A couple of amateur Manchester taxidermists have gained serious notoriety this week after a post advertising their headless squirrel stationery holders went viral on social media.
The business, which is apparently run by a pair of sisters local to the Heaton Park area, decided to advertise on a Facebook page called The Mancunian Daily as a way to drum up some more interest in their morbid creations.
Little did they know just quite how much attention they would get.
The original Facebook post has now been viewed over five million times and has amassed over 42,000 comments on The Mancunian Daily page alone.
Short and succinct, it reads: “Hi my name is Karen, I upcycle dead squirrels I find in Heaton Park. Perfect holder’s for pens, cutlery etc.
“My husband uses the heads for golf so nothing gets wasted. £10 each or 2 for £35. Tia xx”
Shocking and horrifying some, whilst genuinely intriguing others, the post’s accompanying images show decapitated, hollowed-out squirrels with crossed arms and, in some cases, pink painted nails and rhinestone collars.
It has since been viewed by millions around the globe after being shared widely across Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, and has attracted some very interesting comments, to say the least.
Many have speculated whether ‘Karen’ is real – and even more wondered aloud about the dead squirrels, how exactly she was finding them and what her husband does with the heads to ensure ‘nothing gets wasted’.
One person asked: “She seems to come across a lot of dead squirrels!!!! I only see beautiful live ones thank goodness! Upcycle??? Don’t be falling asleep in the bloody park!!”
Another said: “God im sure people will be going nuts for these, Like somthing out of a f**king horror movie, i mean you’ve even painted the one with the collars f**king nails pink”
The person who claims to be the creator of the rodent accessories wishes to remain anonymous, but came forward to The Manc to address the negativity she’s received.
She told us that the taxidermy business is actually run by her and her sister and that although she was upset by some of the comments they now have ‘enough bookings to last a lifetime’.
She says they’ve received hundreds of orders through The Mancunian Daily page.
She told The Manc that she first began experimenting with the practice a few years ago – initially operating on dead birds her cats would bring into the house.
Then, having stumbled across a lot of dead squirrels on walks in the park with her dog, she decided to branch out and ‘upcycle’ them, rather than leaving them behind for the foxes.
She said: “I only do arts and crafts as a side line job. My dog gets walked every day round Heaton Park and we have found a lot of already dead squirrels nearly daily as we walk through bushes and not foot paths.
“I started taxidermy a few years ago on dead birds my cats bring in my house. I decided to do something with the dead squirrels as it would be inhumane to leave them there to get picked up by the foxes.”
As for what her husband does with the heads? She clarified, “No I don’t stuff them. He takes them into the shed where he keeps his golf stuff and discards of them on the gollys I think but I have seen him chipping in the garden but I don’t know what he is hitting.”
Screenshots shared with The Manc show one customer, based in Germany, asking for four squirrel pots via International shipment – adding “it would be awesome if I could get 4 fat ones so Beer cans fit in.”
Another potential buyer has messaged to ask, “have you got any squirrells left without all the sparkles please ta.”
Of course, not everyone is so keen on the idea of using a dead squirrel as cutlery or stationery pot – and the Facebook page, which is managing orders on the pair’s behalf, has also received a lot of negative engagement too.
Suffice to say, there’s been a lot of interest in the squirrel pots – both negative and positive.
Commenting on the post, the Mancunian Daily admin told us, “We are shocked that the post has got over 5 and a half million views and still going, but we are very grateful for all the new followers to our page.
“Although some of the comments have been nasty we like to promote a positive page as we continue to grow.”
If anyone wants to order a squirrel holder, they can do so by messaging The Mancunian Dailyhere.
Rashford explains heartbreaking reason behind his celebration after wonder free-kick against Wales
On Tuesday night, Marcus Rashford lit up what had previously been an underwhelming final group game against Wales with what we can only describe as an absolute stunner of a free-kick.
Swapping out his usual knuckleball technique for a whipped but equally fast-paced finish into the top right corner, the 25-year-old wheeled away to celebrate with the travelling fans but not long after, he dropped to his news and pointed to the sky.
While not an entirely uncommon celebration in the world of football, it did seem like a somewhat muted reaction from the Man United forward, especially after such an incredible opening goal.
Speaking to media after the game, it turns out Rashford‘s celebration was dedicated to a close friend who passed away a couple of days prior.
As the Wythenshawe-born star went on to explain, choosing to point to the sky for the celebration was his way of paying tribute to a friend who sadly died following a long battle with cancer.
The joint-leading goalscorer this World Cup went on to say, “I’m pleased I managed to score for him, he’s always been a big supporter of mine. He’s just a great person to have come into my life”. Heartbreaking.
As confirmed by several outlets after the press conference, Rashford’s late friend was Garfield Hayward, a 35-year-old also from Manchester, who is said to have passed away last week.
Nicknamed ‘Garf’, his nephew wrote on social media: “My heart is hurting so much knowing I won’t see you again in this life… it won’t be the same without you being here… You didn’t have a bad bone in your body you would give anything and everything you could with even a single bit of hesitation.” So touching.
It was no wonder Rashford himself was so quick to go and celebrate with his loved ones after the fact.
Rashford made it three goals in as many games at Qatar 2022 following his wonderful free-kick and equally well-worked second goal, with fellow Manc Phil Foden scoring the second goal only seconds after the opener.
England now face Senegal in the Round of 16 and the way these two lads looked on the night, we expect Manchester to be putting on a show come the weekend.
TV doctor Ranj Singh calls out racist joke made at British Curry Awards ceremony
This week, the British Curry Awards held a glitzy black-tie ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the UK’s curry industry.
The prestigious ceremony, also informally known as the ‘Curry Oscars’, takes place every year – seeing a number of awards handed out to the best Asian restaurants across the country.
However, this year’s event was sullied when a white guest presenter made a racist joke on stage, asking: “Why has India never won the World Cup? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it.”
Taking to Twitter after the event last night, TV Doctor and personality Ranj Singh blasted the presenter who made the joke, asking his 174,000 followers “I’m sorry but how is this OK?”
The TV Doctor then went on to release a statement, in which he first said he was “honoured and privileged to be invited as a guest” to the ceremony before continuing to outline why he was ” not the only person that felt uncomfortable tonight.”
Singh asked how the awards ceremony could truly be representing the Asian community fairly when “the host is white, the judging panel is entirely white, the performers on stage are over 90% white”, a racist joke is made on stage, and organisers were “auctioning off a piece by Winston Churchill”, whose relationship with Indian (and Bengali people specifically) is known to have been problematic.
The tweet, shared by Singh on the social media platform last night, has been liked over 1,000 times and retweeted more than 300 at the time of writing.
He then signed off for the evening, writing: “The number of people trying to justify an inappropriate and racist joke on here is saddening. But then again this is Twitter.”
Others have since taken to the platform to agree with Singh, with used David B tweeting: “I couldn’t summarise this better myself.
“The organisers did not consider that #RepresentationMatters – it felt uncomfortable to see so many white people to present, host and judge the awards when there are so many others that could have EASILY represented the community.”
Every year the awards ceremony welcomes a number of high-profile figures, including prominent personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs and curry restaurant owners and their staff from across the country.
In previous years, attendees have included cricketer Azeem Rafiq, Love Island contestant Priya Gopaldas, and The Apprentice winner Sian Gabbidon.
Following the awards ceremony, organisers have said that an investigation is now under way.