One man’s road kill …

I think it’s safe to say that the average buzzard has a face only a mother could love. They do, however, have one thing in common with a new reality show coming out in January … a love for fluffy little woodland creatures too slow to make it across a busy interstate.

AMC will be airing “Immortalized” as part of their Thursday night line-up. It’s an elimination competition for competitive taxidermy. (No, I’m not making this up). In my upcoming humor book, I extol the virtues of taxidermy as a senior hobby, so I’m justifiably concerned that the show might start a run on glass eyes and epoxy.

I’m trying to envision how the show (which encourages pushing the envelope) might inspire some really macabre examples of the art form. Perhaps a raccoon painting a mural of a garbage dump?

What inspires a person to go into taxidermy? I read about a young woman who decided to take taxidermy to a new level by making jewelry out of various bits and pieces of the buzzard buffet. Mickey has a wonderful sense of humor about her craft, and has graciously given her blessing on sharing this story.

First off, Mickey Alice Kwapis is 22, petite, and adorable … all the things I’m not. She was driving home from a date at 2 a.m. one night, all decked out with hair, make-up, and a mini-skirt when she saw a dead raccoon in the road. She keeps rubber gloves and trash bags in her car for just such occasions. Who doesn’t?

I’m wondering what passing motorists thought when they saw her running down the middle of 10 Mile with a garbage bag, stiletto heels, and a gleam in her eye. (From a story originally printed in The Detroit News.)

I’ve been known to watch America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway, but I’m definitely setting aside 10:00 on Thursday nights for this one-of-a-kind entertainment opportunity. I don’t want to show up at the Senior Center and be the only one without fresh roadkill.

If you’d like to learn more about Mickey’s creations, you can visit The Detroit Academy of Taxidermy. If you’d like to buy some really unusual jewelry, you can find her work at Larkspur Lane Jewelry.

7 thoughts on “One man’s road kill …

  1. For the first time in a long time, I have no words (well, a few…but not many). I just had breakfast and my stomach (normally with walls of steel) is a bit queasy. That being said, I am intrigued. This roadkill procuring could catch on. Or maybe it already has and I’ve been clueless. I am not sure clueless is a bad thing…in this case. Still, I’m looking forward to your book! I will not be taking on taxidermy as a hobby, however. Or wearing stilettos. Anytime soon. I am getting hungry though. WTF?

    • I’m wondering if I should start my roadkill collection now. Wouldn’t want to be caught shorthanded. Getting hungry? Scary.

  2. My parents knew someone who did that on the side. Not much of a market for taxidermists on this side of the border, so they’re few and far between.

    I’m always reminded of a Far Side cartoon with a hunter shooting a bear who’s minding his own business having a drink at a pond. And the second half has the bear stuffed in the hunter’s home, looking fierce and about to attack.

    • I love The Far Side. I wonder if all taxidermists have a good sense of humor like Mickey. She’s the only one I’ve ever known, although there are taxidermy studios in most of the small towns around here. Only makes sense in a country where everybody wears camouflage.

    • I know! I now know how to walk a runway, design a ball gown using only toothpicks and toilet paper, and go hillbilly hand fishing. How did I get along all these years without learning these fundamental skills?

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