“Smallfoot” Was My Bigfoot Legend

joe smallfoot tshirt

 

It’s interesting that there’s a movie named “Smallfoot” in theaters.

It looks like that I missed a chance to capitalize on the name “Smallfoot” and the marketing revenue that would have accompanied it.

For years, I’ve told stories about the ‘real’ Bigfoot: Smallfoot. The main story I’ve told: that Bigfoot is real, except that he’s exceptionally tiny and evades detection through his diminutive status. Everyone’s running around in the dark, desperately seeking a large creature when, in fact, Bigfoot is a tiny animal hiding in plain sight.

About 5 years ago, I created a Facebook page for the “Smallfoot” community. I filled it with the legends and sightings of a really small Bigfoot.

I even created a website (which I never took live) and made t-shirts. I had a REALLY large size t-shirt made for my co-worker Joe Buss. I made fake publicity stills and even wrote studios such as A&E to generate either buzz or confusion in their minds. For a while, I had a lot of fun with it.

I let it go and never went live with the website. Joe still has his t-shirt, though.

There’s no point to this post other than to say that I misjudged how much I could have taken advantage of my really dumb idea. Whether the studio saw my original nonsense or came up with it independently, I was first. Some of my friends and social media friends probably recall my flirtation with notoriety.

It turns out that my dumb take on the old legend wasn’t dumb at all.

 

Older Blog Post About Smallfoot

Everyone Is Our Equal

josh-couch-586382-unsplash.jpg

 

In my opinion, one of the best and immediate steps we can take to retake control of our political system is to stop collectively pretending that elected officials are anything other than well-qualified workers we choose to perform specific civic tasks. They work with us and for us to meet our agreed upon goals.

Much of our distrust of the political system stems from the fact that we perceive “them” as separate from us. It is within our power to insist that “they,” in fact, be us. It is our fault that we allow anyone to stand above us.

I do not understand the pomp and circumstance that so many people seem compelled to provide to the political process. All political positions are just jobs. Those who fill them are constructed of the same DNA as the rest of us and most of us should be capable as adults of doing some of these jobs. If we could somehow be able to approach politics with this idea in mind, it seems as if some of the hostility we feel toward politics would dissipate.

All the titles, all the pompous tomfoolery, and faux prestige should be discarded. I cringe when anyone in a position of trust demands that he or she is addressed by an artificial title. The likelihood that their ego and self-importance interferes with their assigned tasks becomes insurmountable.

You’re not “The Distinguished Gentleman,” sir, you were chosen by the people you work for, to represent our interests. A competent judge is not “Your Honor,” as she or she is sitting in the seat precisely because of his or her legal competence. Both the senator and the judge in my commentary owe us just as much respect as we owe them. Without us, their presence is not necessary. Titles and ceremony create an illusion of hierarchy where none should have ever been tolerated, much less nourished.

From mayor to a senator or president, all of them are people who are compensated for their expertise. It is assumed that each of them values the honor we have bestowed. Those we choose to work on our behalf are compensated for their service. Civic duty in the proper context is rewarding for everyone.

Any elevation of status is a miscalculation on our part and in my opinion is a great deal of the problem we have in our society.

There is no mystery to civic service, no hidden list of qualifications for any of the offices we fill with fallible human beings. Being a senator, councilperson, or judge is an honor to the person performing the position, as we have chosen and entrusted him or her to do his or her job competently.

There is no reciprocal expectation that we should address any of them as anything other than someone working on our behalf. The title does not confer to the person individually, at least not based on the jobs we’ve given them. In an equitable system, we would tend to choose the best candidates for the specific job and the person chosen would reflect well on the level of responsibility we’ve conferred. The person does not reflect on the position, even though we resist acknowledging this idea. Competence is rewarded and incompetence is not -so that anyone we choose to occupy a job will be held to that standard.

All of us contribute extraordinarily to our society, whether we are teachers, judges, police officers, or those who cook our food for us. Those employed in politics are of no greater utility. Judges are legal scholars – or should be; as such, they should refrain from pomposity and reverence toward their own thundering voices. No judge or representative is more than my equal; he or she should be more educated and trained in their fields, however.

There is no mystery in public service. Everyone employed by our government bodies is one of us, hopefully endowed with a specific expertise. Any of us should be welcome and able to fill a position of responsibility if we have the ability. We are all equals in this sense. Titles interfere with the concepts of merit and function.

It is time we push the reset button on the illusion of elevated status in the United States.
Until all political positions are filled by people like us, based on competency, and without expectation of privilege, we will never achieve what we are capable of.

Enough with the titles. You work for us.

While my view is simple, it is not simplistic.
.

The Celebrity Opinion Conundrum

celebrity opinion conundrum.jpg

If someone complains about celebrities by saying, “They are actors and athletes! What do I care about their opinion?”

“That’s funny because I’m thinking the exact same thing about YOUR opinion,” might be my response.

Voicing your displeasure with celebrities who give their own opinions is a strange form of hypocrisy.
Whatever job you’re doing is just a job and occupation never nullifies a point of view.
You’ll have to be honest about it anyway, as it seems like we only hear people say this sort of thing when they disagree with the expressed opinion and almost never when they don’t.

Intolerably Titled Blog Post

 

The police asked me to describe the assailant.

“Visible fart” was all I could think of to say to describe him – and the police took note of it and left, evidently with such a suspect already in mind.

.

.

 

“I lost my sanity,” I said. The police searched for days but could find no proof that I ever owned it.

.

.

I was experimenting with Instagram. Under ‘recommended beauty filters,’ the #1 recommendation: “avoid the public.”

.

.

 

I called the Poison Control Center out of instinct. It turns out that finding out that a close friend, co-worker, or family member has overdosed on stupid isn’t a valid reason to call them.

.

.

There are 7,647,106,854 living people on this earth with you now. 318,750 people were born today – so far. 132,000 people have died already today. It’s impossible to imagine that one million people die each week. Yet, here we are, arguing over semicolons, sports affiliations, and whether it’s appropriate to wear striped shirts or drink white wine with pork.

 

.

.

They tried cutting his leg off with a chainsaw, his head with a guillotine, and his hands with a butcher knife. All three cutting tools shattered in the attempt. He was a new superhero: The Indivisible Man.

.

.

Stolen joke: “He needs to build a bridge so he can get over himself.”

.

.

“X, it looks like you padded your work history.” The H.R. Manager of Trinity Music Publishing informed me. “We can’t hire you.”

“What gave it away?” I asked.

“It’s not so much that you claimed to have been Lead Air Guitarist for Journey. It’s that everyone knows there were no musicians in that band, real or imaginary.”

.

.

It turns out that the phrase, “Stick a fork in it” is not literal. To the guys on the other softball team, my apologies. You sure didn’t sound like winners, though

.

.

If you believe that everything happens for a reason, can you please explain your fashion choices? From my point of view, it looks like the definition of either ‘random’ or ‘lost and found box.’

.

.

 

Overheard Strange Conversation: “…sir, I don’t care who you are, the Lactation Area isn’t for ‘interested observers.’ ”

.

.

In lieu of spending a night in Branson last night after seeing Reza the Illusionist, I reserved a place in Monett, Missouri. We chose a Tex-Mex place to eat, one which was deceptively large inside. We had to circle the establishment more than once to dart into a recently emptied parking spot. Even compared to the eateries we left behind in Branson, we ate like kings. Though the idea of a night in Monett sounds like a premise to a joke, it turned out to be a fortuitous and interesting place to stay. Downtown seemed to be dipped in another time. It was obvious to me that someone was diligently attempting to breathe new life into its streets. Perhaps some of the charm derived from the lengthening shadows as daylight diminished. It’s a place I would love to spend a few mornings walking the pre-dawn streets. Returning to the hotel, we were astonished to find that the wi-fi supported our FireTV. I had packed it on a whim. We watched the shirtless comedian Bert Kreisher, laughing at his stupidity and insight. And so it came to pass that I pondered that I would somehow remember spending the night in Monett, for delicate and inexplicable reasons which sound a little odd to anyone listening.

 

A Day

On my return walk home, heading south, not too far from the intersection of Emma and Butterfield Coach Road, I had reached the point in Il Divo’s song “Passera” when the Valkyries and angels began to lift the singers impossibly higher in their harmony. To my left, the high tree-filled mountainside was palely illuminated by an unseen light. Atop the hill stood a single solitary tower, its light blinking impossibly red. Above me, a billowy blanket of clouds was rolling in, barely overlapping the moon. The moon, in response, glowed with a corona of diffused rainbow colors. Slightly below, Orion’s belt and Betelgeuse vividly shone through. Venus and Sirius lurked on the horizon, brighter than normal. As I peered upward, a meteorite streaked down. And another. Even as I lost track of my footing, I laughed out loud, a lone cackle in the pre-dawn nothingness. I wasn’t expecting meteorites this morning and their arrival brought unexpected laughter. I laughed even harder, remembering the old cliché that the most dangerous laugh emanates from someone alone, in the night.

There are times when you know the day cannot possibly be improved, no matter who or what fills the hours of it. Perhaps I’m wrong, though, and a mystery as of yet not fully developed will greet me as the sun rises.

For now, though, I’m going to look out the window and listen to my cat tell me his story in a language I can’t understand, full of purrs and growls.

A Brush With a Celebrity

Five years ago, I was visiting Miami. The taxi dropped me on Collins Avenue. There were people everywhere, which shouldn’t have surprised me. Being unfamiliar with the streets, I couldn’t easily find a good eatery. There certainly weren’t any Subway sandwich shops and the thought of how delectable one would be motivated me to keep walking in the heat.

I turned south and found myself in a throng of people, all of whom were slowly moving. Up ahead, I could see a sandwich shop sign above all the people on the street. Twenty minutes later, I entered the crowded shop and felt the air conditioning on my face.

Ahead of me in line, I could see a group of people standing tightly together instead of in the line. A woman was in the center of the entourage. I could see her talking animatedly with her group. As I inched closer, I realized that I recognized her voice: it was Tina Turner and several of her musicians and dancers.

She turned back to the person making the orders. She asked for 4 turkey clubs, a hero, a couple of pastramis on rye, and 5 vegetarian sandwiches. Because the food preparer was probably a little starstruck, Tina had to repeat herself a few times.

The preparer leaned over the sneeze-guard and said something I couldn’t quite hear.

Tina, in frustration, leaned toward the food preparer and shouted, “We don’t need another hero!”

Get Plenty of Fiber?

One morning, I woke up later than normal. I had taken my wife Dawn to the doctor the evening before and we’d then stopped by to see some friends.

I heard an odd thudding from somewhere. Weirdly, Dawn arose earlier than I had.

I followed the sound through the house and looked into the smaller bathroom.

Dawn was kneeling on the bathroom floor next to the toilet, holding a small hammer. The lid to the toilet was raised. As I watched, she swung the small hammer and hit the toilet bowl. Then again and again.

“Stop!” I hollered. “What are you doing?” I thought she might have lost her mind.

Dawn turned her head toward me, obviously aggravated. “The doctor told me to be sure to check for hard stools this morning.”

Dog!

animal-collar-dog-8700

I got a dog last Sunday and on the way home, it jumped out of the car, barking and running fast. Someone passing by yelled, “You need to go to the dentist!” as he slowly drove be me.

“The dentist?” I asked him. “Why?”

Without hesitating, he shouted back, “Cause you’re missing a canine!”

A New Cat

animal-animal-photography-cat-96938.jpg

My neighbor Matt adopted a new cat last Saturday. He’d always had dogs but wanted a cat for his wife. After a few days, he came over and reluctantly asked me to visit and play with it to see if I could determine what was wrong with it.

When I went inside Matt’s house, I could see the cat’s eyes peering at me from under the sofa, hiding as far under it as possible.

“Here, kitty kitty,” I murmured to it. The cat suspiciously poked its head out and then scampered stealthily around the sofa and table to stare at me through slitted eyes. Each time I raised my arm, the cat retreated slightly, watching every movement in the room.

This went on for about five minutes.

Matt asked me, “X, what do you think is wrong with my cat?”

“Nothing,” I replied. “He’s just purranoid.”

Just a Moment

20180812_055918

Because I skipped walking the day before, I loaded an unintentionally melancholy playlist on my phone instead of listening to TED or anything noteworthy. The hour was too early and my enthusiasm was too high but the darkness was beautiful. I walked the width of Springdale, down Emma, and a circuitous path toward nowhere in particular.

Someone I once knew too well called yesterday and told me that his days were now numbered and that he was tired of the pain and mediocre tenor of life. Like these things always do, it left a bruise on me that wasn’t readily apparent.

So, I left for a long walk this dark morning.

I found everything I wasn’t looking for.

I walked so far that I texted my wife to see if she was up. 30 minutes later, I tried Uber to discover that no one wanted to drive around Springdale at that hour. Another 30 passed and I decided that I would wait for Uber’s system to either get me a ride or kick me off the system. A driver pinged me in less than 5 seconds. My legs were numb at that point, so I leaned against the utility pole on the street and watched the sun come up above the skyline somewhere near the roofline of AQ Chicken.

 

20180812_064424

As I sat in the back seat of the stranger’s car, I was surprised by how far I had walked, mile after mile. The raccoons had greeted me across from the Apollo Theater, and someone’s tiny tuxedo kitten ran and jumped on my side as I warmly rubbed it and whispered to it. I left him purring underneath the front bumper of his owner’s truck. A solitary worker moved in the darkened interior of Neal’s Cafe. Several empty storefronts looked out upon me as I traversed Emma.

20180812_063403.jpg

20180812_055149

In the distant geography beyond, I knew that the person who called me yesterday was awake and restless, shuffling through his memories and attempting to reconcile his time.

There are no easy answers and no direct path to peace. But, there is time enough to walk and to look out upon the unknowable expanse of people and places around us.