It was unseasonably cold in South Florida this past week. How cold was it, you ask? So cold that iguanas were falling from the trees. This is troubling for many reasons.
Cautious by nature and profession, I take pride in anticipating the worst-case scenario in every situation. But I had no idea that iguanas spent time in trees.
Turns out the adage “what goes up must come down” only helps you if you know what’s gone up. Every photo I’ve ever seen shows the lizards lording languidly over a half-eaten mango, their scaly feet planted firmly on grassy ground.Apparently that’s not the whole truth. It’s as though the boys from National Geographic unpacked their cameras, got a good shot of an earthbound iguana on the first day and spent the rest of the week in Miami watching jai alai.
My black swan, it seems, is a green iguana, and the takeaway is simple. When temperatures approach freezing, it’s no longer enough to look down for icy sidewalks. I’ll need to start looking up for falling reptiles.Isn’t this a tad irresponsible of the lizard? I mean, I am powerless around honey-glazed bear claws, and so I avoid bakeries. Perhaps the cold-blooded herbivore shouldn’t be cavorting about the high branches if it knows a sudden frost can send it plummeting to earth like a sack of hammers. Whither personal responsibility?
Do we even know it’s the cold that’s causing them to fall? Maybe when nobody’s looking iguanas beat the bone-chill with a nip of Courvoisier. Next thing you know, they’re going on and on about how they’d have won states if coach had let them audible at the line of scrimmage.Plus they’re constantly misplacing their tails. I’m no herpetologist, but this seems more consistent with a love of cognac than antipathy to cold. In other words, the cold might be causing it, just not how we think. Or narcolepsy, have the experts definitively ruled that out?
Perhaps I watched too much “X-Files” in my twenties, but I can’t stop thinking we’re not getting the whole story here. Something else made those iguanas drop like so many pairs of soaking-wet corduroys. The truth is out there. What changed for them last week, being so high up in those tree branches? Sightlines, that’s what. And with their untrammeled vision, what did those Florida iguanas see for the first time through windows on television screens?
A peek at just one week in our crazy, crazy world, that’s all. Brexit and Megxit in the United Kingdom, impeachment proceedings in the United States, fires in Australia and coronavirus in China. Never a dull moment.My theory on what felled the poor iguanas? Heart attack.