For the record, I hate house lizards.
Well, I hate all types of lizards but the other kinds don't enter my home uninvited so they don't bother me. Some of you might say, "no big deal, I don't like them either." But you see, I REALLY hate those lizards, ie they terrify me to the point of temporary paralysis. The phobia is so bad that I can't sleep if I know there's one in my bedroom. I'm paranoid that it will crawl on the ceiling and drop on me.
At home, Kenneth is known as the Lizard Killer. There's always a bottle of Baygon (to stun them) and a rolled up newspaper close at hand. He has to be quick cos those darn geckos are trickily fast. He jokes that he should put up a chart chalk-marking the number of lizards he has demolished, as a warning to all their kin.
Don't tell me that killing lizards is a sin as they eat mosquitoes and other insects. I've seen those lizards, most of the time, they're not quick enough to catch the mozzies. Instead, they've adapted to the lazy Singaporean lifestyle by coming out at night to feast on leftover crumbs of food. In other words, totally useless. Don't count on them to eradicate dengue any time soon.
I'm not sure how this phobia came about, I suspect I was traumatised when young. I lived in an HDB flat teeming with lizards and since I slept on a mattress on the floor, I came into close contact with them. I guess it didn't help that my parents merely laughed at my fear. In fact today, I still have a long recurring nightmare that I'm precariously perched on a piece of furniture while the room is swarming with the disgusting reptile.
I'm pretty sure part of the reason for my fear is that lizards simply look grotesque. They're bug-eyed with misshapen heads, and feet that cling creepily onto anything like stubborn blue tack. They even drop body parts at will, for Pete's sake!
We've tried everything from lizard traps to old wives' tales like leaving out lavender, egg shells and pandan leaves (I think the last one is more for roaches though). We've also put gauze over the bathroom window. Don't laugh but in a very extreme measure, we've even taped up our back door (we don't use it lah, obviously) since we discovered it was a major lizard highway to our kitchen.
I'm happy to say for the most part, our home is now generally lizard-free, except for the occasional rogue one. I'm a little apprehensive about moving to a larger place on the ground floor at the end of the year. I'll have to figure out how to lizard-proof it. Meanwhile, I'm keeping the Lizard Killer close to me.