I was having dinner with an anonymous person who is absolutely NOT my mother-in-law

Dyed Chicks. Getty Image

, and she was telling me that, as a kid, she had all kinds of 'pets' growing up. Now she grew up in Iowa, but was by no means a farm girl. Factories, Street Cars, laundry-mats the whole she-bang.

The first ones she remembers was at Easter, going to the store and buying colored chicks. Baby chickens, that is, pink and blue. You would buy them on Good Friday, and she said, casual as all hell, "And they'd be dead by Monday---something with the dye would poison them." I asked her if she would cry, and she said that by Monday, you were pretty bored, and they were stinky…so no big deal.

As a teen, she could go to the state fair (Iowa) and you could play midway games and win a lizard pin. Lizard pin? Yep…a freaking LIVE lizard with a safety-pin through it's tail, pinned to your shirt or jacket. It was all the rage. The lizard would live for awhile, or break off the pin,or go through the wash…

Finally, a young gentleman caller brought her a pet for one valentine's day after they had been dating in college. A Squirrel. Yep. She opens up the box, and out runs a squirrel…litter trained.  Now, while I guess you can train them to pee in one place, they still love climbing and burrowing…so her mother made her get rid of it…I guess she tossed it on the pile of other discarded animals from her youth?

Damn.