Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Bee's and Iguanas

I wanted to post some thoughts on reptiles and insects because I need a change of pace and before I forget to.


The last time I was stung by a bee, a friend and I took a lunch hour and rode mountain bikes in the Discovery Hills area of San Marcos. We didn't know it at the time, but there atop the hills, we stumbled onto a bee farm. Bees as you know are attracted to anything that moves and one got caught between my helmet and ear and stung me. When I finally got back at work, my ear swelled and it looked disproportionately large compared to the other ear. It wasn’t the pain that hurt but my skewered vanity; especially when my co-workers called me “Radar”. They wanted me to communicate to the cosmos and relay it to IBM's Big Blue. Damn bees!


My friend’s woman is an artist with dyslexia whose has been recognized by the Berkely art community and she raises an Iguana. She shows off “Mikey” the iguana when I arrived. She was very proud of Mikey who I found out later that he is really a she iguana.

It got me to thinking, is an Iguana a pet for me? Would I be proud to own an iguana? I don’t know, besides I don’t know much about Iguanas? Their look is lizardy with rough skin and pointy scales. They also have long fingers and claws to poke and pull upward on your arms and your, legs and in their habitat trees upward towards 50’. Their tales make them seem bigger than other lizards I know of. I understand they have a good sense of hearing and smell with great eyes to see well with. They can also re-grow their tales-amazing. Why I’ve heard they could fall from 40 to 50 feet to the ground without getting hurt. They can dive from trees and into water and swim well too. They would posture in front of other males to show their alpha or impress females by raising their dewlaps. If only life and love was that easy.

My friend’s woman has created a habitat in their spare room with UV lights. I’ll have to ask her about the river and stream part as Iguanas live in tropical rainforest areas, near water sources, such as rivers or streams. They spend most of their time high in the forest canopy, about 40-50 feet above the ground. Another friend who lived in or near their natural habitat tells me at times they lived on her roof then crawl into the house and make themselves comfortable. Her house must have been very tall and very impressive. Either that or they had seasons where it rained cats and iguanas.

As I recall there was a big hubbub whether Mikey the Iguana and Missy the Australian Cattle dog should be nose to nose. While Missy was being playful Mikey had her dewlap extended. Iguanas evidently are territorial and they act aggressively and will bite. Since their bite is full of bacteria a serious infection could happen and I wouldn’t want it to happen to a charming dog like Misty.

Hygiene, artificial habitat, territorial aggression, sharp claws and a bite full of bacteria and all that they require in captivity slay any desire of mine to have a pet iguana. Still it might be a cool look to walk your iguana at Golden Gate Park or take picture with him/her or with your surroundings at home. It might appear soothing listening to indigenous flute music while cradling Mikey and yes your friends would be impressed until they were able to think about the ramifications of a beautiful animal like that in captivity even benign captivity. I do think it's cruel and dangerous.

I don’t know why you stop at animals for keeping in captivity. It sounds like you come from the old school of keeping women as pets. After all, isn’t “my friend’s woman” a little sexist and objectifying to the female gender? Especially when referring to an artist who has been recognized by such an esteemed institution? I’m sure this brilliant lady has a name! Sure the X chromosome might have sharp claws and a bite full of poison, but let’s move into the 21st century here and get politically correct!
I would never call an excentric by her real name. Her mind is dyslexic and her bite is the bite of an Iguana!
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