"Bigfoot sighted near riverbed."
"Mothman photographed on interstate."
"Jersey Devil steals chickens!"
I read headlines like this — and I can't help but feel irrationally jealous.
Like, why does the rest of the USA hog up all the good cryptid sightings? I mean what's the deal Washington and Oregon? Are you two starting a monopoly on Bigfoot? (Bigfeet? Seriously, what is the plural of that?) And Jersey, crap man, you stamped yourself all over that Devil, the poor thing. Champ has been claimed by New York and even Wisconsin has the Beast of Bray Road.
Here in Arizona, we have a few cryptid mythos as well, but reported sightings seem to be few and very far between. I mean there was that "devil" photo from earlier this year — but palm trees around here are so vain, they'll cosplay just about anything for a photo op. Then there was that. . . Ahhh. . . Wait. What was the last big sighting Arizona had as a claim to fame? The Arizona Lights? That was back in — *quick google search* — 1997? Holey moley, that was twenty years ago already?
And don't get me started on that Jackalope thing. . . Wait, yes, get me started because I have a good story about those little pest.
In high school I worked for a knock-off Hallmark store in our local mall. We had a huge section of Arizona souvenirs, so of course when the tour buses would stop at the mall (I still don't get why) all the tourist would file into our store. One of the souvenirs we stocked was a small statue of a Jackalope rearing up on its hind legs as if on alert for danger. I can't say how many times this exact conversation was had while I worked there, but the gist of it was this:
Tourist: (*meekly comes up to the counter and points at the Jackalope statue in their hand*) "Excuse me, but are these real?"
Me: (*fake laugh*) "It's a real statue alright."
Tourist: (*fake laugh back*) "No, I mean is the creature real?"
Okay, so I'm evil for having done this, but honest to God, I had this conversation every week for the two years I worked at this store. And I was seventeen. That combo dictated that I had to mess with these people. So I would always respond with:
Me: "Those? Heck, yeah. I have to turn my sprinklers on every morning to scare them off my lawn. They eat my mom's roses."
Queue the tourist turning to his/her fellow touring companions and firing off some rapid dialogue in their foreign language. Their small group would then get excited aaaaaaand each of them would buy one of the little statues. That right there was why my boss never fired me for messing around with them.
So, I guess we don't have any big cryptid sighting in my neck of the woods. But it does give me secret pride to know that a pocket of people in Japan, Canada, Germany, ect. imagine that the people of Arizona wake up in the mornings, brew their coffee and proceed to defend their homestead foliage from antler wielding rabbits.
My point is this: sometimes you need to make your own X Files.
This brings me to The Porn Deathmobile of Laveen and ghost cars.
(Continued in part 2 next week.)