So I was leaving the bookstore last week and I saw a cat-sized dead animal in the road a couple blocks away which was sad enough, but then I also saw a bunch of little kids getting off a school bus and heading in that direction and I was like, “Shit. What if that’s the pet of one of those kids and they find it?” so I drove down the street because I thought that maybe I could use my car to block their view and I was trying to watch to make sure they didn’t run out in front of me while also trying to figure out if I could safely straddle the animal corpse with my car and then I got closer and realized it was not an animal at all but a branch covered with those hairy looking air-plants and I was very relieved, but then I saw this lady on her porch glaring at me because I was creeping down the road next to these kids and I wanted to roll down my window and explain that I was not a kidnapper and was just trying to hide corpses with my car BECAUSE I LOVE CHILDREN but then I decided that it might not come out right so I drove away, but if you happen to be the grey-haired lady in Alamo Heights giving me the stink-eye I just want you to know that I appreciate your vigilance because it takes a village to save children from dead animals and kidnappers even though technically neither of them actually existed.


Read comments below or add one.

  1. Every time I think you can’t possibly be any better than you already are, you exceed my expectations. Thank you for this story and for your awesomeness (and for caring so much about children. and dead animals)

  2. Heroes are always misunderstood. You need a mask and stretchy, form-fitting outfit to hide your identity while you patrol the world for evil.

  3. You know the saying about good intentions and paving the way…but I think an exception will be made in your case.

  4. Thanks for making me laugh out loud. I wad definitely sitting alone in a pizza shop.

  5. Maybe the grey haired lady was actually a kidnapper who put the hair plant in the road to make the children stop and look so she could grab them. She was giving you the stink eye because you foiled her evil plot. Jenny saves the day!

  6. Jenny, I’m so glad I’m not the only creepy stalker weirdo out there. Because it’s not that I’m trying to be creepy or a stalker or a …. nevermind, I am a weirdo. I just keep talking or doing something and I end up looking out sounding ridiculous.

    So thank you. I see you, weirdo.

  7. I laughed, it turned into a coughing spell, but I have COVID so existing makes me cough, but I coughed so hard it’s actually nicer feeling now so yay!

  8. At least you didn’t have to actually shield small humans from animal remains. I had to one day while I was helping in the drop off lane at school. I wait at the end of the building, and just around the corner are two steps. One morning, there was… a deceased feline. (The ellipsis is necessary; it wasn’t a whole feline.😔) Luckily, it was one step down and not immediately visible. I had to use my walkie to alert the front office, who promptly sent the custodian. I almost asked to go home. *shudder*
    Anyway, you’re good people, Jenny!

  9. Paraphrase from Bored Panda today:
    I’m not wearing a dress to look pretty, I’m just ventilating my underparts.
    I immediately thought of you.
    Of course.
    Of you, out there protecting children and animals, the world, and our hearts.

  10. Ten bucks says there’s now a post on the Nextdoor app for Alamo Heights in which some lady waxes terrified about the almost-kidnapping she just saw. Last week on our neighborhood’s Nextdoor, someone posted that OMG she’d just seen A GUY WITH A GUN creeping around between the houses and there was mass panic for DAYS until someone figured out that it was the dude from the electric company going around to read the meters with his little meter-reading device. Sigh.

    But anyway, you did the right thing. Kids should be protected from dead animals and kidnappers…and probably from Nextdoor app drama too.

  11. You are wonderful and weird and I never ceased to be amazed by your beautiful heart, and also the predicaments you get yourself into because of it. Never Change. I love you. Merry Holidays!

  12. One day in 95, my husband went to pick up our kids at school, but one of them wanted to go to her friend’s house. So rather than put a strange kid in the car, he followed them to make sure they were okay, then went home
    The cops came by to ask why he was trailing children. All very funny. Except it was my 1968 Falcon, literally 4 different colors on it, & the only one in town.
    What kind of dumbass would use a car that sticks out SO MUCH?! In suburbia?

    & I would’ve done the exact same thing as you or my husband 😏

  13. I feel like you’d be the worst kidnapper ever. With your anxiety and forgetfulness you’d either completely forget to kidnap the person or start to and remember you don’t like people. You’d be like I’ll do it tomorrow and 20 years later you still haven’t kidnapped them. Don’t worry I’d be the worst stalker in the world I don’t like people either. 5 minutes into waiting outside there house I’d bored and hungry decide I’m so over and go home to watch what ever kdrama I’m currently stuck on. That’s if and only if I actually make it out of the house which I probably wouldn’t. I’m also guessing stalkers don’t have add or adhd because how to they concentrate on stalking. I can’t even concentrate of the show I’m currently watching even tho it’s so good. Sorry long ramble but I feel like the people here would understand how hard it would be to be a criminal with add/adhd and hates leaving the house. I mean if I was was good with computers then it would’ve be a problem but I’m only meh. Thank you all for coming to me Ted talk

  14. So instead you left the poor, sad hair plants in the gutter lost and alone instead of taking them home to your happy house and loving them? They are probably sad and crying. Or a child or nice lady adopted them instead.

  15. I came home from vacation when I was a kid to my poor kitty dead on the road. A neighbor kid was taking care of her and she accidentally got out. I wholeheartedly agree no child should see that!

  16. When are they getting that statue of you erected already? You’re a goddamn hero, Jenny Lawson.

  17. Here is a personal “dead animal in the road” story. I was taking my wife’s little, white, yippy maltipoo, Abby, to the groomers a few weeks ago. My wife asked me to take her because she couldn’t and gave me that look and pulled that “I just had shoulder surgery and just want to watch tv in my recliner” card. It is a 30-minute drive into town from where we live in backwoods, Arkansas and Abby was asleep in the passenger seat. We were passing through a section of road known as dead skunk ally and, of course, saw a dead skunk in the road. I straddled it with the car so as not to stir up some potential odors with a wheel but it turns out that even that didn’t help. Abby got a whiff of the skunk and her head shot up and she stared at me with a WHAT DID YOU DO? look. Here I am, a big tough retired firefighter, spending more than 15 minutes trying to explain to a little 10 lb, white dog that it wasn’t me but a dead skunk on the road.

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