Wednesday, May 20, 2009

legless lizards and lokie

This little dude, Lokie, has been sharing my dressing room this week.And I'd way prefer Lokie over this little dude sharing my dressing room, I must say.
Lokie belongs to one of the cast members and has been busy all week eating my socks, kissing me as much as humanly dogly possible, and altogether being really excited about life in general.

His excitement may be due to the fact that he doesn't have to wear a leotard and stand on the line for a very long time, but that's just a guess.

And that other little dude you saw?

Well he belongs to the St. Louis Zoo which has no admission.

I mean, they don't even ask for a donation.

Even the Museum of Natural History in NYC claims free admission yet, as soon as you walk through those grand doors there is a clearly stated "suggested donation." And if you don't follow through with their suggestion you might as well wait for the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to pay you a visit right after dealing with Scrooge come December.

Yes, you pay the donation more out of sheer embarrassment of not paying it and how that will make you look rather than any sort of philanthropic inclinations; but in the end, money is handed over and the museum is happy and you are looking at very large stuffed animals and sort of wishing they were actually alive.

Same goes for the pygmy village too.

And oh yeah--all your vast plans for Free Things To Do In The City are once again trumped and you figure you might as well completely throw in the towel and take a cab rather than walk back from the museum.

I mean, the day on a budget is already shot anyway, right?

But entrance to the St. Louis Zoo is gotten by nothing so much as a turn of the turnstile and a smile.

And actually, the smile is even optional.

I saw these two guys there and thought they were funny and cute.
They look plenty comfortable and I am not even totally sure the big guy knows about the freeloader on his back.

The strangest thing I saw today was the legless lizard. It looked just like a snake Before I read the caption (which literally said, Think this is a snake? It's not--I mean, I felt like it was reading my mind!), I was staring at it, wondering if maybe it was a degenerate snake of some kind.

Poor thing. It totally got the short end of the stick. Both sticks, actually. It's a lizard but has no legs so does not have that darting mobility or those sticky fingers which allows them to crawl upside down effortlessly. It's a snake but doesn't bite like one (I think) and lacks the smooth finesse when it comes to crawling or gliding. Plus it's body is a little thicker than a snake's and so is kind of cumbersome.

Actually, the legless lizard reminded me of the song from Miss Saigon, Bui-Doi. There were so many half Vietnamese, half American children born during the Vietnam War and the poor things were not claimed by either country.

It's a moving and beautiful song, and I think these lyrics apply to the plight of the Legless Lizard quite poignantly. Forgive me, but I took some poetic license and changed them just a tad.

These guys hit walls on every side
They don't belong in any place
Their secret they can't hide
Its printed on their face

I never thought I'd plead
For half-breeds from a land that's torn
But then I saw a camp for lizards
Whose crime was being born

They're called Legless Lizards
The dust of life
Concieved in hell
And born in strife
We owe them venom, and the ability to slither -
Or at least the legs they never knew
Because we know
Deep in our hearts
That they are all
Our lizards too

Um, hopefully Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, the genius composers/lyricists of Miss Saigon will not kill me.

Fingers crossed.


sherri said...

ENjoyed your pictures. I love the St. Louis Zoo. We took the kids there when they were young.

The best part of St. Louis is an Italian Village called "THE HILL" where THE best Italian restaurants are. It is an authentic Italian Community complete with the little grocers and all, and the food is to die for. "Zia's" is my favorite.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Hey--thanks for the tip, Sherri! I will try to get there before we leave;-)

jason said...

why no picture of the legless lizard???

Jessica said...

That is one of the regrets I will have to live with!

I don't know why, I just didn't think to snap a pic:(

jason said...

Here's a picture! They are cool looking

kathiek said...

I love the zoo...I am glad you got to go (and that it was free)! St. Louis Zoo sounds nice!

Thanks for sharing the pic of the legless lizard, Jase, that is pretty cool!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Jase--did you even know about legless lizards?

jason said...

Not sure. I think I did. But it's not like I was thinking about them all the time or had a shirt with them on it or anything. Now I am doing both of those things thanks to you.

Jessica Latshaw said...

You're welcome.

And allow me to glory in the fact that I (might have)