Sunday, April 20, 2008

on a scale of one to ten

I have a new colleague at work. He's a youngster - only just 25 or so - and filled with enthusiasm for life, as young men are.
He recently got himself a new pet. A lizard, called Steve. From his description it sounds like Steve is more of an Iguana than a lizard, but the Irish don't know a whole lot about reptiles on account of they're not native to the place - being cold-blooded and all they tend to not survive here very long in the wild.

I'm finding that Steve the Lizard is a source of much entertainment for me.

A few weeks back I arrived at work to find an email from our boss that was something along the lines of:

Hi Terri,
G is going to be late to work today because his lizard is sick.

Now there's one you don't hear every day...!

Anyway it turns out Steve's diet consists primarily of crickets. Simple, right? Only trouble is, crickets are also not native to Ireland. I don't believe I have ever seen or heard one in the 7 years we've been in this country. So my young colleague has to buy them from the pet shop, by the box.
When I heard this I just started laughing - his bloodshot eyes said it all. The first night, he had the box of crickets in his room, right where Steve lives.
Those of you from warmer climates will know why I found this funny - I remember it was bad enough, living in South Africa, when there was just one cricket somewhere in the house. For their size these are really noisy bugs (and sneaky, too - you could never find the damn thing to shut it up, either!). So there is this young buck with his boxful of crickets all announcing to the world a large how much they like the darkness - he didn't sleep a wink!

Lesson learned, the crickets were promptly moved to a remote area in the shed, or something, where they couldn't disrupt his sleep.

Until last week when his sister brought them in to feed Steve and accidentally dropped the box, scattering crickets everywhere... did I mention how sneaky these things are?
My colleague is learning a whole lot about reptiles and bugs at the moment.

He's a bright lad, though. Not to outsmarted he finally bought a box of noise-less crickets.
Noise-less crickets??? I'm thinking maybe genetic engineering may have found its niche; until he told me that on closer inspection the reason the poor creatures are noiseless is that they have had their wings removed. Am I the only one who finds this cruel? At the same time, though, can you believe that not only are there people in this world whose job it is to catch crickets, but there are also people whose job it is to pull their wings off??!!!

It seems like an awful lot of fuss to keep a pet lizard. I can't help thinking he shoulda got a rabbit or something, rather.


Rose said...

Oh my goodness, you going to have to keep this one for the book I was rolling around laughing!

Anonymous said...

Fish always make good pets. Not as cuddly as rabbits, though. Or as tasty.

kitty said...

haaaa this is hysterical!!

although it does seem silly to employ cricket wing removers when it's probably less psychotic to just sex the little buggers and only sell the females, as I'm pretty sure it's only the males who make that obnoxious chirping sound

I had a cricket eating lizard once... never again!!

I also had rabbits... also never again!! although I never got a chance to find out how tasty they were, it seems a fox or coyote or some other vicious nocturnal beast beat me to them

I have a cat... love her to bits... but when she is gone I'm sticking strictly to flushables (fish, frogs, sea monkeys... that sort of thing)

Anonymous said...

Hee hee hee!

A solution for the free cricket problem is to get a toad to roam around the house at night - it works for us.

angel said...

steve does seem a little labour intensive doesn't he...
the poor dude!

LiVEwiRe said...

I can see why this amuses you! And crickets can be utterly maddening!! I do think lizards are cool but I'd not be able to have a pet that I had to feed something live to. I'm a wimp like that. Can you really get time off for lizard issues? Your boss was probably fighting off fits of laughter while composing that email... =)

Terri said...

Rose - Yep, this whole thing was just too funny not to share with the world :-D

Kyknoord - Ja, but fish can be noisy, too, what with all that glug-glugging.

Kitty - I didn't know that about crickets. Personally, I'm more of a dog person although there is a cat that lives nearby that seems to enjoy coming over for some petting when I'm out having a smoke at night. Rabbits are cool cos they not only fertilize the lawn, they keep it short too :-)

Kattbox - I already have one horny old toad in the house; I don't need another going ribbit in the night! But thanks for the input ;-D

Angel - Exactly - and what does one get out of having a pet lizard? They're not exactly the most affectionate creatures, are they?!

LiVewIRe - We had a good chuckle about the email afterwards. And d'ya know what the 'illness' was? You gotta sit down for this... it turns out lizards are prone to suffering from constipation. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

beadinggalinMS said...

LMAO!! Just what I needed tonight was a good laugh! :)

Steve the lizard would get fat if he lived here.

Jeff said...

I'd sleep a whole lot better with crickets in the house than a lizard. Reptiles give me the creeps. LOL

Terri said...

Beads - I'm sure Steve the Lizard would be much happier altogether in your climate!

Jeff - While I agree with you about most reptiles (think snakes, crocs etc) I think lizards and gecko's and stuff like that are kinda cool... much cooler than crickets (or most any other sort of bug - as a rule I don't trust anything with more limbs than I have!)