Monday, August 28, 2017

Meet Bouhaki, and then Let Me Tell You A Story

Amazon



I had this short piece on my computer, and decided to publish it. The weather (hot), the wine (chilled). the day (long) all contributed to my decision.  

Also I was just edged out of first place in the August WEP by this cat person named Hatt (rhymes with cat), so I thought I'd better ramp up my cat game a bit. Congrats to him and to Hilary as well. Applause to you both.

Thanks to Denise and Yolanda for the fun and the great themes.









Some of you know that I once lived in Vientiane, Laos. The stories I have tucked away from that experience fill a file drawer, and I don't expect to ever be able to set all of them down. But here's one that I thought might be fun.

Our kitchen and wash room were separate from the main house. Very sensible because of the heat. Alongside these rooms was an extra sleeping room, and I had a girl who lived there with her family. She worked for me, and over time, we became good friends. She taught me some Lao and I taught her some English. With only a few words, we created some interesting pidgin sentences, so we understood each other. I have lots of stories about when we didn't!

Late one night--her husband gone, my husband gone--a terrible sound came from the washroom. I grabbed the kitchen broom and was outside in a shot. I was sure we were in grave danger. Nong met me, carrying a garden rake. You can see why we got along. We both liked to be armed and ready. 

Holding our weapons out, we advanced on the wash room, but it was empty, except for the washing machine and some boxes. We waited, listening, but there was only silence. We no sooner backed out than that same sound froze us to the spot. Imagine a dinosaur trapped inside an 8 by 8 cement room and you've imagined what we heard coming from those dark recesses. Once we'd girded our loins, we advance shoulder to shoulder and banged on the side of the washing machine. 

That's when the dinosaur sprang. Two feet long. Very prehistoric. Quite cranky because of all of our whacking. The iguana came at us. Drop weapons. Run for life. Wedge selves in doorway. Scream. Un-wedge and head for the house.

I think the iguana decided he didn't care much for the chase and took off into the jungle where he could get a good night's sleep. It took a week before Nong or I had the courage to go into the washroom, and that happened only after one of our husbands checked behind the washing machine. 



Quote of the Week: “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta, World Traveler

69 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the cat book! Tough to beat that Hatt character when it comes to cats.
    I bet you two scared that iguana more than it scared you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew true terror, but that iguana did have some speed in him!

      Delete
  2. Traveling is definitely the best education.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Each adventure provides a multitude of stories.

      Delete
  3. That was fun (for your readers – not for you!) thanks for sharing it and congrats on your cat story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find that a lot of things are funny in the re-telling, not so much during the experience.

      Delete
  4. Yikes! That would have had me running as well :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've often pictured us, Nong in her "sin," me in my cut offs hightailing it out of that room. Very laughable.

      Delete
  5. I wish I could have been there. I have no fear of iguanas and know how to catch them and make them relax by scratching their bellies. :)

    Congratulations on your latest story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Send your phone number. I'm calling you next time.

      Delete
  6. I love a good kitty story. Congrats.

    I would've laughed so hard at that iguana. And then like Bish, I'd try to catch it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They aren't dangerous. They just look that way and in the dark, they sound as if they're ready to shred you.

      Delete
  7. Hi, Cheryl-Lee!

    Your story about a close encounter of the iguana kind immediately reminded me of something that happened to Mrs. Shady years ago. Imagine this. She was in the powder room of our home seated on the toilet when she heard splashing in the water below. She jumped up, turned around, looked down into the bowl and discovered a large frog doing what appeared to be the breast stroke! By large I mean the critter spanned at least eight inches with his legs extended. Mrs. S ran, screaming all the way, to our lanai where she fetched a net we use to scoop up bugs on the surface of the water in the swimming pool. When she fished the frog out of the toilet it leaped into our family room and disappeared under the sofa. Our dog went crazy barking and trying to get at the creature. We put the dog in another room and eventually cornered the frog, carried it outdoors and released it. We have no idea how it got into the toilet in the first place.

    I hope you have a great week, dear friend Cheryl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see a perfect scene in a movie with this happening. Tell Mrs. S. she needs to write that up!

      Delete
  8. Iguanas are awesome! Since they can grow to six feet long, they can make excellent guard animals in the event of a burglar.

    Congratulations on your new story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're frequently on the dinner menu in Laos. I've never liked the idea of eating them. They look so prehistoric that I think they deserve to live out their lives unbothered by us.

      Delete
    2. Ugh, on the menu! I guess that would be one way to get me on a starvation diet. :-)

      Delete
    3. They do not look appetizing, but I've been told they taste like a very tender chicken. Still. . . .

      Delete
  9. Wonderful story and congratulations on you publication.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's actually just a short story, but I loved that images, so I decided to use it.

      Delete
  10. haha bet it thought you two were nuts as it strolled away.

    Congrats on the cat story, even as you mumble about the cat lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another pat on the back for Hatt and the cat! I did think I was crazy a lot of the time I lived there.

      Delete
  11. that sure wasn't a regular thieving coon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come to think of it, no. And Laos is sans raccoons as far as I know.

      Delete
  12. Good story. Interesting! (though not appetizing in the way of eating.) :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always felt sorry for them in the marketplace. They didn't deserve to be treated so badly. Where's the SPCA when you need them?

      Delete
  13. I don't even like small lizards, so that iguana would've freaked me out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He had a mission that night--to scare us out of his den!

      Delete
  14. Congrats on the cat story! I definitely would have been running from that iguana, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear that others are as cautious about these guys as I am.

      Delete
  15. I'm with you on that. An iguana--how dangerous is that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They just intimidate, then scurry away, but I'm not one to take chances after dark in a country where I don't have tons of allies. :-)

      Delete
  16. I am always, but always, more than ready to read a story by you.
    And am smiling at the courage that the iguana forced upon you, and stole from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue. You nailed it. One minute I was fearless and armed with my broom, and the next I was pounding my way out of there.

      Delete
  17. You write the best stories, Lee. This one had me scared and then laughing. Perfect response to a story. Thanks for making me smile today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beverly. Thanks for reading, being a bit scared and then getting a good laugh. Perfect.

      Delete
  18. Those iguanas mean business and sure sent a clear message. I wonder is he the beginning for more troops on the way, lol

    ReplyDelete
  19. OMG, your iguana story is hilarious.
    And many congrats to both you and Pat! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Humorous in the telling. Not so much, as I recall, that night. Thanks, Sandra! Loved your post today about the wombat. Adorable creature.

      Delete
  20. Great story. You could totally turn some of these into a book of vignettes or some such. Sounds like a great experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have them stored just in case. Thanks, Liz.

      Delete
  21. Great story! I love animals, so I probably would have ran after it, trying to get a photo. :)

    Love that you wrote a kitty story. Can't wait to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's rather short, but I sometimes like to write and read short. Great way to pass the time while standing in a line. :-)

      Delete
  22. Hey Lee,

    I'm commenting before a certain famous dog takes over. I know she might say something sarcastic in regards to cats and we can't let that happen.

    You do realise that iguanas are our friends. I got fond of one particular iguana in Cancun, Mexico but hey, I'll leave it at that.

    Hearty concats, um, congrats to you and of course, Pat in the Hatt and his crazy cat!

    Oh, before I forget, I'm still your starstuckest fan, as paw, um as per usual.

    Gary, Gary, nary contrary....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope Penny allows you some room to express your creativity. She's a powerhouse of a pup. Glad to see you out and about. Always great to read your supportive comments.

      Delete
  23. Oh my...you made me laugh and I really needed this today. My mom was in the hospital briefly today but all is ok and she is back at her home. I couldn't be with her today because I am not well and can't talk. Reading about you both running away with the perplexed iguana looking at the two of you as if you just fell off the turnip truck made me laugh. It reminded me when I found a big snake under the garden tarp and I thought I would be grave and try and move it with the rake. When it struck out, I ran like a little girl back into the house

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now you see if that iguana had been a snake I would have gone through the concrete walls. If something has legs, I'm more or less able to cope (unless is dark), but with snakes it's "out of my way!!! I'm leaving."

      Delete
  24. Its sort of not so funny right at this moment for me as I'm all alone in a huge house and there are some weird sounds coming from closed off bedrooms :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm. Could it be the ghost of the great iguana?

      Delete
  25. Loved it. Well told. I was right with ya in that washing room. You made me laugh out loud. Lovely memory. You are inspiring.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can take myself back to that night in an instant. I remember more details of that than I do my wedding, and that was pretty special. Don't tell my husband.

      Delete
  26. That's a fantastic story. I probably would have reacted the same way. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That old fight or flight kicked in and fight was not a choice. :-)

      Delete
  27. Congratulations! Loved your iguana story. I would have done the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you're with me on the idea of escape.

      Delete
  28. Lol. I liked the "dropped weapons and run" comment. Seems very feminine! So like me, lol.

    At least you faced your fear and discovered what it was before running away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty brave until after the sun goes down. :-)

      Delete
  29. Hi Lee - thanks for the shout out.

    Oh gosh I can imagine you'd have some stories to tell from those days. Having an iguana jump out of the washing machine would have surprised me ... crumbs - how funny - well not ... but yet yes.

    Love the 'girded your loins' ... such a good turn of phrase ... fun story ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to throw that phrase in whenever possible. It has such visual impact. :-)

      Delete
  30. I find iguanas interesting. Thanks for sharing this!


    www.ficklemillennial.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Very good and very well-told. I enjoyed that bit. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Whoa, I think I'll settle for dealing with house spiders for now;) Glad you published another piece too:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mark,
      Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop in. Hope all is well in your publishing world.

      Delete
  33. Oh, wow! I don't blame you for needing so long to go back into the washroom; I'm not sure I would've had the courage to check the noise out in the first place!
    Great story! And I love the quote at the end. :)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fear masquerading as fear, Alexa. Glad you enjoyed the quote.

      Delete
  34. Congrats on your latest story- the cover looks great!

    What an entertaining iguana story! You told it so well that it was easy to picture it all. I have never seen an iguana in the wild- but I can imagine the noise and how startling it was to have him jump out. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  35. Congrats on the book.

    I totally laughed at your story, but I would probably have been screaming along side you if there.

    ReplyDelete

Please say something to me, anything. Well, not anything, but a kind word will do.