Hurricane Iguanas

by Sean Molina

It was a little before noon and the hurricane aimed to hit the island that evening. The wind whipped, the rain kicked up, and the power turned off, and then on, and then off again. We were belly up at a dive bar mingling with the locals and we were on our fourth or fifth or maybe even sixth piña colada.

A local bar fly named Gus befriended us. He was a self-acclaimed polymath that pestered us with every pitch and sale known to man. He tried selling us a car, cigars, a tattoo, new clothes, jewelry, and even offered us oversized rims for our rental. After rejecting Gus a few hundred times, he finally got us.

“You ever hunt iguana,” Gus asked in a thick Puerto Rican accent.

Gus claimed that the best time to hunt iguanas is right before the storm. And, of course, for only a few hundred bucks, Gus would take us to his cousin’s farm where we could hunt them right now, only hours before Fiona made landfall. After hemming and hawing with Gus, we grabbed a couple more piña coladas to go and jumped in the back of his 1999 Chevy 3500.

Gus never stopped talking and he drove about 200 mph the entire way to the farm, which looked more like a rain forest. We were greeted by a group of guys with a bunch of air guns and raincoats. Gus handed me a rifle and we immediately were in the hunt.

There was a heavy sheet of rain and the wind made it difficult to hear Gus, who was constantly giving us orders. Within a minute an iguana raced out of the bush and into another. A second scampered out and sped across my path. Gus was yelling at me to shoot as several more iguanas jumped out of the brush.

I locked in on one particularly large specimen and gave chase into the brush. To my complete surprise I jumped a few horses that turned and came crashing out, absolutely scaring the shit out of me. We were spooking horses, dropping iguanas, and wild dogs were following us, stealing our kills.

Don’t get me wrong, killing scaly lizards with an airsoft gun during a tropical storm was nearly impossible but when you hit one, it felt like winning the lottery. Our feet were soaked, we were covered in mud, and in under 30 minutes we’d killed about a half-dozen. Within an hour, the storm was right on top of us—branches were falling from the sky, iguanas came from every direction. It was a hell of a time that we didn’t want to end.

Gus eventually peeled the guns out of our hands and got us back to our hotel. By the time Fiona hit the island, we were in our rooms, sipping on Medalla, and reliving the hunt while Gus flipped a few of the iguanas on a small gas grill. For all his used car salesman bullshit, Gus wasn’t lying, this was the best time to hunt iguanas.

From the FE Films Archive

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