Beauty is in the eye of the beast holder

So this week I was very surprised to find a giant mysterious package at my front door:

If I was smart I would have done an unboxing video but I am too impatient so I ripped it apart to find the taxidermied monster head I forgot I ordered.

This is not that unusual because I order stuff and forget that I ordered it all the time and it’s like a Christmas present to myself from insomniac me, and I realize that this isn’t really the sort of thing you forget about, but in my defense it’s been a month since I bought it and in ADD/quarantine time that is like 870 years ago.

It came from one of my favorite stores, Loved To Death, which recently closed its physical location but still exists online. It was the store guardian for many years and I always loved it because to me it’s the perfect combination of Jabborwocky mixed with Where the Wild Things Are and I thought it would be great for the bookstore because it’s so literary but Elizabeth was like, “what. no. stop” and also I didn’t remember how enormous it was so there’s no way I could hang it at the store and not have children hang on it and/or be devoured by it so now it lives in my house.

The lights in the room sort of make it hide in the shadows and I realize it might look a little unsettling at night as you can tell by this picture of Dorothy Barker who seems to be in the process of literally shitting herself.

But in the daylight is it exactly the lovely, protective guardian I knew that it would be and after we sprinkle a little holy water on it I’m quite sure that Victor will learn to love it and not sigh heavily every time he passes by it.

But now there’s the problem of a name.

I’ve been giving it a new name every few hours but lately I’ve been stuck on Bernard because it really looks like a Bernard and also that was the name Maurice Sendak gave one of the Where the Wild Things Are monsters. But then I’m like, am I wasting a monster because there are so many good names and I also like Tina Fang, Bitey White, Matt Demon, Slay Bradbury, Will Feral and Tooth Bader Ginsburg and JESUS I NEED HELP.

Victor agrees, but probably not for the same reason.

PS. Want to see its original iteration from 9 years ago when it was made by Ranson & Mitchell? Of course you do. And here’s a bit of background on how it was made.

PPS. Utterly unrelated, but a bunch of you asked for a bloggess 2021 calendar so here it is. Because 2020 has to end eventually.

176 thoughts on “Beauty is in the eye of the beast holder

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I just need you to name everything I’m ever going to need to name for the rest of my foreseeable life, you have the BEST names for everything!

  2. Help, I don’t understand. It’s a taxidermied monster, which means it must have been alive at some point? I’m sorry, I think I lost my sense of other-wordly during the pandemic. In the meantime, Bitey White sounds best!

    (More like an art piece. No animals were harmed in procuring this beastie. Unless you count Dorothy Barker’s pure terror until she warmed up to it. ~ Jenny)

  3. So, I like how you hung him so low that his beard will touch your head if you sit in the middle of the couch.

  4. I LOVE Where the Wild Things Are. Slay Bradbury, however, is also a great name. Whoever he ends up being, I think he will be an awesome guardian! You might want to warn Santa though, or he’ll be right there with Dorothy Barker.

  5. This is the most you picture I have ever seen, and I love it. Also I think Bernard is sort of perfect. He seems like the type to want to hang out, chat about what’s going on in your life, and maybe have a nice cup of tea.

  6. Tooth Bader Ginsburg, but please find an appropriate RGB collar for it, and hang an orange wig in its mouth. Please. ❤️❤️❤️

  7. Oh, there is a kids book called Not Now, Bernard where the kid tries to tell his parents there is a monster but they don’t pay attention so it eats the kid. Then the parents keep ignoring the monster by saying Not now, Bernard! so I think that name is perfect.

  8. On a totally different, the moment I saw him, I thought that is what Tree Beard looked like in my head when I read the Lord of the Rings.

  9. He reminded me of the Abominable snowman and so I think Yeti Spaghetti because his beard and furs are noodly. Whatever you name him, he is an incredible addition. And I totally get it, Ambien me orders regular me surprises sometimes- which is super fun sometimes!

  10. Truly terrible, in the best possible way. I also see a bit of Little Shop of Horror in there.

  11. Root Biter Ginsburg. But I do like Bernard.

    Did Victor have to be the one that put that on the wall? I can’t even get my pictures hanged on the wall let alone figure out how to get them straight or keep the heavy ones from falling!

    (It was a family effort. ~ Jenny)

  12. I just finished binging The Office (US), so I vote Sandy Bernard because:
    Looks like a Bernard
    Fond of coastal cities
    History of leaving workplace to travel cross country without notice
    Clearly has Ed Helms-level musical talent

  13. My vote is for Bitey White. I also find it hilarious that you have a giant monster head hanging on the wall, but the abuelita in the frame to the right doesn’t even care. She’s just gonna continue making her tortillas like a good abuelita. I guess she can always throw a chancla at Bitey White if Bitey misbehaves…

  14. Clint Beastwood
    Esther Trolle
    Brute Willis
    Harry Connick Jr.
    Teeth Urban

    (Fried gold, my friend. ~ Jenny)

  15. LOve it!
    p.s. The calendar totally needs to come with a sticker to match the background with the entire word for December.

  16. Your husband must have the patience of an 😇 – a sedated angel 😁
    But oh how fun it will be when we can go visiting again and people come to your house for the first time

  17. I vote for Tooth Bader Ginsburg, because the Notorious R.B.G. (as we call her in our house) would have found that amusing.

  18. If you don’t name it Bitey White it will be like we never knew you at all – because that is the most perfect name ever!

  19. Please do not name it after RBG. I would not take as a compliment if I were her. He does look like a Bernard, though.

  20. i like bernard because it seems more like a he than a she. tooth bader is a pretty good name, but ruth was a lady and something in me really believes bernard is a he.

  21. Tooth Bader Ginsberg bc RBG should be commemorated in this way. Also, you can change ToothBG’s collar when she’s in the humor to dissent

  22. No idea about a name, I like all your suggestions. But I really want to see him in a Santa hat.

  23. WHAT a post and WHAT a monster! Love you and IT…..I do like Bitey White but Tooth Baddddder
    Ginsburg is good also.

  24. I forget I ordered things, too, especially during this pandemic. However they are usually stickers for my journal or boho trim to sew on a jacket…

  25. Set up a poll for your readers to choose the name. You don’t have to stick to it, but seeing the results might help you realize what your favorite name is if it doesn’t win. (My mom accuses me of asking her opinion and then doing the exact opposite, but it’s not my fault that she always picks the opposite of what I didn’t previously realize I wanted.)

  26. You have special powers, and I’m a huge fan. I am your mother’s age (we went to college together, but didn’t know each other), and I’m not usually drawn to things such as this, but I find it super-charming, and would totally hang it over my fireplace. As for names, I can’t wait to read what you decided because your names are the best. I would have just named him, unimaginatively, Reginald.

  27. He looks so much like the monster on your calendar page that says wear your demons beautifully (or something like that). Is that a coincidence?

    (It’s a coincidence that they look alike but it was a big reason why I decided I needed to have him. ~ Jenny)

  28. I agree: Tooth Bader Ginsberg FTW! With the color and the orange wig in its mouth!

    Do you please acknowledge, however, how privileged you are to spend your mad money on this beauty when so many others are hurting and going hungry right now.

    (So very lucky and privileged. ~ Jenny)

  29. He reminds me of Animal from the Muppets. 🙂

    All of your names are awesome, as are you.

  30. I was on board for Bernard but ARE YOU KIDDING ME with Tooth Bader Ginsburg. Please. You must choose this one. It’s like the physical representation of her ferocious inner spirit.

  31. I like Bernard. How about Bernie Slanders? Bernie Slathers? Bernie Slobbers? Bernie Slytherin?

    Sorry, out of control again….

  32. I find that the beastie looks like the one you are holding on the cover of your new book. Only the book cover beastie is now beheaded.

  33. What I want to know is, since this is taxidermied, where did the original monster come from and what did they do with the rest of the body?

  34. I love it!!! It reminds me of what Grendel from Jabberwocky fame looked like in my head.
    Tooth Bader Ginsberg isn’t my favorite name
    I prefer Bernard The Beastly
    Slay Bradbury
    or “The Monster Under The Bed, And In My Head” (just call him Monty, for short.)
    (admit it, he’s what you were afraid of that would grab you from under the bed or was hiding in the closet, or under the basement stairs when you were little and afraid of the dark.)

    And when is Victor’s memoir coming out? I’d love to hear his side of the story….lol

  35. Thank you so much for making another calendar. I was worried I’d have to get some random unfun one.

  36. I really like Bernard, or in another nod to Sendak? Maurice! Bonus, he gets his own awesome sing along song, Space Cowboy. I usually adore your celebrity name patterns but they don’t really fit this guy, somehow. He’s clearly from another dimension… which brings us back to Space Cowboy, and Maurice!

  37. Oh goodness, you have _got_ to find a way to get that in the store so more people can enjoy it up-close and personal-like. Maybe put it on the ceiling so that kids can’t reach it?

  38. OMG I like Monty–he’s got such a…happy look to him. He looks happy-eager. His look reminds me of some of Hobbes’s expressions from Calvin and Hobbes. I don’t have a name to suggest cause I don’t have the name thing in my DNA like you do.

  39. It really does look like a Bernard. Maybe just give him a monstery last name. And yes “monstery” is a word because I say it is.

  40. I’m sorry, but why can’t that be at the bookstore? In the monster section. He/she/they/it/? (Bernardus Rex?) should be shared live with lots of people, once we can do that again.

    (It’s too big. I’d forgotten how enormous it was when I’d seen it in real life years ago. ~ Jenny)

  41. Did you get Bitey White from Forky Asks a Question (the one about love)? If not you should watch all of Forky’s questions (on Hulu), but that one is the best. Forky is the spork from Toy Story, but the question shorts are more for adults. They are hilarious!

    Anyway, that’s a good name but I like Matt Demon better. I wish I could find something like that for the blank wall behind my desk!

  42. Tooth Bader Ginsburg made me howl with laughter! You have to. RBG deserves to be honored and remembered. Probably naming a monster in her memory isn’t what anyone had ever had in mind as a way to show respect for her servitude and all she did to advance women’s opportunities in this world, sure. I mean UNTIL NOW.

  43. Tooth Bader Ginsburg made me howl with laughter! You have to. RBG deserves to be honored and remembered. Probably naming a monster in her memory isn’t what anyone had ever had in mind as a way to show respect for her servitude and all she did to advance women’s opportunities in this world, sure. I mean UNTIL NOW.

  44. Oops sorry, Forky Asks a Question is on Disney +, not Hulu. I also wanted to say I agree with ChicagoSheila – Clint Beastwood is the perfect name. 🙂

  45. The power. The grandeur. The protective vibe: I’m team Notorious TBG. They always said she wrote legislation that had “real teeth.”

  46. And Clint Beastwood is an even better name. I think easier to call him Clint than call her Ruth.

  47. I’m repeating myself but she’s a she. How do I know? I was having a bad night and a friend said don’t silence your inner bad-ass bitch and THIS IS WHAT SHE LOOKS LIKE. Whatever you call her, she’ll always be be Libby to me (Lisa’s Inner Bad-ass Bitch, Y’all). I do kinda like Twiggy, though.

  48. “…it MIGHT look A LITTLE unsettling AT NIGHT…”
    It definitely looks a lot unsettling in the daytime, but I love it for you!
    Oh, and my vote is for Matt Demon.

  49. I love the name Bernard, because Bernard just sounds so innocuous and then you see this guy. Also…I Want one so bad. No clue where I’d put it, but I want it anyway.

  50. Name it Tooth Bader Ginsburg and I’ll make a massive collar for it in true RBG fashion

  51. Seriously, humorous names aside, he LOOKS like a Bernard. And he looks lovely and benevolent and wise, and I wish he lived at my house.

  52. I vote Bernard. He looks like a bernard. Also this would scare the s$&@ out of me in the middle of the night so good luck

  53. I thought there was a balcony in the shop; maybe it can hang on the front of that, watching over the main register? 😁
    Anyway, it’s amazing!

  54. Victor…because you can shit talk Victor and he can’t argue with you because you were talking “ to the other Victor”. Damn, I need to order one to name Jonas ( my husband). This is better than Beyoncé. And I am shocked to say it.

  55. How about Die Cuspid? Or maybe Pearl Boo-ley (got to love all those pearly whites) Or Otis, my man. I love it!

  56. I want to grow up to be just like you! Which I find odd, but only because I’ve sworn to not grow up. Any of those names are fabulous! I think Victor is jealous he didn’t find it first.

  57. So very the shop he could have been The Monster at the End of this Book. Gosh I loved that when I was young.

  58. Also, not judging, but that seems like a hard thing for even insomniac you to forget you ordered…

  59. Looks like a Mirror Universe Groot to me. Or possibly the offspring of Mirror Universe Groot and a lantern fish. Who stayed up way too late or something to get that red eye going. I don’t know exactly, but I am terrified.

  60. Eeeeeeeeeeee! Tooth Bader Ginsburg! I love it! I would hang that in my house without the slightest hesitation, and my husband would love it too. It’s magnificent!

  61. Also, I would definitely give that majestic beast eyes that light up. I mean, come on.

  62. My vote’s for this one! (Don’t tell me this isn’t a platform!) It needs an RBG jabot and, like someone else said, an orangey wig hanging from its jaws! 8^D

  63. But…what is the name of your bear dressed as RBG? She is fabulous!

    (You mean Ruth Bader Ginsbear? ~ Jenny)

  64. I remember seeing it at Loved to Death when we visited SF a few years ago! I absolutely love that shop! I think you should name it Matt Demon, but only because I like the actor 🙂

  65. Love you love your writing – Bernard Not So Much! (Sprinkling a Maurice Sendak association on it…. maybe.

    All the best to you !

  66. I vote for Dentalia, after the wild, orphaned gray squirrel we raised years ago. The day we released her back into the wild, she fell from a tree and broke her jaw. Because it healed caddy-wompus, her teeth grew in all weird, going every which way—-and kept growing, as rodent teeth do. To our surprise, she’d drop by every 6 weeks for a dental appointment and let us grab her and trim her teeth. She raised a batch of babies nearby with this handcap. Your new and lovely monster reminds me of our Dentalia when she was in need of a trim.

  67. I do like Bernard, either as Ber’nerd (accent on the 1st syllable) or Bernard (accent on the 2nd syllable). He looks friendly, in a monstrous sort of way.

  68. Beast Witherspoon
    Arthur Monsterelli
    Teeth Ledger

    Thanks for letting me play. My brain needed to play today.

    (So good ~ Jenny)

  69. Ok, so you need to know I totally love you, but I’m kind of with Victor and Dorothy Barker on this one. It seriously eeks me out a bit, but Merry Christmas to you!

  70. I love Bernard. That is the name of a dear friend who passed eight years ago on the same day you received this. He would totally get a kick out of this being named after him. He was the absolute best and he was from England so you can imagine it with an accent. 🙂

  71. honestly it looks kinda like those creatures that tried to eat fone bone in the bone comic series

  72. But…what is the name of your bear dressed as RBG? She is fabulous!

    (Ruth Bader Ginsbear. They could be a matching set? ~ Jenny)

  73. As much as I love TBG, with the Where the Wild Things Are vibe I’d say Maurice is the perfect name

  74. OMG I LOVE HIM! He is horribly gorgeous in the most fucked up, broken way possible. And I vote for Matt Demon.

    He reminds me a little of the demon hell boar from Princess Mononoke, tbh.

  75. Have you watched the English comedy “Black Books”? The book store owner is a Bernard, this looks like him in the “Fizzy Good” episode…

    (LOVE Black Books. ~ Jenny)

  76. Summer Abominable. Because he looks like the Abominable Snowman in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, before Herbie the dentist elf removed all his teeth.

  77. Sometimes if I can’t settle on a name I decide it is because the thing is being difficult and noncommunicative. So then a name is assigned to it that I know it definitely won’t like, and suddenly it tells me what its name is. You gotta be good cop AND bad cop.

  78. This is utterly splendid, the back story is amazing, and I would cast my electoral vote for the Vera Fang comment above. 😀

  79. I love him/her. I have also reached the point of silent sighs and eye rolls. I bought a horse skull for the holidays and my whole family thinks I’m crazy, but mostly my husband. But he deals with me. I’m not sure I could get away with this beastie though.

  80. I love that YOU love him… I’d never get a night’s sleep if he were in my house!!! But, having said that, he’s PERFECT! I think Bernard just suits him so well!

  81. oh he’s gorgeous. A few Jabberwock inspired names, just for fun. I think consider what the name will be shortened to as a nickname/term of endearment. ‘Bitey’ is fun… but I like Doc…because then you can ask him/her ‘what’s up doc jabberwock?

    Brilligy Spears
    Wabe Lincoln
    Slithyrin Tove
    Gellert Gimblewabe
    Mimsy Williams
    Lord Borogroves – one does not simply install a jabberwock in your house
    Mome Raths Bader Ginsberg
    Doc JabberwOck

  82. Lots magical like something out of Harry Potter.

    OMG. Harry Daughter.

    (Ha! ~ Jenny)

  83. OMG, Root Bader Ginsburg!!!!!!!!! That sounds perfect. You are amazing. I love him/her

  84. Mossum at #63: Get off your high horse. Money is never spent in a vacuum. Jenny’s money went to a person (or people) who worked on this creation. Don’t you think they have bills, a mortgage, car payments, children, etc. Their needs are as important as anyone else’s. The more money we spend, the more people are helped.

  85. Nevermind Gail, these are sensitive times and we all react differently. What may appear to be an unfair comment, may have been a reactionary moment of desperation and pain – not necessarily directed at Jenny, but at life or a moment in time. We all need to understand and be careful with feelings. We had some groups over COVID isolation (Australia) where members would drop out of chat groups suddenly – I’d check on them and find that they couldn’t stand the laughter. Instead of helping them, it was making them feel worse. How can we laugh and post cat pictures when they may lose their job…their home? Some of us like to laugh when things get tough, we enjoy dark humour, we survive through laughter and absurdity… Others found laughter and jokes too much to bear when their homes and livelihoods were at stake. We all cope differently. Hugs to all of you, as we never know what is happening in their/your lives, or where the last penny is being scraped together before Christmas…or no pennies left without a way out. Different triggers. Let’s all spread some love and kindness, and if you are feeling a bit down reach out to each other instead of tearing each other down or reacting. We all cope, and spread joy, in different ways. Jenny does it with laughter and by taking joy in the strange things that she adopts along the way, including all us strangelings…and even a jabberwock head. She also gives away so much, and from what I’ve seen over the years…probably much more than we know about. She’s a true light. So let’s all breathe and think through our words before posting. I hope these words are okay. Hugs to all.

    And finally, Gail and Mossum and Jenny – are you okay? Because if not, we are all here for you.

    Sending love.

    (I think a lot of people are struggling right now in impossible ways. I’m pretty lucky overall. Sending everyone so much love. ~ Jenny)

  86. Fun and spooky, so basically perfect! Although it will be hilarious the first time someone falls asleep on that couch and wakes up to that face looming above them!

  87. Am I weird for thinking it looks muuuuch scarier in daylight and much more awesome in the dark? Either answer would be fine 😉

  88. I personally love the juxtaposition of a crazy, lager than life entity with such a simple unassuming name. Kind of like, I’m so bad ass, my cool factor is entirely inherent.

  89. A) the muppet name Guy Smiley jumped to my mind for your new friend.
    B) If you have Disney+ watch the animated short “Fetch” (you’ll find it under the Short Circuit listing). Reminds me of your lovely new housemate. 🙂

  90. saw the calendar and wondering where to buy it
    (trying to get one for my mom who got me into your books)

Leave a Reply