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Jenny Lawson’s book, I AM IN YOU

May 22, 2012

My funny friends, just chillin’.

A friend sent me an email the other day that said: “So, non-sequiter, but do you know that YOU ARE IN THE BLOGGESS’ BOOK?”

My first reaction was to tsk-tsk at her misspelling of “non sequitur.” Priorities.

My second reaction was akin to that time Tom Cruise crazily clambered up Oprah’s couch.

I’ve been slowly working my way through Jenny Lawson’s side-splitting memoir, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” but I can only devour it in 10-15 page bites because one of my cats cannot not sit on books. Upon receiving that email, though, I started feverishly fast-forwarding until I came to Page 289, where staring back at me was the familiar, fabulously taxidermied face of Grover Cleveland, the poker-playing, pistol-packing half of a smoking squirrel that I once sent to Jenny as a thank-you gift for being awesome.

I’d been blogging for only about two months when Jenny, a collector of ethically taxidermied creatures and probably Al Gore‘s inspiration to invent the internet, linked to one of my posts accusing Ellen DeGeneres of being a vampire, sending thousands of her readers here. It was pretty much the coolest thing that had ever happened to me, so I wanted to express my gratitude — by sending her a dead animal in the mail. As is customary in our culture.

After debuting on her blog, Grover Cleveland took on a life (after death) of his own, burrowing his way into memes and even Jenny’s Wikipedia page. Now, he’s forever immortalized in a New York Times bestseller. Which might be the closest I’ll ever get to having my own book deal — besides once being on a book — and I’m oddly OK with that.

On the next page, Jenny says I’m “someone who appreciates fine art.” Which is totally going on my book jacket someday.

This is now my baffling claim to fame.

And I have photos of my cats chewing on Grover Cleveland’s face to prove it.

Making friends <3

Isabel and Teva were so transfixed by the deceased squirrel dressed as a cowpoke that I couldn’t deny them the chance to gently maul it. Also, the bite marks added character. Surely, I thought, this would be the first and last time I ever bought a whimsical carcass for a celebrity. But I was wrong, as usual, because I’ve since mailed Jenny two other dead things. I really need to stop underestimating myself.

A few months ago, the Blogologues gals and I were brainstorming how to get the blogosphere buzzing about our comedy show. I told them I kind of had rapport with The Bloggess. Rapport based on a dead squirrel. Which is kind of the best rapport ever. As a long shot, I contacted Jenny and asked whether she possibly could help us. To our surprise, she wrote back immediately, and in typical Jenny fashion she bartered publicity … in exchange for a cheap dead reptile.

“I do know of a place that has some great taxidermied baby alligators in clothes,” she wrote, stating her preference for one dressed as a baseball player or matador, then pointing me to an emporium in Milwaukee. Because of course she knows of a place that has baby alligators in clothes.

I soon found myself on the phone with Karen at Antiques on Second, who didn’t bat an eye when I called her cold and told her I was looking for dead baby alligators dressed as a bullfighter and ball player. And then she searched high and low through three floors of vendors. And then when she found them, I asked her which alligator wearing people clothes she thought was better, and without hesitating, as if it were totally normal and she answers that sort of question all the time: “Well, the baseball player has a cute little hat.”

I ended up grabbing them both, because I didn’t want to separate them. Like kittens, basically. And because Jenny has given us all so much that really there aren’t enough furiously happy boars’ heads and dainty mouse orchestras and angsty weasels in the world to ever do her justice.

According to UPS, the eagle landed the next day, and maybe it’s confusing to talk in code here when really what landed were dead alligators, but something had gone terribly wrong. The offering had arrived, but not at its intended destination. Apparently, I accidentally sent two dead baby alligators to a random house in rural Texas. But I’m sure that sort of thing happens all the time in Texas. Or at least when you live next-door to the Bloggess. There goes the neighborhood. But she blogged about our show anyway, even before the gators got there. Because she’s a horrible businesswoman who might not understand how transactions work. And a truly wonderful human being.

Adopted alligators looking totally jazzed to finally be in their forever home. (via thebloggess.com)

Jenny just announced another leg of her book tour; she’s coming to Boston in June. I couldn’t be more excited to meet the woman who inspired me to start writing, who makes me laugh uncontrollably with her outrageous antics, who has changed my life in the most absurd and awesome ways, and who is responsible for my becoming a lifetime member of PETA to clear my conscience.

Also, most famouses would take out a restraining order if you repeatedly mailed dead animals to their doorstep. But not Jenny. And that’s why I’m still legally allowed to attend her book signing. I’ll be there with bells on. And by “bells on,” I mean “another dead thing I found for her on eBay.” You’re welcome, Jenny.

And thanks so much for everything.

Told you so.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. iampisspot permalink
    May 22, 2012 4:29 AM

    Right, let’s just get this wedding finalised and then we can have babies and live happily ever after forever and ever and ever in the afterglow of you being connected to The Bloggess. Like, forever and ever and ever.

    • May 22, 2012 6:47 PM

      Pretty sure she’d officiate at the ceremony … in exchange for the dead bird I found in my parking lot today. Assuming we put a little cape on it.

      • iampisspot permalink
        May 24, 2012 6:14 AM

        and a bow-tie.

  2. May 22, 2012 4:31 AM

    Hilarious! I love you AWC

  3. May 22, 2012 7:48 AM

    I’m pretty sure that receiving two dead baby alligators in the mail is what happens when you’ve pissed-off the Mafia. You probably scared the hell out of them.

    Do you mean to say that all it takes to clear ones conscience is to join PETA?! Why don’t they put that useful tidbit out there? Their membership would swell with all manner of cheats, cons and members of the clergy.

    Off topic side boast: Back in the early 90′s I was in a writer’s workshop at the YMCA here in New York and David Sederis was in the class. That guy had the goods from the get-go. We all knew it. In that class, his pieces were small gems floating in a cesspool of mediocrity.

  4. CatBat permalink
    May 22, 2012 8:03 AM

    I try to make sure there are cat-bites on anything I send to anyone. Even if it is just the envelope. Good work, cats. You too.

  5. May 22, 2012 8:49 AM

    i will be on the lookout for creatively stuffed roadkill. anything i can do to help you earn the recognition you deserve!

  6. May 22, 2012 8:53 AM

    the cats are biting grover cleveland? i thought they were making out with him.

  7. May 22, 2012 9:20 AM

    So, you are that girl that started the whole thing, and started it with such a high standard?! I think the two of you may have single handedly revived the taxidermy industry!

    Congrats on the show and the many more shows that are sure to come!

  8. May 22, 2012 10:14 AM

    Whoa…you’re THAT girl?! Congrats! I finished the book last week, and then I saw Jenny on Sunday in Annapolis.

  9. May 22, 2012 11:35 AM

    I’m so going to be there, myself, and I don’t even have dead animal rapport. I just heart her. Hard.

  10. May 22, 2012 12:38 PM

    OMG you have so inspired me. I have this heinously awful alligator head with rabbit fur and antlers that I desperately need to send to someone who would appreciate it. I can send it to you for your two fluffies to maul if you like or I can mail to to Jenny Lawson. Totally your call.

    • May 22, 2012 6:49 PM

      That has Jenny’s name all over it. Especially if you actually write her name all over it.

  11. May 22, 2012 1:54 PM

    The pictures of T&I, uh, inspecting GC are beyond brilliant. But did they get a chance to have their way with the alligators?

  12. tlkaply permalink
    May 22, 2012 2:31 PM

    Dude, when I read that book, I kept laughing so hard I started choking and I kept having to get out of bed so I wouldn’t pee a little. Too much information? YOU’RE WELCOME.

  13. May 22, 2012 2:49 PM

    Jealous!

    I had to read this book fast because it hurt so much, from the laughing. The laughing hurt. My husband repeatedly asked me if I was high. I wish I had been high AND reading The Bloggess’ book. THAT would have been perfect.

  14. May 22, 2012 3:26 PM

    When you publish your best selling tome, do include this important back story about the relevance of dried out dead animal hide clad in costumes and positioned in novelty poses being the key to your success.

  15. May 22, 2012 3:45 PM

    you are on a roll. the fame! the adventure!

  16. May 22, 2012 6:33 PM

    I can’t imagine how exciting that must have been to see that… seriously, there is something so magical about that woman.

  17. May 22, 2012 7:03 PM

    you’re THE girl behind the little cowpoke GC? i love it! i found you through Jenny’s blog and i’m so grateful because i think you are one of the most brilliant, witty and humorous writers on the internet. also, your comments on my blog ALWAYS make me laugh out loud and keep me inspired. i’m so happy Jenny is going to Boston to meet you! she’s a lucky gal to have someone like you sending her dead animals.

  18. May 22, 2012 7:16 PM

    Bloggess…dead animals…living cats and hilarity. Excellent post!

  19. May 22, 2012 7:49 PM

    I’m mostly speechless because I’ve missed three of your posts somehow. Way to screw me, WordPress. The rest of me is jealous that everyone else lives in big cities where the Bloggess tours. Evidently the trip to Cheyenne for 35 people isn’t worth it. Sheesh.

  20. May 22, 2012 10:39 PM

    I remember reading the alligator post…it was shortly after Dr. Em and I started blogging; I knew immediately that we had somehow stumbled into the perfect community for us! I LOVE that you were the one who sent them! Excellent!

  21. May 23, 2012 1:12 AM

    Ah scheise. You know… congratulations and I love this post and that you first were concerned with the spelling of non sequitur … but right before bed, the cats chewing on Grover Cleveland, is kind of making me spooked!

    If I have nightmares I am so coming back here in the morning and letting you know ;)

  22. thesuniverse permalink
    May 23, 2012 8:46 AM

    I’m not sure how you always manage to leave me speechless in the wonder that is you, but here we are again.

    WORLD DOMINATION, BITCHES.

    PS How did you get a picture of my bookshelf?

  23. May 30, 2012 12:03 PM

    I am so happy to have stumbled across your blog today, as it is a joy to look into the lives of other cat lovers. I’m following in anticipation of your next post.
    Today is weekly cat photo day on my photoblog. Perhaps you’ll stop by? http://wp.me/p1Pt7L-mP

  24. June 2, 2012 10:18 AM

    SO AWESOME!

    And now I also understand the importance of taxidermy.

  25. June 3, 2012 10:39 PM

    Wow, I have those Sedaris books & Bossypants & Stupid White Men & Bridget Jones on my bookshelf as well. I don’t have the Ellen books, but I’d totally go gay for Ellen. I betcha all the straight girls say that. But I really would. I also don’t have Jenny’s book, but maybe I should get it. Then I can say I left a comment on the blog of the girl who sent the Bloggess a dead cowboy squirrel. Pretty cool, man. Pretty cool. Wait, I could say that whether or not I got the book. Oh, whatever.

  26. June 4, 2012 12:32 PM

    “girl” you are SO FAMOUS. But you already knew that by now.

  27. June 15, 2012 7:41 PM

    Holy shitsticks on a tick. You’re the girl behind GC & the well-dressed gatorbabies? Now I KNOW we’re supposed to be BFFs. Sheesh.
    I also have 8 of the books pictured in my bookshelves.
    Side note: Jenny’s book made me laugh so hard I cried hard on the plane and had to remove my glasses to wipe my face so often the guy across the aisle from me thought I was mental & my husband changed seats to unassociate himself from me. Love her.

  28. DMama permalink
    August 7, 2012 10:33 PM

    I am just reading this now because I somehow missed it along with my many notifications of diapers sale and such crap and you completely ruined my ice cream! I can’t believe she keeps dead animals in her house and that you’re sending them to her. That’s so American of you. I can’t believe with all our meet ups, you never mentioned the joy you found by this bizarre relationship with the Bloggess. Just don’t collect any rabbits please. :(

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