YONKERS, New York. The 2018 Westminster Kennel Club dog show is history now but there are still a number of out-of-town animal lovers in the New York area, albeit of a different breed. “Dog owners are pansies,” says Jerry Fima as he is pulled against his will across the floor at American Legion Post no. 367 here. “Try telling one of these bad boys to heel and see where it gets you.”
Fima is the owner of Lady Brett, an 8-foot long female Komodo dragon that weighs 125 pounds and drags him around with such ease it’s unclear who’s walking whom as the Yonkers Komodo Show opens here tonight. “I’m pretty sure I fed her,” Fima says to Vic Scalzo, the facility’s janitor who is keeping his distance from the oversize lizard also known as a “monitor.” “If not,” Fima adds reassuringly, “I brought some white mice along for snacks.”
“I think we’d better call in reinforcements.”
While dog owners are typically outgoing and gregarious, komodo dragon lovers tend to be sullen, embittered men who bought the animals out of spite after losing a girlfriend to the owner of a Labrador retriever in college. “I don’t know why Kiki dumped me for that wimp Jamie,” Joe Don Cabot says as he prepares to pick up the droppings of his male komodo “Chan.” “Sure he had James Taylor albums, but Steve Miller is way better than that folk-rock crap.”
“Seriously? He won’t mind?”
Komodo dragons are carnivorous lizards indigenous to the islands of Indonesia that became popular in America as guard animals after laws banning pitbulls passed in a number of cities. “It’s a typical case of unintended consequences,” says Phil Normand, a visiting fellow at the League of American Cities. “If you had to choose between a 60-pound terrier with jaws like a steel trap and a 100-pound lizard with rotting flesh on its breath, I think most folks would opt for the dog.”
93% of Steve Miller Band fans prefer komodo dragons to golden retrievers and James Taylor.
Yonkers officials say they welcome the business generated by the komodo dragon owners, but hope they’ll conclude their event without incident. “I don’t know if we could handle a komodo dragon on the loose,” says Animal Control Officer Ward Spire. “Our guys want combat pay for getting get cats out of trees.”