Don’t make eye contact: Keep talking

A conversation with the improbable: Close encounters of the furry kind.

Peter Warland

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Philip K. Dick

“I am fascinated (by the idea of Sasquatch). I would love them to exist.” Jane Goodall, famous researcher among chimpanzees in Africa

“If the two of us can agree on too many topics, one of us isn’t thinking,” he pronounced.

I wasn’t in the position to debate that statement. He’d appeared this time, brushing himself off, under the giant fir tree in my garden; he’d apparently spent the night there. I asked, “Reckon this weather is due to global warming?”

He stretched; he is enormous but I tried not to back away. He grumbled, “What was the last time you slept out under a tree in mid-winter?”

“Why don’t you migrate south?”

“I am. I was on the Arctic coast all summer. No nice dark nights; I couldn’t sleep.” He yawned, a cavern filled with pointy teeth.

“Keep the conversation going and back up slowly,” I urged myself. “Try not to show fear.” I asked,”Were you bothered by polar bears. In fact, do grizzlies bother you?”

He possibly grinned. “Is that likely?”

Quickly I asked, “What do you eat? You carnivorous?”

“Omnivorous, so I do fancy a Big Mac when I can scare one up. What’s for breakfast?”

I shivered. I could just visualize him ‘scaring up’ Big Macs, the way he must have obtained those running shoes and that ridiculous cap that he had perched on the top of his pointed head, but I merely said, “Oh! The usual bowl of cereals …”

“Cereals! So, you’re not bothered by these stories about genetically modified grains and excess glutens, are you?”

I assured him that I wasn’t. At my old age, no glutens were going to bother me. I’ve survived so far mixing up my diet by being omnivorous, although recently with a penchant for fries and seafood.

“You so-called homo sapiens — there’s a joke, sapiens — have penchants for inventing new foods, genetically modifying everything in sight and then worrying about what you have done.”

I knew I was getting yet another earful but I persevered, “Is everything you eat natural, except when you’re ‘scaring up’ Big Macs?”

That terrifying grin again; I foolishly stood my ground and said, “Do you have a wife, a mate? You know …”

“To cook for me?” The sarcasm temporarily shut me up, but I persisted. “When are the babies born? In spring?”

“You’re not smart enough to understand.”

“But, as far as I have ever heard, nobody has ever discovered the bones of your kind, or any remains, in fact.”

“Course not. We recycle rapidly and get it over with.”

I scratched my head. “But, as you tell me, the whole point of us being here is reproduce, right?”

“Right, but you humans are always delaying the process with rites and special ceremonies, putting off the inevitable. You are forever inventing gods and heavens and valhallas merely to satisfy your own silly egos. You imagine that some deity somewhere is looking after your puny interests as if you might be important. Be assured, you are not. As you yourself said, you are a product of nature and when you die, as in all nature, you are recycled. It is the species that counts until it become extinct. Your Descartes was feeling so smug when he said, ‘I think; therefore I am.’ None of you remembered that nature replied, ‘So what? Do your job. Multiply.'”

“I’ve done that.” Proudly.

“Then don’t hang about asking stupid questions.”

A neighbour lady walked by with two yappy dogs in tow, but not one of them seemed to notice me, still in a house-coat and jammies, standing shivering, talking to a monstrous Sasquatch. I began to hope that Squatchie and I were both invisible: my neighbours already believe that I’m crazy. I said, “Why didn’t that Mrs Zukrovski say something? Why didn’t those yap-dogs bark at you, didn’t react at all?”

“The dogs probably have got more sense and she knows I’m not here.”

And suddenly, he wasn’t. Poof! He’d gone.

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