Taxidermy Postulate

...the sweetness of the morning fox.

A sea turtle head, in a wig.

Someone got me to sign up for Friendster. Do you know what that is?

—I so do not know.

You sign up and put up your picture, and connect to your friends, and meet their friends, and so forth, until someone gets pregnant. Like personals but even more objectifying.

—Did you put up a picture?

Oh yeah, a winsome one. My Friendster friend, she said, you look like a plush toy. She lives three blocks away but we're both there on Friendster, and on the phone. And I said, do you know what plushies are? And she said, no, and I said, plushies are people who modify stuffed animals for sexual purposes. There's a whole subculture. And she said, yeah, like the furries, and you know what's the next big fetish? It's taxidermy. You can just see it coming into its own.

—That's a terrific idea!

And we began to imagine this guy inviting a girl over to his place, and she gets there, and there's this stuffed fox with beady eyes and rotten fur, and he's shoved a pink sponge into its anus, and razor-slit the sponge. It's right by the bed on a special wood stand—

—the fur's all torn and rotten—

And the sponge is nasty, with one of the paws hanging by a flap of skin. And he doesn't mention it. If you ask, he'll tell you. But you know, it's up to you to accept him.

—Do you leave the room screaming, or try to stay and ignore it?

Because you're thinking, is he a foxfucker? And that fox is dead. This man is a dead foxfucker. Or a fucker of dead foxes, I mean.

—You're saying to yourself, I'm never using Nerve personals again.

You need a name for them. Like the furries.

—Deadeyes. Stuffers.


—That's perfect. Can you imagine a Taxi convention?

A room filled with molested pheasants.

—And the guy who brings the moose.

All the way from Canada. In a truck. He's the best guy.

—Very much in love.

And dedicated. He has a special stepladder.

—Then there's the beaver guy. Some teasing in junior high, a bit of semantic ambiguity, and here he is. He edits the newsletter.

—Yeah. They have to have one.

It's called Paws for Consideration.


Paws, see, like—

—God, man, God.




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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

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