Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Why, I Otter…

Bobert Herbert Walker Weir was born on October 14, 1947, and now he is a river otter. Bobby has been many things to many people–band mate, friend, husband, father, quarterback for the Tamalpais Chiefs–and continues to evolve on a personal and musical level. In West Germany in 1972, he was a spy for a few days. (It turns out the head spook for the CIA looks exactly like Bobby, and they switched briefcases accidentally, and all sorts of hijinks ensued.) But now, as I said, he is a river otter.

An extinct river otter, anyhow: a paleontologist named Kari Prassack identified a new species of otter; it lived in North America about 3.5 million years ago, and was smaller than today’s otters. When you find something, you get to name it, and as Kari is a Deadhead, she christened the discovery Lontra weiri in honor of Bobby.(There are species named after all kinds of famous people–Zappa has a bunch of stuff named after him–but only one Dead-related critter: Dicrotendipes thanatogratus. “Thanatogratus” is Dog Greek for Grateful Dead, and it describes a particular kind of midge, a non-biting one that looks like this:

grateful dead fly

So, I guess we all learned something today.)

We should have seen this coming: the clues have always been there!

  • Like an otter, Bobby enjoys shellfish.
  • Spends a good deal of the day primping and grooming his fur to maintain buoyancy and warmth.
  • Occasionally holds hands with his wife, Natasha Monster, while he sleeps. (This is not to prevent floating away, but out of love, and yet I am still going to count it.)
  • Like otters, Bobby was once almost hunted to extinction for his pelt, but has since rebounded due to strong protections and responsible stewardship.

There is also this:

otter bobby

Bobby is a river otter.


  1. Pretty sure that last one is a sea otter. Way more friendly than those squirrelly river otters. Source: live near Monterey.

  2. Bobby was born Oct 16 sir.

    • Thoughts On The Dead

      June 3, 2016 at 12:02 am

      That’s what they want you to think.

    • He had his birthday changed on his birth certificate years ago, after having a dream that he’d one day play with Josh Meyers. Since JM’s bday is ALSO 10/16, he thought it would appear much more serendipitous if they shared a bday, and thus easier for heads to accept. Heads love serendipitous bullshit.

  3. Young Bobby for sure looks like a RIVER OTTER! they are sleek, beautiful and shy.

    Old Bobby=Sea otter= bigger, fluffier, cantankerous and shellfish eating hedonists!

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