If you have raised kids (or been one), and gone through
the pet syndrome, including toilet flush burials for dead
goldfish, the story below will have you laughing out
Overview: I had to take my son’s lizard to the vet.
Here’s what happened:
Just after dinner one night, my son came up to tell me there was
‘something wrong’ with one of the two
lizards he holds prisoner in his room.
‘He’s just lying there looking sick,’ he told me. ‘I’m serious, Dad.
Can you help?’
I put my best lizard-healer expression on my face and followed him
into his bedroom.. One of the little lizards was indeed lying on his
back, looking stressed. I immediately knew what to do. ‘Honey,’ I called, ‘come look at the lizard!’
‘Oh, my gosh!’ my wife exclaimed. ‘She’s having babies.’
‘What?’ my son demanded. ‘But their names are Bert and Ernie, Mom!’
I was equally outraged.
‘Hey, how can that be? I thought we said we didn’t want them to
reproduce,’ I said accusingly to my wife.
‘Well, what do you want me to do, post a sign in their cage?’ She
inquired (I think she actually said this sarcastically!)
‘No, but you were supposed to get two boys!’ I reminded her, (in my
most loving, calm, sweet voice, while gritting my teeth).
‘Yeah, Bert and Ernie!’ my son agreed.
‘Well, it’s just a little hard to tell on some guys, you
know,’ she informed me (Again with the sarcasm!).
By now the rest of the family had gathered to see
what was going on. I shrugged, deciding to make
the best of it.
‘Kids, this is going to be a wondrous experience,’
I announced. ‘We’re about to witness the miracle
‘Oh, gross!’ they shrieked
‘Well, isn’t THAT just great? What are we going to do with a litter
of tiny little lizard babies?’ my wife wanted to know.
We peered at the patient.. After much struggling, what looked like a
tiny foot would appear briefly, vanishing a scant second later.
‘We don’t appear to be making much progress,’ I noted.
‘It’s breech,’ my wife whispered, horrified
‘Do something, Dad!’ my son urged.
‘Okay, okay.’ Squeamishly, I reached in and grabbed the foot when it
next appeared, giving it a gentle tug.
It disappeared. I tried several more times with the
‘Should I call 911?’ my eldest daughter wanted to know ‘Maybe they
could talk us through the trauma.’ (You see a pattern here with the
females in my house?)
‘Let’s get Ernie to the vet,’ I said grimly. We drove to the vet
with my son holding the cage in his lap.
‘Breathe, Ernie, breathe,’ he urged.
‘I don’t think lizards do Lamaze,’ his mother noted to him. (Women
can be so cruel to their own young. I mean what she does to me is
one thing, but this boy is of her womb, for goodness sake.).
The vet took Ernie back to the examining room and peered at the
little animal through a magnifying glass.
‘What do you think, Doc, a C-section?’ I suggested
‘Oh, very interesting,’ he murmured. ‘Mr. and Mrs.
Cameron, may I speak to you privately for a moment?’
I gulped, nodding for my son to step outside.
‘Is Ernie going to be okay?’ my wife asked.
‘Oh, perfectly,’ the vet assured us. ‘This lizard is not in labor..
In fact, that isn’t EVER going to happen.
Ernie is a boy. You see, Ernie is a young male. And occasionally, as
they come into maturity, like most male species, they um . . um …
masturbate. Just the way he did, lying on his back.’ He blushed,
glancing at my wife
We were silent, absorbing this.
‘So, Ernie’s just . just . . excited,’ my wife offered.
‘Exactly,’ the vet replied , relieved that we understood.
More silence. Then my vicious, cruel wife started to giggle. And
giggle. And then even laugh loudly.
‘What’s so funny?’ I demanded, knowing, but not
believing that the woman I married would commit
the upcoming affront to my flawless manliness.
Tears were now running down her face. ‘It’s just …that . .
I’m picturing you pulling on its . . its. . teeny little .. . She
gasped for more air to bellow in laughter once
‘That’s enough,’ I warned. We thanked the vet and
hurriedly bundled the lizard and our son back into
the car.. He was glad everything was going to be okay.
‘I know Ernie’s really thankful for what you did, Dad,’ he told me.
‘Oh, you have NO idea,’ my wife agreed, collapsing
Two lizards: $140.
One cage: $50.
Trip to the vet: $30.
Memory of your husband pulling on a lizard’s winkie:
Moral of the story: Pay attention in biology class.
Lizards lay eggs!