coincidence” that I sleep no more than 20 feet away from a big glass box filled with a dozen or more jumpy, feckless insects – insects that I have paid good money for and deposited there myself.
Is it ironic? I don’t know. But one day about a year ago I realized that what it is, is fucking nuts.