My sister called him Gary. We go in for a bit of alliteration where we’re from. He could be a Georgina for all we know, but Gary presented as a good Cinsault-fuelled suggestion one evening last summer and the name stuck as fast as Gary’s suckered feet. (Clue #1)
The way Gary and his ilk are able to hang on to vertical surfaces, not to mention feel comfortable hanging on completely upside down has interested scientists for years. Only recently have they invented a new glue that mimics the properties of our Gary’s feet. Apparently this new glue is so strong you’ll be able to stick a 42 inch screen television straight onto your living room wall.
Last year, Gary became part of our late night entertainment. We’d watch, in awe, as he lassoed his supper. We’d wonder how in hell he could move that fast and jump out from a perpendicular position without falling off the wall. (Clue #2)
If you followed the previous link, you’ll know who Gary is now if you hadn’t worked it out already. You didn’t really need those clues, did you? He’s the type of his species that like hanging around (Ha, Ha) people and houses. Gary made his summer home behind one of our French window shutters. We don’t know where he goes in winter. We had a very strong feeling he would survive those snows we had in January. He’d got big. Very big. He must be reaching his full size. Maybe this summer could be his last.
So, there I was after dinner last night wondering when he’d show up again this year.
The night was warm. Ten pm and still 25 degrees. The signs were good. I saw bats zipping about beyond our garden gate; a Scops owl was hooping in the distance. I call them submarine birds: their call reminds me of WW2 movies set in a sub with that tooting noise going on in the background. Here, have a listen. You’ll see what I mean.
It was time. I got out the special equipment.
I put it in the waiting for Gary area, directly below his favourite roof space where the outdoor lights attract fat moths for his main course and a selection of juicy six-legged appetizers for hors d’oeuvres.
My camera was charged and ready.
I sipped at my special equipment. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed movement. I looked up at the lights. What was that dark shape?
There was movement all right. From both ends of the terrace. Two small ones, but when I moved they disappeared behind the roof beams. I waited. Gary is not going to like bandits on his patch, I thought. I ran out of special equipment. Took the offered refill from himself who was watching television.
Gary’s not coming, said himself. Not tonight. Why don’t you come indoors and watch the news?
I went indoors to watch the news. I sat. Himself was staring out the window at the light on the wall opposite the one in the photograph.
WTF? Is THAT Gary? Can’t be. It’s GODZILLA!
Too late. My camera isn’t out of its case before he’s disappeared. Probably sorting out the two invaders. Next time I’ll wait longer and double up on the special equipment.