Lizardman Q&A #9 [The Lizardman]

Lizardman Q&A #9

Number nine… number nine… number nine… number nine… number nine

It never ends.

Since it was a Shannon inspired question that made me do it this month, let’s start with him.

If you were called on to do a USO show in Iraq, would you go, and since I assume you would), what kind of show would you like to do?

If the USO wanted a show from me, I would do it in a heartbeat. I think something like that is a great opportunity and I would simply do my regular show. The reason being, that regardless of anything ideological or political that I may feel about this particular conflict or war in general, the USO stage is not the time or place for it. My only interest would be to give as much entertainment as possible to people who are in danger for their lives. Preaching at people who are actively being shot at is misdirected effort and by the same token I would not go for cheap ‘pops’ by saluting everyone and making propaganda style jokes about the other side. I would simply do my show and hope that I could be good enough to make someone in such a horrific situation laugh or smile for a moment.
How do you deal with overly aggressive fans that start to border on stalkers, or try to put emotional demands on you?

Fortunately, I haven’t had too much of this thus far but when it does happen it can really shake you up. What I mostly get are people who seem to mistake general politeness and kindness on my part as an establishment of a deep friendship that somehow obligates me to them. Sadly, this seems to arise out of many people just not being used to having someone show any interest or simple decency towards them. I do my best to try and explain that just because I will listen and make some simple effort to help you (like providing information) that doesn’t make us best friends, I do the same for most everyone. I really am a misanthrope but I am optimistic enough that I try and golden rule my way through most situations in hopes of reciprocity.

And to get it out of the way since someone always asks:
“What are the spiritual elements of your modifications”

Repetition is one of the cornerstones of marketing and education (think about that), so it can’t hurt to say it again:

The Lizardman is an atheist who firmly believes that any and all spirituality is a mental construct at best and ultimately a crutch which must be discarded as false and limiting!!!!!

There is nothing spiritual about me or my modifications nor can there be.

As a person who makes their living based in part on the mystique and fantasy of their persona, do you ever worry that being “too real” or “too accessible” could negatively affect your career? Do you ever feel that maybe you should “act more like a celebrity”?

Oh to act more like a “celebrity” — and get away with it. Isn’t that the dream? If being “real” or “accessible” is what puts someone off, then is losing them really much of a loss? I do try to act like some celebrities, but I am selective about it. I look at people like Kerry King and some of the others I have worked with and see them as good models for handling people with respect and openness regardless of any celebrity status.

Is your wife going to be a Lizard Woman? Cuz that would rock.

My wife (IAM:Meghan) is not going to be Lizard Woman. She does have her own very interesting theme going though, all based around urban legends.

This may have been asked before but: Even though you started these modifications for yourself was there ever a point in time where you got such negative feedback that you questioned going any further with the transformation?

I had plenty of moments of doubt early on, which is why I took so long to get going with it but once I got started each piece made it more and more right. I have never gotten any feedback that made me question doing it; it was only ever a matter of getting past my own reservations. I am the only one that can make me worry or regret and in terms of my modifications I am past that. The wonderful thing about doing something for yourself is that while you can consider other people’s opinions, they are mostly irrelevant.

Did you ever receive a “special treatment” when crossing international borders (at airport controls etc). If so, were the security guards interested in getting to know you or did they perceive you as some kind of weirdo, that might be a security risk?

You seem to say it in a bad way but I do get special treatment now and then but almost always in a nice way. I am a very obvious non threat to most security personnel and as such I often pass by fairly easily. They are often curious though and will ask me lots of questions, even going so far as to take me out of lines and such to do so — but often this means I get expedited through the rest of the process, which is an advantage. Many security personnel remember me, especially at airports due to my frequent travel and I get greeted politely and treated better than average — which can often annoy the straight-laced businessman fumbling with his shoes while being patted down since I just stroll by.

How do you want your children educated?

Will they have body mods?

Are you scared of Israel because what they show on TV and do you think that one day you will come here?

I don’t want children, so I don’t want them educated. The children may be the future but today belongs to me!! (The Simpsons)… Since they will have no bodies, modification is non-applicable.

Israel doesn’t scare me in the least. I would gladly go there given the opportunity. Seeing some of the historical sites of the Middle East and walking on the great wall remain two of my very few unfulfilled travel ambitions.

I have the Treo 650. You have the 600.
How will you handle your wife eventually leaving you because I have the better phone?

PS: You was STILL the bomb on xfiles, yo!

My wife will actually mock you even more so than she does me. You having the 650 actually helps me divert attention from what she sees as my gadget fetish and overindulgence in technology. If there is one thing I can count on, it is Meghan not leaving me for anyone with a phone that isn’t some sleek tiny silver flip model that is only a phone, instead of the promethean gift which is TREO.

And yeah, I was damn good on X-files. Did you see how well I played the role of ThEnigma? Wardrobe did fantastic with the color change.

If you were getting your tongue split now, would you still go to Dr. Busino?
I’m sure that you get lots of messages asking about where one can go for a tongue splitting. Do you suggest doctors, or people in the community?

Historical revision questions are hard because lots of the option now only exist because of what was made known to be possible as a result of Busino and others. If I was just a person now looking to get my tongue split I would likely still go to a doctor but if I was me with the people I know I might opt for a cutter due to personal trust and knowledge of their work. I always recommend doctors first because they are better trained and equipped for emergencies (at least any doctor I would trust) and it helps avoid legal issues and potential community fallout in the event of problems.

If you could start over with another transformation theme, even if it involved mods that currently don’t exist or are unsafe but potentially possible, what would you choose and what would it involve?

The only other theme that has really stayed with me as something that would have been great to do is the full body maze tattoo, but really I don’t have any interest in a different theme just improving on this design as I can.

Are there any hobbies that you’d like to do but can’t or that you do but not to the level that you’d like to because you simply don’t have enough time to dedicate to them?

Plenty, although most are probably due more to laziness than true lack of time. It’s almost always lack of effort rather than time. I would really like to be better at computer programming. My juggling could use plenty of advancing beyond the simple three object patterns I can do now. I’d like to be a better unicyclist. And there is always the dream of professional pc gaming, but my skills are not on that level – yet.

I am sure people have or have tried to touch you without asking permission but has anyone ever caught you in the wrong mood and things got ugly.

The worst I can think of is me shouting at someone in a mall. Things rarely get any uglier than me getting loud as most people will back down at the sight of an angry Lizardman. If I recall right, someone grabbed at my arm while I was eating and I responded with something along the lines of a very loud, “Do not fucking touch me.”

Do you really think you can beat me in a freak off?

I mean seriously, I’d freak you under the table.


Are you still here? Seriously.

I hear you do good work under tables though…

Orbax is Canadian for wet/dry vac.


Why do you still use AOL? I’m not too into computers, but even I know AOL sucks… Why do you continue to stick with it? FREAK THE WORLD!!

In the mid to late 90’s AOL was the game in town — especially for people who traveled and wanted to be able to dial up from anywhere. Having established addresses there years ago, it is still used by many traveling performers and corollary professionals (tour managers, etc). AOL sucks and as a user I know it sucks much more than most. But all I use it for is mail and since they have recently opened up their servers so I can use other programs to access it, I hardly ever run their software. That said, I am currently looking at other options and will likely make a gradual transition to a new address over the course of this year. This is not something I or anyone else who lots of business takes lightly since I still remember how many missed and delayed messages happened when I last switched addresses.

warum warum ist die banane krumm?

Um… yeah. Perhaps I should have babelfished this one..

If you chose not to be `The Lizardman` what would you of been…was there an alternate species that was viable..or would of been something like Mr. Sprague, attorney at law?

Most likely possibilities would have been educator, something I did do. Or a more traditional media artist.

When you die, what do you want done with your body : burial, cremation, embalming, mummification?

Burial or other rites are done for the living not the dead. I don’t much care but I will try and leave funds so as not to burden loved ones with expenses. Might be nice to die knowing that my ashes or remains baked into a cream pie would be thrown into the face of someone appropriate though.

How are you liking WoW? What has been your impression of the story, the potential for changes, the setup? What things would you like to see Blizzard do in the future with the game?

I am loving WoW (World of Warcraft). I have always enjoyed Blizzard games and their game world. This is easily my best MMO experience. I am looking forward to the battlegrounds plans they have and expansion of the world and story. The only real thing I would put on a wish list would be player owned and modified real estate in the game. For anyone else playing, my current primary character is Aargh, a warlock on the Kargath server and member of the Blackhammer guild which includes notable other iam’ers.

What have you found as the best way to get people to leave you alone? Meaning if you are in the airport do headphones work to stop the questions. I ask because when I go to the mall it is hard to get any thing done quickly because of all the questions.

Headphones do work amazingly well. Combined with sunglasses and or a hat and walking with a single focused purpose does wonders. Body language is an incredible communicator and if you learn how to use it you can move through almost anywhere with little notice or interference — even if you are green. Of course, there some people who simply cannot be deterred — I wonder about their evolutionary heritage.

Would you do Ripley’s again?

Absolutely. One of the main reasons for my interest in Ripley’s was not the exposure or pay off but rather historical significance of becoming part of the same line in history as people like Omi. It could have all worked out better but it was and is still very much worth and significant to me in ways far beyond simple business. I may be an incredibly self centered egoist but I do have some sentimentality for the larger picture.

And that concludes my ninth symphony of spouting off in response to your queries.

Erik Sprague

because the world NEEDS freaks…

Former doctoral candidate and philosophy degree holder Erik Sprague, the Lizardman (iam), is known around the world for his amazing transformation from man to lizard as well as his modern sideshow performance art. Need I say more?

Copyright © 2005 LLC. Requests to republish must be confirmed in writing. For bibliographical purposes this article was first published February 6th, 2005 by LLC in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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