by Con Chapman
Dorothy Parker once observed that Katherine Hepburn's emotional range ran the gamut from “A” to “B”.
The average man's mid-life crisis doesn't even get that far.
There is the Automotive (sports cars), the Athletic (late-in-life marathons and Iron Man competitions) and the Amorous (making passes at young lasses).
“Just passing through.”
To this triple-A club, allow me to add a “B”—Bigfoot, the apelike creature who walks upright like a man.
Since grainy footage of the creature first became available in the '60′s, I have dreamed of owning a Bigfoot costume. Now that it's spring, and I've begun to reflect on what I want to accomplish before I die, it is time to put on the sasquatch suit and go into the woods west of Boston deliberately, like Thoreau.
Farrah Fawcett, not Thoreau
In the '70′s, Bigfoot was romantically linked with Farrah Fawcett, spotted in an Arkansas 7-11 with Elvis, and tabbed the front-runner to be Secretary of the Interior had Gerald Ford defeated Jimmy Carter.
He has since avoided the spotlight, resurfacing only for serious scientific study such as a 2002 National Geographic article. As with J.D. Salinger, Bigfoot's mystique has been enhanced by his private nature, and his Garbo-like attitude has opened the field to imitators, like me.
J.D. Salinger: “Bigfoot? Yeah, I've seen him around.”
Those who have longed to dress as Bigfoot in the past but were deterred, like transvestites, from shopping publicly have found a haven in the internet. There are numerous high-quality Bigfoot costumes available on-line for sale or lease. Ask your accountant which is right for you.
If you're the handyman type, try the do-it-yourself models available on hunting websites. These strikingly realistic outfits can be fashioned from a few items you probably already own—camouflage, foam padding, jute and Shoe Goo.
Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area as prolonged exposure to glue fumes can cause behavior that would be considered erratic even for a creature that eats housecats.
Like the Evangelist you may ask, “What doth it profit a man to gain a Bigfoot costume, and lose his wife's faith in his sanity?” I'll tell you what it doth profit as soon as I can untie my tongue from these frigging fricatives.
Roger Patterson, the man who faked home movies of Bigfoot, made a bundle selling prints to supermarket-checkout line tabloids. Our property borders conservation land, a perfect setting for the sort of Blair Witch Project cinéma vérité-style that is de rigeur for any Bigfoot flick.
After spending an afternoon staggering around your backyard in a sasquatch costume in front of a video camera, you'll have college tuition for the kids pretty well covered. Then the little woman will think it's a good idea.
Having a Bigfoot costume can also extend the life of your pets. If coyotes are moving into your neighborhood, there is nothing like the sight of a yeti to send them packing. No cruel leg traps for your neighbors with the PETA membership to complain about.
And then there's the matter of convenience. No one likes to wait in line, but everyone wants that wake-up cup of coffee first thing in the morning, causing caffeine gridlock across the country all weekend long.
“Uh, sure—you can cut in front of me.”
If you want to clear out a Starbucks in a hurry, try showing up some Saturday morning dressed as an 8-foot tall mammal! You'll find plenty of empty seats, and maybe even a newspaper someone in a hurry left behind. Probably needed to feed his meter.
Fashion tip: Remove costume before meeting wife at Talbots.
“I love this cable knit cardigan . . . oh my god! It's Bigfoot!”
Kids love furry animals, and you can make a lot of money at birthday parties with your new outfit. The going rate for a three-hour gig is $200 and can go higher if you're willing to do a little face painting—assuming the kids will come out from behind the sofa.
That first check will seem like found money. Take your wife out for a meal at a nice restaurant—a well-timed growl from “Bigfoot” will get you the best table in the place.
Psychologists describe the mid-life transition as “middlescence”—the second coming of adolescence, without the complexion problems.
What could be more adolescent than staggering out of the house at night, hair down to your shoulders, dressed to scare people, smelling of Shoe Goo?
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Yes I Can't!”
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