We are Not Just Visiting

You may call me Raoul, although that is not my real name. I have been invited to guest- author the Frog legs section after meeting Mary in the courtyard of her home in Palm City, Florida. I use an alias because I am not in this country with the permission of your government. I, and multitudes of my fellow lizards, have come to fabulous Florida seeking refuge from the political repression of our native Cuba. I will not fill this column with complaints about the hardships of life on my native island. Instead, I wish to describe our present and future plans and aspirations. The semitropical climate of South Florida is perfect for the health and well-being of all reptiles. The fact that so many varieties of reptiles live in Florida has made the adaptation process quick and easy. Low cost housing is readily available, and the variety of insect life assures us that every meal is a banquet. The political climate in South Florida is hospitable to almost anything which has shown the courage to escape life under communism and choose the marvelous freedom of this country. My fellow lizards have been in the south of Florida for a couple of decades. Well over 100 generations of my species have been born here. We have grown up without knowing of repression by our government nor deprivation such as our ancestors suffered back on the island. Watching and observing from our vantage points beneath shrubs and broad leafy plants, we have come to know and understand how minorities from another land can move to America and  eventually become part of the culture and politics of this benevolent land.

Our goal is not only acceptance by the human population, but inclusion in the decision-making process as practiced by the politicians of South Florida. We submit as our credentials that our species is ready to be as corrupt and self-serving as any of the Florida politicians in recent memory. We look forward to the day when we can steer federal and state tax dollars in the direction which will benefit our thousands of generations of lizards yet to come. We hope to accomplish all of this, as the human politicians seem able to, without working very hard. We possess the secret of their success. Get elected. Stay elected. Our initial gambit was to organize ourselves under the single banner of a political party. Next is to convince the Florida state legislature that as native born citizens of the state, we would be entitled to the right to vote. We have hired lobbyists on a contingency basis to help us in this endeavor. We have also been visiting the homes of the justices of the Florida Supreme Court, attempting to cultivate a friendly attitude on their part by being good neighbors and handling their insect problems for them, without charge. That is our quest, that is the endeavor to which we are all dedicated. This is all being kept very low key, especially in Tallahassee. We are hoping to get our voting rights bill attached to a major tax refund provision which should overwhelmingly pass the state legislature. Once this has been voted on and passed, and then reviewed by our insect-free Florida Supreme Court, all doors will be open to us. Given our breeding habits, within two years we should control enough votes to place lizards as county commissioners, mayors, and state legislators. We vow to be ever mindful of what makes Florida great and to carry on in the fabled traditions of past Florida politicians. That time, obviously, has not arrived yet. There is still work to be done and alliances to be formed. We have taken care of Mary's insect population. Could we do the same for you?  Honest.