You are here

Night of the Iguana: How a 99-Cent Plastic Toy Terrorized a Vacationing Family

As a vacation-rental company in Colorado, the calls Summit Mountain Rentals receives from guests never involve “life-threatening” situations. Typically, guests call to ask about a finicky TV remote control or how to light a gas fireplace. 

So, imagine our surprise and concern when a family who had recently checked in to one of our vacation homes called to report a possibly hazardous situation: a large “iguana” or lizard “perched” in the bathroom. And these guests were truly terrified!

If you've ever vacationed in Florida or elsewhere in the tropics, stories about an "alligator in pool" or "lizards in the hall” aren’t unheard of — but in the dead of winter, in Colorado, at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet? Still, the safety of our guests is paramount, so we immediately dispatched Tony, a fearless, strapping maintenance technician, to investigate. Armed with a container and nerves of steel, he set out, unswerving in his determination to capture the renegade reptile disrupting this hapless family’s ski getaway.

Upon arriving at the home minutes later, Tony found the family cowering in the home as far away from the demon lizard’s lair as possible. Throwing caution to the wind, he opened the bathroom door and prepared to face the scaly terror within. Turning to the corner, he came face to face with the prehistoric beast, crimson eyes glistening and apparently ready to strike.

But as he braced for battle, Tony took stock of the situation. The “iguana,” while menacing, had been described by the guests as the size of a small dog; this adversary was considerably smaller. After a tense standoff, Tony decided to strike first, prodding the monster with a stick …

Nothing. No hissing, no sudden or threatening movements, no leaping toward its tormenter to strike with venom-soaked fangs and razor-like claws. Feeling emboldened, Tony reached down and picked it up. Was it dead?

No. It was plastic. On the lizard’s belly, he found indisputable evidence of the lizard’s origin: “Made in China.”

Tony assured the family that the situation was secure, although they still weren’t eager to get too close to the scaled-down, silicon-based quadruped.

They thanked the fearless maintenance man profusely. And as he went off into the night, ready for his next encounter … be it with a menacing toy lizard or even more cantankerous Comcast remote control ... Tony turned to the family and said:

“It’s who I am, folks. It’s what I do.”

(Editor’s note: This account is based on true events.)