My family once owned an exotic pet. And we didn't do it deliberately. It was a spider monkey, bequeathed to my mother after his owner--our next-door neighbor, Mrs. Bowman--passed away.

His name was Joe and it was so cool to have a monkey in the house. My sister and I were kids and had a blast...with the IDEA of having a monkey.

Yes, in theory it was going to be wall-to-wall carnival. In PRACTICE, it didn't work out so well.

My mother was the only one in the house Joe liked. He'd sit on her shoulder while she'd do the dishes or read. (Which would drive me crazy.) He leapt across the stove and then the dining table, one time, in order to smack the crap out of me when I walked into the kitchen to ask Mom a question. And then, one day, he bit my dad and, well, Joe was transferred to another location.

In 2005, it became illegal to have a monkey as a pet in Kentucky, but other exotic animals ARE allowed.

So if there's a big spender who's going to buy you a gift and you want, say, a camel, go for it. Ask for one. The BBC did a story on camel racing and found that the price for a camel STARTS at $55,000. So yeah, you might want to think about it. Camel, nice car, camel, nice car...

Maybe it's a yak that you're wanting, or an American bison. Uappeal.org lists all the exotic animals that you can legally own as pets in Kentucky. And, of course, there's a list of animals you CANNOT own, but I don't see anybody really going out of their way to have a bear or a crocodile on their property.

So go all out. 2020 is so unhinged, it just BEGS for a Christmas Camel or a Yule Yak or a Bison in a Pear Tree.

But NO monkeys. I mean, who wants to get slapped just for talking to their mother?

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