Family Pets

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

We have a new pet gecko named Vinnie.  I love this reptile like I gave birth to him.  Last night I was out “running errands” (sitting in my car all alone in the grocery store parking lot, reading People Magazine and not listening to my children fight) when I received a phone call from my husband informing me that Vinnie’s tail had fallen off.   Uh, what was that Mike?  The benevolence of your tone was that of someone ordering a bagel with cream cheese rather than informing me THAT OUR LIZARD’S FUCKING TAIL FELL OFF!!!

I quickly drove home and ran inside to find my daughters screaming and crying hysterically as they explained what happened.  Evidently, one of the girls had been holding Vinnie on her shoulder when the he attempted to jump onto her dresser.  Unfortunately, American geckos are notoriously bad at physics (much to the amusement of European and Asian geckos) and overlooked the gravitational consequence of his action.  In other words, Vinnie’s tail flew across the room unaccompanied by his body.  O.M.G.

Mike explained that he was taking a shower when he heard our daughters screaming bloody murder.  He bolted down the hall in sheer panic, barely covering his own lizard with a towel (which would have been equally if not more horrifying to them) and found them standing there pointing to Vinnie’s tail which was still flopping and writhing around on the ground.  Then, just in case there was any question whatsoever if Mike had a penis, he calmly reached down and picked up the tail with his thumb and forefinger, causing the girls to shriek even louder.  He went and stuck the still moving appendage in a Ziploc and comforted the girls by telling them they will “Have the best Show-and-Tell EVER!”  Holy Shit Balls! We could terrify at least thirty other kids.

Eventually, we managed to get our children to sleep after we repeatedly checked their closets and under their beds for any legs, tongues or fingers that we might have overlooked, left every light in the house on, set the burglar alarm, put five thousand stuffed animals around them, turned on NPR and gave them a dose of Benedryl.   Mike reminded me that the guy who sold us Vinnie had warned us that this could happen but I had just rolled my eyes and fake laughed at what I thought was a stupid lizard joke.  Clearly, a horrifying phenomenon like a pet that has a penchant for losing random body parts, should have a warning posted on the outside of the cage in the form of a giant, blinking, neon sign.

I decided to be proactive and googled “Lizard Prosthetic Devices.”  FACT: This is an extremely bad idea unless you are intentionally looking up amputee porn.  My futile search for a new tail for Vinnie rendered nothing but people making love to bizarre contraptions.  Heartbroken and even more grossed out than before, I quietly went in and picked up Vinnie.  I stroked his little head and vehemently prayed it would stay attached.  As my tears pelted his newly formed nubbin, I told him that a mother’s love is unconditional and I would always take care of him no matter what.  I gently sat him back down, washed my hands so I would not catch salmonella, blew him a kiss and turned off the light.

Unfortunately, my unforgiving and judgmental daughters remain somewhat disenchanted with poor Vinnie and have since demanded that Mike and I move his aquarium to our room.  They spent most of the following morning pleading with us to exchange him for a hamster that “doesn’t fall apart.”  I explained that the Moronis judge lizards by their character not by their jacked up bodies and that Vinnie is staying.  This was right before I opened the cheese drawer in the refrigerator and discovered that Mike had put the Ziploc with Vinnie’s tail in there to preserve it, “Just in case the girls changed their minds about Show-And-Tell.”  XO


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