Uncle Fuzzy's House of Inebriated Ungulates

"Mi, mi, mi, miiiiiiii!" That was what I expect to hear come out of their furry lips.

Or-- given there are three of them-- perhaps a barbershop trio routine. Three-part harmony, with feeling. A rousing chorus of "Down by the Old Mill Stream," "Shine on Harvest Moon," or if they were feeling cheeky, some Skynrd.

Yes, each year, on Labor Day, I'm invited to a hotdog roast at the home of my best friend's uncle. A tranquil location in the country, chock full of Nature with a capital N. We spend the day with pigs and cows and horses and cats and turkey vultures and hawks and a corpulent hound dog with a taste for root beer and ice cream, particularly if it's in your unwatched dishware.

But it's the animals of the non-living variety that yearly have me in stitches.

You see, in "Uncle Fuzzy's" well-appointed trailer (and yes, he goes by "Fuzzy," I am so not making that up), on one solitary living room wall... In a home otherwise sparse for decor except the occasional John Deere home fashion item...

Yes, there, looming above a small sofa, there is the trio of which I spoke. They are the heads of three very unlucky deer. And they are like none I've ever set eyes on before.

I mean, this is Western Pennsylania, so I have seen my share of taxidermied animals. The rearing squirrel... The wary fox... the thoughtful moose...

And the deer, they usually have that proud beauty... Or, would, rather, if they weren't actually dead.

Alert... Yet with a placid gentility. Their expression shines through warm brown glass eyes.

Uncle Fuzzy's deer are not like this. For whatever reason-- whether his taxidermist has a morbid sense of humor or is losing his faculties with age... Whether the deer were having a little tete-a-tete when they met their unfortunate end, or rigor mortis had already set in—

For whatever reason, Uncle Fuzzy's deer look like they've been participating in a raucus woodland cocktail party where the grass and berries fermented and had a bit of a kick.

Rather than their long necks looking forward, attentive, nature at its most noble, these deer are looking all different directions, this one's head cocked to the side a bit like he's listening to the bawdy joke from the one on his left...

That one wondering whether he should trot on over to the bar for a fourth Deer Park Water and Whiskey.

Singularly, they would be whimsical.

As a collective, it's like Animatronic Hell.

No matter where you stand in the room, they are the largest thing in it. And as they hang there together, one great reddish brown energetic crowd-- they eyeball, they consider, they raise deerly eyebrows in hammy ways and seem like they're a second away from offering guests a frosty beverage.

It's like walking into the set for George Harrison's "I Got My Mind Set On You" video. Except the props are all half-mad and slurring.

Part of me always finds itself thinking it's a good thing they really are just heads. Because with bodies, they'd be off filming each other doing Jackass-like stunts, daring each other to stand in the road in headlights and play chicken with the oncoming cars.

Or challenging each other to jump over fences while inebriated. Or trying to work a shotgun between the three of 'em to just give the locals a taste of what it's like.

But, you know, I guess the nice thing is that even when Uncle Fuzzy is between girlfriends, he's never really alone. He can settle back on his couch after a hard day of farming, put his feet up, his obese hound at his feet, pop in a video and the five of them can enjoy a comfortable night in.

Sure, the deer might turn every film into an episode of Mystery Science Theater. I wouldn't doubt it for a minute.

But it never gets dull at Uncle Fuzzy's perpetual stag party.

10 comments:

CatLadyLarew said...

Uncle Fuzzy's perpetual stag party... love it! What a character! I'm sure those stags have heard all of Uncle Fuzzy's innermost secrets.

Jenn Thorson said...

CatLady- Oh, I do bet you're right. And I'm sure they've shared a few tales of their own.

Fuzzy is really a character, too. A super nice guy but just definitely one of those folks that, if he was in a movie, you'd think he was made up.

Anonymous said...

Must be something about Pa and names. I have a cousin (from my Mom's side who all live in north eastern, Pa) who goes by the name of Peanuts. He is 60 something and wears that name proudly on his work hat. Granted his real name is Donald and I did hear my great-aunt call him that at my grandfather's furneral (didn't know is real name until then). You see his mother died in childbirth and his father remarried but didn't keep him. That seem to happen a lot in those days since I know it happen on my father's side in Ireland,( men would remarry but not keep the child from the first wife who died). So my great grandparents raised him. It was my great- grandfather who nicked named him Peanuts. Why I don't know but he keeps the name and refuses to be called anything else. I would hear all sorts of stories about what Peanuts did from my grandfather and great aunts and uncles and also wonder why they refered to him as peanuts.

I also have an uncle "Skip". Again his real name is Dana but he also named one of his son's Dana. So I'm not sure he keeps the nick name because he got it from great-grandpa or to make it easier when both him and his son are together. Less confusing when you call one Skip and the other Dana.

My great-grandpa was really cool, what litle I remember of him but he only gave nick names to the boys not the girls in the family. My grandfather also went by his nick name of "Buck" But with a real name of Freas who could blame him for that. To this day we have no idea why he was saddled with the name Freas. But he sure hated that name.

Jenn Thorson said...

Susie- That's pretty funny about "Peanuts." Like him, I rarely heard Fuzzy's real name, and in fact I've heard Fuzzy tell stories, and refer to HIMSELF as "Fuzzy." Which was just all the funnier...

"So I says to myself, I says, 'Fuzzy, you had better not do that.'"

And by that point I'm about crying I'm laughing so hard.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I don't know...this sounds like the decor in the homes of most of my parent's neighbors.

Jenn Thorson said...

Lisa- Maybe comic taxidermy has become a hot new trend! :)

ReformingGeek said...

I'd be very afraid to be inside that trailer during an earthquake....or with the lights out....of after a few glasses of wine.

EEEEKKKK!

Jenn Thorson said...

Reforming Geek- Heh, can you imagine, getting trapped under a couple of deer heads?

What a way to go!

Anonymous said...

OMG I saw this pic in a movie that I want to remember since I was a kid! PLEASE someone, tell me the name of this movie!

Jenn Thorson said...

Oh, it's from a video-- George Harrison's "I got my mind set on you."