A lady got on the bus with a King Charles Spaniel wrapped in a white blanket; just its little head peaking out, with its big round eyes and its long floppy ears. She sat on the sideways-facing seat at the front, and immediately another woman – evidently a stranger to her, and sat three rows back on the other side of the bus – started talking to her about pets. Oh I love your dog this, and he's so beautiful that. Soon they were having a competitive pet-off: well, I've got a blue-grey Burmese cat, and oh yeah, well I've got a St Bernard, but it's so big I can't bring it into town, you know, for obvious practical reasons. My aunty's got a this, my mum's got a that, etcetera, etc, &c.
Recently I've had the urge to get a pet; to get myself petted-up; to be-pet my abode; etcetera, etc, &c. A cat is the obvious choice, except I occasionally enjoy doing things other than sneezing, and I live in a tiny flat. So cats are out, unfortunately. Obviously not a dog; nasty, stinking, snivelling, vermin. I'm too old, and don't have kids, so gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs and the like are out. Plus they are crap, smelly, annoying and sneezy. Tarantulas are cool, but a little unsettling. Giant land snails are not great; ok, but not great. Fish are fantastic, and are a strong contender especially a bit further down the line.
At the moment, as far as I'm concerned (for the sake of discussion I'm ignoring hypothetical and actual objections), the top contenders are Snake, Parrot, Lizard, Raven/Crow. The last on the list is the least likely; in fact it's fair to say it's probably impossible. It'd be like trying to keep a pet dolphin in a bowl of water by the kitchen window. So that narrows it down to snake, parrot and lizard. I want to rule out parrot because I lack space and I've seen the mess and heard the racket that pet birds are want to cause. Snake or lizard? A certain special lady whose opinion counts has categorically said she never want a pet snake. She is wrong, but doesn't know it yet. For the sake of tranquillity let's (temporarily) rule out snake. Lizard! I would much prefer a snake; beginning with a corn snake or similar, and then perhaps working up to a boa constrictor. But -!- there is a lizard with many similarities to a snake, and that will be my new pet. Yes, decision made – I am getting a pet skink.
One day I will own an octopus, but until then the three of us – Me, Mrs Me, and Little Mr Skink – will be very happy together. Sitting on the bus, wrapped in white blankets.