It appears that having fish as a pet is no longer interesting for my kids. You'd think that having fish called Tiger barbs, Gouramis, and Clown Loaches would be enough for a kid.
It's obviously not as we've been getting the full-court press from the kids to get a more interesting pet.
We've decided to take the "used car purchasing" policy with the kids. The more they ask for, the more we retreat in our compromises.
As a family outing, we decided to hit the local pet store for a little hands-on experience. Now, this is not your normal Petco or Petsmart. This is a local joint which carries everything from tarantulas to chinchillas. They even have an outdoor petting zoo with all sorts of interesting animals. The kids ran directly past all the "potential pet choices," and went straight to see the Ostriches, pot-bellied pigs, and the Yak.
As I stared at a Yak, and wondered if this was the only one in Idaho, I came to the conclusion that hundreds of years ago, the original name for this hairy cow was probably Yuck. (Mainly due to its smell and 11 pounds of crusted feces hanging off the butt-shag) Tibetan monks must have felt bad for the animal, and changed it. Or perhaps they thought that it would be guessed easier on Wheel of Fortune with an A instead of a U.
After corralling the kids back into the pet store, they headed straight for the puppies. I looked at all the dogs, and noticed that they only carried puppies. Why? Because they are all cute, including the Beagle/Collie/Carp mix on the bottom row. This is an ingenious sales technique. Let me give a real-world example.
You are at the club with some friends cruising for a hook-up. After a few of your favorite beverages, you're feeling mighty fine, and decide to hit the dance floor. "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails starts pumping through the speakers, and you go on the prowl. In a dark corner, an available female is giving you "lusty eyes." She passes your hottie test, and you both dance the night away, and continue the party at your apartment.
You wake up the next morning to find a complete stranger in your bed. What was a complete hottie at the club, now resembles Mindy Cohn, but with the complexion of Gregg Popovich.
Rather than toss her to the curb, you feel like you have something invested, so you call her back, and a relationship starts. It's not the best relationship, but it's better than nothing, and you like the companionship. She is a complete pig, and leaves hair on the bar of soap. You fight a lot, but enjoy the bowling league you both participate in. Over time, you grow fond of her, but a painful breakup inevitably occurs. Amazingly, you realize how much happier you are without her in your life, and vow never to meet a woman in the club again. **
How did this start? All on the sales room floor my friend.
Alcoholic beverages, dark dance floor, mood music, and strobe lights. (On a separate topic, it is my belief that strobe lights make everything you do look 73% better. Dancing, fighting, washing dishes, etc)
The same thing occurs in the pet store. Cute little puppies give you "lonely eyes" while some Sarah McLaughlin music pipes on the overhead. Your kids instantly pick out their favorite and you have no choice but to buy the dog for 200 bucks, and head home. 3 weeks later, your entire house smells like urine, you no longer own a complete set of slippers, and your budget for lint rollers increased 800%.
Oh, you may grow fond of the dog over time, and actually like its company. Some say that their dogs are like their children. True, that they both ruin all your possessions, pee and throw up at will, but dogs will never give you grandchildren. Remember this.
Unfortunately for the Boxer pups, and to the dismay of my children, I herded the family over to the "lower maintenance" pets. After deciding that they had no interest in a spider, hermit crab or more fish, we decided that a rodent would probably be the best starting point.
Unfortunately for me, this whole section smelled like Matthew McConaughey's armpits. I was amazed at how much stink a hamster or guinea pig could generate. After talking to the salesman, he assured me that a gerbil urinates far less than the other rodents, and smells less.
Did you know that a gerbil looks exactly like a mouse? In fact, I wonder if they really are mice, but they just renamed them so people wouldn't freak out at owning a mouse.
I'm not fooled. Just because they switched out Dick York with Dick Sargent on Bewitched doesn't mean that anybody was fooled.
Alas, it appears that some sort of rodent will be living free in our home after escaping from its cage. I'm laying out the
**By the way, the exact same thing happened to the girl. She didn't realize that you looked like Andy Richter, only softer, and you also brush your teeth only once a day.