An artist’s dedication: Julianna turns off the shower and demands her camera so she can take pictures of the moth that fluttered into the bathroom. Wet, naked, and alone with a bug. I think this sums up a large part of what makes my roommate so special.
I was cleaning out my SD cards and found this which was the result of that.
And I thought it was sort of neat to see the picture being taken and then see the picture. Living by yourself is great, but living with Real Friends is better and here’s why:
1. Real Friends don’t ignore you when you turn off the shower and start shouting for help. (Regular Friends or Just Plain Roommates shouldn’t either, but you never know…)
2. Real Friends aren’t (too) pissed when they find out you aren’t in any danger, and actually are just too lazy to get out of the shower and get your own damn camera.
3. Real Friends fetch the camera so you can pursue your weird artistic practices but also to avoid unwanted nudity situations.
4. Real Friends document the whole thing and post it on the internet.
Until recently, I had never experienced a Bass Pro Shop, and boy do I have a lot of feelings about my time there. (Note: I was armed only with a dysfunctional camera phone, so please excuse my lame illustrations.)
First off, in the parking lot, a red Dodge Ram 3500 waited while its Master picked up some Duck Dynasty-themed Christmas ornaments for next year’s camo-themed tree. On the back window, a lot of small Duck Dynasty bumper stickers surrounded a large quote which read: “DODGE the Father, RAM the Daughter!” This is a good bumper sticker to have just in case your schedule is too full of Duck Dynasty Marathons to go out and sexually harass women in person.
But first impressions can be deceiving… only after hauling open the solid wood-and-antler doors and letting my eyes adjust to the warm fireplace glow and cool blue fish-tank ambiance did I realize that this was no mere store, but a wilderness theme park complete with concessions, glass elevators, arcade games, and plenty of emotional roller-coasters!
A synonym for “emotional roller-coasters” is “taxidermy.” I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT TAXIDERMY. I think the Religious Right may be trying to convince us that Noah’s Arc is a plausible story by shooting to death two or more of every animal and stuffing them all into one massive room that I suspect is designed to float in case of another world-ending flood. So on one hand, there are hundreds of magnificent animals all over the Bass Pro Shop who have been shot-to-death and this should make me sad. On the other hand, I cannot stop looking…It’s so much fun— it’s like an I Spy book came to life and is filled with surprise animals that stare at you with their shot-to-death eyes while you shop for little leather necklaces that say “Peace” on them.
I spent some time with this moose and may have choked up a little thinking about his peaceful Moose life because what really gets me about hunting is that the moose was just plodding along one day, minding his own moose business and then he was kilt; didn’t even see it coming, just ptttthft, deaded. But then again, I spent a lot of time being excited about how close I was to this huge dead moose. There is another moose on the ceiling. THE CEILING. It lives next to an elephant skull next to a dead lion, which I stared at for a long time as well and then touched, despite the DO NOT TOUCH THE DEAD LION signs.
(Would it be weird to bring a sketchbook to Bass Pro Shop and do some life (or death) drawings? What a fun thing for an Unemployed White Upper Middle Class Art Graduate to do on a Monday!)
While the initial effect is overwhelming awe, a closer examination reveals disappointing devotion to quality taxidermy; some wolves are even missing toes, which may be a side effect of being shot-to-death, or maybe some delightful kids pried them off posthumously.
There are however, some live animals…
The fish who played the rival of Ewan McGregor in Big Fish stared right at me with its strange human eyes and we had a real moment. “What does it all mean?” I said to him, pressing my hand against the glass in a most sentimental way. He responded: “Day by day I watch waves of humanity rushing and crushing and consuming and day by day I…” Actually though, I said “Man! Do you see this shit?!” and he said nothing because he is a fish, but the security guard said “Do Not Touch the Glass.”
Fortunately, to balance out the life taken from the animal kingdom, Bass Pro Shop has mounted a number of human trophies as well:
These fine male specimens have very well-taxidermied abs and shoulders, which I also may have touched out of post-holiday loneliness.
Oh! I ought to warn you about the trap: There is a trap in Bass Pro Shop, aptly located in the hunting section. It looks like this:
Do not enter this inviting little box and sit on the cozy seat inside. It will tip over and you will be trapped and hopefully you will have friends nearby because if not I wouldn’t be surprised if you ended up stuffed and mounted next to our aforementioned climber friend.
Stressed out by my close call, I sought refuge in a $2000 tent set up in my favorite section: Camping “Needs.” Here on this most comfortable of cots near the simulated heat of a demo stove, I made my friend (and ex-boss) spoon me, and yes, it was a sexy moment, for those of you who were already going there.
I did not buy a single thing at the Bass Pro Shop. Reason number one is that there was not a single bargain to be found, but reason number two had to do with pride; Bass Pro Shop does not need to offer bargains because they are masters of emotional manipulation and they totally know it. Once you recognize the strategies, it’s easy to resist the temptation to spend your net worth on a pair of water shoes and instead leave with the satisfaction of having experienced a mom-at-a-water-park amount of passive, observational fun for zero dollars.
Overall review: an unforeseeably thought-provoking journey well worth the money. Next week: IKEA and the Horrors of Fish Paste.