If you hang around with anglers and hunters, you will eventually notice that we have plenty of ways to commemorate the fish and game they have taken. Most of the time, it is with a simple camera and a few photos.
But there are also special specimens that call for taxidermy. This includes North American mounts of heads or full bodies, or perhaps European mounts of cleaned and polished skulls and antlers mounted tastefully on a beautifully wooden plaque. Bird hunters are often fond of hanging fanned tails from turkey and grouse on their walls too.
In most cases, all these things are relegated to a room that you call “the trophy room” which, depending on your spouse could also be called the shed, workshop, far room in the basement or garage.
What interests me most, at least from a psychological perspective, is the truly unusual taxidermy.
For instance, some people really like chandeliers, lamps and coffee tables made of deer antlers, moose hoof ash trays, and even fish diorama coffee tables.
But the most unusual and astounding taxidermy to me is the deer butt doorbell cover. For this is in a category all on its own. It is the only taxidermy that is interactive.
In case you have never had the privilege of seeing one, it is a deer butt mounted on the wall outside a front door and, when the tail is lifted, the doorbell button is revealed – which I suppose is better than the alternative.
Truth be told, I have never actually encountered one. I have only seen digital photos, oddly appropriate, now that I think of it.
Still, of all the taxidermy and trophy options, I think this one actually tells you the most about the person.
For instance, you immediately know that the man who has mounted this is either a bachelor, a soon-to-be bachelor, or someone who’s spouse has left on a prolonged vacation.
I’ll go out of a limb here and say, though I know plenty of female hunters who enjoy taxidermy, I don’t believe any of them would go this route.
Once you’ve seen one of these, you can safely predict that the owner is not the man you should get your decorating advice from. Or any advice, for that matter.
Also, if you have this doorbell set up on your front step, the odds are good that your house, or any house within sight, isn’t going to sell any time soon.
On the plus side, you have to also give this person credit. For he has figured out how to deter door-to-door salespeople and possibly politicians who want to visit during election campaigns.
Call me crazy, but I’d like to know the thought process that leads to the sentence, “I know just what this house needs to spruce it up a bit! A deer butt doorbell cover…”
It’s always deer, by the way. I’m guessing a bear, elk or moose butt would be way too tacky. I’d also like to know if the taxidermists do the wiring on these things – because, if so, they don’t get paid nearly enough.
Lastly, I can’t help but think, somewhere out there is a fellow who can honestly, put on his résumé, “Inventor of the deer butt doorbell cover!”
Someone once told me the name of the person they thought it was. But, you know, it didn’t ring a bell.