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Getting Stuffed
April 14, 2013 1:48 PM   Subscribe

David Sedaris buys an owl.
posted by Artw (22 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is fantastic. I'm all filled up with the warmth of fondness.

What is it like to read this for people who don't overwhelmingly identify with him?
posted by Lou Stuells at 2:16 PM on April 14, 2013


A nice read, thanks.
posted by HuronBob at 2:23 PM on April 14, 2013


I was expecting something more like this since I prefer the MeFi front page untitled. Then again, for Sedaris purchasing a stuffed owl probably just cuts to the chase.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:34 PM on April 14, 2013


Sedaris shares a trait with William Burroughs that I love: when I read his work I cannot help but hear it in his distinct voice in my head. He delivered this piece a year or so back at a reading I attended. He's coming through here again in a week or so, but at $65 for nosebleed seats, I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass on this go-round - that is, unless some generous Dallas Mefite is still in need of a date for the event? It's the night before the Danzig (& Doyle!) show I'm attending and I can't help but think it'd be a great one-two punch. Email's, as they say, in profile.
posted by item at 2:34 PM on April 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


This was in the New Yorker last year. Well worth reading anywhere, of course.
posted by languagehat at 3:04 PM on April 14, 2013


Bah. It's like a chicken stretched around the form of an owl...
posted by Artw at 3:16 PM on April 14, 2013


This was in the New Yorker last year. Well worth reading anywhere, of course.
posted by languagehat at 3:04 PM on April 14 [+] [!]


Yeah, that struck me too - particularly as The Guardian's calling it an exclusive.

The taxidermist's in question is called Get Stuffed, and it's located in Essex Road, Islington. Anyone who knows the place would recognise it immediately from the piece, so I sent the owners a link when The New Yorker's article first appeared online. They'd already seen it, but confirmed it was their store Sedaris had visited, and thanked me by offering to "preserve any parts of your anatomy and include them in our private collection".
posted by Paul Slade at 3:28 PM on April 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


For my sister Amy, that thing was rabbits. When she was in her late 30s, she got one as a pet, and before it had chewed through its first phone cord she'd been given rabbit slippers, cushions, bowls, refrigerator magnets, you name it. "Really," she kept insisting, "the live one is enough." But nothing could stem the tide of crap.

Holy shit, THIS. My parents are both of this ilk. My mother went through two phases, owls and then loons. Everything had to be owls...decorative plates, coasters, sweatshirts, little statues, suncatchers, mugs, paintings, photos.

Then, seemingly overnight, it was loons (I blame "On Golden Pond," those old poops). The owls disappeared and were immediately and even more overwhelmingly replaced with loons. LOONS! Ev. Ry. Where. It was even worse, because it turns out you can get loon decoys. So, loon decoys in various sizes and stages of growth all over the house. Bedazzled loon sweatshirts. Blankets. Pajamas. Bathrobes. I don't know who the loon lobby is, but damn are they phenomenal merchandisers.

Alongside this, there were side forays into minor obsessions with whatever breed of dog they had at the time...at the very least some form of winter outerwear, but then the Schnauzer statues and Airedale tchochkes and whatever the hell else.

So, I loved cats growing up, but could never have one because my father was severely allergic. My then partner and I got our first cat soon after moving in together. That Christmas, she received a bedazzled, be-glittered cat sweatshirt and a cutesy cat-of-the-month calendar along with a motherfucking Cat Fancy subscription. I jumped up and said "Ok, enough! We have cats, we do not need to cover everything in cats! No more cat crap!"

They were taken aback, but it got the point across. Man, I don't understand that shit at all, but I damned sure know how to nip it right in the bud.
posted by nevercalm at 3:28 PM on April 14, 2013 [14 favorites]


Yes, this can only be Get Stuffed, the notorious 'little shop of horrors' run by Robert Sclare, who was sent to prison for stuffing tiger cubs and other endangered animals. 'When asked about human specimens, he revealed a human head and amputated hand he keeps in plastic bags out of sight of customers.'

Here are some views of the shop: from outside, from inside.
posted by verstegan at 3:31 PM on April 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is there an audio version of this anywhere. I prefer it when David reads his stuff to me.
posted by humanfont at 4:10 PM on April 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've really been enjoying listening to David Sedaris on the BBC website - he is one of the few authors who can read his own work aloud well.
posted by Catch at 4:21 PM on April 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I bet he really didn't...
posted by PugAchev at 4:48 PM on April 14, 2013


"LOONS! Ev. Ry. Where. "

sounds a bit loony to me.
posted by HuronBob at 5:02 PM on April 14, 2013




Bah. It's like a chicken stretched around the form of an owl...

Wheras owls are themselves stretched around the form of a vulture (via)
posted by TedW at 6:32 PM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've always loved David Sedaris. And Amy. They may have come from a dysfunctional family, but it's a damned funny one.
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:46 PM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


David Sedaris buys an ex-owl.
posted by carter at 7:46 PM on April 14, 2013


It's having a rest!
posted by Artw at 7:49 PM on April 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


My fiancé bought me a stuffed & mounted jackalope head for my birthday a couple weeks ago, so this piece is well-timed.
posted by Windigo at 8:11 PM on April 14, 2013


I have seen Sedaris live four times. It's always worth it. Last time he autographed my book with "let's celebrate life with guns" after I heard him read about learning how to shoot and promptly told him at the signing about my doing the same.

When is the book coming out in America? I haven't heard yet, but the pieces he read from the new one about learning to shoot with his sister---and even the piece he read about getting a colonoscopy---were good stuff. Never before in my life would I have imagined that I'd sit through a story on that last one and laugh, but I did.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:30 PM on April 14, 2013


For my sister Amy, that thing was rabbits. When she was in her late 30s, she got one as a pet, and before it had chewed through its first phone cord she'd been given rabbit slippers, cushions, bowls, refrigerator magnets, you name it. "Really," she kept insisting, "the live one is enough." But nothing could stem the tide of crap.

I suspect this is also an occupational hazard of being a vet/vet-tech.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:13 PM on April 14, 2013


If you want a bit more Sedaris action, today's Fast Company Co.Create has this piece: "SAY IT OUT LOUD: HOW DAVID SEDARIS MAKES HIS WRITING BETTER"
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I read this essay in the New Yorker around the same time that I read Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel. These two stories initially seem similar. The latter takes a darker turn...
posted by ovvl at 5:46 PM on April 15, 2013


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