The first part of this will only make sense if you’ve finished my book. So go buy my book. Now. I’ll wait.

Preface: If you haven’t finished my book you won’t get this joke, so (mild) spoiler alert, sweetie.  

In the end of my book I talk about the fact that Victor and I have a long-standing argument about how he doesn’t believe that there are water-squirrels and I can never find anything to back me up except for squirrels that I find in the water, and he points out that those are probably just drowned squirrels and I point out that they’re probably the carcusess of aqua-squirrels, and so I’ve searched for books to back up the existence of aqua-squirrels (because one time I totally saw one) and then I realized that I WAS WRITING A BOOK AND I COULD ADD A WHOLE SECTION ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF WATER-SQUIRRELS.  It was just a sentence really, and then I left a section blank so the reader could fill it in with their true-facts-no-one-ever-believes, so basically my book is worth the cover price FOR THAT PAGE ALONE.

A friend of mine leant her copy of my book to her brother Kevin, who returned it with a brand new dust cover that he had created himself:

True story: If you translate the barcode with a smart phone it just says "I was bored".


In unrelated news, it’s time for the weekly wrap up.

What you missed in my shop (tentatively called “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

This week’s wrap-up brought to you by and the Giftster mobile app, simple and free solutions to holiday gift-giving chaos. Create and add to your lifetime wish list, share, reserve gifts, send reminders, shop from anywhere. Sign up today for your free Giftster account because holiday gift-giving chaos is so 2011.

133 thoughts on “The first part of this will only make sense if you’ve finished my book. So go buy my book. Now. I’ll wait.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Beyonce Chicken is the penultimate expert on aqua squirrels, so I trust her. I’d but that book.

  2. Yup, this clearly proves the existence of aqua-squirrels!

    The Anamorphic Illusions sure fooled me. Whether it is witchcraft or not, who knows, but they were quite amazing 🙂

  3. I don’t know how or why it is possible that I haven’t read your book yet, but obviously, I need to do so immediately. IMMEDIATELY!!

    Sidenote: I was recently trying to explain to a child that the principal of his school had his PhD, so he could/should be addressed as “Dr.” The kid was all: “Wait, so he can do surgery now??” Therefore, if that faux-cover says you’re a doctor, you can do surgery. And prescribe meds. For reals.

  4. I found half of a squirrel in my backyard yesterday, and thought of you! It was the front half! It was missing its guts, the poor thing. It did look surprisingly like a puppet. We did not encourage the kids to play with it.

  5. I just KNEW there had to be aqua squirrels!! And they live with the headless rabbits that periodically show up in my yard and then magically disappear to live in the ocean nearby. Truth.

  6. Squirrels do swim (see Pauli 2005)! My cousin wrote a paper that was published in a scientific journal about it when he was an undergrad. Now he has his Ph.D. Great observation skills, Dr. Bloggess!

    Pauli, J.N. 2005. Evidence for long-distance swimming capabilities in red squirrels Tamiasciurus hudsonicus. Northeastern Naturalist 12:245-248.

  7. I can’t believe those damn trappers. If it weren’t for them we’d all get to have aqua squirrels frolicking in our local ponds and streams. Maybe even in pools, although the chlorine might be bad for them. I’d let them swim in my tub. I’m assuming part of the magic of aqua squirrels is no rabies. No offense ground squirrels.

  8. Dirty old goat.

    Sorry, that was for Victor. Carry on. Nothing to see here.

  9. What a coincidence! I’ve been trying to get a hold of Beyonce Chicken to endorse my upcoming book on the existence of men who think with their heads not their dicks, aqua squirrels, and other mythical creatures. Since you’ve taken care of the aqua squirrel part, I suppose I have only to discover one of the other afore-mentioned creatures so I can study and write about him. I haven’t have much luck yet. Please tell Beyonce Chicken that I need her research assistance. If anyone else has information on the whereabouts of such men, I would greatly appreciate tips on where they have been hiding.

    – Esteemed Melanie Cobb, “Phd”

  10. You should sell those dust jackets in your online store and split the profit with that guy. I’d buy one for my book as soon as I get it back from whoever I loaned it to…crap, who did I loan it to?

  11. I had no idea that the plight of aqua squirrels was so bad that hardly anyone has heard of them now. We need to campaign on this issue urgently, before we start noticing a radical shift in our eco-system.

  12. As someone who is working toward a Ph.D. in English Literature, I am envious or your new doctorate. Congrats, Dr. Lawson!

    …and I’m sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but that is a picture of a chipmunk.

  13. I laugh out loud every time I see the pic with the muthafuckin ruined souffle. And for 20 minutes afterward.

  14. Although @the_real_pope is a scream, what’s really funny about the (real) pope being on twitter is the mixup caused by his username. The pope’s is @pontifex, and there are a bunch of people who accidentally started following @pontiflex, a marketing company, instead.

    I asked a friend of mine who was raised Catholic why His Holiness would need a twitter account. Her response:
    It’s a secret kept from you non-catholic sinners who are just begging to burn in hell. He’s gotta keep up with the times, you know, and keep track of all the good people (aka catholics) and evil ones (all others).

  15. I understood your problem immediately. I saw black squirrels on the Frio River. My husband thought I might have seen a cat. Yeah, right. On the banks of the Frio. I may have been drunk, but I know squirrels from cats. For years, I tried to convince my husband and daughters, and anyone else that would listen to me, as you know how often squirrels come up naturally in conversation, that black squirrels existed around San Antonio. NO ONE BELIEVED ME! As a true Southerner, I found and made little opportunity to venture to the North. I forcibly found myself over by Cleveland, so I went out one day stalking the Amish. You can imagine my surprise that there are a plethora (do you even know what a “plethora” is?) of black squirrels up in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Canada. Forget the Amish. I found black squirrels! (Squirrels make better photographic subjects than do the Amish, because they don’t tend to worry so much about having their souls stolen or whatever.) Anyway, never stop looking, Jenny, and ALWAYS have your camera at the ready.

  16. Oh Mama Jenny!!! How have I missed you all this time? I bought your book to take on a flight and I am SOOOO hooked. I am 60 years old but you are me. I praise your name daily but most of my crazy friends and relatives are already fans….Thank you for my daily off-bubble sanity.

  17. Now I want to get my copy of your book back to read again. Damn, I must have missed a lot of stuff the first time through!

  18. “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye You Jenny ARE that author. You inspire, you entertain and you make me laugh more than is probably healthy for humans! Thank you.

  19. YES!!!!! I loved the book so much, I literally had to read it at home only because the first day I tried reading it at work and was laughing out loud with tears in my eyes “disturbing” others. Tears from the humor… I friggen loved the book and cannot wait for another!

  20. Funny, I just had a discussion tonight with my husband tonight about which of the animals he hunts he will be feeding to our 16 month old. A red neck wanna be/cowboy, squirrel naturally made the list. I had the same reaction that I am sure you are now experiencing. It did not end well for my BillyBob-John Wayne other half. Squirrel, aqua or not, has been taken off the menu.

  21. For Katie @ reply #9—–my dog had the back half of your squirrel the other day. He was sitting on the sofa with it in his mouth when I came downstairs first thing that morning. He may be only about 13 or 14 pounds but he can really dig in and wrestle hard when he doesn’t want to part with something.

    (Yes, we have a dog door in the wall that leads to a tunnel that leads to the fenced part of the yard. By now, the squirrels REALLY should know better…)

  22. There is actually a book called outwitting squirrels. I’ll have to check whether it has a section on aqua squirrels… It does have the best subtitle ever (101 cunning stratagems to reduce dramatically the egregious misappropriation of seed from your bird feeder by squirrels). I’m not even kidding – it’s on Amazon.

  23. Congrats on the Goodreads award! I voted for you (in fact, yours was the only book I felt was awesome enough to vote for)!

  24. Umm…isn’t that a chipmunk? I think you’ve discovered a whole new subspecies!

  25. Scientific proof!!! Love it, love you, love the book, think you stole my life story by the way… except for the flying squirrels. And the taxidermy. And the kids. And the talent… but the rest is all me!

  26. I didn’t realize Beyonce had a degree from Harvard, though I’m not surprised. She is a chicken of many talents. Also, people are ridiculous and amazing and it gives me hope for our future.

  27. The aqua squirrel looks remarkably like a chipmunk! I learned something new today.

  28. Surely the cover art is a teaser for your next book, the comprehensive and authoritative work on aqua-chipmunks!

    I am sure these things exist because I am married to an Aqua-Wookie.

  29. I love your blog, book and commenters here, but feel I need to pop in with an observation.. I’m fairly certain that Beyonce’ is a boy. (In spite of his feminine namesake. Which makes his name all the more genius in my humble opinion.) I’m pretty sure people referring to him as a girl don’t really want to piss off a giant, pointy rooster.

  30. I totally forgot about Aqua-Squirrels! What’s really bad about that is the fact that I have read your book. I feel like the worst Lawsbian ever! Congrats on officially becoming “The Doctor”. LOL! This was an amazing post. Where can I get a copy of that slipcover to go with my copy of your book? I must have one! Please mass produce them now…

  31. And that is how you make a faux book cover! When I made mine it was just marker and duct tape on a Nook. *tear Your friend is a badass.

    (i typed “famouse” first, but it’s more of a squirrel than a mouse thing).

    No, for real, I am seriously impressed by that kid. Well, he’s 25, so not a kid. But now i think he has to mass-produce these dustjackets and sell them online. I don’t think he recognized the full ramifications of doing this. “You know i’m going to have to send pictures of this to Jenny Lawson, right?” I asked him, when he gave it to me. “Yes, I figured that would happen.” he said. Little did he know it would make him internet famous. famouse. fame-squirrel.

  33. I would also buy the book after I saw a phD attached to your name and a review by Beyonce. You should totally go for it with a book devoted each chapter to little known fill in the blank species!

  34. Wait, is it a Chipmunk? I don’t know my rodents, that was just the nicest picture I found on a Google image search for “swimming squirrel.” And the “T”, of course, stands for “The.” Like in Rev. Winnie T. Pooh or Gen. Jiminy T. Cricket, USAF (Ret.).

  35. The case of the aquatic squirrels lays bare the pernicious and hegemonic discourse of academe. Only a few brave iconoclasts have even dared to call for aquatic squirrel research, let alone that an entire monograph be devoted to AE. Thanks to the Bloggess and Oxford University Press, this egregious situation may soon be rectified, and the biases of the the terrestrial squirrel apologists exposed.

  36. It is beyond my understanding why Victor even bothers to disagree with you. It is clear you have the power to bend the universe to your will, so even if you were, by some minute chance, wrong… you’d simply wait for something like this to happen and be right again. 🙂

  37. Not gonna lie, I just finished your book this weekend and totally looked under the dust cover expecting to see some kind of squirrel based alternative on the other side. Was a bit disappointed. 😉

  38. I knew that squirrels rode unicorns because I have studied this extensively myself but until your book I didn’t know they swam (swum…swimmed..). Incidently, I have been having problems with my blog being blocked at various institutions and being accused of ‘pornography’ do you think if I delete letters in certain words with a huge X it will make it look less porny and therefore beat the internet police? Just a thought…..

  39. None of my friends’ brothers (or my brother’s friends, for that matter) do stuff like this when they get bored. No, usually when those guys get bored, they wind up in jail.
    I think I need to re-evaluate my friends based on their family member’s past times because getting something like this would be far superior to bailing someone out of jail.

  40. Oh, and also? Sam Whiteoak, who does indeed know a lot about squirrels due to her extensive study, is pointing fingers at my institution for blocking her site for pornography.
    That really happened. And I work at a library! Freedom of information, people! That’s what you’re supposed to get at the library…except when the information comes from England, apparently.

  41. totally true. i am not sure he SWIMS, but he’s always in the water and i really don’t think i see a life jacket.…&

  42. The next time you feel your depression creeping up from the back of your brain, Bloggess, just remember this dust jacket and the love and respect that inspired its creation…
    You have some fantastic – and talented – fans!

  43. Love, love, LOVE your book!!! You ***MUST*** write more! I don’t care if it’s about aqua squirrels, your latest taxidermied acquisition, Victor’s inability to hang up a wet towel, or whatever, because whatever you write is ***HILARIOUS*** and I MUST.HAVE.MORE!!!!!!!!!

    I also love Bill Bryson, whose older works have made me laugh, even to the point of crying, but your book made me laugh to the point of crying not less than ten times and made me snort TWICE!

    Now if that isn’t a good enough reason to write another book, I don’t know what is.

  44. I just ordered the book, but I think they’re using my credit card to buy Beats by Dr. Dre. The book was like $199 is that correct? Damn, I shouldn’t have never upped my IQ points in order to buy it!

  45. …yesss! Finally, a reason to post this thing I found, to your Comments section: From humor blogger “Johnny Virgil” – this item made me think of you Jenny, with your interest in taxidermied critters. And now that you mentioned Squirrels, well that cliched it – here you go:

    (Beware, profanity, plus mention of gun violence – but only regarding the slaying of an Evil Demon Prince so that’s gotta be one for the Win column, amirite?)

    Was thinking of buying this for you but frankly I didn’t want to give you or anyone in your family nightmares. Plus there’s the whole stealing-of-souls thing which would be a bit inappropriate for a holiday gift I think.

    Cheers –
    Mike from CA

  46. Just bought your book for my Mother-n-law. I got her following ur blog and she tends to pee her pants whenever she is reading it. So I thought it would be a nice gift for me to give her your book and a bag of depends. True.Story. I would have bought me one, but I’m hoping she bought me one! We both have been saying, “crap, I need to go buy that book” but really I think we both are hinting to each other to buy it for the other person.

  47. Kevin is awesome. That’s the kind of thing that I both love to create and receive. Ridiculously fabulous.

  48. You have great friends! That is so awesome…now you don’t even have to write the second book, but all your faithful readers would be very disappointed if you didn’t…so I guess you are on the line!

  49. The aqua squirrel is one thing, but are you familiar with the Lone Star tick, named after your illustrious state? I had an encounter with them once. Their bite can make you allergic to meat. That is not a joke.

  50. I bought your book during the time of year that I cyclically battle depression. I laughed I cried I felt better about myself. I have now gifted it to my best friend who is living with bipolar, and right now dealing with the need to switch to new drugs. She’s laughing. I cannot tell you how much of a treasure that is to me. There aren’t words. She is dealing with some of the scariest shit in the universe and she’s laughing and that is what gets us through.

  51. Obviously it’s not a chipmunk, it’s an aquasquirrel. They just have markings remarkably like chipmunks. The two species are often confused, but aquasquirrels are somewhat larger and their native habitat (or do I mean range? — anyway, the area where they are not an introduced species) is slightly different.

    Your friend’s brother is all kinds of awesome!

    I’ve see occasional black squirrels in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on the LSU campus; they seem to be a separate species because they came in pairs, as did grey and red squirrels. If you saw a pair, they were always the same color. Someone here in South Dakota just took a picture of an albino squirrel though, and we only have red squirrels locally.

  52. The fact that was written by Beyonce the chicken is maybe my favorite part – that, and the effort it took him to write all that stuff and create the dust cover. I wish all my friends had the enthusiasm necessary to put that much effort into an inside joke. LOVE IT!

  53. Dude, I’m temp working at that publisher, get your buddy to make a printable of that dustjacket and I’ll leave a few books “improved” with it when my contract ends in a couple of weeks, hehehe

  54. So pleased you won the Goodreads award, you totally deserve it, your book is hilarious. And it’s even better with the swimming chipm . . . I mean aquasquirrel . . . on the cover!

  55. I can imagine a tree rat (a squirrel) swimming, however, if it was swimming near any of my sons, they would have sent him to squirrel heaven and claimed it had lead deficiency. I can’t make this stuff up! I recently purchased Paco the rooster, a distant relative to Beyonce. He quickly became a target in my front yard and my husband not so politely told me to rid the yard of the ViVA La Mexico, Sanford and Son junk. I took Paco to school with me and gave him him to a dear friend of mine who teaches second grade. I put care instructions around his neck and hoped he would have a better home than the one I tried to give him. So far, so good. He is watching and waiting for summer to come. Anxiously awaiting the pool to be clean and sparkling blue, the children laughing and arguing and crazy ass teachers carrying on about wild feral children that turn out to be worst ones of all, OURS!

  56. Paco is a wonderful addition to Casa de Kelly! Thank you Branda for the best present ever!!

  57. Dude! I’ve been thinking of starting a blog (actually, my far-flung friends/fans have been licking my BACKSIDE for me to write). But work (as an editor, would you believe it) keeps getting in the way. The ironic thing is that I actually WORK for Oxford University Press (like, on the back of the fake-yet-real-yet-totally-feasible-fan-made-dust-jacket in the second picture). I’m taking this as a great celestial sign from God/dess that I need to get off my ass and actually do it. Thanks, random stranger serendipity.
    Oh, and thanks Jenny.

  58. NO! I’m deathly afraid of squirrels, Especially when they’re jumping out of garbage cans at my face, but now you’re telling me they’re in water too?! Is no place safe?!

    I can’t with this world anymore. I JUST CAN’T!

  59. You have the best friends ever! I want a copy of your book:( Thank you for making me laugh with your rude comments on cat pictures. I need to pee my pants from time to time.

  60. Dear Jenny,

    I just finished your book. It was awesome. I laughed so much.

    Thanks for writing!


  61. It took me long enough, but I purposefully did not read this post for fear of spoilers and have finally finished the book. So of course I had to return to see this post, and dammit I was NOT disappointed. That book cover is fucking awesome.

    Thanks for the HILARIOUS book. I laughed so hard that I pissed off an entire airplane of people last weekend.

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