It’s nice when you come to an age when you realize that your parents are actually cool. it took me awhile.
In case you don’t know, I’m a taxidermist. But I don’t kill anything, i wait until I find dead things and then I bring them back to life.
Only a few years ago, my mom was horrified that I picked up a dead squirrel on the road, with intentions to stuff it.
She thought it was vile and horrible and that there was something wrong with me.
Then last week, my mom calls me at work.
“I was walking on the beach yesterday and guess what I found?”
I was thinking that maybe she picked up some dippy seashells or something.
“A HUGE dead seagull! It’s a little waterlogged, but it’s in very good condition.”
“Oh wow! I’ll come down tonight and pick it up! Do you think it’s still there or maybe the tide took it away?”
“Oh, I picked it up and brought him home! Do you think it’s ok that I left him in the screen porch? I don’t really want it in my house, but I’m afraid that the cold might have damaged it, I’m sorry…”
“No, no! That’s fine!”
So I got this seagull, and mom was right. It was HUGE. I measured its wingspan- 68 inches. By far the largest specimen of anything that I’ve ever got my hands on.
I just keep thinking that my mom is the shit for picking up a dead bird for me. I feel so…accepted.
Then I went back to Boston and got to work on this beast.
Yikes. It was a ponderous job and I stayed up working on it all night. This is getting too long so I’ll skip all the meticulous details requiring attention to complete this project.
I named him Buster because he developed a personality while I was bringing him back to life.
I spread out Buster’s wings and left him on top of my bookcase until he dried.
Last night I had some guests drop by unannounced:
My friend Jeff and two guys I had never met before.
Their names, I believe, were Thing 1 and Thing 2.
They were both drunk and had that fratboy look going on.
And Thing 1 immediately saw Buster and was shocked that I would have such a thing in the house. He laughed.
“Dude, you have a big fuckin’ bird on the shelf.”
And then he went over and starting playing with Buster and touching his beak and laughing and pretending to perform CPR on him.
“Um, can you NOT touch that please? He’s not dry yet…”
I don’t think it registered, because he lost interest in Buster in favor of my flying rats, which he also played with.
Thing 2 picked up my pet rat Turpentine and grabbed my guitar and started playing it.
And Thing 1 kept going back to Buster and touching him.
I was upset.
And I’m also not accustomed to people being so astonishingly rude so i was ill-equipped to handle it.
Just because it happens to be a dead seagull, it doesn’t mean that you can go and mishandle somebody’s artwork, especially if it’s not dry yet!
I’m so upset.
My turtle Mudhead knew what to do. Thing 1 came over and picked up Mudhead, and for some reason, he held him close to his face and Mudhead bit him on the nose.
“Dude, the effing turtle bit me! Whatssamatter, don’t you feed him?”
My roommate had to go get a tissue because Mudhead left a mean little gash on Thing 1’s nose.
I whispered “Thank you Mudhead.”
But it wasn’t enough.
I’m still kinda pissed.