Exotic pets aren't just for Bond villains anymore. Critters that were once limited to the creepy kid or the bachelor with scars down his arm are gradually becoming standard household pets like cats and dogs. Perhaps soon there won't be any need for the term "exotic" whatsoever, as snakes and spiders roam around freely in our living rooms.
But before you go and buy your child an exotic pet, ask yourself: Are they (or more likely, you) actually committed to doing what's necessary for the animal? If your answer is yes, you might rethink that after we tell you ...
There are all sorts of good things about owning a turtle. They can't run away from you, and they are practically immortal, to the point where they may even outlive you. Shit, there's even a turtle alive today that was found by a soldier during World War I. Let the pet be the one to mourn the owner and cry every time during Marley & Me, for a change. Yep, turtles can offer you companionship for decades and decades ... and the only thing they ask in return is that you look at (and sometimes clean) their awful, disgusting turtle dicks.
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"Oh yeah, 'cause your crotch is a real treasure."
Like most males, turtles are proud of their penises. The difference is that there is no law against reptilian public indecency, so sometimes they get into the habit of waving their dick around, which is known as penis fanning. This has led to a series of hilariously horrified pet owners asking the Internet why there is a "poo," a "dark bladder," or a "black flower" coming out from behind the turtle. Black flower? How would a penis even look like-
OK, yeah, there it is.
The terrifying part (yes, that video wasn't the terrifying part) is that sometimes your Leonardo's little katana gets stuck flopping around outside his shell, a problem known as a "penile prolapse." The good news is that this condition can be treated in your own home. The bad news is that you'll never feel clean again after doing this.
You will, however, gain a greater appreciation for the work of H.P. Lovecraft.
What exactly do you have to do? A quote from this turtle care website describes it:
"With clean hands ... lubricate the organ with KY Jelly, and gently attempt to assist the organ back into the turtle. If this fails ... coat the penis with dry, granulated sugar or honey."
"The most difficult step is learning to live with yourself afterward."
Or you can continue seeing the terror dick every day. Your call.
If you're not ready for that kind of commitment, your friendly pet store attendant might instead offer you a good deal on an iguana, since that's currently the most popular reptile pet in the USA. And these bastards do look pretty awesome: You're just a can of deodorant and a lighter away from owning a tiny dragon.
Don't actually do that. He'll tail-whip your face off.
They'll probably tell you to make sure you don't piss off your new pet (you can Google "iguana bite" if you don't believe us, although we don't recommend it), but how hard could that be? Simply avoid stepping on its tail, or hitting it with things, or producing blood from your vagina. Wait, what?
Oh yeah, it turns out these little Hannibal Lecters can smell when a woman is on her menstrual cycle, which is creepy enough by itself, but it gets worse: There have been multiple reports of male iguanas turning aggressive on their owners when Aunt Flo is visiting. Why? We don't exactly know. Maybe women produce a pheromone that makes the iguana crazy, or maybe it's just an attempted mercy killing, as they figure nobody could possibly survive such blood loss. Incidentally, if they attack you, you'll be losing a lot more blood, because seriously, don't Google "iguana bite."
Just try to appreciate your fingers.
On the upside, it appears that this happens only during the animal's mating season (which lasts three months), so if you do the math, your iguana will be trying to kill you for a mere nine to 15 days a year. Also, scientists have helpfully clarified that not all women on their periods will be attacked, and that sometimes pet iguanas go after dudes. For no discernible reason.
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"Oh, you know what you did. Don't give me that look."
So you have to buy a pet for your young nephew, but you don't want anything that might try to hump his leg or go around the neighborhood loudly announcing that it wants to get laid. Cats and dogs are out, those perverts. You want a wholesome, easy-to-love animal -- and how can you go wrong with a bird? Discounting the few bad apples that like to learn swear words and teach them to other birds, most feathered friends you might buy at a pet store are remarkably affectionate, clearly enjoying being petted and stroked.
In fact, they enjoy it a little too much.
It's not a coincidence that his beak is completely hard now.
You see, birds consider petting to be foreplay. It even makes them pant as they start getting all hot and bothered. They like the feeling of your hand innocently going over their backs for the same reason that a dog would like it if you rubbed its testicles. Of course, not all birds enjoy being literally cockteased all the time -- some feel sexually frustrated because they're not getting any real action and turn angry and violent, while others will naturally assume that there's something going on between you two. If you have visited a friend whose bird becomes overly defensive of its owner, there you go: To the bird, you are trying to steal its spouse.
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"Bitch totally cage-zoned me."
And how will your feathery suitor express its romantic affection? Why, by puking, of course, just like most of our first dates. If you're like us, you're immediately rethinking every interaction you've had with a bird right now. This certainly sheds a new light on all those "cute" videos of birds being petted on YouTube -- that shit is practically bestiality.
So, remember: To avoid this confusion and save your pet some potential heartache, experts recommend that you pet only the head of the bird and avoid going south unless your intentions are serious. In which case, ew.
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Hair condoms, dude.