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.