We Make Great Pets

August 19, 2012 — I’m definitely one of those jerks who treats exotic pet shops like they’re free zoos. Except that I really am always in danger of being a customer, walking out of there with an emperor scorpion or an albino python and everything it needs to make my house its home.

I’ve written somewhat about my love/hate relationship with pets already here, but in a nutshell, I’ve gone through phases of my life where I’ve had lots of them. Phases where I’ve had none of them. I want every pet and I don’t want any pets. I love them to death, hate them to life.

But I still flirt constantly with starting up the old menagerie again. Yesterday, for kicks, we went to an exotic pet store in Plaistow, New Hampshire, called Zoo Creatures. It was relatively small, but packed with a variety of wildlife I couldn’t believe.

First, they had snakes. Everywhere snakes. Like so many that if they had a fire, they’d need Pee-Wee Herman’s help to get them all out of there. They were in little bins stacked floor to ceiling. In acrylic cases like those fill-your-own-bag candy shops. In large tanks. Coiled around the rafters. Waiting for you in the lobby. Following you home in your exhaust pipe. They even had multiple species of cobras, and more than one albino torso squeezer.

They also had a five-foot-long monitor lizard. Australian sugar gliders. Bird-eating tarantulas. Something that looked suspiciously like a baby alligator. A shelf full of scorpions. Peacocks just walking around the parking lot. And that’s in addition to every creature you’d expect to find at any solid pet store: fish, birds, rodents, less exotic lizards and turtles.

I suspect their reptile specialty has something to do with the fact that they share a sign and land with a reptile breeding facility and party venue called NERD. Check them out, and if you make use of their services, invite me. Please.

Zoo creatures was an amazing place, and now I have to spend the next week or two trying to deal with my conflicted attitude toward pets. I’m pretty sure I’m going to break down, but I think it will only be in the direction of what I like to catalog as “decorative pets”. Reptiles, fish, arachnids. Anything behind glass that just looks good in my study.

A five-foot-long monitor lizard would look good in my study.

If he were mine, I'd call him "Hall."

I'm pretty sure you could just customize the colors of
these things according to your preference.

Every time I see an albino python I hear Ziggy Stardust,
but see Brittany Spears.

Just a baby. A terrifying, terrifying
bird baby.

Thought these were just supplies until
I almost leaned against them.

No way would I ever risk asking for one of these by name.

I kind of just want the boxes.

It makes complete sense to me that this was not for sale.

Scorpions under black light. A mixed media piece.