i worked a house party while i was home in december. always a window into lives of the hosts and guests. in typical fashion i arrived knowing nothing about what to expect. it wasn’t a place i’d been before and i hope to never go back. walking into the kitchen you could see animal heads mounted to the wall going up the back staircase. nothing totally out of the ordinary. a deer, a gazelle, relatively small game. game is what their called, right? and i’m cool with that. some people like to hunt. my brother killed a deer when i was 6 and we ate it.
but once you make it up the stairs it’s like you’re at the 1% version of the natural history museum. after making my way past all the heads there were skulls, a whole cheetah, birds, a moose. alright. eccentric.
“keep going,” they told me, those who had been there before and asked not to go back.
a zebra skin on the floor and then a lioness skin with the head still attached. i kept going, turned to my right, and there it was. a coffee table with elephant legs. horrification.
and it didn’t end there. there was a whole lion, mane and all as if it were caught in mid-stride. in the same room a whole brown bear! they’re the size of a fiat 500. more moose heads. and wildlife with horns.
in the kitchen were multiple photos of the host with dead rhinos. ones he’d killed lining the bay window seat next to the kitchen table. did i mention he’s a psychiatrist? in the study (there were more dead animals than books in the house) another giant moose and a moose skull with antlers. the details on the antlers were amazing and very up close. there were dead animals all over the house [mansion]. the photographer who shoots at their party every year calls it the house of death. and it really is. and totally over the top. excess prominently showcased with animals from 3 continents. his taxidermist loves him, that’s for sure. the only animals i didn’t see represented were the giraffe and polar bear. that would have been extra horrifying.
the best part was the hostess wearing a leopard print blouse.