One of my "secret" pleasures is following the highly dubious field of cryptozoology. I say "secret" because any time I mention it in any serious context, people hoot at me in derision and toss buckets of chicken blood in my face, making me feel like that poor girl in "Carrie". Cryptozoology is basically the science of hearing a twig snap in the woods after dark or having hallucinations while driving drunk, and then making up monsters to explain it.
According to top minds in the field, there are many types of crypto-thingies running around amongst us: Mothman, Lizard Man, The Bray Road Beast, Chupucabra, Thunderbird (not to be confused with the wine my wife always got wasted on in college) and my favorite, Bigfoot, a.k.a. sasquatch, yeti, skunk ape, and Russell Crowe. When I think of Bigfoot, two images come to mind. The first is the traditional, which closely resembles my late Uncle Enoch before he had his coffee and brandy in the morning; and the second, more fanciful, Abominable Snowman, who was immortalized in the beloved Rankin-Bass cartoon Christmas classic "Rudolf Saves Kwanzaa".
My favorite site to follow the comings and goings of Bigfoot is the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO). People write in from all over the United States and yes, even Canada to tell about their encounters with Bigfeet (I guess that's the plural of Bigfoot, I don't know). It's a common belief that Bigfoot holes up only in the Northwest, but not true! According to these people, they are everywhere! Phoenix, Minneapolis, the Bronx and even near my friend Sue's house at the Parker River Wildlife Preserve, where prissy conservationist's wait breathlessly every Spring for some stupid bird named the "Plover" to return and build nests on the ground so that the whole preserve is off limits to visitors even though they pay taxes to keep the damned place from turning into a landfill, and the birds walk around like they own the fucking joint until they get bored and decide to fly off somewhere else and inconvenience the local populace there.
Anyway, the people who write in are of two, very different types. One type is a rugged he-man or he-woman who has hunted, trapped, fished, camped all of his/her life and knows more than anyone else in the universe about the outdoors and would never ever mistake a squirrel or a hoot-owl for anything other than what it really was .... BIGFOOT! The other type is some poor schlub who is driving to work or some other shit place after dark and sees something run in front of his car and figures it must be Bigfoot, even though it was the size of a raccoon. These two types are easily differentiated by merely glancing at their posts. The he-man/woman types post in ALL CAPS, indicating anger, indignation and deep psychological problems. Plus, they must not have done very well in spelling while in elementary school. One thing both groups have in common is their need to explain that they were NOT drinking when they had their Bigfoot encounter. There on the site to keep everything honest and above-board, is the BFRO investigator, who personally talks to everyone who writes in and adds his comments to the end of each post, which normally consists of re-telling the same story in a slightly more coherent fashion. They also verify that, in their opinion, the poster was telling the absolute God's honest truth, and wasn't drunk at all.
As is the case with all legitimate sciences, there are skeptics. They bleat "If these things hang around in the woods, why doesn't someone shoot one once in a while, being that hundreds of hunters are accidentally killed each year in tragic mistaken identity shooting incidents." And "These things must get old and die, how come no one ever finds a Bigfoot body?" There's an obvious answer to these critic's misguided questions. Bigfeet are smart. They know enough not to wear bright orange vests and never disguise themselves as cows. They are also incredibly efficient at funeral services and burials.
Whether or not you choose to believe in the Bigfoot phenomena is of course, up to you. Just please don't hoot at me when I bring it up.
P.S. I ripped off the name of this post from that beef jerky commercial on TV. You know, the one with the aging frat-boys who punk out this Sasquatch, who then gets really pissed and chases after them? That commercial cracks me up every time.