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Eating a live lizard is the absolute worst way to get the nickname ‘Lizard King’

PSA: No one should be eating live animals, please.

St Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas had his first career hit (a home run!) on Monday afternoon, putting St. Louis up on Milwaukee 4-2 on the way to an 8-4 win over the Brewers. The home run isn’t important in the grand scheme of things, except that it unearthed a factoid about Mikolas that is kind of disturbing.

Apparently, Mikolas’ nickname is the “Lizard King,” which I didn’t know. That nickname stems from an event — incident? — in 2011 when Mikolas was playing in the Padres’ minor league system and ate a live lizard during an Arizona Fall League game.

Yep, a lizard. That was alive at the time it was consumed. Let’s go to the tape.

First off, let’s just state the obvious: please do not eat animals that are still living. It’s slightly sociopathic and even if it’s because of a bet it’s just not cool to do. Eating unusual or exotic animals (those that are not endangered of course) is fine but the least you can do is make sure they’re no longer sentient when you do it.

Secondly, making a bet where this is the losing outcome is gross. If you were stranded on a desert island and a lizard was all you’d found to eat so far, you’d probably still want to kill it before chowing down. Just thinking about something still moving when you swallowed it is ... nope. Absolutely not. Mikolas should more thourthink through the bets he accepts.

Even if we give Mikolas the benefit of the doubt since he was only 22 at the time, this isn’t really something you want to explain whenever you get asked about your “Lizard King” nickname. That conversation would probably go something like this:

Random Stranger: “Hey, that’s an interesting nickname. How’d you get it?”

Mikolas: “Uh, well ...”

RS: “Did you use to have a bunch of lizards in college or something?”

Mikolas: “Um, actually ... when I was 22 I ate a lizard that was still fully alive.”

RS: “Oh. Wow. Not cool man.”

You could be the Lizard King because you have lizard-whispering abilities, are really good at handling lizards, once dressed like a lizard version of Richard III for a weird mashup costume party, or any number of other things. But eating a live lizard is not on the list of good ways to get a “Lizard King” nickname. Not at all.