Category Archives: Giant metal chickens are everywhere

What goes on tour stays on tour. Unless you have a blog in which case it’s all over the internet.

First week of the FURIOUSLY HAPPY Book Tour and it’s been so amazing.  Thank you!  I’m always shocked to see so many faces there, especially since so many of us deal with anxiety levels that keep us from attending the things we want.  And I totally get that.  If you came or plan to come to the tour I am incredibly thrilled and proud, but know that it’s okay if you can’t make yourself.  If you come you will not be alone and you will be surrounded by other people who understand completely.  Even if you just drive to the parking lot and make it no further you should be incredibly proud of yourself.  And if you know that you can’t do it and are practicing self-care by staying home know that that is a brave act in itself.  I’m so proud of every single person in this community and I want you to know that.

This week I met a woman who had only made it to the parking lot at my last book tour and then could go no further and cried in her car feeling like a failure for not having the courage to come in.  This time she made it inside and met lovely friends in line and made me so happy with her story.

I met a beautiful girl who missed my last book tour because her agoraphobia had her confined to her home for months.  She showed up in Houston and is now getting ready to start her new job…as a flight attendant traveling the world.

I met a lovely man who gave me jewelry his wife made out of broken things she finds who couldn’t make herself come to the signing line but watched from a distance as she saw me appreciate the beauty that comes from the broken pieces so many ignore.

I met a woman who told me that her beautiful transgender daughter struggles with depression but that this book is helping to convince her that although her life right now is now easy, every day she’s alive is a chance to find happiness.

I met a man who brought the book I’d signed for him years ago when he was battling leukemia in the hospital.  I’d written “KICK CANCERS ASS” in it.  Three years later I was able to finally hug him in person and write “YOU KICKED CANCERS ASS” in my new book.

I’ve met Whovians and psychiatrists and teenagers and people in red ball gown carrying taxidermied possums or giant metal chickens or fee tie pajamas.  I’ve met people who hand me a book to sign and say only, “I don’t have words” and I understand and appreciate what it means that they are there.  And it’s been amazing.  Today I’m hiding in my hotel room because that’s how I practice self-care.  And that’s okay.  And however you practice self-care is okay too.

Just, thank you.  Thank you for being here.  Thank you for the feedback online or in person.  Thank you for keeping me going.  Thank you for finding friends in book-signing lines or online or (the hardest one for me) thank you for finding a friend in yourself.  I’m still working on that one too.  We can work on it together.

A few shots from the road so far…

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 4.07.19 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 4.02.49 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 4.02.25 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 3.56.24 PM


Next stop?  Atlanta, Nashville and Miami.  I hope you can come, but no matter what you’re here with us in spirit.  Click here for the whole tour list.


Where’s Rory? (UPDATED)

So.  Next month my new book comes out and if you read here often enough you’re already familiar with Rory, the gloriously ecstatic and somewhat terrifying taxidermied road-kill raccoon who graces the cover.

furiously happy

When you read the book you’ll learn all about Rory, and also more about how my anxiety disorder makes it hard to leave the house at times.  These things seem unrelated but when my publisher first started making cardboard standees to send to book sellers I mentioned how nice it was that all of these cardboard raccoons were traveling so bravely around the world as my stand-in.

Next month I’ll start traveling for months (off and on) during my book tour but I already know from my first tour that I’m not really strong enough to see anything of the cities that I’ll travel to, except for the blanket fort I’ll make in my hotel room and the wonderful people who’ll come to bookstores to listen to me read.  It probably seems like a waste of travel to the average person but I know that I don’t have the physical or mental stamina to see the sites or landmarks.  And that’s a little sad, but it’s also sort of wonderful to finally acknowledge my limits and recognize them and to not push myself past them…to know that taking care of myself is more important than seeing the world.

But when I first saw the cardboard Rory raccoons being made I thought of the traveling gnome prank (the practice of stealing a garden gnome and sending postcards and pictures of the gnome traveling the world to the owner) and thought how lovely it would be if some of these Rorys could travel around the world and see all of the amazing things that so many of us never see.  And my publisher (who is strange enough to agree to put a dead raccoon on the cover of a book) agreed completely and sent me a lovely cardboard Rory.  I photographed him all around the house.

With my pets:


Ferris Mewler, Hunter S. Thomcat, Dorothy Barker and Rory.

With Beyoncé:

Knock knock, motherfucker.

Knock knock, motherfucker.

With James Garfield:


And even with the original Rory:



Then my friend Laura took Rory with her on a few weeks of travel.  He was with her at Blogher, and she texted me pictures of old friends with Rory as I sat at home and suddenly felt so much less lonely than I had before.

Do you know these people? You should.

Do you know these people? You should.

Then came pictures of him in New York.

If a dead raccoon can make it here he can make it anywhere. I'm paraphrasing.

If a dead raccoon can make it here he can make it anywhere. I’m paraphrasing.

And then he was jetted off to the beach.

No sunscreen needed.

No sunscreen needed.

And he joined in on a family vacation.

"High-five, Walt."

“High-five, Walt.”

And each time a picture would come in I’d feel like I was there.  And I’d share the picture with Hailey and Victor and we’d all laugh at the ridiculous wonder of a small raccoon seeing the world.  And Laura would tell me hysterical stories of people she’d met because they were so intrigued with this bizarre, ecstatic cardboard raccoon who was lounging on beach chairs, or riding on ferris wheels, or watching a Broadway play.

And it was lovely.

We haven’t even started and already I’m thrilled.  But let’s keep going.  Do you have someplace you think Rory needs to see?  Do you want to take him with you to see a landmark, share a photo of him and then pass him on to someone else who can photograph him in another new place?  The Eiffel Tower?  The world’s largest ball of twine?  Horseback riding?  Being hugged by sloths?  Balancing on the head of your great-grandmother?  Just leave me a comment (with your email so I can contact you) and I’ll send dozens of Rorys into the world so we can see what happens.

I’ll be updating this post with new pictures as they come in, and sharing them online using the #WheresRory hashtag.  I hope you’ll enjoy vicariously seeing the world through the eyes of a tiny, couch-surfing, furiously happy raccoon as much as I do.

PS. If you simply can’t wait for someone to mail you a Rory you can make one yourself.  Just click here, print the pdf, glue it on something stiff and cut it out.  BOOM.  You’re in business.  Or you can buy a hard-plastic photo-sculpture here.  You can share links and pictures in the comment section and I’ll update it as Rory travels.

PPS.  Thank you.  This is ridiculous and I know that but I also know that you people are magic with ridiculousness, and that instead of judging me you’re more likely to take this someplace I’d never imagine.  You are made of stardust.  Thank you.


Rescue an animal. Let an animal rescue you.

My friend Anne is heavily involved in helping rescue animals and each year she makes a calendar of people with their adopted pets to give as a “thank-you” to anyone who donates at least $40 to Team Wheaton to help fund the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.

This year I’m in the calendar.  And more importantly, Ferris Mewler, Hunter S. Thomcat, Beyonce and Copernicus are in it.  (Plus actual famous people and their adopted pets.  See the video.)


Here’s what it looks like:

If you want one, just donate $40 here.  It’s 100% tax deductible.

Hunter was fairly relaxed and okay with being held during the shoot at my house.  Ferris, on the other hand, bit me.  Like, literally, he bit me on the other hand.  Go to the 1:08 mark for proof.  He also kept jumping out of the shot so Victor hid behind the chair and petted him to keep him from running.  It was a team effort that ended up with minor blood-shed.

But it made for a good shot.

So go make a donation if you can.  Or go to your local shelter and snuggle the cats, or volunteer to take the dogs for walks, or drop off all of your old towels and blankets for them.  And then fall in love with these little faces and let them rescue you like you’ve rescued them.

Don't they look happy?  Answer: Yes.  If "happy" means "bitey and a little confused."

Don’t they look happy? Answer: Yes. If “happy” means “bitey and a little confused.”

PS. Below are just a few pets up for adoption at one of my favorite no-kill shelters (Austin Pets Alive).  If you adopt any of the ones pictured below I’ll pay the adoption fee myself.

pets adoption

Saw this and thought of you

Text messages with a friend:

Her: I saw this and it made me think of you: “Your true friends are like stars in the sky.  They’re there even when you can’t see them.”

me:  Aw.  That’s sweet.  And sort of depressing.

Her:  How is it depressing?

me:  Most of the stars in the sky are either dead or currently on fire.  Some are exploding.  So basically you just said that the phrase “Your true friends are either dead or currently on fire.  Some are possibly exploding” reminds you of me.

Her:  Oddly enough, that phrase makes me think of you as well.

me:  Touché, my friend.  Make sure your pajamas are flame-retardent.


And in other news, it’s Sunday, which means its time for the weekly wrap-up:

What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

“Okay, watch me, okay. One two three and I’M GONNA KILL YOU MOTHERFUCKER, I’LL RIP YOUR BALLS OFF. Like that, see?”

“I’m still not getting it, Bob.”

“For fuck’s sake, Paul.”

This weeks wrap-up sponsored by the folks that brought you by Paddy Power’s Online Bingo.  I’ve never played online bingo before but every year at Victor’s family reunion we play it for like 10 hours straight and all the prizes are stuff like home-made toilet paper cozies made by Great Aunt Barb, or a half a carton of Camels.  Regardless, it’s awesome and I love to play, and I imagine these people have better prizes than toilet-paper cozies, although to Aunt Barb’s credit our toilet paper has never seemed cozier.  You can check them out here.


UPDATED: The post where I make it up to you. And then make things worse. And then apologize again.

Yesterday I went out to the nearby market because we live in rural Texas so we go to all the various country fairs and trade days because that’s what we have instead of a mall.  They are awesome and terrible and I never come home without part of an iron lung, or a 60 year old book about “why naked midgets are awesome”.  Yesterday at one stop I found 100’s of doll heads on spikes. It stretched on for a half-acre.  Also, the doll torsos and limbs were in various buckets around, so it was sort of like Build-a-Bear except that you end up with a misproportioned, evil doll that will probably eat your nose off while you sleep.

Even the demon on the right was having a panic attack:

It's creepy, but sometimes it's just nice to be reminded that there are people weirder than me in the world.

But it wasn’t *all* doll heads on spikes.

Because some were on chains.  

Also, this isn’t even half of the heads-on-spikes and none of them were marked for sale.  It was like some sort of Stephen King art installation had accidentally fallen into the center of a market.  There wasn’t a vendor there but no one shoplifted from him.  Probably because you don’t want to fuck with someone who sticks baby heads on spikes.  And because practically no one wants to steal baby heads on spikes.  Both of these things are true.

I did find several other treasures though from other vendors. I found a children’s book of illustrated corpses, complete with color pictures and when I insisted I needed to have it Victor and I both screamed, “IT’S THREE DOLLARS”.

For different reasons though, apparently.

Then I bought a taxidermied duckling (that died of natural causes) and Victor was all “What the fuck are you going to do with a taxidermied duck?” and I was all “What wouldn’t I do with a taxidermied duck?”  It’s like he’s never even met me.

Then I explained that ducks wearing hats were impossible to turn down and he said that the duck didn’t have a hat and I explained that Martin Van Buren’s hat was invisible, but that I’d already bought it and it was already waiting at home in the dollhouse for him.  That’s how ready I was for Martin Van Buren.  And also I explained that his name was Martin Van Buren.  Then Hailey started begging Victor for Duckie Van Buren and Victor explained that we weren’t going to spend $20 on a fragile ancient duckling I’d probably break immediately and Hailey pointed out that if he got broken “we could fix him with duck tape”.  Then I melted from the cuteness and promised her a (probably taxidermied) pony, and Victor looked at us worriedly and wondered when Hailey had joined my strange alliance.  Then I explained that I would make Martin Van Buren into a vampire hunter and then Victor said he’d buy him if I just stopped talking.  EVERYONE WINS.

Especially Martin Van Buren, who looks like a damn bad-ass in his top-hat, holding a bloody spike he just used to impale a nonsexy vampire.


He has a bloody spike under his wing. And a very self-satisfied but shell-shocked look on his face. It's like he was MADE for Vampire-hunting.

The really weird thing is that I already owned everything necessary for this scene. The only thing I was missing was a duck that looks good in a hat.

I showed the scene to Victor and he sighed and agreed that it was very frightening but (he pointed out) not for the reasons I’d intended.

Wow.  This post was meant to make it up to you for being MIA so much but now I think I owe you an apology for making you look at Vampire-hunting ducks and baby heads on spikes.  BUT!  There is one very important part I can’t miss.  Because when we first drove up to the market I screamed “HOLY SHITSNACKS, IT’S A FLOCK OF BEYONCES”.  Because it was.  And Victor glared at me while I haggled for a smallish sort of giant metal chicken who desperately wanted a home and he accused me of having some sort of a metal chicken hoarding problem.  But then I pointed out that I was buying this apartment sized metal chicken for you.  Yes, you.  Because I love you.  But I can’t afford to buy chickens all of you so instead I’m randomly selecting one of you to actually win it.  Granted, your spouse might hate it, but you can point out that at least it’s not towels, which has always worked for me.

I took two pictures, but Ferris Mewler managed to squirrel his way into them so you’ll have to ignore him.  Or use him for scale.

"What? You're taking a picture? Don't mind me. I'll just stand back here in case someone needs me."

Ferris Mewler: "These are my paws, you guys." We've all seen your paws, Ferris Mewler.

Anyway, as a very large thank you for not deserting me while I’ve been busy with book stuff I will randomly select one of you from the comments below to win the mini-Beyonce.  All you have to do is tell me what you would name him if he was yours.

The names “Beyonce” and “Martin Van Buren” are spoken for.


UPDATED:  Holy crap, you guys.  That’s a lot of people wanting chicken.  Also, thank you so much for distracting me from the fact that tonight I’m spending tonight in a hospital so they can see if I’m having seizures in my sleep because apparently I don’t have enough shit wrong with me.  (If they let me have my phone I will –of course – be live-tweeting the whole thing.)  And in appreciation for offering up such twisted names (so brilliant that I’m tempted to adopt an orphanage just to have kids to name) that I’ve convinced my editor to send me a couple of advance copies of my book to give out as well.  The advance copies are soft-cover and have typos and the pictures are low resolution, but you’ll be able to read my book 2 months before it’s available.  Or you can use it to fix a wobbly table.  Either way, really.

PS.  Seriously.  Thank you.  You have no idea how much I needed the laugh today.  I’ll pick the winners this week.

UPDATED X 2:  Holy crap.  That’s a lot of people wanting chicken.  Winners announced over here.

Victor refuses to open anything addressed to me anymore

I have a public PO box, but I almost never write about anything sent to me.  Also, I never check it, so twice a year the post office gets pissed, throws everything in one box and mails it to me.  Last time, the most baffling package contained an actual kangaroo hand.  No shit, y’all.  Kangaroo hand.  There was also a kangaroo scrotum in there, specifically marked for Victor.  I can only assume the rest of the kangaroo was lost in transit.  It was awesome and Victor said he was never going to open anything addressed to me again.

Yesterday a new box arrived and one package stood out from the rest:

At least it's not a giant metal chicken.

But there’s something that made these towels stand out (even more than the fact that I would finally be able to wear a bath-towel that simply says “motherfucker” on it).  The labeling on the cellophane:

That’s marketing, motherfuckers.

PS. You really shouldn’t send me stuff.  Seriously.  I suck at thank you notes and I almost never write about anything I get in the mail.  Except for the towels.  I had to share the towels.

PPS.  And also this girl, who just sent me an envelope filled with fucked-up stickers.  Victor came home and found that I’d put “FOR VAGINAL USE ONLY” stickers on all of our cups and plates, and there were “EXTRA FANCY” and “MAY CAUSE DISCOLORATION OF URINE” stickers all over the kitten.  Then Victor got all pissy so I put an “AGGRESSIVE ANIMAL. OBSERVING FOR RABIES” sticker on him, and then he stuck all of the “UNDER MEDICATION” stickers on my face.  Which was unnecessary because one is enough, Victor.  Then Hailey asked if she could have some, and it felt weird telling a 6-year-old that I wouldn’t share my stickers with her, so I gave her the foreign-language ones and the meat-product stickers, and she put a “BULK SAUSAGE” sticker on Victor’s shirt.   Then, after she left, Victor shrugged and said, “Whatever.  Bulk Sausage was my nickname in high school”.  I love that man.

PPPS.  “PARA USO RECTAL SOLAMENTE” sounds very pretty, but you shouldn’t let your child bring those stickers to school.  Also, I should probably learn some Spanish.  And that’s why I’m not allowed to join the PTA.

It’s Sunday, but I wrote all the really blasphemous stuff earlier in the week. I’d like that noted in my permanent record.

You know how I’m always perpetually late for trends and memes?  WELL, NOT THIS TIME, MOTHERFUCKERS.  Apparently, “stocking is the new “leisure diving (which was the new “owling) (which was the new “planking) and this time I’m totally on time for it.  “Stocking” is the new hipster art of imitating stock photography.  Why?  I DON’T KNOW AND I DON’T HAVE TIME TO RESEARCH IT.  Mainly because if I don’t post this immediately, I risk becoming out of date.  Not this time, hipsters.


Updated:  Motherfucker. I went back to find the links explaining all of this, and apparently in the time it took me to write this update I’ve become obsolete.  According to the internet, “horsemaning is now the new “stocking”.  Fuck it.  I’m officially saving us from ourselves.  Guess what?  Not-doing-shit is the new horsemaning.  I just called it.  You’re welcome, world.  Go watch some tv.  It’s what all the cool kids are doing.


In other news, it’s Sunday, which means it’s time for the weekly wrap-up:

(Graphic provided by Round Table Companies.)

What you missed on my Ill-Advised column:

What you missed on my sex column (which is satirical and vaguely safe for work if your boss isn’t a complete douche-canoe):

What you missed in my shop (tentatively called “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week on Shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

  • I don’t know.  I kind of suck this week.  How about you?  Did you read something awesome that we should all look at?  Leave it in the comments.

This week’s wrap-up sponsored by Oh Crap Potty Training, which sounds like a SNL skit, but is actually a business devoted to getting your kid potty trained in a week. I can only guess this involves some sort of magic. You should probably check it out.

Knock-knock, motherfucker. Giant metal chickens revisited.

Yesterday when I was driving home from the grocery store I passed a shop that sells lawn ornaments and rustic furniture.  This, however, was new:

This is not an optical illusion. It's an eight-foot metal chicken.

I almost drove into a mailbox, and when I got out and asked the clerk about it he said that his boss had just bought it because “apparently lots of people have been calling and asking about big metal chickens all of a sudden“.  Then I said, “How very odd. But, do you have anything larger?” and he looked at me like he was considering calling the police.  I probably wouldn’t have bought it anyway, but I do kind of love the thought of Victor driving up to see a metal chicken peering angrily over the roof of our house from the backyard.  I’d return it the next day though, probably.  Because my home owners association is an asshole.

PS.  In surprisingly related news, this morning Victor opened the door to find another Beyoncé on the porch.

It's Beyonce. But travel-sized.

Fortunately this one was only 2 inches tall.  It’s an exact, 2-D replica of the Beyoncé statue (with the flying pig on his head) that I had made in resin.  For Victor’s desk.

PPS.  If you want your own tiny Beyoncé statue you can buy it right here for under $20.  You’ve gotta add your own caption though.  I added mine with a piece of a post-it note, so that I can change the saying every time I hide Beyoncé somewhere else.  Like tomorrow I’m going to leave a note on it that says “WHERE THE TOWELS AT?”  And this morning I’m leaving Beyoncé on the pile of laundry on the bathroom floor with a note saying “Really, dude? Is this where the dirty clothes belong?”  Because Beyoncé is a teaching tool.

UPDATED: Victor says Beyoncé would be more effective if the dirty clothes on the floor weren’t all mine.  I think maybe Victor just doesn’t understand how passive-aggressive chicken-notes work.