I never thought I would live long enough to see the day that fake dead animals would become a fashion and novelty craze. I think it started years ago with Big Mouth Billy Bass, the fake fish, mounted on a plaque, that moves and sings.

A reporter for the Washington Post referred to Bill the Bass as “an anatomically correct mounted bass.”

Anatomically correct? Doesn’t that mean that it has gender-specific features? I went to the toy store and examined Billy very carefully with a magnifying glass. I did not see anything which might signal its gender, although admittedly I did not know exactly what I was looking for.

Then the magnifying glass focused the glare from an overhead light and fried Billy the Big Mouth Bass to a crisp. He didn’t taste half bad with extra tartar sauce and a side of slaw. I did get thrown out of the toy store, however.

Billy’s manufacturer made a fortune with this replica of a fish who could sing. It did not take long for other manufacturers to cash in on the fake animal craze.

Fake fur was everywhere. People were decorating their skin with tattoos of coiled snakes and leaping leopards.

School children were carrying backpacks wich looked like bears clinging to their backs. Some of my worst nightmares involve being chased by bears. If I had one clinging to my back all day, I would be in a perpetual state of adrenaline-pumping terror.

Then last week I got a catalog in the mail, only to find that the dead fake animal craze has hit the jewelry stores. One of the models was wearing a huge fake spider brooch. Its body was a large pearl and its long, 18-carat gold wire legs sprawled across her chest. If I passed that woman on the street I would freak out and empty an entire can of Raid on her.

The catalog also featured several pages of what are called illusion earrings. Each earring has two parts: one part looks like the front half of an animal and the other half looks like the rear of an animal. When they are inserted, it looks as if a cat or dog or fish is leaping right through the wearer’s ear lobe.

Then I saw an item called an “eye pillow.” It had a name. Herbal Hare. The description read, “fragrant bunny soothes with aromatic herbs that ease stress and reinvigorate you. Rabbit made of organically grown cotton and is filled with a blend of organic lavender, peppermint, and grain.”

The accompanying photo showed a woman sleeping with a limply stuffed toy rabbit draped across her eyes. For some unknown reason, the rabbit was dressed in pink-striped pajamas.

I don’t care how good it smells, a dead rabbit draped across my eyes would not be conducive to a restful slumber. Perhaps if you suffered from insomnia and were in the habit of counting sheep leaping over a fence, it might at least be conceivable that one of the sheep may catch a hoof on the top rail and fall across your eyes, but a rabbit? That is just not logical. Not to mention that it costs twenty-five bucks.

I decided I could make my own. I am not much of a seamstress, but I do have a yard where rabbits dwell. I managed to trap one, but I had a heck of a time dressing him in those tiny striped pajamas.

The bunny had to be replaced every few days. After about three nights, the stench of rabbit droppings kept me awake, which kind of defeated the purpose. Besides, the neighbors complained about the buzzards which had begun circling the house.

Perhaps I could make my own fortune by catching my own Billy Bass and teaching him to sing. The first one I caught had no sense of rhythm at all, but I found he could warble a passable rendition of “Whoops, There It Is” if I poked him with a cattle prod at just the right moment.

I am charging only 20 bucks. For another 10, I will dress him in pink-striped pajamas.

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