It’s beginning to look a lot like The Holiday of Your Choice in Tallahassee, Florida. All the signs are there: ugly sweater party Facebook events are piling up, special snowflakes are complaining about Starbucks’ attack on Christmas and your token out of state friend won’t stop mansplaining how the weather works up north. Moving to Florida was definitely a shock for out of staters, and not just because of all the run in’s with Jimmy Buffet. Students flocking here for school are surprised to find that the “tiny little concrete alligators” running around stay active during the tepid winter months, giving them even more time to learn the little creature’s weaknesses before they return home to the arctic tundras of South Dakota.
“I swear, it almost bit my hand tootsies off. I was walking around, looking for a grocery store that wasn't Publix, and went to pick up what I thought was a… a…” stammered Marvin from MammalsOnly, Massachusetts, nervously sipping from his extra large Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, “… a Boston Red Sock! Turns out it was just a super engorged, furry, red tail! The thing’s tail literally popped off. Started to wiggle around and shit! It distracted me while the thing literally sprinted backward out of the bush, and tried to snap my poor fingies right off! It’s about (pronounced like a-boat, thank yew) time Thrasher does something about these winter lizards. I don’t feel safe.”
“I think Marv’s just being a little dramatic. We all told him to watch out, and he just didn’t believe us. I even told him that back in Miami, a 50 foot, purple lizard ate my parents. He just laughed, though! I guess it was late December. Pretty funny that we all didn’t see it coming,” said Michelle Luto from Miami, in an absurdly nonchalant tone. “Moving up to Tallahassee has been great, especially for these frigid winter months. I may need a parka for half of the Fall semester, but at least I don’t have to worry about leaving my cat alone on the porch or my brother coming up to visit!”
Whether it be teaching them the stingray shuffle, or that black racers are more afraid of you than you are of them, warning friends who otherwise might not know about the severity of winter lizards is crucial in these coming months. Great gift ideas include reptile repellent, battle axes, full sets of chainmail, steel toed boots and interactive books about Florida Wildlife— all of which can be found at your local convenience store. Remember, failure to do so may result in friends never shutting up about that one time a giant, misshapen rainbow reptile almost ripped their limb off. Unfortunately there is no gift that will get them to stop saying “I’m not even cold.”