When I went to visit my folks in Florida last winter, I was looking forward to the warm weather and sunshine. Unfortunately, Florida was having an unusual cold snap just as I was arriving. So, not only didn’t I get any beach time, but I also had to watch out for …
“Falling iguanas,” said my dad, looking up into the trees.
“Excuse me?” I replied.
“When it gets cold like this, especially at night, the iguanas freeze and fall out of the trees.”
“Are they dead?” I asked, looking around the lawn for evidence of dead, frozen iguanas.
“No,” he said. “As soon as they warm up, they revive and then they go back into the trees.”
I was dumbfounded. In all my visits to my parents over the years, I’d never heard about frozen iguanas. I wondered how heavy a frozen iguana was. Could it knock you out? Would you have to go to the hospital and tell everyone you had a concussion because you got hit by a frozen iguana?
I’m pretty sure that’s how people end up in the psych ward.
Meanwhile, I really had no idea how big an iguana was, so I looked it up on the internet and was shocked to see they were big. Like, Godzilla big. Okay, not that big. But certainly bigger than the bearded dragon my son had when he was growing up, which was nearly the size of a small child.
I realized I wasn’t just going to need sunscreen during my visit. I would also need a hard hat.
“Do you have any extra suits of armor lying around?” I asked my parents. “Or maybe an ‘Iron Man’ suit?”
They shook their heads.
As we headed outside to go to dinner that night, I covered my head with my arms and ran straight for the car. My parents looked at me, puzzled.
“What are you doing?” my mom asked.
“I’m protecting myself from frozen iguanas falling out of the trees.”
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that tonight,” she said.
“We didn’t get any frozen iguana alerts.”
“They give you ALERTS for that?” I said incredulously.
“Yes. On the news.”
Odd as that piece of information was, I suppose it was good to have advance warning of an impending frozen iguana deluge. My folks got frost advisories, hurricane warnings and notifications when their favorite Italian restaurant was having a two-for-one early bird special. Why not falling iguana alerts?
Like most adult children who don’t live near their parents, I worry about my folks when I don’t see them. Now there was something else to be concerned about. Then I had an idea. A lot of people in my parents’ community had one of those Life Alert buttons that they could press if they fell and needed help. I wondered if I could get my parents a button that they could press if they got hit by a falling iguana.
It could actually serve a dual purpose.
They could use it if they tripped over a frozen alligator, too.
Tracy Beckerman is the author of the Amazon Bestseller, “Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble,” available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online! You can visit her at www.tracybeckerman.com