1 Feb

When I was in elementary school, my mother had a really awesome habit of dating strange men. Actually, she still has that habit, but now she is married. Apparently this one stuck, but that is after the time she went into the mental institution and came ome with a husband. Whatever. She dated this incredibly creepy man named, Jerry, who would buy her outrageous gold jewelry. I knew he was a flake before I ever actually saw his house, which is really what this post is about, because he had those glasses that were sort of like perma-sunglasses…the kind that were always slightly tinted a greyish-purple, so that they hid his eyes. Never trust anyone with them, just like you shouldn’t trust an adult with braces. That’s another post in itself.

So, Jerry was a creep, big time! He lived in the country, in the woods, in a great big house. The house was a bit larger than any other house I’d ever been in, but thinking about it now, it might not have been that big. We were poor white trash, after all. His house was nice enough upstairs, but go down the stairs into the basement, and one enters a taxidermied wonderland. Mostly there were jackelopes, and smelled of weird fur pelts and turpentine. The dude made his seemingly vast fortune (as witnessed by mother’s gaudy gold jewelry he bedazzled her with) by manufacturing jackelopes. For those of you unawares, jackelopes are rabbits with horns usually mounted on a plaque made of pine. It’s a black hills thing, you might not understand.

If you ever wanted to learn, I could probably show you how. They really are just styrofoam molds with some cheap fur stapled onto them and glass eyes inserted. The horns usually come from local deer, but those could easily be fake, too. Jerry enlisted my family in his bizarre business and paid children (my brother, sister, and I) pennies for each one we made–slave driver then turned around and sold them for like twenty dollars at tourist traps. And that was how I had a great career in making jackelpes. But you best not tell anyone, because we like to fool people into thinking that during hunting season, you can lure ’em out with bourbon and bologne. So, that was my first job, aged eight. Second job aged ten, but we will save that for another day too.

Of course, they eventually broke up, but she kept the jewelry. We ran into him at a restaurant some time after, and she was dramatic as she always is. Mother has a knack for causing scenes and making others uncomfortable. It really is endearing.


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