Perhaps Sasquatch Misunderstands Us More So Than We Him

I’ve had a fascination with Sasquatch/Bigfoot/Skunk-Ape type creatures ever since I read a book about them in third grade. That book left me a horrified mass of slimy flesh quivering under a blanket unable to sleep. I wasn’t even able to roll over because I was convinced that Bigfoot’s big face would be right there at the window waiting for me to roll over so he could, I suppose, scare me more than he already had. I realized that night how polite Bigfoot can be. He didn’t tap on the window or howl or crash through and get me. He just waited for me to roll over, which I never did because I knew he was there but somehow, unless I actually saw him, he wasn’t dangerous. Ah, to have the mind of a nine year old again…

This incident has had me thinking, subconsciously for the most part, ever since. Recently, though, I’ve had some very conscious thoughts about the creature/legend/whatever. I think what sparked it is the Bigfoot tree ornament I bought yesterday. He’s sparkly and smiling and looks rather friendly sitting on a shelf, waiting for Christmas. It just so happened that yesterday I also watched a documentary type show that followed some people on a hunt for a living creature. I was a little disappointed in it. Most of the show followed them on the trip out to Bigfoot territory, which, although not a candidate for statehood, looked every bit as wild and wooly as did Arizona Territory in the frontier days.

Upon reaching said territory, the adventurers simply drove around, stopping at any spot deemed likely by the expert in the passenger seat, to scream at Bigfoot. My wife (who is not opposed to watching Bigfoot documentaries, which raises her lovability levels much higher than the level she has already attained simply by being a wonderful wife/person/companion), and I began a dialogue about the possibility that Bigfoot was about to come out and say hi before people started screaming at him. We discussed the possibility that Bigfoot, being a creature that, at least physically, more closely resembles man than many other creatures, might also have some sort of language. Obviously, if he exists and has a language, we don’t understand it. Unfortunately no one has yet found any sort of Yeti Rosetta Stone. All we really know is that some people have heard some sounds they assume to be Bigfoot and so they replicate these in an attempt to attract Bigfoot.

Does it not then logically follow that, assuming the sounds that have been heard were actually made by Bigfoot, we could’ve misunderstood these sounds? Are we, by replicating them, annoying or offending Bigfoot into hiding? What if the sounds that I heard replicated on T.V. last night were originally made by an unfortunate Bigfoot yelling at his tramp of a wife whom he’d just caught with an Abominable Snowman? What if they came from a Bigfoot who had just been accosted by a large bear and the screams we now use to attract the Sasquatch actually mean “If you come over here I’ll kill you?” Certainly not conducive to a visit, especially if Bigfoot is the polite and kind creature I contend that he is based upon my third grade experience.

Better yet, what if the sounds we use were simply the rantings of a grumpy Bigfoot annoyed by the trespasses of some little Bigfeet? What if, when we howl at Bigfoot in the night, we are actually uttering some horrific Ape-Man insults. Like “Get your skunk smellin’ little Bigfoot butt out of my territory?”

What if we can’t find Bigfoot because we’ve mistakenly insulted him so much that he finds us unworthy of spending his time with?

Just a thought.

Maybe it is all our fault.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…continue to search for Bigfoot if you’re so inclined. It would be nice to be able to redeem our species in his eyes.

A don’t…holler things at him if you don’t know what they mean.

Human Cheese?

I at first thought that the vague wonderment that crossed my mind a few months ago was simply a silly idea that happened to pop into my head for unknown reasons. It crossed my mind that human milk, being no more or less biological and nutritious than the liquid sustenance produced by other forms of mammalian life for their young, could be manipulated in similar ways to manufacture other products. Most specifically I pondered whether or not human milk could be used to make cheese.

Don’t judge me. I had no intentions of acting on my ruminations and was actually a little disturbed that I had ruminated about it in the first place. Still, I happened to mention it to some co-workers. I enjoy the looks on their faces when I spout off randomly about the “bizarre” things I think about. On this particular occasion the ploy backfired and a co-worker, in an attempt to bewilder me as she had been bewildered, alleged to have found online a restaurant that served cheese made from human milk. It seemed perhaps the strange thought I’d had may be more than just the wonderings of a mind bored with the mundane.

I began to look into it a little further and found a few accounts of cheese and even ice cream having been produced from human milk. I didn’t research it enough to be able to confirm that any of these were true accounts. I didn’t read any reviews on taste or texture or any such things as that. All I did was confirm that the thought didn’t originate with me. Afterwards I began to develop some serious concerns.

Let’s assume that there exists a restaurant that serves human cheese. The first concern of such an establishment is to locate a lactating woman willing to sell her milk. Such a request must be extremely meticulously worded, especially in our country’s prevalent politically correct environment. Once such a request is satisfactorily devised and successfully deployed, many more concerns come into play. Chief among these being how do you compensate someone for such an odd and certainly uncomfortable endeavor. When the issue of pay is settled, many strictly culinary concerns come into play. How many years must be devoted to discovering how the diet of the woman providing the milk affects the taste of the cheese? What wine pairs well with it? How much makes up a serving? Is it a small dab on the side of a main course or is it in itself a dish? How much time and money are you willing to spend to answer these questions?

Then we get to the human aspect of it. Many people like knowing where their food comes from. Many restaurants use locally produced meat and vegetables and this goes a long way in building trust between eating establishments and eaters concerned about the quality of food they’re served. Would this not be much more the case when their food is made from a human by-product? How is this accomplished? Would the woman providing the milk be required to include her medical records with the menu? Would she personally greet those that had ordered her dish and inquire as to whether or not they are enjoying her cheese? And what diner wouldn’t experience some discomfort when confronted with such an inquiry?

I suppose an easier way to go about it would be to get a research grant and then develop some sort of human cheese in a spray canister. All personal aspects are thereby removed from the end recipient making it more likely that a higher number of people will try the product. Milk would also be easier to come by, I assume. It seems to me a woman might be more willing to donate some milk for science than to make a career of milking herself for a restaurant.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…be adventurous when you eat…to an extent you are comfortable with.

A don’t…get a research grant. Please. It wasn’t a suggestion. It was my way of ridiculing the idea of using human milk for anything other than it’s intended purpose of nourishing babies.

Happy Birthday Honey or Why Didn’t She Kill Me and How I Almost Got Us Killed; A Story in Seven Parts

Part 7

An Ending And Almost Many Endings

Finally!

I’m as ready for this recounting to be over as anyone who has been following the story. Let me tell you the story of how I almost died. And almost killed my wife. And our car. And possibly a few other people. And then drove well under the limit for about twenty miles so that any witnesses would pass me and put many miles between us.

We vacated our hotel room and found the outside ambience to be quite pleasant and we took comfort in that. We were hobbits (by this I mean we were “off home”) and if we had to go back home, me to my horrible job and her to having to live with me after coming home from my horrible job, at least we could drive home under partially cloudy skies with a beautiful breeze and no rainy looking stuff on the horizon.

We encountered something much worse than weather. Our gps. Apparently it had no idea there was construction going on and every time we turned off to follow the detours it would become huffy and demand that we turn left through those orange and white barrier things they set up to prevent you turning left. Then it would recalculate and order us to U-turn or perform some other illegal traffic maneuver. If you’ve ever used a gps you’ll likely understand. It just goes to reinforce my opinion that we’ve become too dependent upon technology, but I won’t preach about that.

When we finally got out onto a highway we remembered we just shut the thing off and drove. It was a repeat of the trip out with the radio and talking and pointing out things we’d missed on the initial trip. We stopped again in the town in which we’d encountered the country roughers from the first trip post. There was an intriguing sign we’d seen for a place called Hidden Hollow and we had determined to stop on the way back. So we did. And it was all we expected. A hollow not visible from the roadway, hence the name, with a gazebo and a statue carved from a standing tree stump and winding paths that led around these things and back into a wooded area that ended in a small pool that disappeared, or perhaps exuded from, underneath a large outcropping of rock. There were several fry visible in the water and a blue dragonfly seemed to be leading us to the end of the path. It would fly ahead of us, alight upon a branch and then take off again as we got closer. Just a bit of nature that happened to coincide with our approach, surely, but in the serene surroundings it felt like a bit more than it was. The photo attached is one my wife took and I’ve long held the belief that she should sell postcards. If you agree please let me know. I know this is a lot to ask, you not knowing of more than a single piece of her work, but if you at least like this one it’ll make her day to know about it.

We stayed for fifteen minutes or so, just long enough to break up any blood clots that may have been forming during our long sit in the car, then got back in the car and were once again hobbits. The gps tried to put us on a toll road and in the midst of our trying to avoid that we somehow missed a turn and ended up taking a very very back way home. At one point we were at a stop sign and the gps said slight left onto whatever road we needed to be on. I didn’t see that the slight left was across the highway. I also didn’t see the “DO NOT ENTER” and “ONE WAY” signs. The things were fifty feet down the highway! Not right at the intersection! I didn’t see the other roadway across from it! I turned the wrong way down a one way only 65 mph highway! And didn’t notice it until my wife began screaming and pounding the dashboard. I suddenly saw the signs, which by then were quite visible, and pulled off into the median. I considered just driving through it, but that’s illegal, so I just waited out the traffic and did a U-turn and performed the actions described in the first paragraph. I was paranoid the rest of the way home that the Highway Patrol was tracking me from town to town. I perspired from my arm pits the rest of the trip and again almost killed my wife with the foul odor of stress sweat.

Thankfully we made it home, alive and well-ish and our dogs were quite happy and so far we’ve lived happily ever after.

I bid you Adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…let me know if you like my wife’s picture.

A don’t…tell the Highway Patrol that it was me.

Happy Birthday Honey or Why Didn’t She Kill Me and How I Almost Got Us Killed; A Story in Seven Parts

Part 5

The One Activity

If you’ve read the last few posts under this title, you’ll know that I recently took my wife on a birthday weekend away. You’ll also know that I planned, and antagonized my wife about, a secret activity. The One Activity. The reason I chose Wichita KS in the first place.

Now let’s get on with wondering why my wife didn’t kill me. If you’ve been following the story, prepare for fulfillment! After we left the haberdashery type establishment we decided that since upon the morrow we’d be off home, we should go ahead and participate in The One Activity. Initially I planned to complete it after dark, but we knew that darkness had recently been falling rather late. Also, if we’d sat in our hotel room to wait out the daylight we would have ended up engaged in some basic cable syndicated drollery and our joints would’ve been to weary to engage on any sort of trek by the time the sun had finally descended below the horizon. So I surreptitiously googled our destination and we made our way through the alien urban terrain. A few moments later we were sitting in a deserted parking lot and I was assuring her that there was nothing to be afraid of. It didn’t take long to build up our courage. I think we both realized that we wanted to be in our room lost in some basic cable syndicated drollery and the sooner we got out of the car, the sooner that would happen.

As we neared the edge of the parking lot we found that two paths diverged before us. An upper path cut along the edge of a steep embankment. To the left, a concrete staircase descended down to the waterfront of some river whose name I never bothered to learn. Being idiots, we chose the lower path. We passed a few joggers and some folks glued to their cell phones. It felt as though we had walked quite a while and I was too wrapped up in worrying that we had overlooked our destination or that it simply didn’t exist when suddenly we rounded a slight curve. The sidewalk forked off to the right into a bit of a non-aquatic bay at the back of which I saw a metal grate set into the embankment that stood well above my head. Suspecting this to be the place, I advanced to the grate and looked inside. Sure enough, a bit of what we sought was visible with a properly craned neck. I clapped my hands in excitement and then presented the idea that we traverse the steep hillock to get a top-down view. My wife looked more perturbed than enthused, but we climbed up anyway and looked down upon the thing we had come to see.

I’ll digress for a moment to state that marriage is a scary thing. Even if you know someone very well, pledging the remainder of your days to them is always a gamble and you can never be sure that your spouse is the right one for you or vice versa. I’ll say this in closing. When your wife finds out that you’ve dragged her three and one half hours (an approximation dependent upon traffic and road work) away from home with the sole intent of showing her a goblin in a sewer grate as a special birthday activity and she doesn’t throw your decapitated body into the sewer with the thing, you’ve likely found the right person to share your life with.

I bid you Adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…make time in your life for the bizarre.

A don’t…let me forget to inform you that after dark, green lights illuminate the sculpture and emanate from the grate in a fashion that I cannot describe since I haven’t seen it in the darkness.

Happy Birthday Honey or Why Didn’t She Kill Me and How I Almost Got Us Killed; A Story in Seven Parts

Part 4

Well, That Was Fun and Unexpected

If you haven’t read the first three posts in this storyline, allow me to briefly recap. I planned a birthday trip for my wife to Wichita KS. There was a secret activity, just for her (but kinda for me too) that I saved for the end and kept her in a state of anxiety about, purposely. Now you might begin to understand why part of the title is Why Didn’t She Kill Me? The posts I’ve done so far, including this one, have been a chronicle of our adventures leading up to the moment she decided to let me live.

After our eventful trip to the zoo we headed back to the hotel for a bit of relaxing and to refrigerate the leftover Cajun food we had for lunch. Two quick facts here. 1: There shouldn’t have been leftovers. The food was amazing! 2: There will be a post dedicated just to the food we ate. We are foodies and ate at several non-chain and/or localized chain places. Every one was amazing. Now, after preserving our food and relaxing for a few minutes we wonked out (see part one for a definition of wonking. It’s a driving term.) And headed to the beautiful and historic downtown area in the midst of which rose the Museum of World Treasures. Three floors of amazing artifacts. They had roman coins and mummies! Fossils and skeletons! Geodes and crystals and books and Hollywood paraphernalia! They had a balcony where you could dress as a monarch and be photographed between two suits of armor! There were displays for several major recent wars, including a walkthrough replica of a WWII trench.  They had a gift shop, of course, and although we didn’t buy anything we were quite tempted by several items. My wife would probably like for me to touch on the parking fiasco. She loves to remind me that I tried to drive into a foot-traffic-only plaza in search of a parking space. In my defense I was a wide open space, paved in brick as is the roadway in that part of town, and there was no signage indicating that vehicles were prohibited. In light of these facts I don’t feel obliged to mention the incident at all.

After traversing the winding halls of the museum we crossed the street to a place we had noticed on the drive over. It was a small haberdashery sort of a place that was strewn about with all manner of delightful knick-knacks and scrapbooking detritus called Mrs. O’Leary’s something or other. I regret that I can’t remember the entire name of the place because of its charming ambience and friendly proprietors. We purchased a small pleasantry for our dog sitter and, as we were paying, became acquainted with Dan. Dan looked like a Labrador, at least in part. He might have been a mix. He was black but graying and when I first tried to pet him he ran from me. As we were preparing to leave, and his owner nearly successfully gave him to us, Dan sauntered over to me and wrapped his neck around my leg. He didn’t have a freakish neck or anything like that. He just sidled up to my legs in the front and then bent his neck so that his head was on the outside of my thigh. I petted him for a moment and then had to pry myself away from him so that we could leave. It was the first dog-hug I’ve ever received and I enjoyed it greatly.

I bid you Adieu…and A don’t.

Adieu…stay tuned for the next post in which the secret activity, the one that didn’t get me killed, will be revealed.

A don’t…ever turn down a dog hug.

Happy Birthday Honey or Why Didn’t She Kill Me and How I Almost Killed Us: A Story in Seven Parts

Part 1

Leave-takings and highway-side humor

It can be a dangerous thing to drive on the freeways. I don’t mean dangerous in the mortal sense. In that sense it can be dangerous to do just about anything. I refer to the danger of missing out on random experiences and chance encounters.

Allow me to back up before I begin. I recently planned a birthday trip for my wife, the caveats being it would be a place neither of us had been before, one activity would remain a secret and we would never, ever drive on a freeway.

I’m rather happy we took the poet’s advice, however, our paths diverged between corn fields and cattle ranches rather than forking in the woods.

Our drive began peacefully. There was singing along with the radio and idle conversation. We pointed out houses we liked or buildings that looked haunted. We slowed to a crawl as the highway ran through the main streets of small towns and sped back up again as single pump stations and one floor town halls receded in the rearview mirror. This became a cycle; nearly hypnotic. It was the third town we slowed down for that broke our trance and caused us to nearly laugh ourselves off the road. We passed a cinder block building fronting the road. It was painted white and, although I noticed no professional signage, it appeared to be a garage of some kind. Nothing funny about that, but as we drove by we saw, spray painted on the pillar between the roll up doors, the words “no public restroom” and under that “no peepee”. We laughed until we cried; a possible mortal danger to be encountered on any driving surface, I suppose. My wife found it funny for her own reasons, I didn’t ask because we were laughing together and that is all that mattered to me. I laughed because I wondered what on Earth could’ve happened to cause someone to hastily spray paint a “no peepee” warning on his place of business? Why not make a presentable, polite sign of some sort? And what sort of person patronizes a place that has this commandment hastily spray painted upon its façade? I surmise it cannot have been a single occurrence. If someone once urinates upon your building would you not simply run the offender off and grab some bleach? It certainly wouldn’t occur to me that this might become such a problem that I’d need a quick warning to curb further offenses. I say he must’ve often stepped out for a breath of fresh air to find some transient making use of his front door’s lack of facilities.

Shortly after this we stopped for gas and, after watching some folks fuel up their farm truck, I dubbed them country roughers. I did this not to poke fun at them. Farmers are respectable folk and much needed for our infrastructure to maintain itself. Farming is dirty work, though, and they looked as if they’d been doing much of it so, since the opposite of city is country, and we were out in the country, and since the opposite of slick is rough and therefore the opposite of slicker, rougher I called them country roughers. I think the statement I made to my wife was something along the lines of  “We just fueled up the van next to a couple of country roughers.” We had another good laugh and as it was dying to breathless fits of ab-burning giggles I submitted to her that I considered she and I to be a couple of suburban semi-smoothers. We hadn’t the ab strength left to laugh again. Maybe it just wasn’t funny.

We saw some windmills and other such. Old barns and horses and before we really realized it we were pulling in to the construction riddled limits of the city we’d come to visit.  They have a frontage road the likes of which I’ve never encountered before. The gps said to make a sharp left onto Kellogg road. There were two left turn lanes and I suppose I should’ve understood the physics involved in the assumption that the inside lane would’ve equaled a sharper left turn. In my defense, I’m not a physicist and my brain was coming down from several laughter induced endorphin dumps and so we had to turn into a gas station and then make a not-so-sharp right turn to get to our hotel. We realized then that the frontage road had, as my wife called them, “wonky” built-in U-turns so that the traffic lights could be avoided. On our many ventures from our room into the city she would advise me when to “wonk” left.

And of course, our room wasn’t ready quite yet. So we wonked out and ended up in Cowtown.

This completes part one.

I bid you Adieu…and A don’t

Adieu…take the slower route when you can. Maybe it won’t always be worth it, but when it is the memories you make can be priceless.

A don’t…stop to urinate upon the holdings of some poor entrepreneur. It’s not only rude, but in many municipalities, also illegal.

Fact, Fiction or Inconsequentially Entertaining; An Adventurous Rumination.

I’m going to make a statement that will result in my being judged. I’ve a bit of trepidation, but here goes; I watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with my wife the other night and, as is the case every time I watch it, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’ll pause for a moment as you judge me.

 

 

Ok. Done? Good.  Now let me explain why being judged for something as simple as enjoying a movie is ridiculous. I’ll begin by paraphrasing some of the judgements I’ve heard regarding the aforementioned motion picture.

  1. It was stupid. My response: that is simply a matter of opinion.
  2. Mr. Jones couldn’t possibly survive a nuclear blast in a lead-lined refrigerator much less the flight and end-over-end tumble into the desert of said fridge as a result of the shockwave of the previously indicated nuclear blast. My response: Probably not. However, I have seen deer in the upper branches of trees as a result of floods. I have seen my five year old survive his ridiculous stunts that should have left him horribly maimed or worse. (Please understand, he doesn’t undertake these as a result of my inattentive parenting. He is very fast and very slippery and extremely creative in the stunts he devises at a moment’s notice.  He’s off and running in an instant, but he doesn’t run toward, say, the teeter totter or some other thing that would reasonably attract a child. He runs toward the river on the other side of the playground and jumps, fully clothed, in. If anyone wants to believe the unbelievable they need look no further than the fact that I have known my son for five years and despite this I still have a full head of not gray hair and I haven’t had a heart attack yet.  Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.) If it was a tight enough fit, as it appeared to be, that he could brace his body in such a way as to not jostle too much within the fridge or bang his head it is certainly plausible that someone could survive that. And despite these facts, it is still a fun and exciting thing to watch.
  3. You can’t use a snake as a rope.  The snake would probably tear in half or bite him since he was trying to grab the head end. Not to mention, it’s very cruel to misuse a snake in such a way.  My response: True on all counts.  However, animals often sacrifice themselves for the survival of man, albeit, rarely voluntarily.  I would also point out that they didn’t use a real snake and an experienced adventurer the likes of Indiana Jones surely knows more practical ways of extracting himself from quick sand.  The snake and quick sand scene was nothing more than a humorous way of tending to a running theme in the franchise, that of Indy’s fear of snakes.  I point out myself that simply calling a snake a rope when one is already aware it is a snake is likely not psychologically sufficient to convince oneself to grab hold.  Once again, it was just for fun.

I’ve finished my rant.  It is fun to point out the inaccuracies in movies.  I do it myself.  But to become nearly militant over such things is ludicrous.  Movies are made to entertain.  If they don’t entertain you, don’t watch them.  If they do, watch fearlessly.  I stand beside Hollywood inaccuracies.  In most cases, they aren’t as strange as fact anyway and can be quite fun to observe and consider.

I bid you Adieu…and A don’t.

Adieu…consider the ways my nerd rant may apply to other aspects of life.  Live and let live as long as no one is being hurt.

A don’t…watch Indiana Jones in any of his adventures if you want a movie that strictly adheres to the laws of physics. They’re just for fun.