Big problem in the Liner household. Huge. Like en-effing-ormous.
There's a vicious gecko that has shacked up in my grocery cupboard and it's scaring me so shitless that I've taken to simply buying all the ingredients for dinner when I know perfectly well that that cupboard is stacked fuller than my knickers were when I was pregnant. Like last night, for example, I made The Daughter macaroni cheese (because she actually eats it), and I stopped at the shop on the way home (which I hate doing almost more than I imagine I'd hate scrubbing toilet bowls with my tongue) to buy more flour and macaroni. I know there's perfectly good dry ingredients in said grocery cupboard. But I wasn't taking a chance. No, siree. Not with that spawn of satan slithering all over them.
A month ago, if you'd asked me if I was scared of geckos, I'd have said, "Hell no," (in a poor attempt at an African American accent). Then I would've clicked my fingers three times, pursed my lips and turned on my fluffy slippered heel in that jerky movement where the hips go first and the torso follows later, and waddled out of the room. I've always been scared of the more conventionally scary things: bananas, snakes, birds indoors and recent divorcees that proclaim their undying love for you. The proper scary stuff in life. But geckos? Those harmless little insipid beings? No way.
As it turns out, I am afraid. Huge effing style. And it all started about a month ago, when Precious Cat left a little prezzie next to my bed (he's stopped doing this - my threats of adoption have had their desired effect and he's towing the line).
From a distance, it looked like a gecko in a black catsuit. "Nice style, See-Through Being," I thought, as I approached it with two full rolls of bunched up toilet paper with which to scoop it up and flush it away. The blackness covering Guff Reptile (they are reptiles, right?) was, in fact, a colony of those really tiny ants that have taken it upon themselves to inhabit various places in my house.
"Ah, shame, Ex-Creature, did Pussy get you good?" I said as I contemplated its death. "Let me lay you to rest in dignity. Why don't you swirl down our toilet bowl and you can decompose amongst faeces and other human waste.". And then I laced my stool spool-protected fingers around its body. And it flicked its head to the side and opened its pink mouth and let out a hiss that sounded like an over-fizzed can of coke being opened.
I snapped up with such alacrity that I got whiplash and sprinted (Hussein Boltt-style) out of the house, whimpering and crying like a little boy who wishes he was a little girl.
The Pant: CARLOS! HELP!
Carlos: What pally? I'm watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Is it important or do you want me to take your rubbish out again?
The Pant: (now panting with fear - excuse the pun): Urgent. Reptile. Legless. In bedroom. Help.
Carlos: If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times: Stop leaving little saucers of gin around the house so you can laugh at drunk insects.
The Pant: No. Legless. For real. Cat attack.
What is it with men and their bravado? He walked into my house, scooped it up and started chasing me with the corpse. I ran so fast, and so far, that it was only when I was past Ballito that I realised he'd stopped.
And now this minging shitter in my grocery cupboard? It attacked me the other day. I promise you. I was reaching into the cupboard to get sprinkles for the birthday cake of The Uncle, when I interrupted its rest and it went for me. It jumped and made that repeated 's' movement that snakes make with their bodies. And it hissed "ghaaaaa ghaaaa".
So this morning, I left a note for my maid:
Dear Armpit (I can't spell her real name),
Please lock The Cat in the grocery cupboard until The Gecko is dead. Otherwise I'm moving to Alaska.
And take the rest of the birthday cake. I need to have only one of arse if I ever have to move with pace away from another gecko.
Yours in cleanliness (it is, after all, next to Godliness),