Melissa Kaplan's
Herp Care Collection
Last updated January 1, 2014

The IguanaMail List's Inappropriate Posting Scenarios

Shamelessly plagiarized (then modified) from TECH-L


Perhaps this will help explain why the moderators are constantly whining about posts. ;) Granted, we've all made the same mistakes...but we try to learn from them.

Setting the Scene

You are in a large auditorium at a reptile show. Included in the audience are breeders, vets, experts, owners, rehabbers, pet shop owners, interested beginners, and children.

You cannot make out their faces, but they could reasonably include your employers or potential employers, your coworkers, your friends, or your family.

At the entrance to the lecture hall, there are dozens of pamphlets describing the etiquette of speaking at the podium, simple care sheets for iguanas, and references to the heavy-hitting manuals about iguanas. There is also a note-taker, writing down each and every person's statement, who is willing to search through the stack of papers for anything you may have missed.

Most of the audience members sit quietly as one member at a time gets up, walks to the podium, and shares information or advice or asks questions. Some of it is rich and detailed, some cursory but helpful, some trivial but relevant in a roundabout way. Some people are worried, some are proud, and others just want to share a special story about the iguana they love. Somewhere in this stream of information, someone expresses an opinion or gives a piece of advice that you feel obligated to respond to.

You get out of your seat and walk to the front of the room, everyone's eyes upon you, and you do one of the following:

A.         You approach the podium, clear your throat, and say "Me too." You are greeted with a combination of quizzical, patronizing smirks and incredulous silence.

B.         You relate that really good joke about Microsoft and operating systems that you overheard at the restaurant last night. Some laugh. Some wonder why you just now heard it, since they first read it years ago. Many wonder why you'd use their chance to discuss iguanas to tell an old joke.

C.         You take your turn at the microphone to clarify a point. One of the previous speakers had mentioned, in the context of the causes of MBD, that they used to use a Zoo Med ReptiLight. Obviously, that's incorrect, therefore you clarify that they MUST have used a different light because that one didn't even exist. Not only that, but the incompetence of anyone who could make such a mistake is certainly astounding. It only takes you about 10 minutes to impress upon everyone that you know far better than the speaker which UV lights exist. (You don't make any points about the issue at hand, but your audience has already made their assumptions about your knowledge in that area.)

D.         Your turn finally comes. You bound up to the podium and ask, "Does anyone know how much the cheapest Internet service provider in Kansas costs?"

E.         In the middle of a discussion about iguanas that several audience members are quite interested in, you step up and whine, "I don't want to talk about that. Talk about something else!" To your astonishment, instead of realizing how right you are, the audience members get agitated and continue their discussion, shooting you very dark looks.

F.         You replay the entire videotape of the ReptiLight speaker, including the introduction, the walk to the podium, and the walk back to a seat. The quality isn't all that hot, but it's important to make sure everyone knows the context in which you speak. 12 minutes later, you point out that there is in fact a Zoo Med ReptiLight and you had used it once, briefly, but didn't like it much and would always choose a VitaLite. Furthermore, anyone who uses any light made by Zoo Med is a certifiable idiot because everyone knows that Zoo Med makes awful, evil, iguana-killing food and hot rocks and if any people or stores recommend a Zoo Med product, you should promptly scream at them and demand that they let you rehabilitate their iguana. You return to your seat satisfied about your demonstrated UV light proficiency and wonder about the copy of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" that ended up on your chair.

G.         You walk up to the podium and say "I'm glad you all finally stopped talking about that subject, because you were wasting everyone's time. I'm so relieved we're not discussing it any more." As you return to your seat, you catch the blank looks everyone is giving you as they wonder why you bothered to bring it back up again.

H.         You hurry up to the podium to inform everyone that, "If you're making a really weird face and someone hits you on the back, it'll stay that way forever! Make sure you tell everyone you know!" The audience sighs, wondering if you believe everything you hear.

I.         You reach the microphone and say the exact same thing that all 8 people before you have said because you didn't bother to listen to them.

J.         You rush up to the microphone and blurt out twenty questions, stories, and comments without even taking a breath. No one answers you, because they have no idea what you said.

K.         You piously denounce the majority of subjects that have been discussed thus far as irrelevant to the original scope of the reptile show, berate the conference organizers for allowing such irrelevancies to be introduced into the dialogue, and announce that you will leave the auditorium if discussion of such issues continues.

L.         You complain that the seminar does not provide a wide enough scope for discussion of your particular interests (which may be of only cursory interest to a minority of people attending the conference), accuse the conference organizers of promoting censorship, and ask if anyone knows of another conference organized by nonfacists.

M.         You try to leave the auditorium, but forget how, so instead of looking for exit signs or asking the usher, you go to the front and ask everybody.

N.         You step up and whine that you were out of the room while the last speaker answered, so you'd like someone from the audience to stand up and say it all over again. Another audience member points out that that's what the note-taker is for, while everyone else ignores you.

O.         You stand in front of the entire audience, lift the microphone, and look directly at your friend Mary, saying "I'll meet you at the Beardie pen!"

As you walk back to your seat, you try to figure out why everyone is giving you the iguana stink eye.

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