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    Don’t Feed It Rock, Paper, Scissors Or Spock

    | OR, USA | Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals, Time

    (A customer comes in and explains that her daughter caught a lizard. People frequently come in for advice on their wild-caught animals, so I start explaining what proper care would be. Before this, she expressed general shock at several things, including having to provide heat and light for the lizard she wanted to shut in the dark of her garage.)

    Me: “And so you’ll want to primarily give them crickets and mealworms, occasionally waxworms.”

    Customer: “I see… And are green crickets okay too?”

    Me: “Er, that sounds like a grasshopper. I’m sure it would be fine; I’m not entirely sure how they compare with crickets.”

    Customer: “But if I catch them outside, I can use them?”

    Me: “I wouldn’t recommend it, you’re taking a risk that they could have sprays and toxins on them. Ours are only 10 cents each. I think it—”

    Customer: “So, how do I catch crickets?”

    Me: *pause* “I’m not entirely sure. I don’t know anyone who catches their own crickets from the wild. It would be much easier to just buy them.”

    Customer: “Well, how about if I just feed it dog food?”

    Me: “No. I would definitely not recommend you feed dog food to a lizard. They really should be eating crickets, at least, and mealworms.”

    Customer: “So, how long do they live without food?”

    Me: “Um. I would guess no longer than a week or so.”

    Customer: “So, when should I let it go if I can’t feed it?”

    Me: “If you can’t feed it, I would let it go immediately.”

    Customer: “But I want to try and catch crickets. How long should I wait? Like, when is the lizard’s expiration date?”

    Me: “I wouldn’t go for more than a couple of days without feeding it.”

    Customer: “But when should I let it go?”

    Me: “A couple of days.”

    Customer: “But what date is that?”

    Me: “The 15th.”

    Customer: “So, you’re telling me I can only wait a day, then I have to let it go?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “Okay, thank you!”