Right from the Gecko

Gilles came to see me in my office, a look of consternation on his face. He is a Parisian who speaks English with a strong accent. He can’t pronounce his Ts, so he says things like “I’ll see you Thoosday.”

He asked me if I could help him with a language issue he’s been having. I told him to sit in the comfortable leather chair I keep for just such occasions.

As he tells it, he has heard people use the expression “from the get go”, which doesn’t make much sense when you think about it. Or maybe, the expression is “from the gecko”. But that makes even less sense. So, he asked me, which is it?

I’ll see you Thoosday.

To believe with certainty, it has been said, one must begin with doubting. Well, then, Gilles must have been very certain indeed. One colleague explained carefully why this was this but another assured him, as a friend, that this was that. A third said both were fine but meant very different things. Well enough was enough. He knew that he could count on me to clear this up once and for all.

Now geckos are endearing sorts – for lizards anyway. They chirp, they change colors, and they can reproduce without copulation. They also have adhesive toe pads. And they lick their eyes to keep them clean, which is important indeed for nocturnal creatures that eat mosquitos. So pretty much anything from the gecko is cool, right? Geico figured that out long ago. And now so will Gilles.

I looked directly into that Gallic face and said with an air of solemnity that enough is seldom enough and that he should have known this from the gecko.

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