The rest of the paper staff does not share this love of tegus….
by Anna Passero-Koennecke
I think reptiles are the cutest little cuddle bugs to grace the surface of the Earth. Since my roommate has previously shot down Komodo dragons (apparently their specialized manner of hunting with a unique bacteria/venom combo “does not count as adorable talent”) and my request for a king cobra was met with a muffled scream into a pillow, I have decided to make my case for a tegu, specifically the Argentine red tegu.
Some of you may have seen videos of these lizards going around, likely of the tubby MacGyver snuggling up to his owners and eating a wide variety of food. Tegus are omnivores, and don’t require live feeding, which is good since my roommate likes rats and doesn’t want to see them fed to my future scale baby. Male red tegus can reach four and a half feet in length and have the cutest jowls known to Earth, so it’s not like we would lose him! A red, dog-sized creature is hard to misplace, but they are not too big to be put into a carrying case when riding public transportation.
Tegus are very smart lizards and can be trained, and who doesn’t want to see a little red jowl monster come trotting over when called? Anyone can get a cute little puppy to come to them, but it would be a much more impressive if you shouted “Mr. Stewie!” (my roommate is currently yelling that this is “a crap name” but I am ignoring all this negativity) and everyone expects a golden retriever to come scampering in but instead a large lizard rolls up into the joint to be rewarded with some grapes and belly rubs. However, lizards are cold-blooded and prefer to spend a lot of time laying in one place sunbathing. This is about the most we will have to do activity wise, which means a tegu will match our life style much better, since lying about is my preferred activity as well.
Now there is some concern over the fact that tegus prefer a tropical climate, and New York State is not exactly South America, the origin home of tegus. However, with global warming going at the rate it is, soon the tegu will be happy anywhere. In the meantime, since the dorms are kept at approximately the same temperature as the first layer of the sun, the tegu will probably enjoy Fordham housing more than anyone else ever has.
Tegus are also clean little darlings, enjoying the occasional shower, which is more than I can say for my dog (I love you Athena, even if you are stinky pup). So no, they are not gross, and yes, I am ignoring that most of them carry Salmonella. After all, we should make sacrifices for those we love, such as our future lizard overlords of cuteness.
Tegus will also be great conversation starters, and probably the best wingman ever. No need for awkward small talk about majors and classes when you have a giant ass lizard sitting next to you. Especially when said lizard looks fly as hell in the new accessories I bought it. It’s impossible to be boring when you travel with a suave red lizard in a bowtie and top hat.
So this is my case for why my roommate should let me get a tegu lizard. I trust this request will be given much fairer consideration than my other pet requests have been, and can see no possible way my roommate will turn my request for a tegu down. Who could look at those big, grape eating cheeks and say “no”?
Follow up: She still says “no”