This weekend we’re hosting the first Reptile Extravaganza Show and Sale of the year – we have 2 more scheduled; the end of June and mid-September. We used to do this a lot, but with the renovation last year, our special event schedule went out the window.
Here’s why we like to host reptile shows: family fun, helping people overcome fear, and they’re just plain cool.
At B&B Pet Stop, we put a lot of emphasis on FUN. We like to do fun things at the store and having 5 tables stacked with tons of reptiles, to us, is fun! Lots of families come in and check out the different snakes and lizards – ooohhh-ing and aahhhh-ing. We let kids hold the snakes (some of them!) and discover that for some kids, this is their very first time. This gives us a chance to talk about snake safety and warn kids about touching snakes they may find outside.
We don’t sell dangerous, venomous snakes, but that doesn’t mean many of our customers aren’t terrified of what we DO sell. At a Reptile Extravaganza, we can help people LEARN about how to hold a snake, where they come from, how they move, and why they stick out their tongues. I’m not saying we have a magic wand, but sometimes people are afraid of what they don’t know and once they learn that snakes aren’t “slimy” and iguanas are vegetarians (though watch out for that tail!), they may become a TINY bit more comfortable around them. It’s a start.
And reptiles are cool. At this show we have Vietnamese centipedes. (I’d never even heard of them and I’ve worked here for 24 years.) We also have Bird-eating tarantulas. You don’t see THOSE everyday, do you?! And the variety of Ball Python morphs is fascinating. We used to sell baby ball pythons. Period. They were smallish, brown and gold snakes from India; we considered them a “good starter snake”. Well, a few years ago people started breeding them for colors and markings and adding albino ball pythons into the mix and the results are STUNNING! I’ve included a few photos to give you the idea.
And finally, here’s why the Tokay Gecko is the gecko I love to hate:
Years ago we used to sell a TON of Tokay Geckos as “natural pest control”; you’d buy a couple of them and let them go in your house and they’d hang out in your kitchen and other warm places where they are most likely to find bugs to eat. We used to keep dozens in inventory and one night, right at closing, a customer came in and wanted a couple of tokay geckos. The Krewe in the Bird/ Reptile/ Small Animal department had already clocked out, so I screwed up my courage, grabbed a brown paper grocery bag, and headed behind the green wall (where we accessed the cages before the renovation). Another Manager was still here and came back there with me, to help. I climbed up on the step stool, unlatched the cage door, held the paper bag up to the cage opening and stuck my arm in to scoot a gecko into the bag. HUNDREDS of geckos (or so it seemed to me!!!) leapt out of the cage at me – I SCREAMED like a sissy, the other manager SCREAMED like a sissy – which made the two of us start laughing hysterically. We somehow managed to get two geckos into the paper bag and walked back out from behind the green wall and calmly handed the bag to the customer. Heavens knows what he thought was going on behind the scenes!
(And for any former Krewe members who might remember that huge, legendary tokay gecko who lived in the kitchen for years – I think this is how he got his start!)
The reptile sale continues tomorrow, February 22, 2015. Come see us; you might even end up with a tokay gecko story of your own!
Sally Adams Trufant,