On break, I went to the store to buy an Arnold Palmer, and the clerk behind the counter had a fidget spinner crammed in his mouth, tongue to roof, jacked open wide — it was a wild sight; the future is not at all how I imagined it was gonna be. So I paid for my Palmer and told ole dude to enjoy his fidget spinner. It was the Tuesday after the Memorial Day weekend of nonstop American violence, negligence and rampant stupidity, and I was back at work having had enjoyed absolutely zero rest and relaxation over the holiday. It had been a three-day, cluster-fuck rush to see who could wreck my emotional state the fastest with tropical storm levels of frustration; some real act-of-God bullshit.
At work we had some air handlers on the fritz I had to deal with, so it was hotter than Satan’s butthole in Biloxi, Mississippi, on the Fourth of July, hence my need for the icy-cold capitalist goodness of an Arnold Palmer, that modern-day, goddamn miracle of thirst-quenching power; I don’t even like fuckin’ golf, but I thank the game for giving Arnold fuckin’ Palmer the unadulterated chutzpah, cash flow and hubris to design such a saleable and (by me, at least) celebrated beverage, because Arnie, my boy, it do slake the beast! I was listening on my device to John Waters give a speech about freedom of speech, and the Pope of Puke had the digitally-condensed crowd in stitches with his obscene wisdom, his exuberant love of perversion and his patented brand of roughhouse empathy. I crouched down to pull the front panel off a unit whose condensation line was clogged, and, as of a result it, was spitting a contentious stream of water all over the floor. Wet wires and metal, even with no electricity flowing — it’s always a bit of an unsettling sight, like a dead black widow. It’s a harmless situation that still makes ya take pause. John Waters was verbally dancing the cha-cha through my ear buds and was killing the crowd with a hilarious tale of battling the now-defunct Baltimore censorship board made up of uptight prudes and humorless blowhards, when I stood up from pulling the soaking wet air filter out from the floor duct and saw in the darken corner of furnace room No. 2 the twisted body of a Five Line Skink, semi-submerged in a glue trap. (Wikipedia describes this lovely lizard thusly: “They are secretive, agile animals with a cylindrical body covered with smooth, shiny scales”). Isn’t that beautiful? I love that description and the idea that Five Line Skinks don’t divulge the codes of the lizard kingdom. They ain’t no loose-lipped rumor mill, they’re “secretive”!
As I bent down to lift the glue trap for disposal the skink’s eyes opened and a trembling surge moved through the muscles of the stuck creatures exposed back. This skink was still vary much alive and had simply got caught up in something it didn’t understand. Now, I’m no animal rescue expert, but I’ve been here before, and I know to successfully free a lizard from a glue trap you have to go full Otis Redding and try a little tenderness. I carried the trap outside then doubled back in where I made up a large picture of dish soap and tap water.
Once situated on my knees, I began to slowly pour water over the skink with my left hand and gently ease it out of the glue with my right. Little by little the skink became free, first his head and upper appendages and then, bam! The lizard was loose, bearing no glue residue that I could see. It walked about two feet away from the trap then stopped in the sun for a brief breath before it lit out like a bandit and was gone.
With global warming being allowed to do it’s thing, the reptiles will surely reclaim this planet and as the rest of you perish beneath their cruel rule, I alone will be allowed to walk among them as a true friend to fangs and scale for the services I have rendered unto them.