Friday, March 14, 2008

Lizard Soup

Apparently our hot tub is some sort of Futurama-esque suicide booth for amphibians and reptiles. As we headed out to lunch, we had no idea that suicidal little critters were lurking. Since it was Friday, we decided to take a break from our respective jobs and have a nice luncheon at Chevy's. They are a wonderful combo platter with a steak taco, chicken taquitos, and a seafood enchilada to which I am totally addicted.

Even though it's technically the start of the weekend, we resisted the temptation for a margarita indulgence and stuck with iced tea. My combo plate was delicious, as always; it's a limited time special, so I live in fear of the day they retire it. I love the taquitos, but they're not a regular menu item.

Granted, Chevy's isn't authentic Mexican, but if you go in knowing that it's actually a wonderful restaurant. We go there several times a month and never get tired of it. I suppose that's not surprising, since we were the same way with Chi's Chi's back in Illinois. Ah, I still miss their Enchilada Cozumel, stuffed to the gills with fake crab meet and smothered in some sort of yummy white sauce. Chevy's seafood enchilada is very different, with real crab, shrimp, and a green sauce that ranges from tangy to downright fire-breathing, depending on the chef's mood. I always get a side order of sour cream to tame it down.

One of my favorite memories of Chi Chi's is going out for dinner and margaritas with a group of co-workers. We conspired to secretly tell the servers that it was one person's birthday, even though it wasn't, just to see her horror at suddenly being surrounded, forced to wear a giant sombrero, and being serenaded with an off-key celebratory song. It taught her totally off guard, but she actually handled it with good grace (perhaps the accompanying free order of fried ice cream helped).

My husband and I frequented the local Chi Chi's from the time we started dating until it finally closed its doors. I guess I'm not the only one who misses it; click this link for a blog devoted solely to creepy abandoned Chi Chi's buildings.

The closures were due to a bankruptcy filing, following on the heels of an unfortunate Hepatitis outbreak (although I think it was actually the fault of a supplier). But even tho' it's not quite the same, Chevy's still makes a worthy substitute.

After our meal, we decided to take a dip in the hot tub before returning to work. The tub has had some mechanical issues lately, so we haven't been using it as much as usual. Now it looks like everything is sorted out and it's back in good working order, so we donned our swim wear and hopped in.

We were just entering a state of relaxation when I pointed and asked, "What's that?" at a big, yellowing blob bobbing on the water's surface.

Hubby said, "It's a, wait, it's a dead lizard!"

My mind immediately went "Ugh!" as I recalled the time that a dead frog had created a rather gross mess. Apparently it jumped in the path of the cover just before we closed it; by the time we reopening it a few days later, the unfortunate little critter was in a nasty state of decomposition.

But as hubby flailed frantically atthe lizard, trying to splash it out of the tub, I noticed its head move. "It's alive!" I yelled. "Grab it!"

Hubby is not big on amphibians and reptiles, so there was no way he was going to touch the poor little thing. I grabbed it and cupped it gingerly in my palm. Sure enough, it was blinking and hyperventilating to beat the band but it was indeed alive.

I held it as it recovered its composure, then released it onto the edge of the hot tub. It took a while to regain its whits, but finally it departed for locations unknown.

I knew that it couldn't have been in the rub for long, although I have no idea why it would leap into hot, bubbling waters unless it was suicidal. Oh well, hopefully I'd given in a new lease on life. I settled back, snuggled against the jets, and trying to return to relaxation.

A few minutes later, hubby pointed at me and yelled, "Frog!" I glanced at the side of the tub, where a plump green mini-frog was hanging next to me, apparently considering a leap into oblivion. I managed to scare him away, and fortunately we weren't bothered by any additional depressed wildlife before the end of our soak.

In pondering the situation later, I realized that the lizard probably wasn't too serious in his attempt. A truly suicidal member of his species would have paraded in front of the neighbor's cat, Pearl, which would have virtually guaranteed a gory demise.

In the meantime, we've popped in a bit of extra chlorine to combat the lizard soup, but I think we might have to add a sign for the local reptilian and amphibian critters: "Warning! No Lifeguard on Duty."

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1 comment:

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