This the story of how I became “The Happy Housewife.” You might want to start at the beginning.
One little detail our sponsor neglected to mention before we moved to Guantanamo Bay was the iguana population.
Iguanas were everywhere on the island, and they creeped me out. What made it worse was that they were protected, so you couldn’t get rid of them on your own. Any iguana that was a nuisance was trapped then relocated to another part of the island.
This would have been fine had our yard not been infested with iguanas. I use the word infested because we would often have between five and ten in our yard at a time. They loved to rest under the one tree we had in our yard.
Normally iguanas don’t make friends with people so they leave you alone, unless you feed them. Feeding the iguanas was prohibited on the island because iguanas that had been fed by humans became very aggressive and would often run or chase people because they assumed people would feed them.
There were several cases of people being bitten by aggressive iguanas on the base. Because they carried so many diseases, getting bitten required high doses of antibiotics to avoid going into septic shock.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that the people who previously lived in our house FED THE IGUANAS!!!!
When we walked up to our house for the first time there were several iguanas under our tree. The tree was over fifty feet from our house, and since we knew nothing about iguanas we all stared at them with a strange fascination mixed with a little fear.
We told the kids not to play near the iguanas and then quickly went in the house.
A few days later I was walking with our sponsor’s wife to her van so we could go to the store. As we were walking a large (at least four feet) iguana started running towards us.
I immediately felt as though I was living in Jurassic Park. We both started running towards her van and I practically dove through her open window because I thought it would be quicker than opening the door.
We were both screaming our heads off, and I think I broke the world’s record for the fifty yard dash that day.
A few days after that I was talking to Amy’s sister about the iguana incident. She told me she hadn’t had many issues with them and that ours had probably been fed by the previous tenant because they were so aggressive.
As we were talking the biggest iguana I’d ever seen started to run towards us. Without breaking her sentence she bent down, picked up a large shell, and threw it as hard as she could at the iguana.
She hit it on the head and the iguana started making this terrible sound and running in circles for at least thirty seconds. We also began screaming and quickly went into the house and watched from the front window. The iguana finally settled down and went back to the tree.
I spent many hours on the phone with the Environmental department trying to solve our iguana problem. For every one they trapped and relocated we seemed to get two more. The kids were afraid to play outside and I was afraid to let them.
One day I walked in the living room and saw a small greenish brown head draped over my couch. I took two steps back and yelled for my six year-old son. As he was coming downstairs I asked him if he was playing with his animal toys today. He said he wasn’t, and then I asked him if he was playing a trick on mommy. He promised me he wasn’t.
We had an iguana in the house.
Now I’m usually a calm and sane person, but an iguana on my couch I could not handle. I immediately called a friend and she bravely said she would come over and take care of it for me. I blocked off the stairs and told all the kids to stay upstairs until this matter was resolved.
My friend arrived and grabbed a broom to defeat this iguana. She took one stab at it and it ran. Then she and I ran and jumped on the dining room table, which seemed like the only safe place in the house downstairs. We were both screaming our heads off which of course scared the kids even more.
I called Sailor at work and he said there was no way he could come home and help. He told me to call 911.
So I did.
The MP’s arrived and my friend and I (broom still in hand) were still on the dining room table. The iguana was somewhere in the family room, and I didn’t really care where it was, I just wanted it out.
It was obvious the MP’s thought we were a bunch of sissies, and maybe I was. What I did know was that iguana wasn’t going to sink its teeth into me or any of my children, and if that was best achieved by me standing on the dining room table, so be it.
They walked into the family room and I heard one of them say, “Oh, that’s just a little one.”
A little one? Are you kidding me??? That thing was at least a foot long if not longer and it had taken up residence in my family room!!
What happened next was something that we still laugh about to this day. The MP’s made a move to capture the iguana and it lunged at them. Then they started yelling like a bunch of sissies.
I couldn’t help but feel a little more confident in my tabletop position since the police seemed to be just as afraid of the “little” iguana as I was.
I heard more yelling and lots of other noise, and my curiosity got the best of me. I hopped down from the table and stood (at a great distance) to watch chaos unfold in my living room.
The MP’s had trapped the iguana behind our desk. The desk that held our computer and about twenty cords (you know how guys are with cords). The iguana was trapped in the cords and they were both afraid to grab it. They were wearing rubber gloves, the kind that a nurse would wear, and those weren’t going to do anything to protect them against those nasty iguana teeth.
After much shouting, banging on furniture, and jiggling of wires, one of the MP’s grabbed the iguana with his hat and carried it outside.
We had been saved.