reptiles were killed in the making of this film
I could not make this up if I tried—I’m not that good a storyteller. My neighbor (who was also the seller of my home), the awesome Jimmy Joe (not his real name), was given the green light by the State of Florida to do whatever was necessary to rid his home and property of the ever-invasive iguana. Stalwart citizen, community advocate, and house proud Jimmy Joe went to Mo’s Barber Shop and bought his first rifle—a pellet gun, the weapon of choice for hunting iguana in the Keys.
Jimmy Joe (JJ), a business man, husband, grandfather and respected local, lives on a beautiful lane that runs into the cemetery—the cemetery, a living, breathing, reptile house, with no walls to contain the rodents. As lovers of water, it was a mere short walk down the lane to JJ’s pool, where the critters could shit and swim and have a gay, ole, iguana time. But Jimmy stepped up to the poolside firing line and began taking aim at his uninvited guests—and the thrill of the hunt took hold of him. He began taking walks with his rifle to the cemetery fence, holding it between the wrought irons rails and wiping out a few buggers every day—there were reportedly thousands of iguanas within the property. In an act of consciousness, he went to the cemetery’s caretaker and they discussed the iguana problem, Jimmy once again given the green light to do whatever was necessary to rid the community (and State) of the overpopulation. Why, the caretaker told him that even he had bagged forty some iguana last week, a huge problem within the cemetery as families stopped coming to their loved ones gravesites, not at all comfortable with tending to the once vibrant plastic bouquets, never mind saying prayers under the beady waatch of prehistoric creatures. The city had no money to tackle the problem; but JJ had balls, a little booze in him, a friend or two, a brand new rifle, and a great, civic responsibility.
The following video is of Jimmy Joe and friend, out for an afternoon hunt. Apparently, there were several of these safaris, including an encounter with the Key West police where the hunters were once again given, you guessed it, another green light to do what needed to be done. Please watch the entire piece, it is hysterical, truly, “only in key west” as the locals would say. Jimmy Joe is the gentleman with the yellow bandana—as if you couldn’t figure that one out all on your own.
DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THE IGUANA.
An interesting post script: In a review of Carl Hiaasen’s latest book, Bad Monkey, USA Today said, “…If Florida didn’t exist, it would take a novelist with a wicked sense of humor to invent it.” A very fun read, set in the keys.
art: jake fuller