(I wrote this in the fall of 2012 for a site called 604 Republic. Sadly, that site is no longer in existence, so I’m going to be posting the articles that I wrote for them here. I will also do this for the things I wrote for The Smoking Jacket, as they seem to have removed my articles, and the articles of many other funny people, as well.)
The Tyrannosaurus Rex is probably the most famous dinosaur of all time. He’s got a cool name, a recognizable body and laughable arms. He’s the tyrant lizard, the star of Jurassic Park, and despite many, many adolescent fantasies (most of them mine), a terrible pet.
Here are ten reasons why owning a T-Rex would be no fun at all.
Clifford was a gargantuan puppy that lived in some unfortunate family’s backyard, and could kill his owners just by turning around. The Tyrannosaurus Rex was about that size, forty-feet-long and a little more than thirteen-feet-tall.
It’s about half the size of your house. That cuts out bringing it inside when it’s scared during a thunder storm, bathing it in the tub when it smells like death (more on that later) and watching it playfully scratch at the front door as it sits on the porch.
IT’S A CARNIVORE
I told you that it’s about half the size of your house. Imagine half of your house trying to kill you whenever it felt like it. And not just you. Anything. If you have something that even resembled what’s scientifically called “meat” around you, the T-Rex will try to devour it. Not out of spite or anything. Just because either A) it’s hungry or B) it can.
And if not you and everyone you love, than what? It will cost a lot to keep importing those cows to your yard, and in about a month, since you haven’t mustered the courage to go outside and face the beast that you call “pet”, your landscape will be a graveyard of skeletons and huge mistakes.
IT’S A KILLER
If you piss off a pet, you’ll have a few minutes of tail between the legs and then back to normal. Pets are dumb, and small enough that they can’t rip you in two when they’re having a bad day. A T-Rex can. If you make a T-Rex mad, the next rest of your life will be spent screaming for your wife to call for help, as you make a dash for safety. Once again, the T-Rex isn’t a mean guy. It’s just hard to reconcile your primitive emotions when your reptile brain consistently orders you to “KILL KILL KILL EAT EAT EAT PROTECT YOUNG SLEEP KILL KILL KILL.”
IT MAY HAVE BEEN A SCAVENGER
T-Rex was known as the alpha male of the dinosaur kingdom before paleontologists racked their brains to think of ways it sucked. One of the ways was the speculation that it might be a scavenger. If this is true, then the T-Rex is going to smell awful, constantly. A dead body reeks, and suddenly you have a tractor trailer of a monster that smells like a lifetime of dead bodies hanging around your house.
His arms are just too tiny to do anything. You can’t train him since most things that you’d want a T-Rex to help you with (roof repairs, driving comically large cars) can’t be done because he’s wielding two forks on his torso.
HIGH INFANT MORTALITY RATE
Less than half of all T-Rex’s made it to sexual maturity. So, when you have that adorable litter of T-Rex puppies, most of them are going to be dead soon. And you can’t explain burying a dead baby T-Rex in the backyard to a mother Rex. It’s going to see you holding a dead hatchling, and immediately put two and two together, initiating Prime Objective: Tear Tiny Screaming Thing To Shreds.
GREAT SENSE OF SMELL
You know how animals with great senses will use those senses to draw them toward things? A dog will hear a sound a mile away and use that as the impetus to disappear for a few days. The T-Rex had huge olfactory nerves and bulbs, which means that he could smell a great distance. Someone in the neighboring county having a barbecue? Sorry about your smashed fence and missing kids, brother. New dump opened recently across town? Sorry for the worker’s strike, city. It’s hard to improve employee morale when your job conditions include bulldozers, trash and now an ancient super-predator.
The T-Rex had better sight than most of today’s hawks, and anyone who’s seen a slow motion bird dive into a stream to pick up a salmon knows that this is a serious attribute. To put this in perspective, where ever you are right now, a T-Rex could see you.
MASSIVE JAW POWER
Okay, you’ve managed to train your T-Rex to not devour you whenever the mood strikes it. But that still doesn’t save anything surrounding your house. The T-Rex’s head was built to crush whatever it bit down on, which was usually the bones in a screeching herbivore. A dog might leave a mark in your Frisbee or gnaw on the lowest part of a deck chair, but a T-Rex is going to smash through whatever is unlucky enough to be beside it.
Also, a dog might playfully nip at its master, and you can laugh it off and blame it on being a puppy. A T-Rex can nip at its master and you’d have to move directly next to a hospital to prevent any sort of future fatalities.
A recent study put forth the theory that T-Rexes may have practiced cannibalism, and by practiced I mean “They ate each other when hungry.” So much for a cute T-Rex family. Buying any new pet after a T-Rex is just something to put on the grocery list.
HIPSTERS WILL HATE YOU
He’s a popular dinosaur, and hipsters, in their current incarnation, will literally seek out ANYTHING to hate, even resurrected bygones of a lost era. So, go ahead and get a T-Rex. Get ready for an onslaught of things like:
“Why didn’t you get one from the Dromeosauridae family? They’re pretty small and fit well with my three-legged dog, Martin Luther King III. And besides, didn’t people hate Tyrannosaurs, like, a month ago. But, it’s cute. It really is.”