It was a wise Rolling Stone who once said something about not always getting what you want, but getting what you need. The line between want and need is often so blurred that it’s difficult to separate the two, but today it was crystal clear.

It was a beautiful day – one of those perfect sunny, almost 70 degree Saturdays after a week that dropped down in the 30’s. My neighborhood was packed with people desperate to blow the stink off of them after so many months inside. I wandered through bookstores, coffee shops and antique dealers until I finally made my way into the thrift store down the street.

I was just about to leave the store empty-handed when out of the corner of my eye, I caught a flash of something… spectacular. I took a photo and texted my friend Natasha.

“FYI – I’m buying this!”

An immediate response: “Oh no you’re not! You put that down right now!”

“Too late. I just did.”

Let me introduce you to Maude:


Maude is my new green-eyed, cross-dressing rooster marionette. Someone lovingly made Maude out of a cardboard tube for a body, papier mâché head and hands, and rolled up newspapers covered in terrycloth for legs. And then they dressed him in a floral muumuu. How could someone give away such a treasure?

There was a split second where I actually set Maude back on the shelf, worrying that with two cats and my ever-growing collection of vintage Girl Scout memorabilia, I was only a few suitcases full of old National Geographics away from being featured on the next episode of Hoarders. But then I came to my senses and proudly carried Maude up to the cashier.

“Well that’s something you can’t live without,” said the tattooed cashier as he flashed me a smile.

“EXACTLY! It’s like I’ve been waiting my entire life to find a papier mâché cross-dressing rooster marionette, and now I can die happy.”

“Enjoy your chicken!”

So far, Miso is getting along well with Maude. I suspect these boys will become fast friends.



Jasmine, on the other hand, seems indifferent. Maybe she’s jealous of the muumuu, maybe it’s the scent of basement, I can’t be certain. But she’ll come around eventually, because she needs Maude just as much as the rest of us do.

15 Responses to “Maude”

  1. claire Says:

    I feel Maude’s purchase makes you prepared for something. I’m not sure what, but something.

    The real question is does Sometimes Rabbit get along with Maude?

  2. jenny Says:

    claire: maude makes me feel like i can accomplish anything. that’s what’s so great about him. and i haven’t introduced Sometimes Rabbit to him yet, but i just know they were meant for each other.

  3. Don Says:

    People like you are why I cannot throw anything away, and why some shops will buy anything. Maude would give me bad dreams, though I know he wouldn’t mean to.

  4. Seamus Says:

    Awesome. That’ll show Natasha. I like that you named him after Flander’s’s’s wife.

  5. Carrington Vanston Says:

    2 cute cats and 1 cross-dressing chicken do not a hoarder make. (Heck, I just helped a pal pile up 1,000 books in her living room and even that wouldn’t quite make the hoarder roll call.)

    Now, if you ever hit the 5+ cat mark or have enough cross dressing chickens to stage a decent “Oklahoma!” revival, the rest of us might start considering an intervention.

  6. jenny Says:

    don: what are you talking about? people like me are exactly *WHY* you should throw things away – so that we can find your abandoned treasures!

    seamus: maybe he’s named after bea arthur. maybe he reminded me of ruth gordon. maybe he had the pious air of a flanders. that’s the beauty of maude – he’s whoever you want him to be.

    carrington: i need to restring maude asap so we can start working on our rendition of “surrey with the fringe on top!”

  7. MOM Says:

    Oh, come on. Give that back to David Lynch so that he can go thru with his plans for “Eraserhead II.”

  8. eccentric recluse Says:

    I’m surprised that Maude was not heavily promoted on ebay…

  9. shari Says:

    Keep an eye on Jasmine — you know cats, and I fear that those mesmerizing blue eyes of hers spell nothing but trouble where Maude is concerned. I mean, he IS a chicken afterall…

  10. churlita Says:

    Maude is only slightly less frightening than the giant rabbit head.

  11. Sarah Says:

    That is probably the most fantastic thing I’ve seen.

  12. Cheryl Says:

    Now that Miso and Maude are buddies, I hope they share clothes.

  13. jenny Says:

    MOM: “in heaven, everything is fine. in heaven…”

    eccentric recluse: i wouldn’t want to be responsible for the violent bidding war Maude would create.

    shari: jasmine has never shown much interest in chicken, but you’re probably right – i should separate them when i leave for work.

    churlita: can you imagine a photo shoot with Sometimes Rabbit dancing with Maude? i can. in fact, it was exactly that image that made me buy him….

    sarah: thanks! trust me – he’s even more fantastic in person.

    cheryl: actually, since miso has packed on the weight over the years, a new muumuu might be just the thing for him!

  14. asha Says:

    Wow! Maude. I love this guy. If Jasmine ends up giving him the claws down, he could always join the troupe at the Invisible Theatre. Initially, few feathers might get ruffled, actors can be a little temperamental at times, but they’d get over it. They always do.

  15. teahouseblossom Says:

    This is awesome!! Chicken doll in a muu muu; what could be more charming?

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