It’s not every day you see a live animal in the grocery store. In the meat department, the butcher offers quite a few expired animals. By expired, I mean dead. Beef cattle, chickens, lambs. Who eats lamb? I can’t bring myself to eat what used to be the little critter from the children’s song, “Mary had a Little Lamb.” Its fleece was white as snow, y’all. Who could eat that cutie? If I think about it too long, I can’t eat meat of any kind. This meat used to say, moo, or cock-a-doodle-doo doo, or baa. But I’m not a vegetarian yet because, well . . . bacon.
A few months ago, I saw a woman with a white curly-haired dog in her grocery cart. I don’t think she picked up the dog from the meat department. As I said, all the meat there is dead and wrapped in plastic. This little dog was very much alive and not wrapped in anything.
What is that, a comfort animal? I asked her not aloud but in my head. I don’t think that’s a service dog because it’s in your cart, and it’s not a big dog like a black lab or a German shepherd. Those breeds make good service dogs, but this little cockapoo or whatever he is? That aint’ no service dog, ma’am.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand comfort animals. I have a cat, and he’s beautiful and soft. He’s a service animal. I give him service, and he accepts it with a sniff and an arrogant look.
Point is, I understand the companionship of a pet, but it’s inappropriate to bring a Comfort Cockapoo anywhere near the deli.
The story I’m getting around to is not about a cockapoo or a cat.
Last week, I saw a Comfort Iguana in the produce department.
The iguana was lying against a woman’s chest as she talked on her cell phone and picked out a lettuce.
Me, myself, and I had a conversation in my head.
Me: I see a lady picking out a lettuce. An iguana is lying on her chest.
Myself: Have you been smoking weed again?
Me: What do you mean again? I’ve never smoked weed. I did ask a friend if I should smoke a cigarette before I die, and she said, “Wendy, if you smoke something, don’t smoke a plain ol’ tobacco cigarette.” But no, I’ve never smoked weed. I would remember because Presbyterian guilt woulda kicked in.
And I: I haven’t smoked anything.
Me: I tell you, there’s an iguana between the lettuce and the spinach.
Myself: Oh, my word, you’re right. There’s a woman holding a lizard. What should we do?
And I: Are iguanas allowed in the grocery store?
Me: Do they qualify as service animals?
Myself: Service animals have vests on. That iguana is naked.
And I: Maybe they don’t make the service animal vests in iguana size.
Me: You make a good point. Did I read somewhere that lizards can detect heart problems or high blood pressure or kidney stones? Maybe that’s why it’s on her chest.
Myself: I don’t know. Google it.
And I: Do you think I could sneak a picture of the iguana?
Me: It’s against the rules to have an iguana near the apples and oranges. Has to be.
Myself: You are such a Rule Follower, Me. Have you ever had a day of fun in your life?
And I: I’ve had fun but not with an iguana. Do you think she’s buying lettuce to feed him?
Me: How do you know that’s a male? I don’t see any . . . male parts.
Myself: I don’t think iguanas have those . . . parts. At least not visibly, which begs the question, how do you tell a male iguana from a female?
And I: I think owners should put a pink bow on the tail if it’s a female. Just so people don’t say, “him,” and offend her. I don’t want to offend a female iguana. Especially if she has baby iguanas. Are lizards aggressive if they have young?
Me: Yes. They’re also testy during election years, but isn’t everyone?
Myself: Wait. The lady with the iguana is leaving, and we didn’t introduce ourselves.
And I: Maybe she just wants to be left alone.
Myself: No, if you walk into the grocery with an iguana, you invite polite inquiries.
And I: Do we need bananas?
Me: Let Me check the list. Yes. Grab a bunch, will ya?
Maybe the woman had been at the vet with the lizard. You can’t just leave your iguana in the hot car at the grocery. It might die of heat stroke, or its tail might fall off. Or its back leg. Has anyone eaten lizard legs? That’s just begging to be an appetizer at Applebee’s. With a tangy sauce for dipping.
The bottom line is, I don’t think you’re allowed to bring iguanas or little yippy dogs into a grocery store. Now, I don’t suggest confronting the owner of the animal. Just report it to management – because, have you noticed how annoyed everyone is these days? With gas prices so high, people are not in a good mood, and I don’t want to set anyone off by complaining about the Comfort Iguana sniffing the zucchinis.
Me: Can we go back to talking about bacon?
Myself: Do you have a question or comment?
Me: Will there be bacon in heaven?
Myself: Animals won’t die in heaven, so I’d say, no bacon. Just jolly little piglets rolling in the mud.
Me: Then I shall require a fruit that tastes like bacon.
Myself: If God invented piglets, surely God can design a Bacon Fruit Tree.
And I: Sounds good.