This is a coyote that hangs out behind a 24 hour diner in Silverlake.
He has a tracking collar on and he’s been tagged, because science wants to know where to find him. He’s easy to find because he’s usually behind the 24 hour diner. He hangs out at the back door early mornings with the attitude of a dog waiting for his breakfast. I think he gets a lot of snacks from them. A couple of days ago, I walked my little dog by and the coyote was there. It was awkward because it’s like seeing the guy you flirt with at a party you’re at with your boyfriend, and also the guy you flirt with could potentially eat your boyfriend.
I think whenever his coyote ticket is punched and he goes to coyote heaven, he will show off to all the other dead coyotes about how many friends he had feeding him, and that makes me glad. Watching him take off from the lot, tail held high, with something delicious in his chops is an awesome sight.
My wife and I disagree on almost everything these days- what to have for dinner, where we should park the car, what movie to watch. It seems I couldn’t have picked a less compatible partner, and the constant conflict is making my life hell. What should we do?- Canton, OH
Dear Conflict in Canton;
You’ve reached a crossroads that tests many marriages, but you can move past it. First, check in with your wife that there’s no larger issue at work. If there isn’t, have a talk about why you chose to be together and good memories you have together. Try to be considerate of each other’s feelings, and remind each other why you make a good pair. Learn to compromise.
It looked like my stuffed jackalope just moved a little. That’s funny. Must be the light in here.
Good luck! Let me take a look at this thing and see if I can think of any more good advice.
Dear Marriage Advice From A Taxidermist;
I hope it’s ok that I’m writing for marriage advice, I’m not yet married but I’m worried about tying the knot with my longtime boyfriend, Simon. We love each other and I want to commit, but we’re both men and I guess my upbringing says that men making a life together is wrong, can I shake it off and have a good marriage? – Temecula, CA
Dear Twosome in Temecula;
That sounds really nice, what you’ve got going on. As far as internalized negative feelings about gay marriage, that’s a little out of my depth, but I’d encourage you to talk to a therapist you feel comfortable with about how to move past these feelings before taking the plunge. You owe it to yourself and your partner to go into this with… well the jackalope is moving again. It’s wriggling. Maybe it has termites or something? It looks…terrible. Just terrible.
Good luck and Mazel Tov!
My husband always seems to pay more attention to other women than he does to me. He’s not flirting, he just always seems to have his antennae up when there’s another lady around, you know? It hurts my feelings, but I haven’t said anything because I don’t want to look like a shrew. What do you think? – Shreveport, LA
Dear Shrew in Shreveport;
Sorry, of course not. You’re not being a shrew. I’m just distracted, I also have a stuffed shrew in my office, he’s a cute little thing, the size of a kumquat, and he’s moving, too. He’s nailed to his mount, but it looks like he’s writhing and turning around as best he can. It’s really awful. Ummm, you know, after you’re with someone for a while, you can begin to appreciate other people, it doesn’t necessarily mean bad things for your marriage, just that maybe things are a little stale, I’d try, I don’t know, have you changed your hair or something? The shrew is now crawling towards me, pulling its little fanciful forest scene with it. Why is something so tiny so bone-chilling? OK, change up your look. New lipstick. See if that helps.
I can’t help but notice that you think some of your stuffed specimens are moving around. Shouldn’t you be worrying about that, and not this column? – Cuyahoga, OH
Dear Curious in Cuyahoga;
I think you’re right, I mean, at first I thought my mind was playing tricks on me and I was trying to distract myself from the task at hand, but with every passing minute I am more and more convinced that these things are moving. I mean, this is impossible. They can’t come back to life. There’s nothing to come back to life, these things are skins arranged on molds. You know, their insides are basically foam wig stands shaped like animals. I can hear them stirring, moving towards me, their bases scraping against the wooden floor. I really don’t know what to do and I’m not sure why I’m writing this down. Just trying to leave a record for whomever finds me, perhaps.
Don’t you think this is maybe all a hallucination, or a dream? I mean, what are you even doing? Why would anyone ask you for marriage advice? You have no counselling or therapy background of any kind. You’re not even married, right? Didn’t your wife die in a hunting “accident”?- Siskiyou, CA
Dear Suspicious in Siskiyou;
You bring up some really good points. I wish you had asked me a question I could help you with, but now that you bring up my departed wife, I can smell her perfume. There hasn’t been another woman in my life since her passing, because I don’t know how I would explain to another woman that she is also stuffed in my trophy room. It was a massive labor of love to remember a truly lovely woman I cared very much for, but who just didn’t know when to shut up, like that poor sonofabitch’s wife in Canton, sounds like. Friend, something just tapped me on the shoulder and I can’t tell you how much I don’t want to turn around.
It’s Springtime, when the earth renews itself and mating season begins for many animals! People go on dates and remember that sex and dating can be hard.
It can wear you out emotionally.
But at least you can physically survive it- not like in many parts of the animal kingdom.
Here’s a list of animals that die for sex- to remind you that things could be worse!
Oftentimes, the female praying mantis bites the head off her mate while they have sex, and apparently the male thrusts more vigorously after he’s dead, making the sex more likely to generate progeny. (This is probably not true of human men.)
Remember that the next time a woman you’ve exchanged a week of flirty text messages with flat doesn’t show up at an Italian restaurant and won’t call you back- you might leave with your head hanging down, but at least it’s still attached.
This very cute ratlike Australian marsupial, goes on a mad sex parade with multiple partners for up to 14 hours and then drops dead of exhaustion. There are advantages to this, for example- he doesn’t have the opportunity to get in trouble with any of the multiple cute ratlike partners he had sex with in the same half-day, but on the other hand the Antechinus never meets his children, nor coaches them in Soccer, which he would call Football, because he’s from Australia.
That’s better than the time you went on a drinks-filled double date with your best friend Allison and your boyfriend’s roommate, and she came home with him, but after you’d left for your house, she snuck into the other bedroom and did your boyfriend as well. Right? Still better than the cute little dead sex rat. And you don’t have to speak to Allison ever again.
The Dark Fishing Spider
He dies of natural causes after he mates with his lady- ejaculating makes his blood go bad. Nature wants him to die immediately after he has sex, which is one reason insects don’t masturbate.
This helps you understand that you’re still better off than a dead spider, even after you’ve been seeing someone you’re crazy about for a couple of months and came to find out he was also dating most of the women you know, and you were all in a weird sad sisterhood of women getting identical flirty text messages and photographs from him, which is why they were always non-sequiturs.
Furcifer Labordi Chameleons
These Chameleons mate furiously and violently, then after the eggs are safely inseminated and laid, they both die. No-one is left to tell the tale of their passionate romance, no-one is left to mourn their death or wear black, or just turn black, because they are a Chameleon.
That means the time you stopped hearing from someone you’d been seeing for six months and thought you were in love with, and you couldn’t get him on the phone or online, and you assumed he’d gone to prison or rehab and cried anxious tears and couldn’t concentrate on work, and two weeks later you saw him on Facebook tagged in a picture at a bar from that day and you realize you’d just been garden-variety dumped, that’s better than dying postcoitally as a couple. Probably.
Male Orb Weaving Spiders
These spiders die while still joined with the female, so that while she is pregnant with his offspring, other dude spiders can’t have sex with her because she has another dude’s body sticking out of her. It’s desperate, but effective.
That puts into perspective the time you went on a work trip and brought your husband along and realized he was having an affair as he smiled into his phone and went to the bathroom to have whispery conversations as you tried to stop crying long enough to go to professional events and network. It was pretty bad. You might remember the hurt and humiliation of it sharply. But at least your dead body wasn’t hanging off his junk, being dragged through the snowy cobblestone streets of Boston!
– See more at: http://www.lovetv.co/til-death-do-us-part-noir-humor-of-sex-dating-and-the-animal-kingdom/#sthash.vbeJ5qlB.dpuf
I performed this at Greg Walloch’s great food-based storytelling show, Eat Your Words, at the Standard hotel Sunset.
The first thing I have to tell you is I’m sorry for the second thing I have to tell you. Here’s the second thing. I’m vegan. Don’t hate me. I don’t hate you. It started this way.
Long ago, we didn’t have Pandora or Spotify or even Pitchfork or Myspace to find new music. Not even Myspace. In my generation, if you wanted to find cool music, you had to go home with an older guy. Maybe one who had a college radio show. Go through his record collection. That’s what you did. It was a gamble. You might get a free t-shirt. On the other hand, you might find a collection of Styx records.
That means you wasted a night of your youth.
There was this one time I found a Smiths record. It was called Meat is Murder and it had a song on it called Meat is Murder. Meat is Murder, I knew even then, is not a good song. It’s stupid and overblown and it has bad logic. The lyric is: It’s death without reason, and death without reason is murder. That’s not true. If anything, murder has MORE reason than other death. If my aunt gets hit by a bus, is that bus a murderer?
The song has cow noises that sound like those little toys you flip over. But I had not really thought about meat before, and I became a vegetarian that day, for the best reason, which is for Morrissey. This was moral high ground Morrissey, before he was supporting Brexit and saying awful things about minorities all the time.
The Last Meat
The last meat I ate on purpose was a Fishwich from McDonald’s in August 1987. If that was before you were born, please- release yourself from the responsibility of telling me that. Also, know that every time you say- I wasn’t even born then- you’ll get it back in time. Sometimes in spades.
My sisters made fun of me. My Dad told me I was going to die from malnutrition.
I went to Thanksgiving with my best friend in college and her grandfather turned to me and yelled “You ever try meat? You might like it!”
Another friend’s mother served me spaghetti with meat sauce and said it was walnuts. When I said it was OK, I could eat salad she said “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I just thought it was all in your mind!”
In the 80’s and 90’s, many people continued to ask questions about why I was vegetarian, but I think the most hurtful one was- how do you keep your weight on? Touche, custodian lady.
The Next Step
In the early 2000’s, I stopped drinking milk. It turns out, I was lactose intolerant. It was a revelation. I didn’t know you could just live a life without farting all the time. I cut out eggs, because I didn’t care about eggs. When people ask you why you don’t eat meat these days, they ask if it’s for health or moral reasons. If it’s health, they’re ok with it. If you had to stop eating animals because your blood is mostly cheese, you’re not judging them. I think it’s like how people who don’t drink get asked if it’s by choice or court order. I’m not judging you.
I have never asked anyone to be vegetarian. If a boyfriend spontaneously becomes vegetarian, his friends will all think you did it, and after you break up you’ll see him at a party, laughing and eating a rolled up hamburger patty with his hands over the grill with his new girlfriend, who is paleo and teaches crossfit.
Eventually, my sisters went vegetarian, then they cut out milk. My mother said “I’m too old to be vegetarian.” My sister calls me to complain about my mother eating ice cream and farting up her house. She doesn’t think there’s any other way. My mother says it’s too hard to remember what is and isn’t made of an animal.
How Can You Tell What’s Not An Animal?
Think of it this way. Everything that grows from the earth, from every plant, every grain, every fruit, every vegetable, I eat. I’m not crazy about pumpkin or sweet potatoes, probably from holiday related trauma. Everything that comes out of the ground in the world, I eat. If it can be plucked or shucked or harvested, I’ll eat it. If it’s something that has to be trapped and killed, I don’t eat that. So that’s easy to remember. And I can eat any food that doesn’t have animal parts put into it. It’s really lots of foods. It’s carnivores who are complicated. Over here, there’s animals you eat: big fish, big pigs, cows, chickens. Over here, there’s animals you love, cats, small fish, small pigs, and depending on where you grew up, dogs and horses. You can be doing really great but you screw up and eat a cat one time and people never let you forget it.
It Happened This Way
One day, I get the call. My sister called me to say: OK, while I was living in England, there was this green apple and sage sausage that British people eat, because most things they eat are some kind of sausage. And they had a vegetarian kind at the store, and I was craving them recently, and I found them, and it was at Whole Foods, and it was in a brown paper wrapper, and I took it home, and I cooked it, ate it, and read it, and that was the wrong order, because it was made of pork! I started laughing and I couldn’t stop. She said, You don’t understand, I’m a vegetarian! I said, well, I love you, and people make mistakes, but what do you think I am, vegetarian Pope? I can’t absolve you from pig eating.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter- It’s about intention, not execution.
Don’t think I don’t have vegan superpowers. I do. You know breakfast places? Like, not brunch places necessarily, but places with several different flavors of pancakes and everything comes with bacon and potatoes. What I know that you don’t is that every single drinking glass smells like cooked-on egg from the dishwasher, and you guys can’t tell. It’s like seeing into another dimension.
OK, last Friday a photo of my dog Hazel Samedi Jones with a Damned record in 2007 was posted on Buzzfeed, which I took as a sign from the universe that the genius of Animal Sleeveface was finally being recognized. I’m a little hurt that she gets called a boy, because look at them womanly nips!