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Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing

Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing

by Erika Lopez


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Adventurous, fearless, and full of attitude, "Lopez gives Tomato an outlaw integrity that Thelma and Louise only hinted at" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Tomato Rodriguez hops on her motorcycle and embarks on the ultimate sea-to-shining-sea all-girl adventure — a story in that combines all the best parts of Alice in Wonderland and Easy Rider as Tomato crosses the country in search of the meaning of life, love, and the perfect post office.

Flaming Iguanas is a hilarious novel that combines text, line drawings, rubber stamp art, and a serious dose of attitude. The result is a wild and wonderful ride unlike any you you've ever taken before.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780684853680
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/17/1998
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 886,662
Product dimensions: 7.12(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Erika Lopez lives a much too happy life in San Francisco being the sidekick to her two best friends, Mark and Mary. They all live on the same block. They walk big, leaky dogs and forget to whisper when they talk about other people's butts. Along with her sidekick adventures, she is the author and illustrator of several books, including Lap Dancing for Mommy and They Call Me Mad Dog!: A Story for Bitter, Lonely People.

Read an Excerpt


Magdalena and I are gonna cross America on two motorcycles. We're gonna be so fucking cool, mirrors and windows will break when we pass by. We'll have our own hardcore theme music that makes us throw our heads back and bite the sky, and women wearing pink foam curlers in passing RVs will desire us and we'll slowly turn to them at seventy-five miles an hour and mouth "hello" back. Bugs may stick to my burgundy lipstick, but I'll just spit them back and they'll look all the prettier for it.

Yeah / cooool. Two party bags of drugstore ice on motorcyces. The sun wouldn't dare melt us because it would be a big, huge, major mistake.

We're gonna ride from armpit to armpit across the chest of America, joyride full-throttle down the crack of Tennessee's ass. Bite a Grand Teton and goose Amarillo, Texas.

Bypass Florida altogether because you get old there like real fast.

Sloppy kiss the greasy lips of Louisiana.

Caress the cool, clean underside of a butcherblock from a slaughterhouse somewhere in Montana.

Hey, there are a zillion ways to say you're going cross-country and Hallmark has a card just for you.

We'll be riding the cheapest motorcycles we can find / stopping every forty-five minutes for gas. Truck stop waitresses will wink and jam dollar bills in our happy little beautifully tanned fists, but we'll whisper "no thanks," because we don't need it / we'll live off the fumes from our estrogen.

And we'll be spitting out mango pits like fucking bullets if anyone says anything about our huge Latin American breasts.

Copyright © 1997 by Erika Lopez

Chapter Seven: Sweating Jealously into the Future

Ever since I was a kid, I'd tried to live vicariously through the hocker-in-the-wind adventures of Kerouac, Hunter Thompson, and Henry Miller. But I could never finish any of the books. Maybe because I just couldn't identify with the fact that they were guys who had women around to make the coffee and wash the skid marks out of their shorts while they complained, called themselves angry young men, and screwed each other with their existential penises.

Erica Jong was there for me in my mother's bookshelf between Vaginal Politics and The Second Sex, unapologetically running around the world in heat with her panties stretched taut around her ankles. But I never identified with her being tied to relationships like a dog to a tree / like a tongue to its mouth.

The high theater of romantic loves burns just too fucking much oil for my reality, and I spend my time trying to elevate myself above romance's trappings of jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, and regressing to an amoebalike state.


I'd love to have the kind of relationship that's immediately like being together five years, making supper and watching TV on the sofa under a cozy blanket.

I / I am a girl who feels too American for love...they say I'm a child of an AT&T café olé telephone-commercial future where your nose is not flat enough to offend/and not pointy enough to cut the glass ceiling.

Future child, that's me. Hello. It's nice to meet you.

I don't feel white, gay, bisexual, black, or like a brokenhearted Puerto Rican in West Side Story, but sometimes I feel like all of them. Sometimes I feel so white I want to speak in twang and belong to the KKK, experience the brotherhood and simplicity of opinions.

Sometimes I want to feel so heterosexual, hit the headboard to the point of concussion, and have my crotch smell like bad sperm the morning after. I want the kid, the folding stroller. Please, let me stand forever in a line with my expensive offspring at Disney World. /

Sometimes I want to be so black, my hair in skinny long braids, that black guys nod and say "hey, sister" when they pass me by in the street. / I want the story, the rhythm, the myths that come with the color.

Sometimes I want to live with my hand inside of a woman so I can hear her beat, wake up with her smell all over me in the morning, and still feel as clean as I did the morning before/I want her to talk about her childhood until I go insane from pretending I didn't stop listening four hours ago.

Other times I wish I was born speaking Spanish so I could sound like I look without curly-hair apologies.

But I try all that and I quit it, and I try again. Really, I want to get this individualistic-thing down. I want to walk across the football field alone without looking like the last one picked to play soccer. I never was a cheerleader, I was a slut on my own with the thinking that if a tree has a good time and no one's around to hear it, it's not a slut. But sometimes you do need another tree around to double-dare you, or else you might end up doing nothing but watching TV when no one's around.

Copyright © 1997 by Erika Lopez

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