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The wife was in Raleigh, North Carolina all weekend for what I affectionately call her nerdy English conference. Honestly though, Computers & Writing is an important conference for academics in the fields of digital literacy and writing studies. She gets to present her paper, catch up with past colleagues, make some new friends, and revel in her nerdiness. Me and the boys? We hung out and had fun. We played some seven card stud, sipped some Jamo on the rocks, and smoked some fine Cubanos. Well, not really. But the image of me and two lizards sitting around a table like the famous “dogs playing poker” lithograph made me smile; especially imagining Irwin with a Churchill as big as he is hanging out his mouth. Irwin and Dorian certainly have a funny little relationship. It’s more of a love/hate relationship in actuality. I adopted Irwin for the wife from a rescue shelter outside of Rockford, Illinois named Critter Camp. The wife missed my first beardie Ulysses very much, as did I, but I just couldn’t get another beardie that soon. If I got the wife a beardie, I wouldn’t feel like I was dishonoring Ulee’s memory as much. It was sorta tough emotionally picking him up, but his spunky little personality won me over and melted my heart. (Psst… I almost wanted to keep him for myself!) I brought Irwin home and Dorian knew immediately something was up. He was like, “Hey! What’s in the tank?” but I kept Irwin under quarantine for the time he was there. Irwin was rescued from a bad owner who kept him and another full size beardie in a 10 gallon tank, which is far too small even for an single adult bearded dragon. The other beardie picked on Irwin and bullied him out of food, so Irwin was really runty. He was kept under a common 60W bulb, no heat lamp or UVB. It’s amazing he was alive at all really. When they first met, Irwin was a rather scared of Dorian, and nervous to be on the same couch as him. Nowadays, Irwin sometimes tries to bully Dorian! “Hey! Hey! Gimme a space on the couch! Or maybe I’ll just use your back as my sofa!” He’ll fly down the couch some times crashing into Dorian’s jowls and dewlap in a meager attempt and moving the big green monster. Other times, he’ll just leap onto Dor-Dor’s back and ride him like a scaly taxi. We warn Irwin often that he’s lucky Dorian’s so easy-going. We’re always there when they’re together, but in all reality, Irwin isn’t much more than a bon-bon if Dorian decided to chompa-chompa. For boy’s weekend, we had fruit, played the Wii, and just hung out on the couch all night. Dorian and Irwin just sat on the top of the couch together, you could call it cuddling (we do) but I’m sure they’d prefer something more butch, like a himbrace, very masculine, you know? Like the manly men they are.

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