Posted by: chlost | November 28, 2010

Shopping in a place where dead animals look down on you does not make it any better

Generally, I hate shopping. I realize that this goes against stereotype, as everyone knows that women love to shop. When I shop, I feel as though I am being tortured. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is awful.

Yesterday, my husband dragged me along to shop. Yes, that is another statement against stereotype. He really doesn’t love to shop, but he was on a mission. He needed a pair of jeans. That is the difference between most men and most women when shopping. Men are shopping for a specific item. Most women just love to look for bargains.

I love online shopping.

We headed to a huge sporting goods store. He had seen a pair of jeans in their catalog. He wears jeans for work, and they take a beating. It is remarkable if a pair of jeans lasts just a few months. I tried to beg off, but he insisted that I accompany him. He likes to have company.

The store is huge. Acres. As big as it was, it was still crowded with Thanksgiving weekend shoppers. As big as it was, the aisles were still crowded with merchandise which made it difficult to walk without knocking something off a rack. It was nearly impossible to pass another person in those aisles.

The store carries guns. Lots and lots of guns. They carry hunting,  fishing, camping,  and all sorts of outdoor activity equipment. There are rows and rows of shoes, boots, jackets, ammunition, and men’s and women’s  outdoor clothing. 

And there are stuffed animals.

These are taxidermy specimens. Real animals stuffed for display. All around the store, on walls, on the floors, in displays with waterfalls. Designed to look rather lifelike.

The Northern U.S. display had mountain lions and wolves and badgers, on fake snowy artificial rocks.

There were people gathered all around this display, showing their children and other loved ones the animals, reading off the names of each species.

The African display had a mural of sun and sky behind lions, elephant, water buffalo, and numerous smaller animals. This display was much more like a museum display, with each animal lined up in a semi-circle. Again, the parents were excitedly pointing out the dead, stuffed animals to their children. The children seemed to lose interest as they realized that the animals were not alive.

All around the store walls were heads. Heads of stuffed elk, moose, deer, antelope, and any other animal which is stuffable. 

My husband loves this store. I hated it. He was excited to show me the African exhibit. He was a bit hurt that I did not find it as wonderful as he did. He is a hunter. I am not. He loves natural history museums. I do not.

I had to leave the store to go out to the car while he checked out at the register. I could not handle the crowd, heat, or animals any longer. It was like being in Walmart, only with real stuffed animals joining in the crowd.

Online shopping looks even better to me today.



  1. My wife was a realtor for a short period of time. She tells of showing a house for sale by an owner who was some kind of big game hunter. There were taxidermied animals in EVERY room, dozens of them, of animals he had hunted. But what she found most disturbing was a taxidermied Chimpanzee!

    On the note of shopping, I find it distasteful as well. I refer to myself as a “Commando Shopper” – I plan my objective and execute the task to get in, obtain the needed item, and get out in the least period of time and effort. The result of such tactics, however, has been that I occasionally end up with items that are the wrong size or inadequate in some way that I have overlooked. Shopping is a talent, I have concluded… one which I do not possess.

    • You’re so right. I think shoppers have a different frame of mind than I have.
      My husband has a mounted deer head that his grandfather shot. I have refused to have it hang in our home. His cousin has a whole museum animals he has killed, including a grizzly. I don’t think it included a chimp, though. Wow!

  2. I love Natural History but dislike stuffed animals. Hunting because one is hungry is OK by me, and appreciating the beauty of another species and being grateful for the food and the sacrifice is also OK, but to exhibit creatures that have lost their lives for ‘sport’ and/or to make one look powerful, makes me feel sick. What a horrible store.

    • I agree. This is a subject upon which my husband and I will never agree.

  3. I used to like to shop for shopping’s sake but now I only go at gunpoint. I’m kidding!!! That said, I really do only go if there’s something I really need or it’s Dillard’s or Kaufman’s 75% off sales. I, too, shop online a lot. eBay is the best!!!!

    And for sure I wouldn’t be caught dead in a store like you were visiting!! Not my cuppa.

    • Shoppers are bargain hunters, but I feel as though I could use my time more efficiently online.

  4. My son loves to go to a store like that because they have cool knives and machetes, but I feel totally creeped out by the poor dead animals on the walls

    • It was really creepy.

  5. Maybe I am a long lost brother of yours. I hate shopping. I hate Wal-Mart more than dental surgery. I don’t hunt. I don’t own a gun. Outdoors stores are as much fun to me as Wal-Mart. I just did alot of my shopping today…online. U must be my sister…… 🙂

    • You know, if people saw us together, from your picture, I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought we were related. Scary thought, huh?

  6. I know what store you visited. One of those opened nearby and I needed a tent… HATED the dead animals. Kept trying to walk around looking at the floor, with quick glances to be sure of direction. No matter where I looked – death. Could not wait to get out.

    • Exactlyhwy my husband can’t hang the deer head on the wall of our home…..I would feel the eyes on me all of the time.

  7. I used to never, never shop. Then I met the Geezer…..and he SHOPS. It’s so bad that we both have sweatshirts now that say, “Mr. Shoptilyoudrop” and one for the Mrs. from the youngest daughter.

    • There is always someone in the family who enjoys shopping, I guess. Thank goodness.

  8. I don’t think it’s strange at all that you don’t like to shop. My mom hates it too. In fact, she needed clothes and I recently went out and did the shopping for her. (I love to shop…maybe this means the hospital switched me at birth? I don’t know.)

    I love to shop…but I hate the sporting stores. My husband took me to one just like what you described a few weeks ago. Creepy! My sons loved it, but I was disturbed because I felt like the stuffed deers’ gaze followed me.

    • My sister used to love to shop. She did a lot of shopping for my mom. Now my mom is stuck with me, who can barely get her to the grocery store. I will not return to the sporting store. It was creepy.

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