“Simmer down now” ~ Back-up Buddy Bobcat

Conversation at the thrift store:

me: Dude.  I think I might need that stuffed bobcat.

Victor:  Just keep walking.

me:  Look at his paw.  It’s like he’s saying, “YOU GUYS?  TAKE IT DOWN A NOTCH, OK?  JUST SIMMER DOWN.”

Victor:  Hm.

me:  We could carry him around in the trunk and you could pull him out to use as your supportive buddy to help you convince me not to do something stupid.

Victor:  I’m fairly certain that buying that bobcat would send the wrong message.

Ignore the photobomber on the right.
Ignore the photobomber on the right.

Clerk:  I can give you a huge discount on it if you want him.  He’s falling apart.

me:  I just don’t know.  It sort of looks like he wants me to calm down, but it also sort of looks like he’s leaning on an invisible bar.  Like a really shitty mime.

Victor: Do whatever you want.  It’s not that bad.

me:  That’s sort of the problem.  It’s not bad enough.

Clerk:  I’m confused.

Victor:  Welcome to my world, sir.

Ps.  I did not buy the bobcat, but I took a picture of him and then later I thought, “OH MY GOD.  I could put a trucker’s hat on him and call him ‘Little Smokey’ and have him lean out of the car window like ‘Hey there, big mama.  What’s your 10-4?‘ and no one would ever bother me at red lights because who is going to fuck with a girl being defended by her pet bobcat?  No one, that’s who.  But when I went back to the store, the bobcat was sold and I was a little upset, but Victor was all, “Calm down.”  And I was like, “THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT LITTLE SMOKEY WOULD HAVE SAID IF HE WAS HERE.”

And that’s when I learned that the time to buy a used, almost free bobcat is when you see one.  Let that be a lesson to you.

 

202 thoughts on ““Simmer down now” ~ Back-up Buddy Bobcat

Read comments below or add one.

  1. With any luck one of your fans bought it for you and you will find it on your doorstep wearing the trucker’s hat and Victor won’t be able to say a thing because it is a gift. You can’t say no to gifted bobcats.

  2. I think I would put him in the dining room as a reminder to the kids to calm down and use their inside voices or face the WRATH of the bobcat.

  3. I think there are many props that could work with Little Smokey – like one of those geese figures that people dress up in seasonal and holiday attire. My first thought was that he was standing at a ballet barre. He’d look fab in a tutu.

  4. Can we talk about how gloriously smug the Photobomber on the right is? He’s all, “Pft. You think Little Smokey is the star of this shop, you have no idea. Mmmhmm.” He’s like the Conrad Ecklie of the thrift store.

  5. Oh, I so sorry you didn’t purchase it! Your thrift shop bobcat could have had a play date with Randy, my pawn shop bobcat. NEVER pass up a bobcat.

  6. I feel like the bobcat is just trying to help out the poor constipated animal next to him. He like, “Horny, you just push it out!”

  7. you could photoshop all sorts of funny things under his paw. Like is he protecting something, petting an animal toucking a tiny stove to see if it’s hot?? I ideas are endless!

  8. That has happened to me so many times.
    I found an animated witch that had a bowl for candy in her lap. When anyone would try to take candy out of the bowl, she would swipe at your hand and say something like, “Give it back! NOW!” I went back to the store to buy it and they were sold out. I spent hours looking online. Oh well…

  9. “And that’s when I learned that the time to buy a used, almost free bobcat is when you see one.”

    Not to beat you up, but you really should have known that after your adventures with the metal chicken a while back.

  10. OMG.. I’m pretty sure everyone I work with knows I’m insane now.. sitting at my desk howling laughing. That was awesome

  11. Make a meme with the picture! Then we can use it for profile pics and slowly over take the internet using Little Smokey.

  12. Me (attempting to explain this post to husband, who is sitting on the kitchen floor making individual homemake samurai-style cases for the kitchen knives in case you thought you were the only one with weird hobbies): “She wants to buy a bobcat.”
    Husband: “Why?”
    Me: “To flirt with truckers.
    Husband: “Again: why?”
    Me: “And also to carry in the trunk of her car, in case anyone needs to calm down.”
    Husband: “That would probably have the opposite effect.”
    Me: “No, it’s okay! It’s dead!”
    Husband: “That’s because she’s keeping it in the trunk!”

  13. I’m all about lessons brought to me via a dead bobcat. Jesus, I just reread that and I think they maybe discharged me too soon.

  14. I could learn a lot from a girl like you. Also, it’s been awhile since you’ve done a poll. Or mentioned food. What’s up with that?

  15. “Okay, see… You’re up here… and I need you to take it down here.”

    I, too, know the pain of missing out on life’s bobcat. Granted, one was a really badass necklace and the other was a car that probably would’ve given me tetanus, neither of which is an actual bobcat, but still.

  16. I wonder, does Victor read the comments, muttering, “Jesus Christ! Don’t encourage her!”? You’re all quite mad and you crack me up 🙂

  17. I think the clerk was overselling. Telling you the thing was falling a part, jeez, ease off on the high pressure tactics, dude!

    BTW, I rather thought the pose made him look like he’d just stepped on a lego, or a tack.

  18. He could be used as a marriage counseling cat.

    Adam: Suki, you’ve left your spoon in the sink again

    Suki: Adam, it’s better off there than where I wanted to put it, Adam

    Adam: I’m getting the bobcat

    Bobcat: Adam, Suki. Let’s all take a deep breath now and release our spoon anger. That’s right, bring it down a notch

  19. I’m thinking Victor snuck back and bought that bad boy for you as a surprise. After all, he did say it wasn’t that bad.

  20. I’d like to have him on my desk at the library. I’d take him with me every time I have to ask a patron to take their cell phone conversations outside or to please stop yelling at their children to stop yelling when they’re in the library….that would be AWESOME! It’d be like…”The library bobcat says “SHHHHHHHHHHH!!”

  21. I’m surprised he sold so quickly. You have to wonder if Victor called from a payphone and made them put Smokey in the back for an unnamed amount of money. Did you ask Victor? Did he lie and say no he didn’t do it? I don’t know how you live with him, smh.

  22. I am creeped out by taxidermy. I will not have dead folks in my house – or my car. And the eyes that never-blink… even the benign photo-bomber above would give me nightmares on the sheer non-blinking alone.

  23. Wait. I’m confused. SOMEONE ELSE bought him? There’s another person out there in the market for a stuffed bobcat? What a crazy thought!

  24. Day-um, we need better thrift stores in Western Pennsylvania. I never find taxidermy.

  25. I WAS going to be all “you never make terrible mistakes. Your mistakes are awesome!”, but then I read the article and changed my mind. You DIDN’T buy Smokey?! Terrible mistake, just terrible…

  26. I’m thinking Little Smokey was there to provide you with a life lesson. Now that lesson has been taught he is off crossing the continents for the next passer by who needs to learn the valuable lesson that the time to buy a used, almost free bobcat is when you see one. You have done well young padawan to learn this lesson so quickly.

  27. I really need to start visiting thrift stores and estate sales. I never realized how much I was missing! Eyeless dolls and bobcats! Who knew?!?

  28. The goat/antelope next to him looks like he has seriously had enough of Smokey trying to be calm and telling people to simmer down.
    “I’ll simmer the f*** down when you close your gorram mouth and put that paw down!”

  29. And that is why I bought the stuffed puffer fish Floyd. Well, he isn’t so much stuffed as he is puffed up with air.

  30. In a perfect world, Victor would have gone back to the store, bought the bobcat and you will have an awesome Christmas surprise! Seriously, just wait until you open him. Have the trucker cap ready! ♡♡♡

  31. I don’t know. I don’t deny his pose is awesome, but was he really THE bobcat for you? I think there’s a better one out there for you, perhaps. The fact that you didn’t scoop him up immediately means you just haven’t found the right taxidermy bobcat for you. That one belongs in a library, by the door, scaring everyone tempted to run and scream to walk and use their inside voice.
    That photobomber is hilarious. And so are you!

  32. I feel like the bobcat was purchased by a chiropractor. Now he wears a little sign and sits in the front office, warning folks if they don’t take care of their back, they’ll look like this! Just my two cents.

    I am disappointed that I’ll never have an opportunity to see a stuffed bobcat to give me a spunky “that’s a10-4 good buddy!” while driving by.

  33. What kind of thrift stores do you go to?! I have never, once, seen a taxidermied (is that a word?) animal on my thrift store shopping expeditions.

  34. I like to think of the fan, your fans, the lovely ones who buy bad taxidermy and send it to you. If Smokey is meant to be yours, then it was a fan who bought him, and he’s winging his way to you now.
    Ooh, just think! Flying taxidermied bobcat! Simmer down, now!

  35. My friend found a dead bobcat (a long time ago) and was going to have it taxidermied, so she stored it in my freezer for most of a year. It used to guard the LSD stash. I don’t remember what finally happened to it.

  36. You just know the clerk told the next customer, “well I had some people in here this morning and they were very interested so I can’t guarantee it will be here tomorrow….”

  37. I was super impressed that Victor was willing to let you buy the bobcat. And suspicious. Reverse psychology?
    He says it’s not so bad so you can get it, and then you’re all this can be badass enough if you’re not freaking out about it being in our home.
    Then you leave without the bobcat, someone else swoops in to buy it (or Victor calls back and bribes the clerk to hide it when you come back) and bam, no bobcat.
    Well played Victor, well played.

  38. I read your first sentence and thought, “Dayum, you didn’t buy her, did you?” Because, in my estimation, she was bad enough to be good, definitely that bad. xoxox

  39. Having finally had a chance to read your book, and finishing it this afternoon, I don’t know why Victor wouldn’t want to just cuddle that bobcat.
    Thanks for the great read, by the way. Better late than never!

  40. I don’t see him telling me to calm down. That is complete freaking out right there. Its all “Ah! The bathroom is occupied! I’M IN THE SHOWER!” or possibly “something touched my foot! No ocean today!”

  41. My brain is having one weird day – no matter how long I look at Lil Smokey perched up there in that corner, because of the angle, his mouth looks like a snake wearing a bobcat suit is staring into my soul. And, um, no drugs. Just chicken soup.

  42. I have this problem all the time. Never quite with a stuffed bobcat, but working in a secondhand shop, you suddenly NEED all these things you didn’t know existed, or didn’t know you’d needed in the first place. Like a fencing helmet. Or some hamster looking toy that repeats what you say in a high pitched voice. Or one time, a carpet python (we weren’t allowed to keep him though).

  43. All he needs is a turntable and a backwards- facing cap, and he can DJ for you. He looks like he’d be really into that, and was possibly taxidermied right in the middle of yelling “PARTAAAAYYY!”

  44. I want so badly to visit your thrift stores! NONE of the thrift stores in Seattle has stuffed bobcats. Heard that Macklemore song? Yep, our thrift stores are just full of people looking to be cool. Maybe we could just stuff them and sell them…

  45. Can you ever have too many taxidermied pets? You never know when one might come in handy. Perhaps after you used them for all the amazing photoshoots you could think of, you could have some sort of Dead Animal Sale. DAS. Which would primarily be used to raise funds for you to buy more fun things that make you happy -opposite of SAD.

  46. I kinda think he looks like he’s yelling because he just stepped in some cat vomit. “Okay, who the f*&% puked on the floor?!?! Chloe?!?!” Or maybe that’s what I look like! Cuz, you know, a day without a cat throwing up is like a day without um, something….

  47. I think you were probably spared a tragic alternative future in which people would see this bobcat and realize it was really taxidermy. Then, they would write down your license plate, and find you at home once they’d tracked you down. And bring you their dead animals, hoping you would stuff them. And that would be a terrible existence. There. Did I make you feel better?

  48. See, this is why I don’t drive. I just can’t think defensively enough. Having a rabid, dead, about to eat your face off zombie bobcat as a co-pilot just wouldn’t occur to me.

  49. I’m pretty sure Victor only goes shopping with you to ensure that you don’t purchase “simma down now” bobcats. Now, if you could find an “Ain’t nobody got time for that” bobcat, I bet Victor would totally go for it. You could name it “Sweet Georgia Bobcat”,

  50. I dunno. I adore your other taxidermied critters, but this one would just make me sad. Rather have it be alive. (but I’ve been crying all week, so pay me no mind.)

  51. I hope you are able to tell us about Meemaw’s memorial service. I’ve had that Cattle Call song going through my brain ever since you posted it. Love it.

    (It was lovely. Victor did the eulogy and we all smiled as Cattle Call was played. Miss her already. ~ Jenny)

  52. Lesson totally learned. Why are there no damned bobcats in my local thrift stores? I’m off to find someone to complain to.

  53. I knew when I read “Dude. I think I might need that stuffed bobcat.” that this was going to be an awesome post. I so wish you had bought it!

  54. How many taxidermied creatures do you have now? You must be well into the double digits. Do you rotate them out like a museum so they all have a chance to be seen? Do you loan them out to lonely people who need a (dead stuffed) friend? Do they have taxidermy pals at other people’s homes? I only ask because I’m avoiding work right now. 🙂

    (About 40 but most of them are mice or weasels so they don’t take up much room. Some live in the garage. I’ve actually lost my cobra, which is a really unsettling thing to have to say out loud. ~ Jenny)

  55. AWww, I really know how that feels . . . not buying a stuffed bobcat, but you know, thinking about buying something, can’t make up my mind, going back and finding out it’s gone. : (( That happened to me with a kitten once. I had already named it “Bear” in my mind. Now I’m crying about Bear. Thanks a lot Jenny!! . . . ok, i forgive u.

  56. I’m reading everyone’s tweets and FB statuses on the future of Scotland and it is mostly calm but for the odd one or two who are a bit…het up I keep wanting to post them a link to this.
    We need a poster;
    ‘Little Smokey says CALM THE FUCK DOWN, PEOPLE!’

  57. I’ve found that we need to do this same thing with holiday Oreos. They won’t be there when you go back.

    Your video acceptance speech was beautiful. Because, so are you.

    I am so sorry that you guys had to go through this with your beloved Grandmother. The entire process of loss just sucks.

    Today is the 7th anniversary of my sister’s death. It’s still miserable. We shared a birthday (it was two weeks ago), which was also a really rough one to get through. (I spent it with my therapist, bless her patient soul, and not celebrating much of anything but, as you said, still breathing.)

    Sending love. Because some days, even with cookies, that’s all I’ve fucking got to give.
    Julie
    (the witchy one who reads Tarot cards and talks to dead people)

  58. Ha! Every time I hear that, I picture Cheri Oteri screaming SIMMMM-MAH DOWN NAH!

    (not sure if it was a reference and I’m an idiot, or I’m a nerd. Either way.)

  59. Give him a little hat and put him in a firetruck. You know who will be panicking at fires? No-one. Not with Smokey the aptly named bobcat telling them to simmer down.

  60. My cousin in Delray Beach, Florida offered me a Buffalo Head, do you think It’s worth paying the shipping? Will I have nightmares if it resides on my wall?

  61. He was clearly killed in the act of saying, “Holy crap! I swear it was THIS TALL. Never seen a spider that big! I’m just a little freaked out now…”

  62. I envision a Brooklyn accent “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a MILLION times! I want THIS much foam on my freakin’ latte!

  63. Is it just me or does the “photo bomber” on the right look incredibly sad? Just forlorn as the day is long. That is one mopey goat.

  64. I hate that stupid cliché “If you love something let it go. If it comes back to you it’s yours forever.” However in this instance I hope it turns out to be true. Come back Little Smokey, come back.

  65. “Nothing haunts us like the things we never buy” Someone said that. Probably you. I hear that when ever I do the dance of ‘do-I-buy-it-or-pass-it-up’. I always buy it. Will there ever be another Little Smokey?

  66. He looks like he’s laughing at a joke and is about to elbow his buddy and mutter, “that’s what SHE said!” And since he’s such a comedian, he should be named Bobcat Deadweight.

  67. I totally think Victor went back and bought him, and I will be so disappointed if he didn’t. Unless he is still mentally scarred over the live Bobcat your Dad threw on him. Bobcat Flashback.

  68. Oh and I am still waiting to pass one of the human tests! Hopefully my next ticketmaster purchase will actually allow me to buy via computer instead of calling in due to a failed cap test!

  69. I am now saving and printing out the photo of this bobcat with the caption, “CALM. THE EFF. DOWN” (to be safe for work since I am posting it on my cubicle wall). Thank you. <3

  70. This awesome specimen appears to be hissing or yowling. He COULD be activated by motion detectors, on your front porch, sure to deter snakes and random people who don’t know better. That is if he was still for sale. Lets assume all these people are right and either Victor bought him or a fan did… He needs to be on your front porch.
    New business to pitch on Shark Tank – Salesperson and snake deterrent for front porch…now motion activated with real life sounds to terrify even the heartiest.

  71. WHO the hell bought “Bring-it-down” Bob the Bobcat (which is what I callously renamed Smiley)? That’s what I need to know. What if the fiend who kidnapped Smiley drives by your house with the seat way back so all you see is Smiley in the driver’s seat with one arm out the window totally not paying attention to where he’s driving and you’re standing in the window with the regret knowing that if you had bought Smiley he would not be driving so recklessly? What if that happens?

  72. please consider writing a book of life lessons. this is just one of many lessons you have so generously shared with us. i learn so much from this site and consider it a primer on how to live my best life. i think you should compile the lesson into a “things-my-mother-taught-me” type book. A nice big cocktail table type book (do not call it a coffee table book, those are subpar) that would be perfect for gift giving.

    and lil smokey belongs in the bathroom where he can help instruct 13 year old boys to calm down and aim for gosh sakes. or is that only something i need in my house.

  73. Your husband must be a really patient man if he thinks of this ugliness on four legs as “not that bad”. 🙂 Don’t trade him for a any stuffed animal 🙂

  74. “And I was like, “THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT LITTLE SMOKEY WOULD HAVE SAID IF HE WAS HERE.””

    And that, my dear, is a prime example of your genius.
    )
  75. He does sort of look like a thin, bobcat-version of Jackie Gleason. Like that was the last face he made before getting run over by Burt Reynolds’ Trans Am.

  76. After having listened to your audiobook twice I can’t help reading your blog posts and totally being able to hear the way they would have been said!

  77. I dunno, honey. It looks to me like what he’s saying is “THIS SOCKET IS STILL LIVE!!!” Which is still useful, I’ll grant you, but really in only very specific situations.

  78. See, it’s all Victor’s fault you didn’t get it. It’s always obvious you need something when he says “you must absolutely NOT buy that,” but he tricked you by saying, “do what you want.” Tricksy. You shouldn’t fall for it again.

    One time when I saw something in an antique store and didn’t get it, then kept thinking about it until I went back and it was gone, it turned out my wife had bought it and gave it to me for my next birthday.

    But Victor probably didn’t do that.

  79. I so need a stuffed bobcat. I bonded with a live one at our local zoo- I made the normally kissy noises that work on my own cat, and said bobcat looked at me and let out a hiss with the same exact face as Little Smokey. He was not joking at all…

  80. I like the trucker hat, I was going to say maybe some Raybans and tighty-whiteys for a “Riskey Business” -esque look.

    PS: BUY THE BOBCAT. HIS NAME IS BARTHOLOMEW.

  81. Hahaha. Or he’s an extremely camp bobcat who just loves looking after himself.
    ‘No Marrion I can not do the dishes, can’t you see I just got my nails did? Don’t they just look darling? How can I risk these babies?’

  82. While reading the comments, it popped into my head “I wonder if a weeping angel would get psyched out by a taxidermied animal.” Do animals count? Would it have to be breathing/alive in order to make a weeping angel stay put?” If so, you would never ever have to fear a weeping angel attack. You could surround yourself with a ring of taxidermied animals, curl up into a ball, and say “Ha ha, assholes. I’m untouchable and protected by my army of animals. I’m taking forty winks. Later.” Obviously I have a hard time distinguishing Doctor Who from reality.

  83. “I can give you a huge discount on it if you want him. He’s falling apart” Ha ha ha ha ha!!!! Oh my God I’m laughing so hard right now that I’m actually choking! This is hilarious! And to think that Victor was ok with this, see, you’re right, maybe it wasn’t bad enough. But still… for the right price, falling apart and all. bummer that he is gone. You’ll find something even better! Thank you for making me laugh. Please don’t EVER stop blogging!

  84. The time to buy a bobcat is now. Best advice I’ve gotten all day. Makes perfect sense. I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you. But now Victor knows what to get you for your birthday. 🙂

  85. I want to know where your thrift stores are. Because there are no stores that awesome up here in Dallas.

  86. I have come back to this post SO MANY TIMES!
    I’m going to need this guy on a mug. But for work, so no obvious swears. Can you do that? Or are there some kind of thrift store copyright legals that have to be sorted out.

    “Simmer the Eff Down”
    and on the back: “The time to buy a used, almost free bobcat is when you see one”

    I heart Jenny L.

  87. Hi Jenny! You’ll never guess where I just spotted your bobcat (or a close relative who employs that exact same pose). Do you by chance watch True Detective? In the sixth episode of season one titled “Haunted Houses,” he was hanging out in the case behind Major Quesada’s desk. I saw him and immediately thought, “Simmer down now!” Oh, yeah. Little Smokey (or his twin) was copping some serious attitude, alright. But you know those bobcats – always a little full of themselves. 😉

  88. Have you been to junction texas? If you go on the main road and exit north of i-10 theres a bbq place full of stuffed bobcats etc. Its pretty dang awesome.

    (I can’t drive through Junction without stopping at Dairy Queen. ~ Jenny)

  89. adding a random comment to a random post because I am obedient when asked to do random things for no apparent reason that I can discern.

  90. to Amy #163: my husband and I agree that only live creatures can fend off weeping angels. We further agreed that draping bacon on said weeping angel would get the attention of everyone and his dog so that we could get away.

  91. Well I thought I’d seen it all until I clicked the link on collectible mouse taxidermy above. I have never seen such awesomeness in my life. Now I can participate in my husband’s fun hobby of decorating our house with dead things. I’m super excited to get the pirate series and show them to everyone we know as well as Facebook the shit out of our new decor.

  92. Status I posted on FB after reading this last night:

    Well, g-damnit. I just went to catch up on The Bloggess for the first time in forever, and by the time I got to the end of the stuffed bobcat she lost the chance to make her own (a whole two posts into the archives), I was laughing so hard it triggered an asthma attack, and now I can’t find my rescue inhaler. If I have to stagger back up to work to get the backup rescue inhaler from my desk because Jenny Lawson didn’t buy a stuffed bobcat in a timely fashion, I shall wax seriously wroth. After I stop wheezing.

    (N.B.: I did not find the rescue inhaler, but before getting dressed again I did find an expired inhaler from which I was able to suck a few remaining molecules of albuterol, so it was all fine in the end. But, clearly, either you need a safety advisory for those with compromised respiratory systems or I need to get yet another inhaler and tape it to the lid of my laptop.)

  93. That’s sort of what I thought my dog would be good for, except he turned out to be annoyingly cute instead. You never know when a bobcat is going to turn around and do the same thing to you. Car security is so hard to come by these days.

  94. I finally got around to showing this to my son and husband. My son pointed out that if you had gotten little smokey, put him in the car window and driven around San Marcos, you would have been crowned Queen of San Marcos. Something to consider next time you run across a stuffed bobcat. Just suggestin….

  95. So the picture reminds me of the time I found a dead cat on the side of the road on the way to work. On the way home it was still there. I wasn’t sure if it was my neighbor’s cat (he had quite a pride) so I picked it up to bring home for identification. Rigor had set in. I carried it like the pose in the picture and left it on the front porch until he got home. In the meantime, my teen age son came home from school and quite upset.
    “I had a rotten day. This went wrong and this, and this and this, and to top it off, when I came home that cat saw me and dropped dead right there on the porch.”

    ps..It wasn’t his cat, so I took it back to where I found it.

  96. I don’t mind being buried in the comments in some deep section, but some part of me wanted to point out that Nick Drake, with his Posthumous Pink Moon CD, was simply awesome. Vic and I listened to him over the past 20 years often, appreciating his sensitive brilliance.
    Tonight I realized what his mother must have felt when he died–a huge loss for her, and to the world. I get that now. Thank you Nick Drake’s Mom, for publishing his wonderful songs! They have kept me going. And my daughter loved them.
    thank you everyone everywhere who create loveliness and intelligence. Keep doing it. We need you.

    tamara

  97. I don’t understand how it is that every time you pass up something stuffed – when you go back it has been sold. This is not the first time. Where do you shop that has taxidermy going off the self like a new release of an iPhone? Seriously? Perhaps I am not grasping the amount of time until you return only to find it gone. Are we talking days? Weeks? Months?

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