When I was a kid, I loved to draw frogs. I doodled them on school papers, I put them in clothes, I designed houses for them. They looked something like this:
My fascination might have come from the fact that I owned a frog as a pet for many years. Initially it had been purchased as a “friend” for another frog I owned, but almost immediately the new one ate the old one. One of nature’s harsh lessons, learned early!
Doodled frogs are far friendlier, of course, but no less absurd. And the absurdity of frogs is what is so appealing about them, I think. They are fun colors, their legs are all over the place including next to their hands. Their eyes stick up and they hop. Frogs are just plain cool in their zaniness.
Zany is how I feel when I’m in lizard pose, and just like when I draw frogs, it’s why I love it. It’s a deep lunge, low to the ground, with your foot planted right next to your hand. It does feel reptilian in a way, or like an amphibian, to have your limbs so askew.
It reminds me of when there was a chicken flying around the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation. This notably strange event happened in “Up the Long Ladder,” probably known as one of the lesser episodes of the lesser second season. A group of quaint farmers comes on board and hilarity ensues. Captain Picard responds to the nutty situation in a quote that’s pure gold to both kid and adult me: “Sometimes, number one, you just have to bow to the absurd.”
I have loved that quote for most of my life – so much so that I had it printed out and taped to my room wall when I was in middle school. For a teenager, so much of our world makes no sense. You come upon things that silly and strange and you do just sort of have to go with it. But there’s also a delight to that. What is silly and strange is also new and exciting, it opens up doors to new worlds you didn’t know existed.
It’s that delight in the absurd that spurred so many of us to post a certain meme from Doctor Who’s “The Snowmen.” Madame Vastra, a Silurian, answers a door with Jenny and says “Good evening, I’m a lizard woman from the dawn of time and this is my wife.”
Many of us spread it around in March 2017 along with the caption “This is the future that liberals want,” when a real-life photo of a drag queen and woman in a head scarf on the subway together was posted with that same caption in an attempt to criticize the situation. When liberal sci-fi fans responded by posting our Madame Vastra version, we were owning both. Yes, we do want all kinds of people on the subway together. Yes, we do want lizard women married to other women who are also incredible ninja private investigators. Yes, it may be bizarre – but that’s what makes it so fascinating and full of potential.
When in lizard pose, you can think of yourself as a lizard or a frog, as green and slimy as you like. Or you can think of yourself as a Silurian member of the Paternoster Gang. Whatever you are at that time, lean in – physically and mentally. Be your lizard frog self and bow to the absurdity of it.