Strange Day…

Look who was hanging out in men’s hat storage in the HJT….

It has been a strange one. Everyone I encountered remarked that the day wasn’t the best or upon its strangeness. From snowfall during a lecture, distracting all, to a broken tooth (thank you-not thank you Bon Appetite), I was hunkering down for the long haul. I do have to admit, however, that the afternoon had a beautiful view….

What? The gecko? You don’t care about the rest of it?

Fair enough. Correct my small errors of accuracy here and there on this snowy-Monday-first dress-broken tooth afternoon.

Our Monday…this particular Monday we were giving up the costumes of The One Acts to dress rehearsal and the dressing rooms, when the hero…the lead, if you will, of the day (Ruby) comes into the dressing rooms and announces to all present…

There is a gecko in men’s hat storage.

What? said their companions? Huh? said I, as the Dowager Duchess of this situation moving along in my task thinking I hadn’t heard them correctly.

Upon returning to the costume shop I find, replacing tempest in a teacup, gecko in a teacup.

I had heard correctly. Gecko in a eastern Washington college building? The backstory is as follows:

One year ago… in fact one year ago almost to the day, a fourth-year student lost his pet gecko, Linguine, in the Harper Joy Theatre. Despite an intensive search by some (and minimal by others), he was never found. The betting pool favored stumbling upon its carcass… long dead… having joined the other ghosts in the basement of the Harper Joy.

But no, fellow readers.


This gecko survived, by whatever means he could, until his hero found him in men’s hats after restocking a clown wig.

Linguine’s Tom Hanks. Ruby’s the boat, y’all. Ruby saved Linguine, scooping him up from theatre storage in a teacup.

After wandering around the Biology building, going up to every and all person that would listen, I would say:

Hi. I’m Annaliese Baker, and I teach in the theater department. We found the gecko that has been missing for a year. No, I do know that he’s been missing for a year because a student lost him or year ago. No, I know it’s the same gecko, because there are pictures and video that match. I don’t know why a gecko was in the theatre, but doesn’t everyone need a friend?

Theatre is a community of people seeking space for both communion and pulpit…regardless.

Do you have a terrarium or something we could put him in? He also looks very hungry, and with the snow outside; I’m a little bit at a loss as to what to do.

I repeated that story to about five science scholars, which was a lot of fun for me but perhaps it just validated their preconception of the strangeness of people in theater…

So. That’s the end. There’s a gecko. I think shop mascot? He’s on my kitchen counter while I google terrariums. First costume shop with a gecko mascot. Does it have a ring to it? It seems very Whitman wonderful to me.

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