chainsaw_headerIt’s winter, so it’s cold. When it’s cold in the winter, it can snow…and it did. The predicted “light dusting” turned into flurries and then into a full blown blizzard that slammed the countryside. OK maybe not, but if you took all the snow that fell, made a giant snowball with it and dropped it from really, really high it would definitely make a slamming noise.

Frozen precipitation precipitated, the roads froze, schools closed, work was called off and nobody was going nowhere, much to the delight of my 6 year-old grand-saw. Sledding, snow angels and snowball fights ruled the early hours of the day. Tragically there were no shouts of joy or sounds of frozen fun from any of the child inhabitants around us. Kids today are too wrapped up in alternate realities to enjoy actual reality.

Around noon the wife informs me that the driveway is not going to shovel itself…I beg to differ. On numerous occasions I’ve gotten inanimate objects to animate. The next 10 minutes are spent trying to persuade the drive to just “Shake it off!” Obviously not a big Taylor Swift fan, it refuses and thus I shovel. John Q. my stuffed yellow bear sidekick comes out to “help.” He means well, but has the attention span of a 3 year old. So he wanders off to see “snow stuff” and seconds later is squealing at full volume.

Racing around the house, there he stands inside a huge footprint. “Wook,” he says excitedly, “Big-feets!” Patiently I correct him that it is Big- “foot” not feets. Impatiently he informs me there is a left and right footprint and two foots make feets. I start to point out his grammatical error, then begin pondering on what exactly the plural for Bigfoot would be? Bigfoots? Sasquatches? Is it like deer? Look a Bigfoot! Look at all the Bigfoot… Big-feet? Well, it’s irrelevant now because John’s raced off to investigate… I follow.

CRYPTIDAs we follow the tracks into the woods, John is very excited to see a “Harry of the Henderson’s.” I tell him I’m not sure if they’re Bigfoot tracks, but they’re definitely some type of cryptid. He stops cold. “A cwiptid? ((shudders)) Is that a monster that will cwipple us?” No, a cryptid is any creature that may or may not exist, whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated. He ponders, “Oh, so it’s pwetend?” Well that’s one way to look at it… “Well,” he interrupts defiantly, “how did it pwetend to do these feets in the snow? Was the pwetend crippltid pwetending to weave twacks?” (Suddenly I feel one of those headaches coming on). No John, the tracks are real and whatever made them isn’t pretend…we just don’t know what it is…we press on.

Trekking through the snow, I try to explain cryptozoology to John. Cryptozoologists try to prove the existence of entities from the folklore record, such as Bigfoot or chupacabras, as well as animals otherwise considered extinct, such as non-avian dinosaurs. But because it consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be scientific and factual, in the absence of evidence gathered and constrained by appropriate scientific methods, cryptozoology is considered a pseudoscience by the academic world: it is neither an accepted branch of zoology nor folkloristics. He responds with, “I like zoos…even if they awe filled with cwipple pwetend animals!” What??? That’s what you got out of all that? I don’t know why I bother! You weren’t even… and there it was.

Less than 10 feet in front of us stood a behemoth of a creature. It stood on two legs like a man and was covered from head to toe in thick, coarse white fur. As it turned to face us its mouth opened on a razor-toothed snarl. John Q was wide-eyed and blurted out, “Howlie cwap it’s the ABDOMINAL SNOWMAN!!!” John, I think you mean the “abominable” snowman. “Uh-uh,” he fires back, “he’s abdominal! Just wook at his chiswled tummy muscles!” I’m not sure what was more impressive, John’s ability to use and pronounce the word abdominal correctly or the creature’s well defined abs.

Suddenly the creature lunged forward. Quickly I brought up the snow shovel (which I had carried along for some unknown reason) to get it between the beast and John. With a bite and a twist, the crazed cryptid shredded the aluminum and spat it aside with a snarl. Yeah we are so screwed! The monster swung a massive arm and clubbed yours truly into a nearby tree. “Mr. Chainsaw man? Awe you OK?” John inquired, concerned. Slowly the creature advanced, I started to black-out and that’s when John Q. got a serious look on his face, “Don’t worwie… I’ve got this!” Did you just growl John? And… everything… went… dark.

When the darkness abated I found myself in bed, the concerned faces of wife and child showed much relief. They said John had come and got them when I slipped and hit my head in the driveway. Driveway? How had I gotten back to the driveway? Getting up, I went to find John and asked WTF had happened. He looked up at me with a smile. “Nothing happened, it was all pwetend just wike you said.” But John… what about the footprints… the creature? His smile turned a bit sinister and I asked him nothing more when he told me not to worry, they had “settled” things… one cryptid to another.

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