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Did You Ever Wear Chameleons As Earrings When You Were A Kid?

From the ages of 1 to 12, my family and I lived in Abilene which is out in West Texas.  A couple of times a year we’d make the 8-hour drive to my grandmother’s house in Silsbee, which is in Deep East Texas just north of Beaumont.

My siblings and I thought that my grandmother’s house was a magical place. Instead of the mesquite and cactus to which we were accustomed in arid West Texas, we were treated to the aroma of pine trees and honeysuckle in humid East Texas.  And instead of horny toads in Abilene, there were chameleons in Silsbee.  At least that’s what we called them.  It wasn’t until years later that I discovered they’re actually green anoles.

There’s actually an art to hunting anoles.  You’ve got to grab them in the middle of their bodies because, if you don’t, their tails break off and they get away. We’d put them on our shirts to see what color they’d change into which could range from green to brown.  But my favorite thing to do was to wear them as jewelry.  If you coax an anole just right, he’ll open his mouth and you can attach him to your ear lobe where he’ll clamp his jaws.

Yesterday morning we discovered a green anole in the light fixture in one of the offices at the 99X studios where he was terrorizing our Digital Managing Editor, Chasity Spears.  We were able to extricate the lizard from the light, and I then proceeded to relive a moment of my childhood.

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