While spending a week on Curacao at the absolutely lovely Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club http://www.kurahulanda.com ) Brunette and I took advantage one day of the free shuttle to their sister property in the capital city of Willemstad. The city center of Willemstad is a UNESCO World Heritage site and if you find yourself there be sure to go see their aquarium. (More about that in another post about underpants insecurity in the bird world.)
The day we were in Willemstad was perfect sunny hot weather and we sat down at an outdoor cafe along the waterfront. We snottily pride ourselves on being “travelers not tourists” and eschew anything touristy – unless we want to do it. Then it’s funny, ironic, camp or anything else we choose to label it . So we were enjoying lunch and some refreshing adult beverages which compromised our normally poor judgement and rendered it really poor.
A local “character” came up to our table and asked if we would like to handle his iguanas. Blonde has been asked this a lot and is generally more agreeable to the idea than advisable. Well this one really got lucky as the sister act eagerly handled his iguanas and actually paid him a little for the privilege. At least we made his day!
I still don’t know what made us think this was some sort of enjoyable idea but there we are with iguanas on our heads! Sometimes our hygiene standards slip (or vanish altogether) on trips but iguana feet in our hair was a new low.
Only later, after we got home did we bother to find out if iguanas can be dangerous. It turns out that they can be very nasty biters. (And they look so cute and friendly!) One site mentioning that proclivity reassuringly offers the following advice:
“When and if you get bit by an iguana, the best way to deal with it is to not pull away, stay calm and attempt to calm down the iguana if it still has a hold of you. It may also be a good idea to move to a place in your home where a little spilled blood won’t make too much of a mess. Attempt to calm down the iguana and control your bleeding if possible. If the iguana has latched down and you’re bleeding profusely, there may even be a time when you’ll have to decide to take other actions, which may include a trip to the emergency room. One of the most popular tricks in getting an iguana from unlatching its bite is to take a small towel with some alcohol on it and place near the iguana’s nose and mouth. The smell usually triggers the iguana to let go, but this trick doesn’t always work. There is much debate on whether rubbing alcohol is too dangerous to use for this purpose. Drinking alcohol, if available is better to use, and a drop or two can be placed directly in the mouth of a stubborn, latched on iguana.”
Are you frickin’ kidding me??? Stay calm and try to get the iguana to have an alcoholic drink? Move to somewhere where a little spilled blood is no biggee? WTF?? Another thought provoking piece of information is that iguanas can be a welcoming breeding ground for and transmitters of salmonella. That leads Blonde to ponder if the incapacitating barf-inducing illness she came down with the following day wasn’t in fact food poisoning from a highly suspect local place where we had dinner. Hmmmm….
The point of this story is, buy an iguana a drink if you must, but don’t lick it or try to give it any sort of unexpected dental exam.