Apparently This Matters: Crap(py) taxidermy

Story highlights

  • A UK man named Nish started his @CrapTaxidermy Twitter feed about a month ago
  • Since 2009, a popular blog about the same thing has existed under the name Crappy Taxidermy
  • Kat Su runs Crappy Taxidermy and is working on a new book about the subject

The art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting animal skins is called taxidermy, and it can range from classy to creepy depending on whether your subject is a moose, or, say, a homeless drifter.

Of course, proper taxidermy is primarily reserved for hunting and fishing trophies, and it sort of works like this:

Dave drinks two dozen Coors in the woods with friends. Dave shoots bear. Dave pays taxidermist to turn bear into furniture. Dave puts bear in living room. Dave's kids wet bed until they're 33.

And that's if the mounting is done well.

Because quality taxidermy really depends on the skill of the taxidermist, and a simple hunting mount can turn exponentially more creepy if it isn't done with precision or mild sobriety.

"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

"Hey! Hey! Look what I made!"

"Is that ... Danny DeVito looking for a contact lens?"

"It's a deer."

But even for those of us who don't necessarily enjoy the idea of killing animals for the sake of impressing dinner guests, somehow it's not all that difficult to be amused by terrible craftsmanship

So, although I'm sort of weirded out by this practice (and, hey, to each their own) I can absolutely appreciate bad taxidermy.

And, now, there's a new, popular Twitter feed about just that.

It's called @CrapTaxidermy, and it's completely dedicated to images of the very worst animal mountings.

Not to be confused with @MileyCyrus.

The Twitter account was started by a guy in the UK named Nish, who requested to only be identified by a one-word name. Like Cher. Or Madonna. Or Steve from accounting.

At the Museum of Natural History in Toulouse, taxidermist Brian Aeillo demonstrates how to do this properly.

He loves taxidermy and Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. Beyond that, we know very little about the man behind the account.

But we do understand that Nish started the Twitter account only about a month ago, and was inspired by something that, really, all of us should get to see at some point in our lives.

He explains: "I started the page after I saw the pole dancing polar bear in a museum and thought poorly executed taxidermy might interest others."

And it does.

Soon, people started catching on to his feed, especially in the last week. Which should help him keep it updated with new images going forward.

Nish says, "People send me pictures of creatures they have seen and all I do is post them on my Twitter with a hilarious caption."

Good effort!

That said, Nish made it very clear to me that he is, in fact, an animal lover and does not condone hunting for sport or animal cruelty.

But, you know, if you're gonna do it anyway ... how 'bout a photo?

Taxidermy: Fun for families with small children!

Bad taxidermy on the Web is actually nothing new. For example, about five years ago a woman in New York name Kat Su started a Tumblr blog called Crappy Taxidermy.

It's all the same fun, but with an extra "p" and a "y."

For those of you keeping score -- and God knows I am -- Crappy Taxidermy boasts itself as "the Internet's oldest and largest image gallery of crappy and awesome taxidermy since 2009."

But Su has a wonderfully positive attitude about the new kid in town.

"We're completely unaffiliated," she says, adding "I love what they're doing, though!"

Su explained that "blogging isn't a zero sum game, and everyone wins when you spread the love for this particular type of taxidermy. I just like making people laugh."

And besides, things are going fairly well for Su. She even has a book coming out this fall.

However, to confuse matters, the book is actually being titled "Crap Taxidermy." Just like Nish's twitter feed.

The plot thickens.

The reason for the name change, Su explained, is that her book is actually being published by a British publishing house, and that British people don't use the word "crappy."

Which explains Nish's use of the word "crap."

Of course, despite Su's carefree attitude toward Nish's Twitter feed, it might ultimately come to blows when the publishers get involved with marketing the book.

"... and you're gonna hear me roar!"

In the meantime, Su maintains her day job as an active-wear designer, but says she's actually going to have to try her hand at taxidermy. For real.

And there's no way out.

For the book, she is going to write a tutorial on how to stuff a mouse. And her good friend, Daisy Tainton, happens to be an insect preparatory for the Museum of Natural History, and also a hobbyist taxidermist.

Aren't we all?

Tainton will be giving Su a private lesson at her apartment, and Su's only real concern is that she'll barf.

Which would be bad.

But, you know, if you're gonna do it anyway ... how 'bout a photo?

Follow @JarrettBellini on Twitter.

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