You Might Be A Herper If...
Compiled by Melissa Kaplan
...your pet's dinner requuires care and feediing until it is served.
...you go hysterical when pet stores mix incompatible species in cages.
...you put little white crosses on the side of the road when you find DOR herps.
...your home loan and appraisal papers include pictures of your 12 lb. iguana who lives on your fireplace...
...you consider yourself a great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather at the age of 28.
...you own lots of plastic storage boxes, but can't use them because they all have holes cut in them for hide boxes!
...your annual house cleaning is done when an animal escapes!
...you buy shelves for new terrariums and supplies , and you already have 5 in your room.
...when you spend much of your spare time with a tape measure because you just know that you could fit a couple more cages in if you put them in side ways/on their sides/on top of each other... etc.
...the place you just rented is a real dump, but you don't mind it's so damp because there are rough skinned newts everywhere
...you spot your first wild bullfrog, and you drag your husband out to see it so you can share this special moment together. And....you actually have a husband/wife who agrees it's a special moment!
...you kick guests out after they say "What a cute little king snake" while looking into the sand skink's cage.
...you've ever been in a flooring store and found yourself saying, "I really think vinyl is the best substrate for a child's room."
...you mention to your husband that it will soon be time to babyproof your home because your baby will be "big enough to free-roam soon."
...you've ever referred to your pediatrician as your child's vet.
...you've ever referred to the nurse at your obstetrician's office as a vet tech.
...when your obstetrician explained that you needed additional calcium while pregnant, you nodded your head and murmured, "gravidity-induced MBD" under your breath.
...your obstetrician learned to ask what the reptile equivalent of a condition was so she could put things into terms you'd understand.
...your obstetrician explained the reason for needing a Caesarean as "egg dystocia".
...your baby had dry skin and you got misty-eyed at his first shed.
...you name your firstborn after Adam Britton.
...you call Melissa Kaplan from the hospital after giving birth, *and*...Melissa Kaplan's phone number is one of the few numbers you have with you in the hospital after giving birth.
...Melissa doesn't mind the baby not being named after her because, well, it was a 1.0, not 0.1...of course, the mother is just thrilled that it was a 1, period.
...when someone mentions being pregnant, you automatically correct her to "gravid".
...you move the rubber snake out of the aisle at the toy store so it won't get run over...and identify its species while you're doing it.
...you go jogging on a muddy track after a rainstorm and notice lots of earthworms wandering around, and you come back later with a cup.
...you plan a trip to Vegas to meet Tim Rainwater and his world famous albino leopard gecko, Max
...you trade your letter written by George Washington for one written by Raymond Ditmars.
...you have an extra transformer in front of your house
...the people at the screen place, lumber store and glass place know you by your first name
...the biggest problem you face in a day is keeping your humidity high enough
...when neighborhood kids refer to your house as a zoo
...when your kids get kicked out of school for something they brought to show and tell
...when the last thing your daughters boyfriend has to worry about is a gun
...The Discovery Channel wants to send a film crew to your house.
...you comment that the little rodent feet sticking out upside down in your snake's mouth are cute! [MK comment: my favorite is when they slurp in the tail!]
...when part of training new receptionists at work is "When Speedy Delivery comes, make sure you page Sarah right away."
...when you don't understand why the new receptionist would think it's weird that you get a 1000 crickets a week at the office. After all, nobody will guarantee live home delivery!
...when you are spotted by Petco Management, they send customers asking questions about the reptiles to you instead of their employees.
...guests are startled by the presence of turtles soaking in the bath tub when they visit the bathroom.
...you have a nice ficus tree in your living room, but it has a spotlight aimed at it with a chameleon on it.
...instead of board games, your guests often play "catch the cricket" to help you round up the 50 or so crickets that your cat let loose in your bedroom.
...you have an entertainment center in your bedroom, but instead of components, tapes and other entertainment media, there are large tanks of crickets, containers of minerals, extra heating elements, basking lamps, and fixtures for each crammed inside it.
...you have at least 4 different tanks with 4 different sizes of crickets on hand at all times.
...delivery people are afraid to come to your house (the Fed Ex man actually went running when I opened the door with a chameleon on my hand).
...once terrified by crawly bugs of any type, you now pull a wax worm out of a container with your hands, dust it, and hold it up to your chameleon who strikes it out of your hand.
... you find yourself having an emergency Caesarean and you can't find the numbers of the people giving you your baby shower, but you have Melissa Kaplan's numbers.
...every speech given Speech class is about caring for herps.
...all your friends call you Lizard Lady.
...only your closest friends know about the secret snakes in your dorm room.
...you own over $200 worth of Reptile care books.
...your mother has become desensitized to dead mice in the freezer.
...your parents buy you $40 worth of dead mice as a Christmas present.
...your pregnant friend talks about babies and decorating the new kid's room - and you talk about hatchlings and setups.
...your daughter gives you a garter snake for Mother's Day, explaining to her new husband that it's a Mother/Daughter thing, because she had such good memories of our snakes from her childhood.
...you are so used to crickets chirping that they are the only way you are able to sleep at night.
...if your aunt says, "Dear, you've got flour on your nose," and you glance in a mirror and say," oh no, that's cricket duster".
...your idea of fun is going out every weekend to every petstore with some kind of reptile in it.
...you own a hundred tupperware/rubbermaid containers, but can't store any food in them because all the lids have holes in them.
...when someone yells "snake", and you race off after it.
...you get out of your car to chase frogs out of the road.
....people say "oh yeah, your the lady with the snake."
...every kid in the neighborood has brought you a snake, frog, turtle, etc., to be identified.
...when your out-of-state relatives call and their first question is "How are the snakes?"
...when you hear your mum scream "Ah! a mouse!" and a smile lights up your face.
...guests at your house have to wait 10 minutes before they are allowed to sit on your couch.
...you buy rodent food in a 50 pound bag.
...you constantly buy aquarium supplies but own no fish (airstones for humidity, heaters for the incubators).
...your best picture of your wife/girlfriend is with a snake wrapped around her neck.
...you hand a written disclaimer before letting anyone new in your house.
...you hang signs all over your house "Escaped Snake! Please look before you sit!" (I have done that!)
...you buy a new camera so you can take closeups of your new babies that just hatched.
...you buy flourescent lights by the case for your terrariums.
...the electric company asks you why you need a 200 amp service when all your major appliances are gas.
...you have to buy extra bookshelves for all the herp books and magazines you buy.
...your favorite trip is to the herp shows.
...you never have to turn on the heat because the cages provide enough for you, as well as your herps.
...your biggest database on your computer is your herps' logbook.
...you look for sales on sweaterboxes, but your sweaters are all in drawers.
...you buy bleach but never use it in laundry.
...you look over new furniture to decide what could be converted to hold herps.
...you're at the checkout with several huge sheets a melamine and someone asks what your building, you just turn around and smile, then say "bigger cages".
...someone at your door selling magazines and he doesn't have any your interested in.
...you buy cable just for the Discovery channel.
...you tell people snakes make a great pet for skiers, put them in hibernation as you pull out the skis (and vise-versa).
...you have needles in stock and you're not diabetic.
...your medical books are called "Reptile Care".
...someone yells "You have a mouse on your counter!" and you reply "Its not fully defrosted yet..."
...you buy a deep freezer in addition to your refrigerator and you live alone.
...your calenders are this years "Snakes" and "Boas & Pythons".
...you never turn on your room lights because the cages provide enough.
...you buy litter boxes but own no cats (soaking bowls for the boas).
...you have chased away Jehova's Wintnesses with your Python.
...the thought of a burglar in your house makes you giggle.
...you have a legitimate reason to snoop through your roomate's drawers as you look for the latest critter gone AWOL.
....you wonder if it's legal to claim 10 dependents on your income tax return, after all... they're your kids.
....the people at your office know your reptiles by their first names.
....visitors at your house look in your fridge and ask "oh, do you fish?"
....you find yourself telling prospective landlords that you have a small snake and you're talking about your 6-foot boa.
...you arrange the furniture in your apartment or house according to good basking spots. ....the thought of stealing your neighbor's driftwood lawn ornament has crossed your mind.
...you think the creatures in the "Alien" movies are cute.
....you can name, by species, all of the animals in the Yoda scenes in "Star Wars."
....you go to get a "family" portrait done at a studio and they kick you out.
....you find books on parasites intruiging literature.
...you subscribe to your local newspaper just for substrate purposes.
...you carefully step over that snail on the sidewalk while exclaiming, "Oh! Turtle food!"
... you buy another snake to show to kids at Back-to-School night because the one you have has gone from being a snake (18") to being a SNAKE!! (4') in the minds of most people.
...you take your family to Orlando every August for vacation but have never been to Disney, Sea World or Universal studios.
...you go out and buy a mini chopper and you never use it for your meals.
...you notice that your cat has a new approach to entering the living room: "tip-pawing" sideways, in slow motion, and staring at the same damn piece of furniture everytime!
...when people are always asking you about "lumps" and they are not referring to any illnesses.
...when you have a discussion about "pinkies" and you are not talking about your hands.
...you have to explain to passerby's why you are standing in the middle of the road with your recycling bin and a towel.
...when your electric bill is higher than your heating bill.
...when a visitor in your home asks your five-year-old daughter "Do you know what this is, Alexandria?" And your daughter replies "Yes, that is a Lampropeltis mexicana, better known as a Gray-banded Kingsnake."
...when you plant extra veggies in your garden but don't plan on eating them yourself.
...you give containers of meal worms as presents.
...you find you loaned out your heating pad.
...you save those creepy crawlies in a jar instead of smashing 'em.
...you start thinking of ways to farm your snails.
... your mother has never owned an old pillowcase...
... every vehicle you own has a snake bag in it..
... you use the word "shed" a lot and aren't referring to an outbuilding on your property...
... you talk with a lisp due to years of chatting with your snake.
... you carry moisture-mist and spray yourself 3 times a day.
... you stop in a pet stores just to look at the reps and end up buying a fake plant for a buck so you don't look stupid.
... you spent you last dollar on a rep book and you don't get paid for another week.
... you drive a hour to a zoo just to visit the reps and buy a rep shirt to wear tomorrow.
... your freezer contains more dead mice then ice cream.
... you buy 100W bulbs by the case.
... you keep your apartment at a constant 85F, with lights pointed at the couch to make a 95F basking spot.
... you find yourself lurking on sci.bio.entymology to pick up cuisine tips.
... a bug lands near you and you lick your lips.
... you sex fruit flies when you're at a grocery store?
... when a mosiquito bites you, you just let it keep sucking becuse it's an investment your future food supply?
... you have 6, 200 gallon industrial inulated tubs in your back yard...because they were cheep and you need some where to put next season's tadpoles.
... your mom's given up on you finding a good chatholic girl and would be happy with an alcholic divorcee whos 10 years older and has 2 kids.
... you find yourself lurking on sci.bio.entymology to pick up cuisine tips.
... upon seeing the Vanity Fair issue with the picture of Cindy Crawford, naked, with a boa constrictor around her and the first reaction of my herper friends was "Nice looking snake, distinct markings...must be a boa constrictor constrictor...looks like a Surinam."
... you see someone walking their chihuahua or Yorkshire and think...hmm...snake food.
... your friends need to pull out at least three guinea pigs from the fridge to find the salami.
... you go through the store checkout with 18 different fruits and veggies (none of which you plan to eat)?
... your linen closet has about three times as many pillowcases as sheets.
... you don't count your mice when you tell friends what, and how many, animals you own.
... you judge the quality of a garage sale by the potential herp housing units for sale.
... you get extremely frustrated when the narrator on a wildlife show doesn't identify the prey of the secretary bird/kookaburra/roadrunner/mongoose/etc.
... you get regular shipments of thousands of live crickets and your postman just rings the doorbell, drops the box and runs;
... you make your yearly vacation plans around when litters are ready to hatch/be born and everyone you know says "Why ON EARTH do you want to go to ORLANDO in AUGUST every year??"
... losing electrical power at any time of the year is a MAJOR crisis.
... your husband tiptoes in to check on the baby Northern Blue Tongues every night just to "see how cute they are sleeping."
... you watch "Crocodile Dundee", "Raiders of the Lost Arc", etc., etc., and always root for the reptiles instead of the hero.
... you make remarks such as:
"The Devil FRAMED that poor snake, dammit!"
"Disney's portrayal of Kaa was nothing short of libel!"
"What do you mean, hissing him? I LIKED Him!"
"Dear, next time would you mind running the vegetables through the Molinex?"
"Of course there can't be mice in that drawer. They'd have been eaten by the snake!"
... you get a sunburn and worry that your shed isn't coming off in one piece.
... you've sold your soul to your produce manager in exchange for dandelion greens.
... you sleep on the couch, but have a lovely reptile setup in the bedroom.
... the words "Avon calling!" cause your Nile monitor to salivate. :)
... you've said "Are aquariums all right?" to a prospective landlord and own no fish.
... you have a sign that says "Beware of Lizard" or "Beware of Snake" anywhere on your front door.
... you find yourself saying "AAAARRRG, another little rat got out, get him, get him...doough!"
... a wittty woman says to you "Is that a snake in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" and you reply "Happy to see you? - Ha!"
... you watching Clash of the Titans with your freinds, and after fighting all those nasties, you call the hero a wimp, afraid of a harmless PYTHON.
... Monty Python's quest is for mice on ice, grail optional.
... you are constanlty buying thermomerators but no fish food.
... you constantly bitch that the "FANGS" show gives whatever animal their talking about a really bad name.
... your friends are constantly asking. "What are all those little holes in your fingers?"
... you evaluate potential apartments/townhouses by the location of the electrical sockets, and the how easily the second bedroom can accomodate all of your turtle tanks.
... you evaluate potential apartments/townhouses by whether they have electricity included and a large southfacing balcony or patio for the igs
... you get extremely frustrated when the narrator on a wildlife show doesn't identify the prey of the secretary bird/kookaburra/roadrunner/mongoose/etc.
... you get upset when the Discovery Channel has a 1 hour special on snakes and they don't even identify the species!
... you have 27 bowls marked "dog" or "kitty" and no dogs or cats.
... your favorite movie is "Jurassic Park."
... you ask the local drug store for a No-Pest "fly" Strip in January.
... you get odd, worried looks from the checkout clerk for only buying one small jar of baby food per week [day gecko food].
... you've every microwave cooked a Cup O'noodle and defrosted a mouse at the same time.
... you've every been raided by the DEA even though you don't do drugs (this actually happened to a friend of mine while I was living in Seattle, his electric bill was so high all year that he was suspected to be raising marijuana. The looks in their faces must have been hilariuous when they opened the freezer and triumpantly pulled out foil packages then found out they contained food for Monty!! :)
... you've had more than one tetnus shot in the last 10 years.
... you go to the zoo or pet store to try to find a date (cuts down on those messy scenes when you bring them over for a romantic dinner and you end up in the bedroom and something touches her leg even though you've left the room for a minute and it turns out that iguanas are not her favorite animal.
... you've ever killed small animals while talking to a friend on the phone and your friend is also preparing mousicles.
... your roomates get mad at you for doing the above while they're trying to eat (telling them that you're just trying to help them stick to their diet is not appreciated!! :)
... you thought the anaconda in the Jungle book (the recent movie version) should of been a reticulated python and that they had it move all wrong anyway!!
... you've got in trouble from your girlfirnd for looking at the free kitten adds with a gleam in your eye
... you rarely take trips yet you are at the airport alot
... the Delta Cargo people recognize you on sight
... you've ever told you apartment manager that you'll be able to pay your rent after the eggs hatch
... your wrists are so criss-crossed with scratches that people think you're just really bad at trying to kill yourself
... you tell people on the phone "can't talk now, I've got a lizard on my head."
... your Ig has a higher budget then you.
... your ig has a healthier diet then you.
... your bathtub is really an Ig-toilette.
... you judge one of your best friends day by how by the size of his\her poop.
... your constantly by food that you would never eat.
... you're lulled into a deep sleep by the melodic chirp of crickets, even though you live in a high rise.
... people nervously look at your wrists and begin to hide sharp implements as they try to discern what "life event" you recently experienced.
... you rush to stop your colleagues from looking in your Rolodex; they might note The Mouse Factory or Grubco.
... when a person is described as "a real snake in the grass," you think you'd really enjoy meeting them.
... you begin to think that a plague of locusts might be a good thing: Delicious and convenient.
... your husband is jealous of the iguanas because they eat better than he does.
... you know the nutritional content of bugs.
... you find out who your real friends are because they're the only ones who are willing to ask you how your day was over lunch.
... your husband is jealous of the mealworm colony because it eats better than he does.
... you have to periodically clean the shed iguana scales out of your computer mouse (no, I don't know how he does it).
... redecorating the house means finding a way to squeeze in another aquarium.
... your husband is jealous of the cricket colony because it eats better than he does.
... you don't take vitamins but all your herps do.
... you lie awake at night trying to figure out why your crickets aren't reproducing.
... someone at the emergency vet leans over and asks you if your animal is real.
... you know the calcium-to-phosporus ratios of common vegetables without looking them up.
... you consider collard greens, dandelion greens, parsnips, mustard green, and escarole to be common vegetables.
... you keep insisting to your spouse that the trio of Brazilain rainbow boas you just brought home only cost 45 dollars
... you think finding bugs in your new house is a good thing.
... you have a bag full of pinkies in your freezer next to your chicken breasts.
... every small bookshelf you own has an aquarium on top of it.
... while your husband bags groceries in the check-out line, you constantly yell "Grab some extra paper bags!"
... the date you plan for Friday night is a lecture on monitor lizards.
... the pictures in the shadowboxes on your walls......MOVE.
... yours is the only house on the block were "spray the house" is a "dirty" saying.
... you can't use your drive way because "two tails" babies are over it.
... your wife remarks...."I'm NOT doing the laundry again until you find him!"
... your house is on the robbery list ..to be avoided at all costs!
... your house is the yearly field trip for the neighborhood school.
... you envy your friend who has this same nightmare of poisonous snakes every night.
... you don't mind if there's a fly in your soup - if your room mates can eat flies, then so can you.
... 10,000 warty toads wrestling in a muddy pond is your concept of an ultimate orgy.
... you wake up in the middle of the night feeling wet, cold fingers moving on your throat, and you don't even panic. (A friend of mine once woke up when a Litoria caerulea, which had just escaped from a terrarium, was climbing on his face.)
... your neighbors think you're a prostitute/photographer, because they can see a red light in one of your windows every night.
... you have to explain to the lawncare company that you like dandilions and insects in your yard because they make good treats for the lizards.
... the person you live with is afraid to do any cooking because of those nasty suprises you forget to wrap up in the fridge.
... your girlfriend has ever, while hiking, uttered the phrase, "Look, a baby rattlesnake! How cute!"
... the first words out of the new faculty memeber's mouth is, You know, there's a snake behind you."
... your relatives make elaborate excuses to avoid visiting your new apartment.
... you've ever had to lecture a pet store employee/manager.
... you've ever carried along a pillow case when mountain biking.
... your "baby" doesn't have legs.
.... you worry about what your other pets will do to your new kitten, but you don't own any dogs.
... you've ever had to clean mouse guts off of anything.
... you know that if you don't catch anything with those bait minnows, they won't go to waste.
...all of your roomates have stopped using the microwave to heat up their food.
...your response to friends showing you their new hamsters is, "Nope, too small."
...you tell your snake she's 'sexy' more often than your girlfriend.
...the person behind you at the checkout asks how you prepare the collard greens you're holding and you say that you haven't got the slightest idea.
...and you tell them, "Rinse thoroughly, chop into pieces no larger than the size of your head, and dust lightly with CA and vitamin supplement."
...you find "tongue flicking" an attractive attribute in person's of the opposite sex.
...your first association to "wild type" isn't Brando or James Dean.
...you think bleach is something to disinfect driftwood with.
...the photos of loved ones in your wallet look like an lobby stills from Jurassic Park.
...you join a tanning salon in the winter and you don't get a tan.
...your bedroom looks like an episode of National Geographic - and your bed looks out of place.
...you're prone to making excessive cricket-like clicking noises when you want to get someone's attention.
...one of your friends is upset and you rub their stomach to calm them down.
...you dress up like the Pied Piper and start playing a flute, and it isn't Halloween.
...you have friends over for dinner, and someone notices the vermacelli is moving.
...your best friend has a tail and prefers calcium powder over nutri-sweet.
...the mice in your house have cheese pizza delivered instead of eating out.
...you refer to a pregnant woman as "gravid."
...and if she had twins you want to know if the babies came out with a ratio of 1.1, 0.2 or 2.0 and what are they het for, if anything?
...hetero doesn't mean heterosexual to you.
...when you are looking at houses to buy and you say "What! it has a termite infestation? I'll take it.!!"
...you find the entire restaurant fall silent around you as you and your friends compare notes on the best way to prepare your pet's foods.
.. your local welding/medical gas supplier knows you on a first-name basis- even though you don't own any welding equipment.
.. you separate your mail into 3 piles- bills, junk mail, and this month's price lists.
... you are standing in the pet store checkout line with your purchase in hand, and the person in line behind you says "Oh, they're so cute! Do they make good pets?" and you reply: "These? Hmmm. Actually, I have no idea...I never thought about that..."
...you get out of your car and start directing traffic around a rattlesnake so the wriggly thing can make it across to safety!
...you have been thrown out of at least 3 pet shops this year.
...you know that a boid is not a New York pigeon.
...you get pissed and throw a hissy fit when a family member eats any of your lizards' fruits and veggies.
...hunting under the bed with a flashlight doesn't involve finding that missing sock.
...you're trying (or have managed) to convince your significant other that you need bigger house/apartment so your ig can have his own bedroom.
...you have a sign on your lawn that says "Beware of Anaconda."
... you and your significant other have conversations or express yourselves by verbalizing actions (such as "flicker", "puff", thhhhtt").
...you occassionally find a laundered cricket in the lint screen of your dryer.
... your dates suddenly recall that "thing" they had to do, when you bring over to your house to meet your pals.
...the salesperson at the local pet store asks twice about the # of crickets you need.
...the chirping of the crickets in your house is louder than your T.V.
...your guests constantly trip over your African Spur Thighs in your Living Room.
...you can't walk out of your house without one of your herps coming along for the ride.
...you cock your head when someone calls your name.
...Petco, PetsMart, and other pet stores have your picture on the wall under a sign saying "Do Not Let This Person In!"
...you have photos of your herps but not your family in your wallet.
...you have a recording of crickets chirping to lull you to sleep.
...you put on dark glasses, pick up your guitar and play the Greens.
...you forget that you put crickets in the freezer to slow them down for your lizards and you find them walking around your ice cube trays
...you forget to make new ice and your guests freak out when they find cricket legs on their cubes.
...you buy your wife/girlfriend a dozen white mice.
...you excitedly awaken your wife, who has finally fallen into an exhausted sleep after a bad bout of the flu, by waving a deli cup full of hissing cockroaches in her face, exclaiming, "Look what I got at the herp meeting tonight!!!"
...if you lick your eye for moisture.
...your electricity company asks if you want a professional account.
...Anaconda is your favorite movie
...while watching Anaconda, you were rooting for the snake the whole time
...when walking out of the theatre after watching Anaconda, you hear someone say that a snake couldn't really catch a prey item in real life and you have to lecture them about just how wrong they are.
...your wish list looks more like a reptile surplus's pricelist by the day
...you have a bigger UPS [uninterruptible power supply] on your boa cage than on your computer.
...you have ever had to scrape rat brains off of your wall.
...when you have a 3 bedroom house and you realize you have a herp in each bedroom...
...you buy 2 gallons of bleach every week, but don't wash any clothes with it.
...read an ad in your favorite magazine and at the bottom it reads, monitor not included, and the ad's not about a computer.
...the day before your vacation is the most troublesome part of the year for you.
...subscribe to the local newspaper purely for it's substrate possibilities.
...you charge admission at your house, but kids 12 and under are still free.
...you devote your web space to your snakes.
...all the gifts you ask for now are "alive".
And tThen there's my friend, Glenn Dalton, who said, "I can't be a herper - I still have an electrical outlet left!"
If you have any you'd like to add, just let me know.
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