In the fifth scene of the first act of William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet,” the titular Prince of Denmark remarks to his bookish friend, “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophies.” In essence, Hamlet is saying that the human imagination and knowledge is limited — that there is so much out there that has yet to be discovered.
I’m telling you this 1) because I have a bachelor’s degree in English literature and I intend to make the most of it, and 2) because recently I found a thing that, in all Heaven and Earth, I had never dreamt of before.
That thing? PetSmart’s Reptile Hanukkah Ugly Sweater.
Yes, you read that correctly. PetSmart decided to get freaky with it and now, for the low, low price of six American dolls and 99 cents, Jewish reptile owners can dress up their pets in a tiny Hanukkah sweater!!!
Upon reflection, I’m not entirely surprised that a large chain pet store would come out with a holiday pet sweater for lizards. As evidenced by the combined 352 sweater results for dogs and cats on Chewy, people love to dress up their furry friends. And despite the fact that this is the first reptile sweater I’ve ever seen in my life, it stands to reason that people with scaly, cold-blooded, egg-laying friends would also want to do that.
But what really gets me is the execution and marketing of this beautiful product. Just look for yourself.
Here’s the outside and inside of the sweater:
And here’s the sweater being perfectly modeled by a bearded dragon who was clearly not prepared to be captured by the paparazzi:
First, I love that the sweater says “Just Keep Spinning” with little dreidels on it. There was absolutely no effort made to come up with a reptilian pun like “Iguana Eat Latkes” or “Gecko Kandelikas” and I have to respect that. Second, I love that this sweater is actually less of a sweater and more of a festive bib that you can strap your (likely unwilling) pet into. Next, I love that the item description on the website reads, “This fun sweater defines the ‘Ugly Sweater’ look that is so popular at holiday parties,” which lowkey implies that one might bring their reptile to a holiday party. Fourth, I love that the product is called a Reptile Sweater, when it seems to be specifically designed for Bearded Dragons. (Though I could also see this sweater fitting a large snake, a skinny turtle, baby crocodiles or a mid-sized lizard.) And finally, I appreciate that this product exists in spite of the antisemitic conspiracy theory that many powerful Jews are actually lizard people because fuck that! Jews with pet lizards deserve some Hanukkah cheer too!
In conclusion, shout-out to the person who pitched this idea to the creative team at PetSmart. You’re a crazy son of a bitch, and you’re inclusive of the (distinctly separate) Jewish and reptile communities. For that, we salute you.