I Am The Lizard King!

I Am The Lizard King!

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Sometime back in the 1990’s I was young. It happened briefly and left without warning. There were good times, which we tend to focus  on and embellish to make it through these grown up days, and then there were bad days, which we work real hard to forget. The decision making process that goes on in the mind of a sixteen year old is sometimes warped. I, more often than not, was a glaring example of how not to do things.  This brings me to a particular evening around 1990 at a junior high football game.

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Some of us were gathered in the bleachers that evening, not necessarily to watch the game but just to hang out.  I drove a 1980 Ford Mustang with a straight six that may have topped out somewhere around 60 miles an hour. I had found with this new freedom came the need for something I had not considered before, cash.  Then an odd thing happened.  A blue tailed lizard ran up in the midst of our outing.  It was then, after the intruder was captured, that a strange offer was made. I do not remember the initial offer but the result was that one of our companions placed the reptile in his mouth, then quickly projected the creature back out in the same fashion that the great fish must have relinquished Jonah.  Then a second offer was made to swallow the little guy. I suspect that had this lizard known of my desire not only to one-up the other guy but also the sinking gas hand in my ride, he probably would have taken a different path on that Fall evening.  The dollar amount is lost to history but the action I took that evening was not forgotten, by a few anyway.  I was enticed that night by mammon and swallowed the unfortunate passer-by.  There was a disbelief from the crowd at first but after careful examination of my mouth it was confirmed, the lizard was gone and I received my reward.

imageAs of this writing, I am forty-two years old.  A couple of weeks ago I was in the local Wal-Mart minding my affairs.  As I was leaving I caught a glimpse of a face that I recognized from the past.  He looked into my eyes and I knew he remembered me as well.  I waved and sent out a “how’s it going.”  He smiled back and then retorted, in the midst of several strangers, “You still eatin’ lizards?”  I was taken aback, as I felt the other patrons glare at me. “I gave that up” was all I could muster. “You didn’t think I remembered that” to which I replied “I think you are the only one that remembers.”  I then waved once more and went on my way.

It’s an odd thing what people choose to remember about the past.  I had not seen that man in at least fifteen years and the event itself was over twenty-five years ago.  One look at my face reminded him of that foolish thing that I done so long ago.  I have done far worse than eat a reptile in my youth but this incident reminded me of how we should consider our actions.

People are watching our every move and while we do not live to please everyone else we certainly need to think of our reputation.  We also must contemplate how our deeds affect others.  That poor lizard was innocent but he paid the ultimate price that evening.  I have heard Morrison’s claims to be the Lizard King.  I do not know his reasoning for the title but I would wager you this.  He never ate one.


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