The large and strange word dangling above simply means “the fear of lizards.” As someone who believes language should adjust itself to the culture that uses it, I would personally prefer to see this word replaced by the much easier “lizardophobia.” It’s embarrassing enough to be afraid of lizards; not being able to pronounce the condition is like adding another layer of cruelty to those who cower in horror at the sight of a salamander or a chameleon.
Lizards, like everything else in the world, scare me. So it was not a pleasant moment when I returned to my cheap hotel room in Bangkok to find a small lizard scurrying across the floor. I jumped while the lizard slipped under a pile of clothes and out of sight. My initial thought was to go straight to management and demand that the lizard be removed. But then I started to instruct myself to toughen up. “You’re not in Manhattan,” I said to myself. “You’re in Bangkok. There are lizards. Don’t be such a wussy Westerner.”
My will was strong and I didn’t go to management, but seeing that there was a lizard loose in the room, I left. The presence of the lizard kept me away, and with nothing else to do I sat at a coffee shop and read. After my second or third cappuccino, I couldn’t let my lizard paranoia get the best of me anymore. Returning to the room, I threw the pile of the clothes into the air. No lizard. There was, I noticed, a long tail coming from under the mini-fridge. I was paralyzed with terror.
“Just leave it alone,” I thought. “Maybe it will go away.” For the rest of the night, I kept an eye on the tail. It wasn’t moving, but that didn’t mean that the lizard wasn’t a threat. If only I could communicate with it, I pondered, then the lizard and I could work something out. I wished that there was someone who could be a middle person – a lizard negotiator if you will – and help me understand just what the lizard wanted.
“What are the lizard’s intentions?” I’d ask.
“The lizard intends to crawl on your face,” the negotiator would likely answer.
“Will it bite me?”
“No. The lizard doesn’t get pleasure from causing pain…just unease.”
I would ask the lizard negotiator more.
“Will the lizard crawl on me in my sleep?”
“Of course it will.”
“Please inform the lizard that if I wake, I’ll probably panic and try to kill it.”
“The lizard understands the risks.”
Even after going out for a few beers, I couldn’t sleep in the room. Not with that tail there. Finally I decided I had to move the refrigerator and deal with the lizard. I put socks on my hands and pushed the mini-fridge, exposing more of the tail bit by bit. Then, with one last shove, I moved the mini-fridge quite a ways, only to discover that there was no lizard. There was only a tail. There it was, right there. All my fear, represented by a light green tail, sitting motionless on the floor, connected to nothing.
119 thoughts on “The Lizard Negotiator”
“The lizard understands the risks.” Brilliant.
As a lover of language, I’m in love with the word scoliodentosaurophobia. 🙂
Funny story — definitely not in Manhattan!
How could you be afraid of that guy? He is awesome!
I recently wrote about a snake in my basement. I think I can handle a lizard now 🙂
I liked your post; I’ve been in foreign countries before where people would call you a puss for being scared of whatever is skittering around the room!
I think I started developing Scoliodentosaurophobia after seeing that photo…
We have a leopard gecko at our house (my 9 yr old’s pet, evade) and I admit he freaks me out. When he dropped his tail, it really freaked me out. We co-exist, but warily on both sides of the tank.
Lizards are harmless. Some of them make great pets such as Bearded Dragons (My wife has a giant one). They are gentle. If they don’t run away from you then you should be worried.
Damn iPad; “evade” should be “egads.” oh how I hate autocorrect.
I am definitely not a lizardophobe, but the lizardless tail would be the thing to send me screaming from the room!
Your lizard negotiation was hilarious! I love how matter-of-fact the negotiator in your mind was – of course it will crawl on your face.
Ewwwwwwwwwww! I think that might scare me even more…to know that there was a tail-less lizard running around! I definitely would have called management. You’re a brave soul!
I love this post! You really made my day (note that I’m as sick as a dog right now.)
My mother also has an intense fear of reptiles, and I always thought she was the only one- that is until now. I do have to admit that I’m a reptile-lover, but I do have empathy for you. ( having seen the fear of it first-hand and all.)
Any-who, I hope you enjoy a lizard-free day!
Good story! I’ve heard that some lizards can lose their tail if a predator grabs it, and they can grow a new one. When I was a child I wished that I was afraid of normal things like bugs, spiders and snakes. Instead I had a morbid fear of people and no fear of the creepy crawlies.
People fear is hard to deal with. I finally got rid of the fear and can be around people without any anxiety now.
PS: My son spent a month traveling around India and he said there were lots of little green lizards in the motel rooms he stayed in. I suspect they are there because there are bugs for them to eat. In that case, I would welcome them. I much prefer lizards to bugs, but thats just my view on things!
i feel like this could be turned into some elaborate, existential type short story! loved the ending. congrats on FP!
oops it shows the common phobia in Pakistani politics , rulers and politicians are badly affected by this phobia.
Im deathly afriad of snakes, however I like lizards. But aren’t snakes kinda like lizards without the feet? Great post, and Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.
I would have spent the rest of the night looking for the tail-less lizard. Great post!
Haha, great story. A cat could be a great solution to any lizard/pest issues.
Haaaaaaa! Funny. (And well-written, too.)
Your lizard negotiator was right on; the little lizard apparently knew the best way to cause maximum unease without any risk to itself. Brilliantly devious.
This is hilarious. I love the imaginary conversation with the Lizard Negotiator. It’s funny how we let stupid fears get the best of us sometimes. Great post!
“It’s embarrassing enough to be afraid of lizards; not being able to pronounce the condition is like adding another layer of cruelty to those who cower in horror at the sight of a salamander or a chameleon”
I love the little conversation with the lizard negotiator. I have a lot of conversations in my head that never actually happen in real life. Usually they are with real people, not negotiators of this sort — but still, I can relate.
I’m glad you weren’t attacked by the lizard. 😉
-So Funny! I am totally with you. I would not want to have a lizard loose in my room. What happened to the rest of the lizard?
Isn’t that true with any of our fears? Great post and congrats on being freshly pressed.
I don’t think I have seen a more epic picture of a lizard then this. I think it’s safe to assume you haven’t watched much “Planet Earth” then? There’s a great lizard scene where thousands of them crawl along the rocks towards a massive swarm of bugs and then leap through the air to catch them in their mouths. It’s pretty cool. The rocks almost look like they have a greenish/blue skin that slowly oozes along and then randomly pops up into the air. 🙂
I love this. I behave the same way when I see I mouse. Funny thing is that I totally realize the mouse is equally afraid of me, but that doesn’t mean I am okay with sharing my space with him.
Extremely well written! I’m telling you- I was in that room with you- petrified! And for your credit- i would have never ever had the courage to move that fridge…
Note to self: Pack Lizard repellent when traveling to Bangkok.
Thanks for the fun read this morning.
Wow! I have a phobia of needles… not just getting shots, but the sight of them makes me shiver. I love how you were able to turn the facing of your fear into something bigger and cause it to have symbolic meaning. Awesome post 🙂
The lizard was scared of you too, it shed it’s tail! This is the human equivelant of scaring the $h(eye)T out of someone.
Ha! This was a great story. Allegorical as well. Congrats on being freshly pressed : )
Hahaha great story! Sometimes our fears are more in our head than they are reality. I am surprised by the fear of lizards, most people are scared of snakes or spiders.
ROFL! I used to raise lizards and snakes when I was a kid growing up in New Mexico. I had a couple of friends who refused to come on to the front porch because of them. I respected their apprehension and would never try to goad them into handling one.
The reptiles were a great deterent on one occassion when a jerk wouldn’t take no for the answer to his repeated date requests. I was cleaning Igor’s cage (he was a Collared Lizard). Igor was sitting on my shoulder while I was cleaning. I stood up as soon as I heard the jerk come up the walkway. Igor moved the the nape of my neck as I stood up. While the jerk was once again…and rather rudely…trying to convince me to go out with him, Igor decided to make an appearance by climbing up the back of my head an perching on top. The jerk turned pale and started stammering. I realized at that moment that he had scoliodentosaurophobia. Fighting laughter, I kept a straight face and told him that Igor was trained to attack. The idiot turned and ran away. He never even so much as looked at me in the school hallways after that.
Thanks for posting this entertaining story. Would you mind if I reposted it to my FaceBook page? I have several friends who would also enjoy reading it.
Jeez, please do repost it. That’s very flattering.
You should bring Igor with you on any social interaction you’re a bit apprehensive about. I would think that having a lizard crawl onto your head would be an excellent way to bow out of an awkward situation gracefully.
Ah, the joys of finding lizards in your house. Florida was horrible for that. Unfortunately we had a cat with a habit of dropping them after she’d played with this. There are worse lizard pieces to find.
Much sympathy for you, I hate the thought of anything under the title ‘creepy-crawly’ on my skin.
You should have eaten it, Scoliodentosausage.
That is seriously a great tale! (Get it TALE, like a lizard’s ta…ya, you get it. Congrats on being freshly pressed. Does that mean the lizard is elsewhere without his tail?
I cannot say enough how much I actually share that feeling. Something green with cold blood is just plain creepy…
I feel exactly the same way about spiders. Arachnaphobia is just a fancy word for smashing any spider with my shoe.
Hah! Loved your story and your humor.
I hope that you don’t have a return of the Lizard, with or without his tail. Personally I’m more afraid of snakes. But I don’t think I would want a wild Lizard wither.
The conversation with the negotiatior is genius. ‘The lizard intends to crawl on your face.’ HHHHAAAAA!!! Love it! Reminds me of my fear of dentists. My friend asked me what I thought they were going to do….’KILL ME!’ I screamed into the phone with all the seriousness I could gather. I feel your pain.
Haha..very entertaining story! I am not scared of lizards, however, I do wish that a spider negotiator existed.
Eww! So did the tail fall off? That’s sickening, but I wonder where the rest of the lizard went…
What a funny piece! The lizard negotiator was worst-case-scenario-honest, wasn’t he? “Of course he’ll crawl on you in your sleep.” The picture is perfect for someone with lizardophobia. I imagine they all look like that to you. I’d be scared, too!
Eewwwww, I have to agree with you. I can’t believe you were frightened so long and it was just a tail…damn! You wouldn’t like it here in AZ, we have those critters running all over the place, it took SOME getting used to…yet I’m still not…I still get startled every time I see a big one…they just look so prehistoric, I feel like I’m living in the Flintstones times in Bedrock…every summer we have one come down off the mountain to live under, wait for it, our little refrigerator! They like the humidity the compressor produces. Go figure. Good post & good luck with your phobia!
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Loved your post. It’s a very cute story. I am scared of all lizards except for bearded dragons, which I had the pleasure of owning one as a pet. It may seem weird, but for some reason bearded dragons are cute rather than scary. Anyway, congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
“The Lizard intends to crawl on your face…” Funny! I wonder where the Lizard was, and why he left his tail behind?!
very nice…loved it… 🙂
Are you sure about “Scoliodentosaurophobia”? “Saurophobia” sounds more reasonable to me.
(Mixing languages, as with “lizardophobia”, is rarely a good idea: Go with one or the other, e.g. “fear of lizards”.)
Wow! Awesome capture lol
It has to be the cold blood. And the scales…
Sorry that you are scared of them or him for that matter, but it was a very entertaining story. I used to own a pet store a long time ago & I sold lizards. He was just looking for something to eat!
This is a hilarious post! As the world’s biggest arachnophobe, I have so much sympathy for you.
Congrats on FP, too! 😀
This is the greatest.
I live on lovely Amelia Island, in Florida. Lizards are a daily part of life, especially in Summer. They often come inside the home. My only fear when they come inside is that the cats will capture and kill them. As a result, weekends often entail me chasing a lizard or two, in order to set it free from my felines.
Haha. Funny story. That picture is hilarious too.
I was born in Sri Lanka. It was fairly common to see gecko’s crawling along the roof. I hated it when they suddenly dropped. For me, it is not so much a phobia but a level of distaste.
I’m sure that by now, you’ve considered the real possibility that having defensively snapped off its tail, the rest of the lizard is still ensconced in your room. I take no pleasure in pointing this out, but there we are. Perhaps tailless lizards are somehow less horrifying? I knew some musophobes who find the tail to be the most repulsive and aversive part of the rat.
Dang, you know what’s funny – it honestly never occurred to me that the tail-less lizard could still be around. Why didn’t it? That’s perfectly logical! I just saw the tail and thought “thank God it’s gone!” I’m a moron!
nah, lizards are kinda cool!!!
Taking the ovveierw, this post is first class
What a great story! I thought for sure the “tail” was going to be the refrigerator cord. I’m not afraid of lizards, but I think if I ran into one like the picture above, I’d wet myself… yipey!! Oh, congrats on the “Freshly Pressed” (guess I’m the first to comment).
I was afraid of lizards, do not know since when I did not feel like it when they see it, it always caused me to feel unsafe or unhappy .
Amazing specie you have there. I have a sail fin dragon living in my home and they are really fascinating and amazing animals.
So, you conquered your fear of the lizard (I wondering whether it is “real” lizard, or an ordinary house lizard). You know, sometimes when it is on the picture, the lizard could be cute, though. Check this out: http://batikmania.blogspot.com/2006/10/yang-datang-dan-yang-pergi.html Well… it’s a chameleon anyway 😉
There’s a lot in that brief but fantastic little story. I dig it.
I suppose now the real question would be… What happened to the rest of the lizard? haha
Thanks for the read!
I was afraid of lizards, do not know since when I did not feel like it when they see it, it always caused me to feel unsafe or unhappy
Excellent story. You had me laughing. I just had to read this post. I couldn’t resist the lizard photo. It is so cute. I’m glad I stopped to read…
You do know that lizards in Bankok are beneficial to have in your room because they eat bugs? The kinds that will bite YOU. Well, perhaps a lizard tail won’t eat a bug, but a full lizard will.
However, I quite like the lizard negotiator idea. Very weird, very quirky, very amusing.
That was simply hilarious! I loved the narration of the lizardless tail 🙂
Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.
Reminds me of how I feel about spiders. They’re easier to get rid of though. Typically a long object to squish them with or a vacume to suck them up with works fine. Cats also help. (Oh kitty, do you see the bug? Go kill the bug. Have fun.)
So funny – I was just thinking of the tails coming off the jing-joks when I was scrolling through your post before I even got to the end. If you try and catch them, you’ll always be too slow and just catch their tails, which will easily separate from their bodies. We used to do that all the time as kids visiting Krung Thep (Bangkok). They are harmless little geckos! It was always fun to see them crawling up the walls. Next time I will happily serve as your negotiator. Good luck in your next encounters!
heheheheehee! i love it! living in the philippines, i have developed a profound love for the house lizards, but only because they eat my own personal phobia-inducing creature…the ROACH! we have flying ones here…as i’m sure you do, too! anyway, i’ve taken to calling all the house lizards george…as in, when they jump out from behind the curtain i’m pulling back, ‘george! you scared me!’ or if i see one of the afore-mentioned horrible roaches, ‘george! you’re not doing your job around here! i have to do everything in this house!’ i’ve even written them a little poem: http://whatifandwhynot.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/ode-to-the-house-lizard/…loved your post!
heheheheehee! i love it! living in the philippines, i have developed a profound love for the house lizards, but only because they eat my own personal phobia-inducing creature…the ROACH! we have flying ones here…as i’m sure you do, too! anyway, i’ve taken to calling all the house lizards george…as in, when they jump out from behind the curtain i’m pulling back, ‘george! you scared me!’ or if i see one of the afore-mentioned horrible roaches, ‘george! you’re not doing your job around here! i have to do everything in this house!’ i’ve even written them a little poem: http://whatifandwhynot.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/ode-to-the-house-lizard/ …loved your post!
funny little things those lizards. we have plenty where i live and sometimes they come in our house from underneath the door. one day i found one drowned in my coffee mug in the sink… i had my husband get rid of it and for weeks i checked every cup before using it…. lizardophobia 😉
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lol, awesome post
Eww! I think I find a disembodied tail more creepy than a whole lizard! But then I like lizards. They eat bugs. I dislike bugs. I’d far rather sleep in a room with one lizard than a room with twenty bugs…
I feel the same way about birds… when they´re fluttering about in my room (they sneak in because I leave the window open in summer), have to yell for a bird negotiator to explain to the bird that I do not appreciate it twittering next to my ear all night long.
lol. i like this article. superb writing skills.
that lizard like dinosaurus 🙂
This makes me feel very uneasy.
So think about it…you were watching the Lizard, the Lizard was watching you. Someone, somewhere was watching the both of you. I think you avoided certain death by leaving the room. That someone feasted on the Lizard.
Whatever else lurks, it doesn’t under piles of clothes.
Haha – thanks for this! It’s creepy, but it made me laugh.
Fun read! Thanks for the morning story! Ah yes, sometimes fear is irrational; sometimes it’s justified. Now if we could only figure out the when and the where and the difference between the two. May Bangkok be lizardless for you for the remainder of your stay.
I have read your blog.nice share information.
Ah, the lizard is revolting…
methinks the lizard was more afraid of you … 😉
Wow. This is an interesting post. And quite humorous. And the picture of that lizard….just keeps me laughing. Welldone
I love your conversation with the lizard negotiator – it sounds like you’ve had this kind of cross species chat before…
Wonderful! The way you write is simply wonderful!
And I can recommend the Bayoke Sky Hotel. No lizzards there.
What happened to the rest of the lizard???
Usually they drop their tail if it is trapped.
Now you have a tailless lizzy running around.
I too used to be utterly freaked out by these creatures.
Then when my son neglected one he took home as a pet. I got used to it and began cautiously taking care of it.
I gained some notoriety in the neighborhood over the years we had “Iggy” as the woman with the huge iguana on her shoulder.
He grew to almost 4 feet head to tail.
He never dropped his tail.
Very entertaining post.
The lizzy probably would have visited you on the bed if it hadn’t trapped itself under the frige.
I iiked the picture. outstanding!!!
Oh dear! I live in FL (aka: Lizard Central). I quickly learned that lizards lose their tails during flight/fright situations. They detach and will grow back. Hooray for lizards? lol
My cat use to bring me tail-less lizards from the lanai and drop them on the floor, only to see them scamper underneath furniture. Yuck. I’ve had to move countless pieces to recover the hidden dragons. Needless to say, my two cats no longer go out onto the lanai.
Final thought for you:
Where did the lizard go, if it left behind its tail???
wow! Its amazing…
HAHHAHHAHA! I like the idea of a lizard negotiator. I LOVED the hypothetical conversation with said negotiator, as well!
what a lizard
love it I have a bit of a lizard phobia as well
I love lizards. I had an iguana, Igor, and countless chameleons and newts, etc. I love that picture, although I bet he could take your face off…well, maybe.
I love the lizard picture you included!
I wish I could tell you “Calm down, it’s just a lizard.” but I know that for people actually having a phobia things don’t work that way. So I’ll just say that this blog is a good way to shed light on and express your fears. lol.
Wow! Thanks for all the comments. I had a total of two comments for my entire blog going into the weekend, so it was pretty shocking to log on last night and see this. Apparently, being a bit uneasy around lizards is pretty easy to relate to! Anyways, glad people enjoyed this little bit of silliness. Cheers!
like the other day why i *knew* i saw a spider on the wall nut really it was a painted nail…
lol. funny. i like this post! ^^
lizardophobia makes sense…
Or maybe we don’t need big words – “I’m scared of lizards” would probably get the point across.
yea. you got it. ^^
yea. you got it. ^^
you have an awesome blog Teacher ❤
I liked your post; I’ve been in foreign countries before where people would call you a puss for being scared of whatever is skittering around the room!
Same thing happened to me, except that it’s in my bedroom at home, and it disappeared just as quickly as it appeared. In any case it led me to this gem of a blog, so that’s something good. Here’s hoping it doesn’t crawl into my nostrils while I’m sleeping (the thought of it running through my clothes is disturbing enough)…
That’s horribly disturbing. Make sure to sleep with your mouth closed!
Thanks so much for the kind words, Phazer!
You’re really funny man!! hahaha! ROTFL. That was an interesting story though. Hahahah! I really hate lizards too! it really scares the hell out of me! hahaha having the thought of their face makes me jump wherever i am . The lizard negotiator was really cool. I hope i could meet one too lol.
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