So, having nothing better to do, we went to a local reptile show. My oldest daughter was trying to refurnish her snake cage, so what the heck, right? Besides, I’ve been hankering to get back into reptiles, I’ve really missed having more of them around, so I might as well go look and see what was available.
Now, nothing against the show itself because it was well put together, but there were a couple of problems. First off, they didn’t take credit cards for entry tickets. You could buy tickets online before you went, and I wish we had done so, but there were no signs or anything else saying cash only. We stood in a very long line and were lucky we had the cash on us because usually, everything is plastic. Had we gotten to the front of that long line and not had the cash, we would have been pissed. But since we did, that wasn’t really a big deal.
What was, and again, this isn’t the show itself, but it was great if you were looking for bearded dragons, leopard or crested geckos or ball pythons. Even the common stuff, they had a small selection of normal colors, which sold out quickly, leaving only the expensive variants. Yes, there were sporadic tarantulas, some chameleons and a few pythons here and there, but if you wanted any real selection, especially anything that wasn’t ridiculously common, you were completely out of luck.
Of course, that’s me. I was looking for a children’s python, which I’ve always loved. They’re a relatively small, docile Australian python species that I’ve seen as hatchlings for $70-90, so it isn’t exactly going to break the bank, but they’re not your run of the mill ball python either that you see in every pet store. I figured I could find some here, but nope. None. Not a damn thing.
Now my wife was looking around and saw gargoyle geckos which she really liked, so we’ll probably get some of those. The only ones I saw were variant colors, which seems to be all that the herpetological fancy is doing these days. I looked online and you can get regular colors for $60, although all we saw at the show were variants for $300-400.
I’m not against those, in fact, I had a bunch of them back when I was heavily into reptiles, but if that’s all the reptile fancy is doing, if it’s only high-end variants for committed herpetologists, then it’s in bigger trouble than I thought. And that’s sad because I like reptiles. I just don’t have to catch them all like Pokemon.
So maybe I’ll find my children’s python elsewhere. They’re not that hard to come by. But I probably won’t bother going back to this show if this is what I can expect. It cost us $36 to get in and we walked out with less than $20 worth of purchases. I could have bought more, I would have bought more, if only they had anything I wanted. It’s just sad that they didn’t.
Now I want to emphasize again that this is not the fault of Reptilian Nation Expo, they put on a really nice show. It’s the fault of the reptile hobby. And the more I’ve looked online, it seems like this is what the hobby has turned into. Little more than a dick waving contest of people trying to develop new color morphs. I couldn’t care less.
This is something I’m going to explore more in a future post because I’ve seen it before and it really does ruin the fun for people who just want to keep the animals, not breed them. And frankly, if this is what the reptile hobby has turned into, maybe it’s not something I have any interest in revisiting.