by Con Chapman
WORCESTER, Mass. Todd Zucker will be a senior at Clark University in this central Massachusetts town, but he’s not looking forward to graduation next spring. “I’ve had a great three years here,” he says as he sits with his dog Dylan on the lawn outside a dormitory. “I owe it all to Dylan.”
Todd has used Dylan as an ice-breaker with female students, producing a string of sexual conquests he says he could only have dreamed of back when he was a pudgy high school student. “It’s almost embarrassing,” he says with a sheepish grin. “It’s no wonder they don’t let you bring dogs to high school.”
But the idyllic life that this boy and his dog have led is under attack from a new critter on the block–Komodo Dragons, a carnivorous lizard native to Indonesia. Komodos have been adopted by some male students who feel they’ve been unfairly deprived of their fair share of coeds here, and their presence on the quad is a source of both curious stares and high anxiety.
“I’m allergic to dog hair,” says pre-med student Richard Taber. “I’ve watched guys get laid with nothing more than a smile and a golden retriever–it’s payback time.”
Komodo Dragons can reach lengths of up to ten feet and feed on water buffaloes, deer and the occasional human in their native Indonesia, and they have a size and weight advantage over every species of dog.
“You can run but you can’t hide from a Komodo Dragon,” says biologist Timothy Mulhern of Central Massachusetts University. “Once they hear the indie soft rock coming from behind the closed door of your dorm room, they attack.
Coeds say here they are keeping an open mind about boys with the newly-fashionable lizard pets, especially since the number of dogs on campus seems to have declined.
“Is it just me,” asks senior Emily Weinsten, “or are there a lot fewer golden retrievers around this semester?”