December 10, 2007

Footprints in the Sand

There was a time when Bigfoot lore was limited to the Pacific Northwest, or the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, or any number of Asian rumors of a huge hairy beast strolling the forests or jungles. Such tales were generally dismissed offhand as the product of overactive imaginations or shoddy home movies showing men in gorilla suits.

However, it was always the purported footprints left by these supposed shaggy super-simians that have been more difficult to dismiss. Some have been explained away as forgeries, while other footprints have been eternally cast in plaster and continue to amaze, astound and confound to this day, defying all attempts at explanation. Yes, more than anything, perhaps, it’s the footprints that have kept the Bigfoot story alive and pulsating in the imaginations of people worldwide.

Now, of course, there’s a whole new kind of footprint emerging that’s reignited the debate about Bigfoot. Everyone’s talking about these new footprints, with the Media coming alive with stories about how important the new footprints are, complete with hand-wringing commentary about what should be done to address them.

These “carbon footprints” seem to be popping up everywhere lately. Most unnerving, perhaps, is just how many carbon footprints are reportedly appearing in cities and suburban communities. Apparently, Carbon Bigfoot has developed a taste for urban culture and convenience. Everywhere you go, people are talking about all the carbon footprints they’ve witnessed.

Okay, as far as I know, nobody has actually witnessed a carbon footprint; no plaster casts have been made and put on display in any public forums. Nevertheless, people from all across the globe are convinced they’ve seen carbon footprints, with a large portion of those people thinking they themselves may be responsible for making those footprints, which seems ridiculous, but there’s no accounting for human insanity.

Just like Regular Bigfoot, there’s no apparent hard evidence to prove or disprove the existence of these carbon footprints and, just like Regular Bigfoot, people either believe passionately in them or they view them as the product of an overactive imagination and a desire to perpetually see bogeymen that don’t actually exist.

Even within the community that believes in Carbon Bigfoot, there’s strong disagreement about the size of its footprints, or even about what actually creates them. Some believe the footprints are ridiculously huge and need to be reduced—in a Chinese foot binding sort of way—while others insist the footprints are perfectly normal and people should just leave Carbon Bigfoot alone, if it even exists.

Most of the lore surrounding Carbon Bigfoot—though sketchy and based on woefully incomplete data and unreliable first-hand accounts—generally agrees the great beast is probably color blind, so the best way to avoid detection is to “go green.” Companies worldwide, particularly retailers, are offering an array of “green” alternatives to help footprint-wary customers stay one step ahead of the reportedly ravenous primate.

Amidst all this ongoing debate, the quest for hard evidence of carbon footprints continues. An entire industry has sprung up dedicated to locating and assessing the size of these footprints nobody can see. Indeed, there are a considerable amount of “carbon credits” up for grabs to anybody who can definitively show what a carbon footprint looks like. This could be quite a daunting task, since Carbon Bigfoot has proven more elusive than Regular Bigfoot. And, since Regular Bigfoot remains, at best, a legend, you can about imagine how hard it’s going to be to prove the existence of Carbon Bigfoot.

Nevertheless, the idea of a Carbon Bigfoot has been unleashed upon the world; the carbon genie has popped forth from its carbon bottle (both of which I just made up to make an analogy, so don’t go thinking a carbon bottle or carbon genie actually exist). You either believe in Carbon Bigfoot and its omnipresent footprints, or you don’t.

Whatever you believe, I think we can all agree “Carbon Bigfoot” would be a great name for a professional wrestler.

Posted by Ryan at December 10, 2007 12:53 PM | TrackBack

nice. i hope you send a copy to Al Gore.


Posted by: amy.leblanc at December 11, 2007 01:43 AM

Funny piece... was it by any chance inspired by the "ManBearPig" episode of South Park?

Posted by: Boatinglaw at December 11, 2007 03:21 AM

Amy, thanks for the kind words, and the link!

Boating, I actually just read a local newspaper piece about reducing your carbon footprint during the holiday season, and my mind jumped to Bigfoot. I totally forgot about that South Park episode, but now that you mention it, I'm not as impressed with my creative mental jump. :-(

Posted by: Ryan at December 11, 2007 10:15 AM
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