Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Knight of the Iguana

HAPPY "FINAL BASIC MATH DAY" (10 + 1 = 11) for this calendar year. Numerologists of the world unite! And do not forget your tin-foil hats. There is a lot of weather out there....wherever there may be.

One of the joys of living in a virtual world is that I have reconnected with folks who I have not seen in a lifetime or two. When I was a kid going to school, my friends tended to be principally those with whom I went to school. We saw each other every day, etc. The death knell for a friendship - for me anyway - was when someone would transfer to another school. I did not stop liking that person but I simply stopped seeing him or her. The old adage about absence making the heart grow fonder applies not very well at all to the addle-brained among us. In my case, absence made me forget.

Among my favorite people when we were kids was my friend Dave Lackland. We went to school together at W-H for several years. At some point during high school, Dave went matriculating off somewhere else. We lost touch with one another. Through the invasive, pervasive, quasi-cancerous invention known as Facebook, we have dropped back into touch. As far as I can tell from our semi-regular exchange of e-mails and such, time has done little to dull the genuinely benevolent spirit of my old friend Dave. The hair is shorter and perhaps a tad less plentiful (although none of his appears to be gray unlike someone I resemble quite well) but the soul has made it into his mid-40's unscathed.

A million years ago, Dave was the 7th grade student who Dad decided was going to have to take Latin - whether he wanted to or not. Dad also decided that it was going to be my mission to ensure that my friend passed Latin. Back in the day when the old man made that call there were a number of folks on the W-H faculty who disagreed with it. However, Dad was the boss and as any of my sibs who pop by this space can attest, he had a unique perspective of the whole "One Man, One Vote" mantra. He was the one man and his was the only vote. Dave got into Latin. Dave passed Latin.

And somewhere along the line, Latin became part of his day-to-day. Every day when my alarm goes off, I shower, dress and get in the car for the drive to my office. I assure you that it looks nothing at all like Dave's. Not one damn bit.

Apparently, the Lackland charm extends not merely to other bipeds. As far as I can tell, Dave has become quite good friends with a stylish gent named Carl. Carl is not at all like you and me. He is a wild iguana....and occasionally an invited guest for lunch with Dave on Dave's dock. It has been long observed that what separates man from the rest of the creatures that walk and/or swim the Earth is our ability to think and our neato keen thumbs. Remember, please, the conjunctive. Its significance is about to become readily apparent.

Approximately two and a half months after Dave filmed his lunch date with Carl, a number of the youthful human miscreants who live in Dave's neighborhood tried to kill Carl - and succeeded in killing a number of Carl's iguana buddies. These little bastards (a/k/a "teenagers") shot the wild iguanas with arrows as if Halloween had come to the Keys in August and they had opted to dress for the part of big game hunter or some such nonsense. Dave was understandably upset.

He was not actually upset. He was pissed off. Enraged really. He and I had several attorney/client conversations during which we discussed legal recourse available to him on behalf of Carl and his slain brethren. The topic of just how many 50-gallon drums one needs to relocate mouth-breeding, teenaged douchebags to Luca Brasi's neighborhood never came up but I had roughed out the numbers just in case it did.

Dave channeled his energy into doing something positive. Having found a seriously injured Carl, he took care of him and nursed him back to health. A couple of days after the attack, Dave posted this picture of Carl - showing the arrow hole in his head, online:

Iguanas are truly bad asses. Earlier this week, Dave shared an updated photo of King Carl. The lizard, the myth, the legend is - according to our mutual friend Dave - feeling fine and has assumed the role in the iguana group of the "Alpha Male". He sure looks every inch of it in this picture, does he not:

I should be embarrassed to admit that Dave has done more for that iguana this year than I have done for most humans I know but I am not. That particular ship left port for points unknown a long, long time ago. Perhaps at some point in the not-too-distant future I will find my way to their little piece of paradise and join the two of them for lunch....

....I will even spring for the lettuce.


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