After service, we returned to our concrete house protected from thieves by the red grillwork patterning the ocean view in hearts.
Clammy with sweat, I stepped through the shower’s plank door and pulled the plastic curtain shut.
In the unlit shower, a milky colored tree frog hung from the wall. His suction cup toes spread wide on the concrete tile, tendrils of creepiness threatening to leap.
I thought, “This is not like any New York State frog; he is flat and disgusting.”
I screamed and Joel threw the creature into the yard.
The next night after church, I pushed back the rose shower curtain; again, the frog squatted in the shower, this time on the drain.
Joel threw him in the neighbor’s yard.
The next night, I told Joel, “Please go in the shower and remove the frog. I know he is in there.” He threw the frog into the other neighbor’s yard.
The following night I again implored, “Please go remove the frog, so I can take a shower?”
Joel checked the shower. “He’s not there.”
I stepped into the shower, slid the curtain shut and crawling up the back of the wet curtain, like a bleached biology specimen, the frog clung to the shower curtain. I choked a scream.
Each night after church, I told Joel, “Get rid of the frog.”
Joel stepped into the unlit shower while I instructed him. “Look on the back of the curtain. Look on the ceiling. Look on the floor.”
And in frustration added, “Why don’t you just smash it against a wall? Drive over it with something. Crush it with a rock. It is gross. I know it is going to jump on me and stick!”
He laughed, “They are good, they eat mosquitoes.”
I begged. “Please, please kill it. It thinks my shower is its home.”
Instead, he put it in the car, drove to the end of the block and threw it into a ditch. “I took it for a ride. You will not see it again!”
The next night I took my shower without fear; certain the poisonous voodoo ingredient was gone. I stepped up from the shower, to the sink and opened the medicine chest to get my toothbrush. The saggy amphibian crouched on the cabinet’s second shelf, eyeball to eyeball with me. I was hysterical; this time Joel drove the frog about 3 miles to the Arcachon mission; I never saw it again.
When Helen heard the frog saga, she brushed it off. “Oh, that’s nothing! We were at the Baptist Convention in Cap Haitian. I went to the Ladies Room and did not see it but there was a frog in the toilet bowl. When I sat down to pee, he jumped and stuck to my bottom.”
I gasped. “Oh yes,” she nodded, “I peed all over the room!”