Why You Should Never Trust a Gecko

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Aww … so cute and pretty, right? Wrong!

When I first arrived in Thailand, I was all, “Look at all the geckos! They’re so small and sweet. Maybe I can tie a little leash around one and call him Buckminster*.”

But that was before I got to know them. Here’s why I can no longer trust geckos.

They plot against you.

When I was in bed yesterday, I felt something fall on my stomach. I looked up to see this …

He had just dropped a home-cooked lizardy nugget on my bare stomach, and this motherfucking gecko was just frozen there on the ceiling, staring intensely at me with his pinhead eyes.

They move too fast.

They have this horrible way of moving around, like a horror movie villain who has been run over by a car seven times, and, even though he has dislocated hips and backwards elbows, he still manages to stagger at an alarming speed. It’s a spasmodic, feverish shimmy. Their sticky foot pads allows them to climb walls, and if startled, they’ll find an open window to mush their fleshy bodies through, before disappearing into the night.

They want to mess with your mind.

The song of the gecko is omnipresent. GECK-O. It’s in the corners of your room. GECK-O. It’s under the couch. GECK-O. It’s coming from underwear drawer, your make-up bag, your box of Special-K. Imagine if I hid in your house and, every now and then, made my presence known by whispering my name. TORRE. TORRE. TORRE. No, not creepy at all.

They are bilingual.

Thai people call them chingchoks because according to them, that is the noise they make. Really? Because I’m hearing a distinctive GECK-O. There is definitely no CHING and absolutely no CHOC in GECK-O. Which can only me one thing: they speak two languages!

Whenever you are, there they are.

Every morning when I get out a bowl for breakfast, I expose a gecko from his hiding spot under the dishware. Freaked, he takes off running like a madman—his tiny hips sashaying in high speed, his beady eyes far too clued-in for my liking. Whether I’m preparing my breakfast or showering or sleeping, I can feel 1,000 unblinking stares fixed lasciviously on my food, my body, my orifices. They’re always near, watching, waiting …

They can lick their own eyeballs.

They don’t have eyelids, they instead just lick their eyeballs clean. Enough said.

They’re meaty.

Ivan was in the bathroom having a leisurely pee when he suddenly flew out of the door backwards. “There’s a giant lizard in there!” he said, startled. Ivan is the person I call when I need giant spider removal services. He swims with sharks and snacks on deep fried cockroaches. But this lizard had him jigging about on the spot.

“Really? You’re scared of a lizard?” I said.

“It’s meaty!”

“Can you put it outside?”

“No-ho-ho-ho-ho!” he stammered. “No-ho-ho-ho-ho-way! It’s too meaty.”

I wanted to see some meat that even an Argentinean wouldn’t go near.  ”Show me.”

He pointed in horror to the wall beside the toilet. It was longer than my foot, and meaty it was:

If you blur your eyes, they’re fingers with legs.

I used to think they were adorable, but now I realise they are the fingers of sex offenders that have grown eyes and legs so they can slip into small spaces without being noticed. See?

Creepy fingers want to give you some candy

Or maybe they’re just harmless house lizards. I don’t know.

* Buckminster was the name my parents were going to give me if I’d come out a boy. No kidding. My parents tried for a boy, but had six girls instead. Clearly, God doesn’t approve of Buckminster either, but I feel it’s the perfect name for a creepy lizard on a leash.

Leave a Comment

  • Christina May 11, 2012 at 9:01 am edit

    Hysterical–as usual. XX

  • erin aka eef May 11, 2012 at 11:51 am edit

    haha, i love this post! we have geckos here, but no that many. i have yet to find one in the house, so they’re still fun to me… i don’t imagine they’d be so fun scampering about my house.

  • Erica May 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm edit

    This is hilarious! and I have no idea that they lick their own eyeballs.

    I’d take 10 geckos over 1 roach any day, though…

  • Shannon O'Donnell May 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm edit

    This is hilarious. And I happen to love gekkos, the cute little ones that chuckle at just the right moment when I would chat with friends in my apartment in Thailand. Then I went south to Cambodia and saw my first full-grown one. THEY’RE SCARY. And meaty..meaty is precisely the word for it. :)

  • Meg May 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm edit

    My dog loves to gecko hunt, or what I like to call Lizzy hunt. She is so fascinated by them, so if anything they are good dog toys! :)

    • Torre DeRoche May 15, 2012 at 3:26 am edit

      Lizzy. Funny. We often call them Lizzy too. “Oh, look, Lizzy’s here.” All lizards are really just one female character named Lizzy.

      I agree that they make good toys for the dogs (and cats, I’m sure).

  • Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures May 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm edit

    Torre, hilarious as always! I have to say though, I totally miss the geckos from my time in Thailand! They became such a routine site that it’s just not the same sitting at a restaurant at home in NYC and NOT seeing one of them traversing the ceiling above you!

  • Denise May 12, 2012 at 12:25 am edit

    They do say GECK-O….definitely!

  • Lindsey May 12, 2012 at 12:42 am edit

    Bahaha this was hilarious! We get geckos a bit here but not that many! Sounds, umm, fun …

  • Deborah May 12, 2012 at 11:00 am edit

    When I lived in Cambodia there were geckos all over my flat. Someone once told me the only time they fall from the roof is when they are ‘mating’… I suspect I spent much of the time trying to discourage bonking (lest they drop on top of me when I least expect it!).

    I know they’re essentially harmless, but I find them freaky… plus the noise they make can be bloody annoying!

    • Torre DeRoche May 15, 2012 at 3:32 am edit

      Just out of curiosity, how to do you about discouraging geckos from bonking? Does that mean no Barry White music after 10pm?

      • licerio July 5, 2013 at 5:43 am edit

        hehe perfectly whitty response. I recently moved to Hawaii and the geckos are really gonna take some getting used to and the flying roaches any advise. lol lizzy just laughed at me when i typed that

  • Charley May 12, 2012 at 11:18 am edit

    Must be the sheer numbers of them. We have ONE lone gecko living near out car port and he comes out only when its super hot. He’s the only one ive ever seen at our house an don his own he is cute (and exciting for his rareness!). But what you’re describing does sound freaky…and hilariously described :)

    • Torre DeRoche May 15, 2012 at 3:35 am edit

      How do you know it was only one and not many that looked the same? I thought we had ONE living on the boat (Lizzy) and then one day we found in a corner, dried up and very much dead. “Oh, no, poor Lizzy.” But then the next day, Lizzy was back, Pet Sematary-style.

  • Sarah Somewhere May 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm edit

    Ba ha ha ha ha… Too funny, Torre. Maybe you could write a spooky children’s book about The Aventures of Buckminster, it wil be like the next Harry Potter, but better :)

  • Nicole May 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm edit

    I had never heard of the name Buckminster before, but just now, a quote by Buckminster Fuller came up in my FB feed. I had to come back and tell you. Was it he who your parents wanted to name you after?

  • Pia May 13, 2012 at 11:55 am edit

    You’ve done it again T dawg! Funny, funny post! I told you, they’re HUGE on that island! I feel the need to share the fact that I accidentally ran over a gecko on my wheely office chair last week. I may have cut the little guy in half?….It’s haunted me ever since! It wasn’t pretty. There is still little meaty bits in the wheel. And then there was the time one launched itself at me in the shower in Nam. I squealed like a bitch. Luke said he has never heard that sound come out of my mouth before. They are sneaky little buggers that haunt you. GECK-O, GECK-O is natures cruel version of the ‘Venga Bus’ song I reckon! Love to you and Ivan xxx

  • kate May 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm edit

    Wow – I was laughing out loud reading this. I always thought of geckos as cute and cuddly too, you know, the Geico gecko type of gecko. Now I have a new phobia! Thanks for the laughs (not the phobia) :)

  • Davis May 14, 2012 at 12:14 am edit

    Here in the States we have a gecko as the Trusted Spokesperson for a car insurance company.

  • Ayngelina May 14, 2012 at 3:32 am edit

    Oh my this made me laugh out loud. But I have to defend the gecko for a minute – they do eat bugs and there is nothing worse than the bugs in South East Asia.

  • Emily Woodhouse May 17, 2012 at 4:18 am edit

    Your gecko pictures reminded me of my childhood memory. When I was in Subic Bay, Philippines with my parents. My mom used to call them little dinosaurs in front of me. lol

  • Jeremy Branham May 18, 2012 at 5:16 am edit

    I wouldn’t want to deal with those lizards either. Those things are big! Here’s the real question – do they bite?

    Well I will say this for Geckos – they do a great job of selling car insurance!

  • Lauren May 18, 2012 at 6:47 am edit

    I’ve never given much thought to Geckos- I’ve only seen them in Hawaii and I found them pretty and cool, and a bit freaky at the same time.

    Buckminister? Really. Where did they get that name from? You don’t hear that every day. And six girls, they really wanted a boy!

  • Hannah May 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm edit

    I loved this post! You made me laugh out loud, but I gotta say, I’m down with the geckos, meaty or otherwise. I just find them so darn cute! I never actually knew that they really said ‘Geck-o’ until I was in Bali a few years ago and heard a little dude introducing himself for the first time. I have to admit, it made me love them even more. Don’t hate me.

  • Runaway Brit May 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm edit

    I have to admit that when I lived in Saigon I quite liked the geckos that ran around the house (apart from when they sprang out from the toilet bowl), but my next door neighbour seemed to have all manner of problems with them: they used to run down his walls and steal rubber bands from a bowl on his desk! Another time he was removing his laundry from the washing machine and found HALF a gecko amongst his clothes! He never found the other half.

  • Vacay Girl June 7, 2012 at 11:21 pm edit

    Ugh! Never thought they were cute but was never bothered by them either. I’d imagine if I saw them constantly they would begin to freak me out as well. I know you’ve probably already thought of this but I hope one never poops in your mouth while you sleep. That would definitely mean curtains for the little guy!

  • Sueann June 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm edit

    I have a massive phobia of geckos/lizards and had a very hard time reading this post. *Shudder* The last image did not settle well in my mind and I had to rapid-scroll to the bottom of the screen just so I could get away from the image. ARGHH!!!

    And to follow up on some of the comments, I’d take a roach anytime over a baby lizard. Roaches still creep me out but at least I don’t do a minor convulsion whenever I see a picture of one.

  • Katherine - Kapcha The World June 21, 2012 at 2:59 am edit

    haha awesome. Am literally crying with laughter now!

  • NaEun July 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm edit

    I grew up in Cambodia for 14 years – I am TERRIFIED of them. When travelers come and say that they are the cutest creatures, I cringe. Next time, I’m showing them this post. I have so many horrible gecko stories too. yikes!

  • Leif August 14, 2012 at 1:31 am edit

    They’re fingers with legs lol. A thai lady told me that if you hear them croak 7 times then you will have good luck.

  • Gina September 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm edit

    I love geckos, but I don’t think I’ll ever look at them in quite the same way again. :)

  • Julie Jacobson September 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm edit

    I love your gecko story and your Bio, the two things that I have read so far. Your website is beaucoup fun. I hope to have my own website someday, but I have a lot of time to sit and think about it since my son is going to make it for me. Maybe I’ll even learn how to be funny by then.

  • Neil Skywalker January 14, 2013 at 10:14 am edit

    I’m dating a Sudanese girl now who is deadly afraid of Gecko’s too. She would love this article.

  • Saïd February 25, 2013 at 10:59 am edit

    I met one of’em in the guestroom about a month ago, he was small and fast, he ran under the bed, I thought ok I don’t use that room so leave him be. We came across each other yesterday and he got bigger this time, maybe it’s another one and there’s a colony of’em but I’d rather not think about that…Anyway I hit him to the head with a long piece of wood (found nothing else to hit him with), his eye popped out and he jumped then fell and I saw some blood on the floor, he tried to run but I hit him again, his tail kept moving, I didn’t wanna kill him, but he was “damaged” and I feel bad about that, I still do. I threw it out anyway, hopinge he’ll survive, there’s a legion of cats outside, I’m not sure about him surviving, but I hope his death wouldn’t be by my hands…Anyway, since I’m feeling bad, I was browsing the internet for people like me, and I found this article, and I feel a little better, because that big meaty one in the bathroom, he fucking looks like the one I had in my house and I’m thinking maybe if I let it co-exist with me, I would have just burnt the house and moved somewhere else…so thank you for making me feel a little better!

  • Stephen April 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm edit

    You,ve made me think twice . Made me laugh anyway, is that the colour of your tum?if so you should see your g.p. immediately.

  • lori April 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm edit

    Oh, I live in Texas, I don’t mind all the Gecko’s, they mainly live outside or in the fireplace stones. What I DO mind are the tarantulas!! Imagine those guys climbing on your walls…they freak me every time. AND they’re so big you can’t just squash them like a regular spider….

  • Jim d July 4, 2013 at 7:42 am edit

    Well guys u are not gonna believe this,i have seen different geckos in my house and they give me sleeples nights literarily speaking.they wake me up from my sleep talking to my mind,guys u might tink am insane but its true.they stare at me a lot and sometimes its like they have powers they operate with.this creatures make me feel strange and sometimes they will hang directly above my head when am sleeping so i wake with up and get shock when i see them.guys dont trust wall geckos they are up to something and they seem dangerous to me.

  • Natasha Swan July 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm edit

    Hahahahaha!! Oh my gosh, this is the funniest thing I have ever read! I can honestly agree with all of this!
    These tiny dinosaurs just stare into your soul and then you blink just once and they’re gone.

  • Morgan July 15, 2013 at 3:06 am edit

    Good luck with those geckos in Thailand- they love heat and humid environments – take it from a Texas girl. Good news? They’ll knock out some of those pesky flies and mosquitoes.

  • susan August 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm edit

    This had me laughing your very funny!! I live in Greece and just when I think I have gotten rid of all the gekkos I go into the bathroom and another one is above my head!! they are horrid creatures!! I have just found another and refuse to go into the bathroom until my husband comes home which isn’t until tomorrow so I will be very smelly!! so annoying!

  • Mandy August 7, 2013 at 3:43 am edit

    So I was nearly attacked in the bathroom tonight by the dreaded gecko. He pulled the classic ceiling drop. My husband was teasing me b/c I truly think I have a healthy fear of the little monsters. So I decided to look up “fear of geckos” to prove I’m not alone. I came across your blog and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Our geckos are not nearly as scary as yours so no trips to Thailand for me! Thank you for a good laugh! Oh and I hope I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night…I know he’s waiting for me.

  • LoTekGirl August 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm edit

    Love it; keep it coming Buckminster! I think I may have some disturbing nightmares about those Gecko hands though…

    • Nalani August 9, 2013 at 1:44 am edit

      OMG, I despise these guys! I live in Hawaii and they’re everywhere too!! :-( Currently I am losing a battle at getting one out of my car! It got in there two nights ago when I accidentally left my window cracked. It’s only 1 1/2 inches long (a baby one), but no less freaky!! He’s made 2 appearances since, but as soon as I try to get him out, he wriggles into a crease in my carseats….wish me luck!!

  • Rejin August 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm edit


  • Hels September 8, 2013 at 11:44 pm edit

    Funny post… but I love geckos. Almost as much as I love cats, and that’s saying something. :)

  • Blanca September 14, 2013 at 5:00 am edit

    I hate them. i nearly had a heart attack in cambodia – they were everywhere! didnt se any in bangkok- i am off yo Khao Lak in november and really scared:(

  • Sherri September 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm edit

    My friends think I’m nuts. I’m happy to learn I am not the only one with a healthy fear of geckos. I avoid live plants near the doors to prevent one from slipping in. While in Chicago last week, I noted – not a single gecko in sight. I may move there. I had to shoo one out of my house today. It was such an emotional episode, it may as well have been a python.

  • Franca December 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm edit

    I love this post :) I used to be terrified of geckos but after having spent a bit of time in SEA I learnt to ‘appreciate’ them especially when they make their calls :)

  • Grahame January 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm edit

    Hi, I also read this and found it quite funny. But then I realised it is based on lies, damned lies! How could a Gecko, clinging to the ceiling, turd up hill! Its’ ass is pointing upwards at this point and even if it could drop a nugget it would crap on itself and as such I feel you have done the humble gecko a disservice with your use of poetic licence!!!

  • Diane Irvine January 29, 2014 at 10:16 am edit

    Love this article, but I have to say that I have recently, more than ever grown to like this little gritter. They keep the house clean of horrible spiders and anything else that doesn’t pay rent in my house! And only just discovered that the chirping noise in my lounge is some chatty little Geckos, not a bird making his home in the air-con.

  • Sue February 28, 2014 at 8:56 pm edit

    Checked into really nice hotel in Hanoi. While unpacking, moved pillow on bed, and a gecko ran across bed. Called operator to send someone to take gecko out of room, and when 2(!) people finally arrived with large bags, etal. I had already put a glass over him on the bed to prevent him from disappearing off it to elsewhere in the room. ALL had a good laugh as their ‘gecko’ is a very large lizard which is what they expected to see; not this cute little guy under a drinking glass! He/it had come in thru a small opening of the window from the foliage outside.

  • Natalia March 14, 2014 at 3:12 am edit

    OMG! I so hate geckos. All my life. I hate and scared to death when I see them. A guy friend of mine passed out when a gecko fell on top of him when he was lying in bed. Your description of this hideous creature is so right!!

  • Stenily Jane April 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm edit

    Hi! I stumbled upon your post because I have this freakishly sounding gecko in my fiancee’s room.. and you are soooo right! They plot against you! Every time my mind drifts away from its presence, it chirps and announces that it’s still there :( We just moved in this room yesterday and I can’t sleep properly because I fear it might be laying flat on my face when I wake up the next morning . ANyhow, I enjoyed your post! :D

  • Lee Jing Wei Gwendolyn April 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm edit

    Hi, I’m Gwen and i’m twelve but i’ve always known freaky Science facts and i’m P6 this year.Anywho, i’ve always thought of them little critters as ADORABLE, but just past night, i was playing with one and i couldn’t get hold of it so i used tape.Turns out it tore his belly skin, and inDID NOT want to see the skin on it’s back torn off,so i threw it out my window.Well, gues what?
    IT CAME BACK.THE TAPE STICKING It oN THE SOFA.Long story short, im glad i didnt experince what you did,you know, the poop.But i did try to sho one away just,and when i warned him of how loud and dangerous my Mum was,it just stood there.So i threw my soft toy at it twice and it scurried off on the top of the air con unit.did i mention i live in Singapore?But those lizzy fingers,it really got me creeped AND thinking o.o

  • Meow April 16, 2014 at 3:35 pm edit

    Jing-jok is the pale skin, small ones…really skinny, yellowish skin.
    But gecko is the scary ones, they can be really big, depends on the food and climate.