Today’s Prognosis on Disappearing Animals

I had a girlfriend once. Once.

And one night while we were sitting around her apartment there came a clatter from the closet. “Probably just the house settling,” I bravely suggested. But alas, there was more going on than that. When we opened the closet door we found a small scary-looking lizard rooting around in her umbrellas. We jumped back, startled, and did the only thing two Los Angeles residents with a lizard in their closet can do…

We sprayed it to death with Windex.

After dousing the small lizard with Windex (and dubbing him “Buddy” for short, in memoriam of Buddy the bird who slammed into the front of my car’s grating one afternoon, promptly died, then had to be pulled out of the grating with a small stick found in the parking lot of Best Buy) we shut the closet door and hoped that after the Windex had fully given the lizard the kind of “euthanasia” we were hoping for, we could kick the creature out the door and our worries would be gone.

Needless to say, an hour later — the lizard was gone. But not in the way we had hoped. There was no sign of the lizard, no holes in the closet wall or floor (i.e. no place for him to escape) and no space under the closet door for him to squeeze under in an attempt to escape us and our Windex. Buddy, for all intents and purposes, had simply disappeared into thin air.

Prognosis not so good.

We must have spent a good hour or two searching through the apartment for where the little lizard might have gone off to, but even months later there was still no sign of the creature. It was, to say the least, one of the most alarming experiences ever. Animals disappearing and all. Not good.

I find that spiders are also quite adept at doing the disappearing thing (which I do not like one bit). Spot them on the ceiling one moment as you’re about to drift off to sleep, then make a conscious effort to watch where they go so they don’t hover above your head and drop into your mouth while you’re sleeping, and they’re gone. POOF! Leave your house one minute, where they’re hovering over the doorway spinning an evil web, and come back five minutes later and the elaborate web and the spider and their meals are completely gone. POOF!

My prognosis on disappearing animals is really not so good.

There’s a reason people put bell-like, jangling items around the necks of their dogs and their cats and their guinea pigs and their small ferrets. There’s a reason cages and hamster wheels and habitrails make sounds. It’s because as humans, we should at all times, know exactly where the animals around us are. What they’re doing. What piece of furniture they’re about to burrow inside of.

Animals should be heard and seen — and if I can’t see or hear them there’s going to be hell to pay because there’s nothing worse than sitting on a couch, pretending to be interested in what’s on TV, when in reality I’m more concerned with where that squirrel went (perhaps inside of my fridge), where that stream of ants happened to go, or in which closet that stray rebellious lizard might have gone off to.

I don’t like disappearing animals one bit.

Show me someone who enjoys seeing an animal one minute than not seeing the same animal a minute later and I’ll show you a person who enjoys going to the doctor and looking away (like they tell you to) when the nurse is about to give you a shot. Show me someone who has no issues with spotting a stray cat with a festering growth on its head in their backyard and then looking away like they saw nothing that concerned them and I’ll show you someone who has no problem with a local transient (who wears a full suit of armor and carries a LOTR Special Edition Legolas Sword) rooting around in their garbage pails. Show me someone who doesn’t flinch and looks away when a huge spider is hovering above them and I’ll show you someone who laughs in the face of a wet finger.

Translation? People you probably don’t want to share a churro with.

So, in conclusion. Prognosis on disappearing animals is bad. I say forget about all this silly legislation currently being talked about in Congress and pass something that Americans could really benefit from. Like a document that requires all wild animals to wear objects that jingle when they walk. Like a proposal to genetically engineer wild animals with one real eye and one eye made out of an electronic beeping thingie. Let’s do something people! Let’s get off our fat butts and use the government for something worthwhile once and for all.

Non-disappearing animals.

It’s the wave of the future.

In other news, be sure to check out today’s Professor Barnhardt’s Journal — in which I particpated in 20 Words.

22 comments on “Today’s Prognosis on Disappearing Animals

  1. Keith - June 27, 2006 at 8:20 am -

    You stay away from me with your Windex, Pauly. I don’t want you to make me disappear with it.

  2. cassie - June 27, 2006 at 8:38 am -

    On the bright side, I bet the lizard was squeaky clean after the dousing of Windex.

  3. Pauly D - June 27, 2006 at 8:55 am -

    Keith – Dude. I don’t spray Windex directly into the eyes of humans. I’m a little more considerate than that.

    Cassie – Sometimes at night when I wonder just where Buddy the Lizard went, I like to think so.

  4. Kevin - June 27, 2006 at 9:01 am -

    And here I thought you were doing your civic responsibility by bringing attention to endangered species everywhere.

    Then again, if you have Windex handy, they could just be endangered, I suppose.

  5. Brooke - June 27, 2006 at 9:56 am -

    I found a lizard in a closet once and promptly slammed the door shut, willing it to just vanish. And it did!

    Two months later I found its desiccated body mixed in among the hand towels.

    Prognosis bad.

  6. monkeyinabox - June 27, 2006 at 10:32 am -

    Pauly, so does your monkey know any magic tricks that freak you out?

  7. Jeff - June 27, 2006 at 12:22 pm -

    We lost a newt in our house once. Months later we found it under a bed – still on all fours with its head up, but hopelessly dead and completely stiff from dehydration.

    It was just like one of those souvenir toys you’d get at the zoo.

  8. Thoughtsgalore - June 27, 2006 at 12:41 pm -

    You must stop going back to the squirells and ferrets. I don’t want to know anyone who has a ferret as a pet. Ugh. Yes a rodentphobe.

    I feel sorry for any bug in my house. They get the total Windex zap until it’s drowning in the fumes. LOL.

  9. dgm - June 27, 2006 at 2:09 pm -

    he would not have disappeared had you not doused him with windex. had you treated him more humanely, he would have let you kick him out the door.

  10. Pauly D - June 27, 2006 at 2:10 pm -

    DGM – Where do you get your intel from?

  11. Rabbit - June 27, 2006 at 3:14 pm -

    A snake disappeared in our garage once. My mother almost moved out of the house.

  12. mattlandia himself - June 27, 2006 at 3:42 pm -

    I college, I thought it would be fun to have pet rats. I got two, Wanda and Lorraine. You can imagine my surprise when my incarcerated femaile rat got pregnant. Then broke OUT of a maximum security (albeit decorative) rat cage. And made a HOME in the walls of my condo.

    That was my summer of dissapearing animals. I was not amused. I eventually caught them and used a homegrown trebuchet to launch them into a park across the street.

  13. sandra - June 27, 2006 at 4:56 pm -

    I had a spider disappear this morning. I think it’s probably laying in wait…

  14. dgm - June 27, 2006 at 9:08 pm -

    i fear i’ve said too much.

  15. Dave - June 28, 2006 at 6:26 am -

    Your girlfriend had a closet full of umbrellas?

  16. better safe than sorry - June 28, 2006 at 6:40 am -

    i actually prefer to use mr. clean to spray spiders, i like the smell better than windex.

  17. Chase - June 28, 2006 at 7:13 am -

    At first I felt sorry for the little guy. I may have even said “awww!” But toward the end, I was cheering him on. I mean, anything weighing less than a few ounces that can incite such a post? Brilliant creature.

    I hope he’s reading this right now. Over your shoulder. Where you can’t quite see him.

  18. Pauly D - June 28, 2006 at 8:20 am -

    Chase – If he followed me to my house all the way from my girlfriend’s apartment after all these years, I would definitely agree that he/she was brilliant and had an extremely acute sense of local bus schedules.

  19. Chase - June 28, 2006 at 9:20 am -

    See?! I’d sleep with one eye open. I’m just saying.

  20. Adri - June 28, 2006 at 6:15 pm -

    That’s awful. Why not just *pick up the lizard* and put it outside? How would you like to be sprayed w/ industrial cleaner?

    Also… hasn’t anybody heard of using BUG SPRAY to kill bugs? Might work a tad better. I have no sympathy for you silly city folks, having grown up in a really old house on lots of land. I figure the bugs outnumber me by… a lot… so I don’t make them angry.

  21. jacquie - June 29, 2006 at 9:00 am -

    I enjoyed the 20 words and I really loved the interview. I was wondering, can I be the host of your Consumer Joe show? I can do snarky and fun!
    (Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask?)

    I also love the marshmallow only idea for lucky charms. My daughter will only eat the marshmallows and then we’re left with then cereal.

  22. Kate - December 20, 2006 at 4:06 pm -

    What kind of weird monster are YOU to torture harmless creatures and make fun of it? It’s psychopathic to be so inhumane, not funny in the least. And it would explain why you should never be allowed to “keep” another girlfriend!

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