The Urban Sasquatch: A Conundrum by Ian Belknap

Ines Vuckovic (c) 2016

The Urban Sasquatch, like its arboreal cousin, is a bipedal primate standing 2.3 to 3.5 meters in height and weighing between 360 and 500 kilograms.

Biologists have yet to determine why these animals left the forests to begin living in cities late in 2019. Early on, Animal Control officials in a number of cities where the creatures first appeared attempted “catch and release” protocols that would sedate the animals and return them to the wild; these efforts ended mostly in dead Animal Control officials. The Sasquatch, apparently, does not relish paunchy mustachioed humans attempting to wrangle them. They resist vigorously.

For reasons yet unknown, they exhibit a fondness for the Trilby hat. And for knickers. While they never observed wearing shoes, in the Northwest, there is a subset of males that wear spats. They’re big into vaping. Like a bunch of assholes.

Given the prominent brow ridge these creatures have, and the high cranial crown so prevalent in the species, the Trilby is quite plainly the wrong hat for them – it frames their giant, flat faces poorly and the brim is too narrow to suit them. It is the brave haberdasher who attempts to dissuade the Sasquatch from wearing the Trilby. Reports are increasingly common of the animals going berserk while hat-shopping – destroying and damaging property, and in some cases attacking salespeople. In March of last year, Quentin DuFrense, 28, of Quebec City had his left arm torn off at the shoulder by a Sasquatch after Mr. DufFense attempted to steer the creature to a Campaign hat, or a Boss of the Plains. The Sasquatch made off with DuFrense’s arm and a fawn-colored Trilby that witnesses agreed caused the creature to look washed out. Security footage retrieved from a nearby bank confirms this.

Restaurants in Olympia, Eugene, Fairbanks, and a growing number of cities, have embraced “crypto-cuisine” – a style of food provision that Kyle Biscayne of The Birch Plank in Coer d’Alene, Idaho calls “curated foraging” – and includes menu items such as the “Sasquatch omelet,” which he confesses is “really just a bird’s nest one of us found, with like two dozen uncooked eggs just sitting in it,” or “Bushmeat Carpaccio,” which he admits is skin-on road kill served raw on a bed of Savoy cabbage.

As with their shopping, Sasquatch dining almost always threatens to erupt in violence. Whether it be the ritualized combat of two males over territory, or the hair-trigger freak-outs that can occur when a table full of Sasquatches is informed that the kitchen is out of béarnaise sauce, even though Sasquatches have yet to demonstrate any comprehension of currency or the rudiments of commerce, restaurant owners have almost universally concluded that attempting to bar them or expect them to pay is not worth the mayhem it cause. Though penniless, Sasquatches live like kings. They are, in effect, the unwitting perpetrators of a protection racket. Since they have no language, however, the sentiment behind a veiled threat like “nice place, be a shame if anything were to happen to it” takes the form of shrieking and hurling feces.

Perhaps the biggest cultural impact of the Sasquatch influx, in cities across the Northern U.S. and Southern Canada – from Halifax to Buffalo, Edmonton to St. Paul, has been the increased prominence of puppetry. For reasons we do not understand, Sasquatches are nuts for puppet shows. So in recent years, MFA students have been thronging to the study of puppetry. Which has resulted in a chronic shortage of lyric poetry and non-narrative video production. Theories for why they is so captivated by puppetry include that, despite their imposing size, the typical Sasquatch brain is the size of a nectarine.

The Sasquatch observes no organized religion, but exhibit a reverence for veteran actors like Ian McShane and Tommy Lee Jones. As a consequence, the Rotten Tomatoes scores among gruffer film actors have skyrocketed. It is believed that this is mostly what Sasquatches are up to when using the computers in public libraries. Cryptoprimatologiists find this reverence peculiar because every time a Sasquatch has gone to the cinema, it ends in a bloodbath as the terror-stricken animals rips patrons to ribbons in their desperation to flee the gigantic people onscreen.

Another consequence of the less than fully successful Sasquatch assimilation: motorcycle ridership in Northern cities is down drastically, since Sasquatches find it hilarious to drop out of trees onto cyclists as they pass below, causing epic wipeouts. Which, let’s face it: it is. There’s some awesome videos online – just google “Sasquatch Motorcycle Fail” and prepare to crack up.

Aside from the uptick in adventure travel that the presence of Sasquatches represents to Northern cities, there can be no doubting that these creatures are mostly an economic drain. The animals have discovered that by frequenting orchards, they may gorge on rotting, fermented fruit and get hammered. Which is like dealing with mid-binge Chris Farley if he weighed like a thousand pounds and was covered in musk-reeking, matted fur.

In a similar manner to how the Sasquatch arrived in cities – unheralded, cryptic, perplexing – some have begun to depart. Small heaps of rain-soaked knickers and Trilby hats, and the occasional pair of spats – often left at the base of lampposts, are the only sign they were ever among us. You can spot them, still, though – darting through the pines. Leaving a vape trail. Like a bunch of assholes.


Ian Belknap is the founder of WRITE CLUB, the world’s greatest competitive reading series, with monthly shows in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta. More at ianbelknap.com

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