WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday placed the lounge lizard, one of nine species of squamate reptiles native to the United States, on its endangered species list.
“Want to hear my Wayne Newton imitation?”
The notice in the Federal Register cited a sharp drop-off in lounge lizard populations since 2017, when singer Buddy Greco died. “Buddy was the ultimate lounge lizard,” said Las Vegas booking agent Marty “Spec” Gold. “Where the hell is Greenpeace when you need ’em?”
A “lounge lizard” is a singer who performs in, or a male who patronizes, establishments frequented by wealthy women with the intent of seducing them by flattery and deceptive charm. The term is an allusion to the cold and insinuating quality of reptiles, which are thought to be common to both lizards and male humans.
Buddy Greco: “Everybody check your wife, somebody’s got mine.”
“Buddy set the standard for going through women like a hot knife slicing butter,” says Jerry Mastroangelo, who is writing an unauthorized biography of the late singer. “He had either five or six wives, depending on whether you use the Celsius or Fahrenheit scale.”
The Rat Pack: “You call THAT ‘hep’?”
A lounge lizard typically uses finger-snapping “hipster” patter to attract females, who are lured by the rhythmic mating call in much the same way that female cicadas are driven wild when they hear males click their tymbals against their anterior abdominal region. “As a Ph. D. in biology, I can sympathize with the female cicada,” says Emily Nussman, a post-doctoral researcher at Carneseccha College in Elmira, New York. “Banging a body part against your abdomen would be more subtle than the passes I’m subjected to every day in the student union.”
Lounge lizards (not shown actual size).
Previous efforts to breed lounge lizards in captivity have failed because they are, despite their amorous nature, skittish when they find themselves in a situation fraught with risk. “If you want to see a bunch of lounge lizards scatter,” says Nussman, “just approach them with an unpaid bar tab.”