Home is where the brain stem spoons are.

Small missives from the house I grew up in, since we’re visiting for Easter:

Last year my dad designed a special spoon so he could pull brain stems out of animals to check them for diseases. It’s pretty glamorous. He does it after they’re dead, obviously. Otherwise that would be a pretty cruel and pointless test. I told my mom that he should sell them but she said there wasn’t much of a call for brain stem spoons. This is exactly why we’re in a recession. Because people don’t have enough faith in their inventions.

Speaking of inventions, my dad had to style a bear’s hair so he made a blow-dryer out of a leaf-blower, duct-tape and PVC pipe.


My father is the MacGuyver of Taxidermy.

Happy Easter, y’all.


And now, the weekly wrap-up of awesomeness:


Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by the amazing minds behind the Unpodcast – the business show for the fed-up.  Go check it out now.  I recommend starting with this one, about the importance of paying your creatives rather than ripping them off by asking them to work for free.  I second that motion.  Go check it out right now.

74 thoughts on “Home is where the brain stem spoons are.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Where else would home be but where the brain stem spoons are? The MacGuyver of Taxidermy- I know guys who would kill for that title! Happy Easter to you & yours!

  2. Snowcat really knows how to make an entrance!
    I want to buy the taxidermy Titantic recreation for my brother, but only if I could put it on a base that plays “My Heart Will Go On” on an endless loop because even though we are in our 40’s we love to torment each other and he hated the song.
    And thanks Jenny, now my wishlist includes this:

  3. Oh my, the brainstem spoon and the bear hair dryer. That is innovation. I think your mom’s thinking too small.

    Or maybe I just like saying “brainstem spoon.” Kind of rolls off the tongue.

  4. At least now I know where you get your creativity! Also, that bear blow-dryer is kinda awesome. Your dad totally needs his own show! Who wouldn’t watch The MacGuyver of Taxidermy? Maybe you should give The DIY network a call? Happy Chocolate Bunny Day!

  5. He could totally sell his spoons to wildlife veterinarians and pathologists, because right now they just use grapefruit spoons for that test. And no one wants to mix up their actual grapefruit-eating spoon with the one they use on deer brainstems, right?

  6. I think the cat GIF is staged – it certainly looks like someone tossed it through the snow (you can see what looks like a hand being pulled away after the cat bursts through.

  7. I saw that you already have five reviews and eight ratings on Goodreads and I was like, “Who are all these assholes with advance copies”? It’s awesome that you’re getting good reviews before the book is even out. (P.S.– if there are any advance copies available, I’m one of the assholes who would love to read it).

  8. That contraption really blows! 😉
    Ok seriously, MaCGyver eat your heart out because that’s pure brilliance right there.

  9. I would comment, but I am not speaking to you, Jenny. You have to go and release your book during the time I am going to be on a year long road trip and therefore am not allowed to purchase any actual books since there’s no room in the car and I can only buy crappy e-books. And I want your book in real book form. You couldn’t have published this like two months ago?! Selfish, that’s what you are.

  10. I am required by my faith to point out that the Lord’s name is MacGyver. No U.

  11. If we all chip in a few bucks, we can share it & take turns having custody. Like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Romance. At least I think. I never actually saw the movie but it seems like it’s about sharing clothes and this makes WAY more sense because you can get pants anywhere but there’s only one Jack and Rose squirrel Titanic. That we know of.

  12. So, I’m curious. Is your dad rabies vaccinated? Because I had to get my vaccination for vet school and it was a bitch because there was a national shortage. And I know spelunkers have to get vaccinated. But it seems like there should be a protocol for taxidermists as well.

  13. Dear Jenny, If I had an extra $400 laying around I would get you the Jack & Rose squirels. Or tell Victor that you need this as an anniversary gift. I can’t think of anyone who should have this more than you. And thanks for making the world a better, funnier place because you share yourself with all of us. Bloggessians forever!

  14. On one trip to visit my parents I took my dog out to the back yard through the enclosed patio. As I was passing through I noticed a big contraption sitting out there. When the pup and I got back in, I asked what was out there. I’m pretty sure that I would have needed a lot more than 25 questions to guess “brain slicing machine.” It’s somehow comforting to know that other people encounter such things when going home.

    [My step-father is a neuroscientist; he got the slicer at a science/lab equipment auction for all of his rat brain slicing needs; for all I know he’d jump at the chance to get his hands on a brain stem spoon.]

  15. I have to admit. I’m a bit disappointed. I was rather hoping he was going to use the leaf blower to inflate the bear skin like the most bizarre Happy Easter balloon ever! The brain stem spoon made up for it though.

  16. Does he have a patent for the brain plucking spoon? He should get one. Then he should go on Shark Tank. I’d pay some serious money to watch that episode.

  17. Your father clearly needs his own account on Etsy. He could sell his stuff in the creepy nightmare inducing section.

  18. I think you should start including your father’s inventions in your store and give him a cut of the money. It’s the only logical solution.

  19. I would love to see that spoon! But I can’t think of a good enough reason why other than I’m a surgical assistant in a specialty veterinary clinic and I like weird things like that. ISWEARI’MNOTCREEPYANDWOULDNEVERUSEONE. And reading the above comments makes me laugh because I, too, have sliced rat brains for science (helped out in my mom’s lab as a teenager during the summer, aka: free slave labor even more helpful than undergrads because if I screw up she could do more than fire me!) I didn’t realize there were so many of us out here!

  20. I’d totally post your new book announcement on my Tumblr page if there was a link or even your entire post for that matter. Alas, there is no such link. I think I’m getting spoiled by the social media I visit most often! Consider making the info sharable on Tumblr and I’d post it every week. Free advertising…

  21. PS I loved your tweet on the #VeryRealisticYA. All listed in the article were a hoot.

  22. Where do I pick up one of these spoons…and do I ask for a BS spoon or brain corer?
    Your dad is very handy. They need to put his invention on the swiss army knife…

  23. If Jack and Rose don’t end up at your house, I will be so disappointed.

  24. I can see how the acorn didn’t fall far from the tree. Your Dad is awesome! (and you’re pretty darn good, yourself.) 🙂

  25. Is it bad that a part of me really wanted to see said spoon? I don’t know why that was the first thought… Also, an irrational interest in exploding coffins… It happens.

  26. As a matter of fact, I just recently bought materials to make my very own faux bearskin rug! Also, if you can publish 2 wildly successful books, I ought to be able to write at least one, right? Debilitating chronic neurological bullshit diseases be damned! Actually, some crazy fool asked me to give a seminar at her Ageless Grace retreat this summer and I recklessly (wreckfully!) agreed! Those wenches won’t know what hit them. And I would never had agreed to such a thing if not for your brilliant motherfucken example. So, thanks (blame) to you J’Law!!!

  27. Nice. Maybe he can use it on me when im gone and we can finally figure out what the hell is wrong with Me. BTW… going thru a rough patch and decided to google “how to get rid of suicidal thoughts.” one of googles suggestions was to not think about suicide…. Hmmmm. I havent tried that one yet. I think I will give it a go.(want to clarify that i am okay. Really down, but okay. It will pass. It always does.) So seriously…. here are googles suggestions:

    Things to avoid:
    Being alone. Solitude can make suicidal thoughts even worse. …
    Alcohol and drugs. Drugs and alcohol can increase depression, hamper your problem-solving ability, and can make you act impulsively.
    Doing things that make you feel worse. …
    Thinking about suicide and other negative thoughts.

  28. I would buy a brain stem pulling spoon just to say that I owned one. I’m pretty positive that I’m not the only one. Tell him that he needs to make that a thing because the internet said so, because the internet never lies.

  29. Are you kidding? Why would you want those squirrels when you could get Thor, God of Thunder squirrel?

  30. @thismamaiscrazy
    offering you internet hugs and a virtual tea and cookie party with my cat and/or dog.

  31. Now that’s a spoon you don’t want to find hidden in your cutlery drawer…Especially if you select said spoon for ice cream.

  32. That bear looked like a giant version of the “flattened blackened chicken” that my dad obsessively insisted on barbequing for us for Easter. Yep, flat and blackened. No blow dryer was gonna help that bird.

  33. Well now you no longer have to stir your tea, wondering, did dad double wash this spoon after the brains were on it? Sadly I cant hope that much for my dad, he says I just need to move the roadkill bird feathers off the ice tray, the cold totally kills scabies and stuff, hey grab me some ice while you’re in there!

    And yay yay yay on your boook, hell I can’t even finish writing mine. I have preordered yours!

  34. This completely explains your fascination with dead animals. LOL!

  35. You absolutely need to borrow $400-your Dad needs that squirrel. And you’d be supporting an entrepreneur who is absolutely fearless about the value of his inventions.

  36. Sadly enough, i know that if you sharpen a graefruit spoon, it makes an awesome brainstem remover (we do brainstem testing on deer). I’m curious how he made his though…?

  37. Growing up, my mother was an interior designer with a showroom….right next to a taxidermy shop. Nothing quite like stepping over a deer carcass on your way to order custom draperies.

  38. you need to put some kind of Depends warning on these videos…like, “hey you better be wearing your Depends before you watch this…”

  39. I’ve watched that cat bust through that snow…so many times. Every time I come to check your page, I scroll down to see his surprised/triumphant/alarmed little face and his power stance.

  40. Have you really looked at that kitty/snow thingie? First, see how you can kinda see the area he busts through is a little lighter? Like it isn’t as thick in that area? Second, see how the door has a lot of snow stuck to it in the corresponding area? Like if the door was closed? Makes me wonder how many times that poor kitty threw himself at the door before she opened it…..

  41. You may really enjoy the youtube channel “The Brain Scoop” named after the scoop she used to pull brains out of animals. It has since been picked up by the Field Museum and has shifted from “look at this dead thing!” to “museums are awesome and need your funding” but the host is one of the most intelligent women I’ve watched on youtube and she loves dead things possibly more than me which probably deserves an award. Anyway, if you watch I would watch from the beginning! Enjoy!

  42. THE CAT WAS THROWN! You can see the something that threw it move out of view through the hole the cat made. The lady even steps back and out of the way before the cat comes through. As if cats need any help being awesome. I’d be sleeping with one eye open if I were them. Just sayin’

  43. Loved the cat, but as someone has noted it does look like it was thrown through the snow!
    Mind you the cat didn’t look that bothered.

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