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Erik Sprague is no ordinary dude. How can anyone be called ordinary who has a strict diet of bugs and pizza, puts their body through 450 hours of tattooing, has pierced every possible part of his body, had horned ridges implanted over hiseyes, his tongue surgically split, his teeth filed into fangs, and performs stunts with names like sword swallowing, pierced weightlifting, flesh sewing, condom flossing (nose to mouth), lizard dartboard, and flesh hook suspensions. (Looks, Ma, I'm a flying lizard!)

Ask him what his parents think of his amphibian pursuit, and Lizard Man says, "It wasn't expected, but they have supported me in my choice 100 percent. Better than anyone else, they can see how this is the natural development of my work and life."

That life includes slithering around the country to various sideshow arenas where he performs some stunts that should just not be viewed by the weak-stomached--his most difficult trick to pull off is the gavage.

It involves inserting seven feet of tubing into the nose, transferring it down the back of the throat, and then swallowing it into the stomach. Ingredients are then pumped into the stomach, and then pulled back out, poured into a glass, and drunk for the finale. It's essenitally a live stomach-pumping demonstration."

Yes, Lizard Man is willing to put his body through just about anything, which leads me to believe he may be a masochist--a pain pup. "Not at all, I hate being in pain. I am fortunate in that, for me, most things are simply sensation. I've learned to simply feel and not judge or react in that way."

This from a guy who was once on the verge of getting his Ph.D. in philosophy before deciding to run off and join a freak show. Luckily for him, Lizard Man has had no major injuries and hasn't been to the hospital once. "If I make a trip like that, it'll probably be to the morgue."

Parental caution: Momma's, don't let your sons grow up to be lizards...or try any of this crap at home.