A couple of months ago, our coffeemaker stopped working out of the blue.  It wasn’t an ancient relic, maybe a little under a year old.  We only made one pot of coffee a day, so it’s not like we killed the thing.  It was annoying to have to buy a new one, so we didn’t put much effort into shopping for a new one–we just wanted some coffee.

Someone–not mentioning any names–made a pot of coffee a couple of days ago and didn’t push the carafe and basket into place.  This made a huge mess.  Coffee grinds were in every crevice of the coffeemaker, in addition to baked onto the warming element.  If the coffeemaker hadn’t been relatively new, I would have just thrown it away.  It was that much of a mess.

Before I go forward, I know it must seem like I either have some sort of pest/bug obsession or I live in a barn.  I don’t, I promise.  My bug/pest encounters are upsetting and make me feel like writing.

For some background to the story, several years ago, when my kids were toddlers, I was home alone with them while my husband was on a business trip.  On the first night of his trip, I was getting everyone ready for sleep.  I happened to go into my kids’ bedroom and as soon as I turned on the light, I saw something slither or scurry under the bed.  I was pretty sure it was a snake or something–a small snake, and probably extremely poisonous.

I told the kids to run out of the room–well, more like screamed at the top of my lungs while running in circles–and grabbed the closest thing I could think of, a can of Bengal.  I sprayed along the baseboards trying to find the thing.  Once I saw it, I really sprayed the poor little guy.  Why did I do it?  Panic.  Bengal kills flying insects but not snakes–especially not the rarest, most extremely poisonous snakes.

Turns out, after a friend answered my panicked call and rushed over, it was a gecko.  I guess I was the only person left on the planet that didn’t know these little critters existed, much less the difference between a snake and a gecko.  After given one of those, “you shouldn’t have done that” looks, my friend told me that those are symbols of good luck, so you should never spray one heavily with roach spray.

Few geckos have ventured into my home since that unfortunate and unlucky night.  I never go around wanting to kill bugs or anything, but I can’t live with them in my house.  I give them every chance to leave through an open window.  They don’t pay the mortgage or contribute one dime to the electric bill.  Still, I felt so horrible for spraying that poor gecko with Bengal that when I do see one, I try to get it in a box and take it outside to free it.

Sorry, back to the coffeemaker.  I spent an hour or so cleaning every nook and cranny that I could reach.  I peered into the water reservoir to be sure to remove any grinds that might have wound up in there.  I had been wiping down the coffeemaker and sticking my hands all up in the crevices.

As I’m looking into the deep water reservoir, I see something with a pattern, so I put my face closer to look inside.  My eyes scan to the right and there’s some little eyes looking right at me.  Yikes!  It’s a gecko!  I scream, throwing the coffeemaker against the back splash and slamming the lid down.  Yuck!  How long has he been in there?!  How did he get in there?  Did we brew coffee with that little guy in there?

One consolation is that he was alive, at least.  After hyperventilating, crying, calling people, then having a total breakdown from the trauma, I braved up and went back into the kitchen.  I would not hurt the gecko, no matter what.  Is this little guy giving me the chance to renew some good karma?  I hope so because I asked a very special favor from him.  I can’t tell you what it is, though, because it’s like blowing out birthday cake candles.  If I tell you, it won’t happen.

I unplugged the coffeemaker and held the lid tightly in place as I walked down the stairs to the deck.  This took a little more effort since stairs still give me a little trouble, not to mention holding the lid on a coffeemaker with a gecko in it.  I walked to my favorite plants on the deck and turned the coffeemaker upside down.  The little guy waited on the deck for a little while before he moved.

I waited with him and happily watched him eventually become brave enough to head off on an outside adventure.