Shit. I am a terrible mother.

Last week my friend – Jeremy – who taxidermied Rory (the Furiously Happy raccoon) emailed to tell me that Rory turned 5 years old on Friday, but I’m terrible at keeping up with emails so I totally missed his birthday.  So to make up for it I gave him a vespa.  Or, rather, I stole one of Hailey’s doll’s vespas after I realized that all of her fake American Girl accessories are the perfect scale for a small dead raccoon.  (Honestly, they are really missing out on an untapped market.)

"Look, ma! No hands!" A clear violation of safety rules, but are you going to tell him that? IT'S HIS BIRTHDAY, YOU MONSTER.
“Look, ma! No hands!” It’s a clear violation of safety rules, but are you going to tell him that? IT’S HIS BIRTHDAY, YOU MONSTER.

Regardless, Rory and Rory II had a blast.

The spectators were perplexed.
The spectators were perplexed.

And so did the cats because for once they weren’t the ones giving Rory a ride.

I'm not sure what's happening here but it made me laugh so I'm including it.
I’m not sure what’s happening here but it made me laugh so I’m including it.

And then Victor was like, “WHY IS IT SO LOUD IN HERE?  DON’T YOU HAVE WORK TO DO?” and I was all, “YOU CAN’T JUDGE ME.  IT WAS YOUR SON’S BIRTHDAY AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN REMEMBER” and he just stared at me in confusion and I was like “THE CAT’S IN THE CRADLE, VICTOR” and he shook his head and locked the door to his office, and then I thought I should maybe clarify that I was referring to the Harry Chapin song and not to me actually putting one of our cats in a cradle.  But then that seemed ridiculous because we don’t even have a cradle.  We barely had a vespa for a dead raccoon’s birthday.

Honestly, we are terrible parents.

PS. I really need to get a tiny saddle made:

I really need to get a tiny saddle made.
Cat balancing is the new planking.

PPS. I haven’t updated my shop in months.  Until now.

199 thoughts on “Shit. I am a terrible mother.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. dear Jenny lawson,this is the only way i could send you this email i’m a really big fan i love your books and can not wait for your next book to come out : > ) > >

    (Thank you! ~ Jenny)

  2. Damn; I had a tiny Western saddle, but I think it went in a yard sale years ago. It would have fit a German shepherd. But I also have a cowboy lamp with an even tinier Western saddle on it. I should try replicating it.

  3. Needed this!!! Thank you for being a terrible mother with a sense of humor big enough for the rest of us.

  4. i want to spend my days playing with dead raccoons… Seriously that sounded so much better in my head, on the screen not so much. But leaving it anyway, as truth is often funnier than fiction. x

  5. Totally thought of you yesterday when I entered a grocery store and there was a sign that said “NO LIVE ANIMALS PERMITTED”. So, what, we can bring dead ones in? This store is totally up Jenny Lawson’s alley.

  6. Happy birthday, Rory, you magnificent bastard! Thank you and your mom for making me furiously happy. 🙂

  7. Hi Jenny,
    Just one lil correction; Cats in the Cradle isn’t a Cat Steven’s song… the artist is Harry Chapan. I still love you though and have both your books!

    (Ooh! Good catch! Thanks. ~ Jenny)

  8. So I checked out the shop, and while the cards are awesome, PLEASE make us a Livin’ the Dream poster (unless you did and I totally missed it) I mean, that kitty hanging by it’s little paws from a tree limb poster circa: FOREVER is supposed to make us feel all kinds of wonderful, so just think what this could do for people’s mental well being. Also, I like the caption for the poster: Livin’ Like Rory …but now I’m just coming off as bossy so you can decide. 🙂

  9. When my cats’ eyes are dilated as much as Hunter’s are in the last picture, they are getting ready to tear someone’s face off. Hope Rory was able to dismount unscathed.

  10. Thanks for my morning laugh, yet again.
    [Harry Chapin, not Cat Stevens]

  11. Every time. EVERY. TIME. I see a raccoon, I gently whisper to myself, “-gasp- A Rory!”
    Also Hunter S. Tomcat’s reaction makes me furiously happy.

  12. Am I wrong to think that world would be a (slightly) better place if their were more dead raccoons celebrating birthdays by ready tiny pink vespas?

  13. I forgot my human son’s 4th birthday. Despite the fact I was in college full time, employed full time, and single parenting full time 2 children, he still occasionally throws it up to me, 31 years later. Next time I’ll say “Pink Vespa, baby!” He won’t know why I am laughing hysterically, but that just makes it better, somehow.

  14. I can’t tell you how much I needed these photos this morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This washed that nasty “all hateful political posts, all the time in my newsfeed” taste right out of my mouth. So to speak.

  15. Was there a cake?! If so….was it made of garbage? Or recycling? Was there candles on the cake because that could have gone off the rails in a big hurry with cats and the Rories. Happy Birthday Rory. :o)

  16. I feel like someone needs to photoshop the Rorys (Rories??), with their outstretched arms, onto the bow of the Titanic.

  17. You are amazing….the next thing you need to put on your list of things to sell is a fake fur Rory!! I would so love to have a Rory in my living room!! I love the cats reaction on the piano….WTF! The way you describe your conversations with your husband are priceless!! Big Hugs…love you!

  18. Not one, but TWO furiously happy raccoons on a pink Vespa. What a great morning! Thanks!

  19. Having a crummy day. Really needed this and it did the trick. Smile Achievement Unlocked!

  20. We have a tradition in my family of never celebrating birthdays on the day itself (mostly because mine is wedged between Christmas and New Years Day) so you’re not a terrible mother. Fixed.

  21. Did Hailey have an American Girl doll horse? They all come with a saddle……just sayin! Thanks for brightening my day! You Rock!

  22. Please make a poster version of the card with “Live the Dream” on it. I would so hang that in my office.

  23. I love how judge-y the cat looks in the second photo.

    I really needed this post today – had abdominal surgery recently and let me tell you, nothing takes the pain away like a stuffed raccoon on a Vespa!
    And narcotics.
    Put the two together and it’s a rollicking good time!

  24. Omg I’m laughing so much all my coworkers are staring at me. I showed one the pics because I was so happy it’s Rory’s birthday and now she’s worried and I think she may call for the men in white coats. I just yelled don’t judge her (Jenny) she’s a New York Times best seller are u. I think I made my point. Ps this made my whole day maybe week. Thanks sooooooo much.

  25. Pic #3 is now my desktop wallpaper here at work. I needed that! Thank you, J. <3

  26. Holy shit, that just jolted me out of depression for a time there. Forget the meds kids, taxidermied racoons on scooters are the new breakthrough in culling mental illness. You freaking genius.

  27. Best raccoon birthday EVER!!!! If I were a more-dedicated (ie, creepier) fan, I would totally order an American Doll gift for the Rories. That home made scooter thing looks good. Or maybe the bubble bath set, so they could wash their food …in bubbles! (Yes I went and looked at AG stuff suitable for raccoons. THAT DOES NOT COUNT AS STALKING, PEOPLE.)

  28. Best use of over-the-top expensive American Girl accessory ever.
    I would send you my daughter’s old Barbie car, but I think Rory is too big for it.
    Plus I’d be asking for your address, and you are far too clever to share that with readers because you would end up with too many toys and taxidermed animals on your front stoop and there wouldn’t be room for the giant chicken. And Victor would never come out of his office again.

    (It’s actually the fake Target version of American Girl. My Generation, maybe? I can’t remember the name. ~ Jenny)

  29. Happy birthday, Rory! I think you’re safe though, cuz I’m pretty sure stuffed raccoons don’t use calendars. Probably.

  30. I did not realize how badly I needed to see a raccoon on a Vespa until just now.

  31. I have got to quit reading your blog at work! My laughing hysterically is a dead give away that I am not really working. Love you!

  32. Every biker needs a biker name, like Tank, Wizard, Psycho or Ditch (which happens to be mine). What do you think Rory & Rory II’s biker names would be? I’m going with Manic & JR (short for Just Rory).

  33. The vespa ride more than made up for the birthday celebrations being late 😀

  34. My sock monkey Eddie used to have a red tricycle. Now that he is getting older he rides a horned toad named Bimi instead (lower center of gravity).

  35. Nuh uh. Cat Stevens did cover Chapin’s song. Check U Tube. That aside, great photos!

  36. And tell Hunter to stop being such a drama cat. He looks as if he’s never been ridden by a dead racoon before – and I’m sure he totally has! 😄

  37. Every time I see you post about Rory/Rory II, I get all happy inside. It’s wonderful to see these little guys brought to life, and I have to admit they look a bit like their namesake (me, naturally!).

  38. Love, love Rories on the Vespa but the last picture takes the cake you forgot to make your “son”.

  39. LOL! I love Rory. I never did get a cutout to take him along with me on trips. Can you still get one somewhere?

  40. It would be soooo great if the Rories had an honest to god tiny Harley to show off their bad ass sides! Like, “Yeah, we’re bad ass! No hands, no helmets, no worries!” Can raccoons get tats?

  41. Stop it. You are making the rest of us look bad. My son turns 14 soon, and he’s going to feel really cheated that all he got was a pack of Yu-gi-oh cards and some money when The Bloggess got a VESPA for A DEAD RACCOON. Thanks for that. I will never measure up.

    Happy Birthday, Rory. Wear a helmet. You’ve already been killed in the road once.

  42. That just made my day! Happy Birthday Rory–looks like you had a blast!

  43. Do you know how many American Girl sewing patterns there are out there? I can’t believe I want to make a dress for an expired raccoon.

  44. You’re the best mom ever! I so get you. Please don’t get a restraining order.

  45. It’s just like Molly Ringwald in ‘Sixteen Candles’. Maybe Jake Ryan will show up at your door and make it up to Rory. Although in your world, it’s far more likely that Long Duk Dong will show up instead, Hot Stuff!
    Forget American Girl getting in on the insanity. YOU need to put out a line of Rory action figures and accessories! WE WILL BUY YOUR ENTIRE WORLD AND RECREATE IT IN OUR HOMES because you’re that good–and we’re that disturbed.

  46. Tandem raccoons on a pink Vespa is a great thing to see! Thanks for being so fricking awesome!

  47. holy shitballs, I don’t know what the hell but I am laughing so fucking hard right now I am just crying at my desk at work…

  48. Much cuter than American Girls! You are right. This is an untapped market.

  49. Happy Birthday Rory one and two this one is for you too I case mom forgets 😆.

    Jenny thanks for all you do although I was never able to find a Rory for myself I do now have a Rocky his is fun Country . 😀😀😀

  50. The expression on the cat in that last picture is the best part of this entire post.

    Thank you for sharing! I got a good laugh out of it.

  51. I think the Vespa is more Rory’s style, but now I totally want to see him riding the American Girl horse – I can donate one for the cause if you don’t have one!

  52. Rory Two should get a new name for his birthday. Or her birthday. I have a hard time sexing raccoons, or rather I would if that were something I did.
    Whew. Lucky save there. I just hope everyone reads all the way to the end.

  53. These pics look like stills from a musical that I would very much pay money to go see. Like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but with dead raccoons and a Vespa.

  54. So I was dying over the raccoons riding the Vespa. However, the one of the Raccoon balancing on the cat was too much. I am crying I am laughing so hard..

  55. On a day when everything was slightly heavier than normal, this is a bright balloon of joy. Thank you 🙂

  56. He’s so happy, I love it! (Also, I’m now looking at American Girl doll accessories online and imagining Rory on them and it’s cheering me up from an otherwise blechy week, so THANK YOU!)

  57. OMG, I love that card so much. I really, really need someone to give it to. As a side note, I have been reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and laughing so hard that I start crying, and my husband just doesn’t understand.

  58. ha ha ha ha ha… OH my… Is it weird that I want that Vespa? And the raccoon? That’s okay- I didn’t realize that the word “taint” isn’t really a word- (okay it is in reference to food, but not that part of your undercarriage) I heard the phrase-
    “Hotter than a rattlesnake’s taint” and so I became obsessed with finding if in fact rattlesnakes have taints. I’m gonna with “NO”. “Taint” in that reference is lewd slang. Ooooops. But it describes all those frog yoga statues perfectly… Really all you see is frog taint. I annoyed my husband by bringing to his attention that if it’s “lewd slang” than technically that yellow spot on a watermelon is ALSO a taint. So there… Rattlesnake and Watermelon taints. How’s that for a tangent? sigh taint recommended, taint approved. 😉

  59. Rory needs to start a band called, “Rory and The Hurricanes,” and the drummer would become Ringo, who would become one of The Beatles. It’s meant to be. I’m a shit mom, too – and it looks like it’s genetic!

  60. My smile is as big as Rory’s right now. These pictures have made my day so much better. I need a version to frame and set on my desk.

  61. There are two Rorys?? When did that happen? Are they twins? Or do they have separate birthdays? Will Rory II celebrate his birthday differently? Will there be cake? So many questions running through my head….

  62. I love Rory. He is just so damn happy. I can’t believe he’s 5 years old! Where does the time go? Pretty soon he’ll want to go into his Emo phase and listen to questionable music, write bad poetry, and the longest sentence you’ll hear from him for months at a time will be “YOU JUST DON’T EVEN….UGH.”

  63. The best ever after Armando, my real armadillo curled up into a handbag, which I am I don’t take out in public for fear of reprisals.

  64. Girl, you ain’t ‘quite right’, as they say around here. I should know, my husband tells me I ain’t quite right all the time. You’re definitely my kind of people. Our spouses should get together to commiserate. Then we’d both have more time for shenanigans while their attentions were diverted!

  65. We all need to put together a Kickstarter to get the Rorys’ a drone for them to ride. And then also little aviator caps and goggles.

    The can swoop down the neighborhood while you blare “Ride of the Valkyries”. It has to be Wagner cause you’re in a nice neighborhood, and you don’t wan the neighbors thinking the Rory’s don’t have class!

  66. I was having a truly godawful day till I came home and read your post. OMG!!! Rory I and II, and Ferris and Hunter, too. And a pink Vespa. Can it get any funnier? Bless you, Jenny, for making me laugh and cry, and always in a good way.

  67. Please, please, please make a children’s book with pictures of Rory and your other taxidermied animals as illustrations. I mentioned this to you when you came to Des Moines but my five-year-old LOVES the cover of Furiously Happy and wants to know all about him. The Vespa pictures are fantastic

  68. Oh, man. Thanks for this laugh! It’s been a rough evening. Discovered possible fraudulent bank activity today. Enough said. I’ll just be at the bank, signing papers (to legally certify that I didn’t go on a shopping spree in China), for the rest of the month if anyone needs me.

  69. Some of the best sentences ever begin with:”And then Victor was like”
    Lmao!!! Happy bday Rory!!

  70. The only thing that would make you a terrible mom is not Amazon Priming the American Girl saddle overnight so Rory’s ride would be more secure. Oh.. And while you’re at it, strap your phone to his back while they run around and leave your Pokemon Go open to hatch some eggs!

  71. NED!!!! #142 YOU ARE THE BRAVEST OF THEM ALL!!! (I was soooo scared to show her? What if THAT is the line???? 🙂 )

  72. Well that is pretty epic! I will be sure to give you a bit more warning for Rory II’s birthday. These pix are amazeballz!

  73. Love it! I was so hoping you had pictures when I read the email. You didn’t disappoint! I love that it is available in your shop as well 🙂

  74. There should be a Pixar movie about raccoons who were super mastermind burglars that go from raiding pantries to stealing secrets from Russia to save the country. Oh, and the raccoons wouldn’t even need masks ’cause they’re already born with one.

  75. Love it!!! My husband had a vespa when we got married. Drove me all over our little town. Tho we had no taxidermy animals to go with us…..jen

  76. I think Rory is having a better after life than most raccoons. He’s a famous icon AND he got to ride a pink Vespa.

  77. Thank you – Thank you!!!! I’m having a very bad week, I’m in the process of breaking up with a friend I’ve known for 10 years and it’s awful and hard, and upsetting. Then I see Rory on a Vespa and it’s ALMOST as good as reading the Beyonce story for the first time. Thank you Jenni – thank you Rory. You’re the bright spot in my life right now!

  78. My wife and I started reading your books together & then bought them on tape (which everyone should do for a totally different & amazing experience) and I just want to say THANKYOU. THANKYOU for making us laugh after 12 hours on a road trip, thank you for your inspiration, and THANKYOU for reminding me that my unquie marriage is so much better than the norm!
    Lastly THANKYOU India.. I mean thank you for taking something dark, taboo, and often misrepresented as depression, anxiety, (insert 100 other illnesses here) and making it palpable for everyone. I have a nerve disease that makes every movement and motion a chore. Some days the pain is so blinding I cannot move. Five years into this illness I was in a very deep dark place I really wasn’t sure I could ever get out of. However after a lot of time in the dark I decided this wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to enjoy the small victories, the big moments, and I was going to be dammed if I let my illness get in the way. I was going to inspire people and sadness be dammed! 10 years into this and I am living each day the best that I can and following the light no matter how small it is some days. I never knew what to call what I was doing and now I do I am living my life “Furiously happy”. THANKYOU for being the light at the end of our tunnels and the person carrying that torch for us each and everyday.
    P.S. Rory is the cutest raccoon ever and maybe you should corner the market on accessories for all your furry friends? You can make vespa’s, side cars, and RV’s! You could also make a collection of tiny hats, jackets, and accessories!
    P.P.S- thank you for your light

  79. Kathryn: I never misremember things, collectively or otherwise. I know, for instance, that Harry Chapin not only sang that song, but went down in a plane crash in Loouisiana after converting to Islam in the Seventies.

  80. This is 100% unrelated to everything, yet I’m gonna park it here.
    I just came across this again today, and I thought you should have it.

    “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.” Ernest Hemingway.

    Just in case.

  81. @blondechick80: I am laughing at your comment! In a good way. “Happy late birthday, Rory”, heehee. He’s a taxidermied raccoon. : D

  82. I just got done listening to both of your books and I loved them!! I wish I had found you sooner! Thank you so much for writing them and sharing yourself with the world!!! Thank you!

  83. Haha lol! Never mind the no hands-where are the Rorys’ helmets? Your not cats are like “dude apparently she doesn’t know those things are actually dead.”

  84. Today royally fucking sucked. And then I saw what a good time Rory is having. How could I possibly still be upset after that? Clearly the small amount discretionary income I have needs to be invested into dead woodland critters.

  85. Thanks, seeing this was just what I needed today. Happy Birthday, Rory! Now that you have your awesome pink Vespa, feel free to ride on up to Ohio some time for a visit. I’m rather nocturnal myself, so I’m sure we can have lots of fun! Oh, and there are cats here for you to ride as well, to ensure you don’t get homesick.

  86. Having finished your books, my friend and Michele and I have an overwhelming urge whenever we pass road kill to either jump out and take a selfie or scoop it up and mail it to you. It’s kind of like shoes and ice cream cones, you can never have enough, I am right. Wither it be the bobcat stretched out on the side of the road in a strange exotic yoga pose or the squirrel we passed on our way to strength training the other night. Right smack dab in the middle of the road was a flattened squirrel save his 2 front paws, silently and eternally reaching up to give high tens or poised to jump out of a cracker box. We silently thought about jumping out and laying in the middle of the road with the squirrel between us to take a selfie. I mean there weren’t that many cars passing by. We quickly dispelled the thought knowing no one would want to stand beside us at strength training if we smelled like road kill. Yea, like that is the real reason no one wants to stand beside us at strength training.
    On the way home from such training, we silently saluted the squirrel as we whizzed past hoping he would still be there next week. Same spot, same pose. That then lead to a story I had to share with Michele about a recent sales call I had. Being in healthcare I get a number of strange calls but recently I had a call from a sales rep (aka glorified telemarketer) promoting her company that specializes in whole body donations. I know right. My thoughts starting spinning like an off kilter washing machine filled with sandy beach towels. Whomp , Whomp , Whomp, they just kept coming. When I finally got myself composed again to pay attention, the sale rep then launched into the fact that their company specializes in international contracts. What the….. I envisioned a cadaver sitting under a park bench in Amsterdam (Ampsterdam) or laying partially on the roadway as the Tour De France cyclist speed by. Since NC is an “At Will “state. I decided to close my office door hoping no one in Hospital administration would willing walk by and decided I no longer needed to be at work, permanently since I was overcome with uncontrollable giggles and snorts as my washing machine brain crunched out anything but t clean thoughts. The possibilities are endless.
    Just our thoughts, looking forward to your next book. Who Knows you may get a selfie with us sometime after all.

  87. That is the happiest birthday boy I have ever seen. I can’t say the same about Hunter S. Thomcat though… xD

    Also, I tried to look up “small animal saddles” but all I got were results for miniature ponies, and children. How has no one realized that taxidermy trash pandas need saddles too??

  88. Oh my god I need a dead raccoon, or dead something on my house. About the same size though, don’t want to go overboard on the dead stuff. Because we all know how that ends. (Not really).

  89. halloween stuff is out in petsmart now so if you really really want a saddle for rory 1 and 2 go get a cowboy cat costume- they usually come with a saddle

  90. Spent the day pulling teeth and filling holes in them and felt terrible for the women who got an elbow in the mouth by her husband in her sleep and now is missing a front tooth. Your photos just made me smile and giggle through the remainder of my dental day! Thank you

  91. Zazzle has reviews for realtor cards under the Rory card…which I was initially confused by but seriously how awesome would the Rory card be to receive after a home purchase? That sentence started out as a statement and worked its way into a question. Anyway, I think you have an untapped market of realtors out there!

  92. Hi Jenny! Rory is the reason I read your book, I saw the cover and thought “wow, a smiling crazy looking raccoon, I need to read this” and then I found out HE WAS REAL and then I found out THERE WERE TWO OF THEM! Happy belated b-day Rory!

  93. Those American Girl dolls have nicer stuff than I do!! I want a pink Vespa!
    Also, happy belated birthday to Rory!
    My cats give me that same stankeye look when I do my own version of samba dancing with and/or for them (to celebrate the Rio Olympics!)!

  94. I was laughing so hard, my husband looked over to see what was so funny. He stares at the picture of the 2 Rorys (Rories? Do you drop the y and add ie to make this plural? IDK) and shakes his head. I say, “What? It’s two taxidermied raccoons riding on their American Girl Vespa…is a sentence I never thought I’d say.” So, thank you. Thank you so much for making me utter complete nonsense in the happiest way possible!

  95. Don’t feel bad…I forgot my actual human son’s 5th birthday. Five-year-olds are very forgiving.

  96. This is equal parts terrifying and wonderful. Happy belated birthday…to your taxidermy raccoons.
    There’s a sentence I never imagined typing out.

  97. The pictures of Rory and Rory 2 just make me smile. Ever consider selling little figurines of them? They’d brighten any home or workplace.

  98. Hi Jenny. My name is Sajid and I’m from Bangladesh. I totally love your books (I read only 2 of ’em) and I can totally relate. Also, I seriously totally love Rory and Rory II and Hamlet Von Schnitzel and occasionally use them as Wallpapers on my phone. I recently started reading your blog. Looking forward to more!

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