Listening to: Paramore, "That's What You Get"
So I've been doing something a little out of the ordinary lately.
Frog-handling and frog-sitting.
I know this photographer from my time down at the cafe where I write, and his latest project revolves around frogs. He shoots them with flowers, vegetables, fruits, and various miniature items.
Of course, since he has to be behind the camera, he needs someone to position the frog and then jump out of the way before the frog himself can jump. When his regular assistant is unavailable, he calls on me and I help out. It's definitely an interesting gig.
He has three red-eyed tree frogs (two adults and one baby), which look something like this:
Seriously, how freaking cute are these things? I mean, COME ON. Look at that little face and those little hands.
And then there's the poison dart frog, who looks like this but CUTER.
Seriously, he's teeny tiny. He also has, at least I think, prettier coloring than the photo above. His blue is deeper and darker. We call him Little Blue. He is, to be honest, my favorite.
And then there's the miracle frog, who escaped eight months ago and was presumed dead. Steve (the photographer, in case you didn't click the above link to his site) was fixing his washer a few weekends ago and, when he went to move the washer, found the little guy under there. He survived for eight months on whatever water and bugs he could scavenge down there. Pretty impressive, I'd say!
He's a fire-bellied toad, by the way, and they look like this:
Not cute in the same way as the tree and poison dart frogs, but cute in his very own way.
He's also the only one I get to watch hunt when I feed them.
That's right, I also feed them on occasion. I did it twice this past weekend, and boy was I nervous. All it really involves is changing their water dishes, giving each frog the correct number of crickets or fruit flies, and moistening their soil. I only had to do it every other day, but I wanted to be there at other times just to make sure everyone was still alive.
That might have something to do with the fact that I already kinda-sorta-maybe-a-little had something to do with the demise of one of the original tree frogs.
Those of you who have followed me for a while may remember a few mentions of the little disorder that I bear, hyperhidrosis. Yeah, I'm sweaty. Quite sweaty. And tree frogs, like most or all frogs*, drink through their skin, and so they can only come in contact with spring water. My sweat would probably kill them, seeing as how it's not really pure and it's probably salty. So I wore rubber gloves whenever I assisted with a photo shoot.** And I did that for several days in a row.
Which had never really been done before, so we didn't know that, as Steve suspects, the latex in the gloves would affect Carlos. His coloring started to go bad, and then one morning--boom. Gone. I felt pretty horrible about this, even though Steve insisted it wasn't my fault and neither of us could've known. And I really liked Carlos. He was a good little frog.
Super-tempted to put "Frog Handler" on my resume. I mean, come on. It at least guarantees a call to ask what the heck that is. Have you ever had any particularly odd jobs or side gigs that just begged for a cryptic title on your resume?
*Look at me, making an assertion and being too lazy to do the research to back it up. Yeah, I'll admit it.
**Embarrassing fact: The first day, I realized I could actually sweat through one pair of rubber gloves. Without an opportunity to blot, it just gathers and gathers and finally seeps through. After that, I doubled up.
If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then possibly what you are doing isn't very vital. If you don't feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don't have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough. --John Irving