Book Four of the Oz Chronicles and the Papalback Reader

The Pope and Oz - I may be going to hell for this one.

The Holy Father enjoying a good book (but not “The” Good Book).  As they said on MASH once, “You can fool some of the Papal all of the time, and all of the Papal some of the time, but you can not fool all of the Papal all of the time.”  I’m hoping my Photoshop skills will get me into heaven.

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Bigfoot – A Serious Look at the Legend

The Real Thing

The Real Thing?




Okay, it is well established now that there was no Bigfoot body discovered in the mountains of North Georgia, but sadly there are going to be a few…  slower adults that will still believe the hoax.   And somehow the three guys that cooked up this scheme will find a way to benefit financially.  They’ll write a book, make a film, sell t-shirts, bumper stickers, and signed posters of the now infamous Bigfoot costume in a freezer.   But that’s okay because the people who buy into this crap are the same people who will spend their last twenty bucks on a pack of cigarettes and lottery tickets.  In short, they get what they deserve.

But what about the rest of us?  Where do we go from here?  Look, I write science fiction and horror.  I tend toward the unbelievable.  It’s fun to think there’s a giant undiscovered bipedal ape running around in the forest somewhere in North America.  Is it probable?  No.  Is it possible?  Certainly.  Even Jane Goodall believes in Bigfoot, and she’s been hanging out with apes most of her life.  Who am I to argue?   I believe because it’s just too damn cool not to believe. 

Luckily there are scientist and researchers out there who are seriously considering the possibility of Bigfoot (Which is an awful name.  I like Sasquatch much better).  They are applying sound scientific methodology to the circumstantial evidence that is currently available.  If Bigfoot is ever discovered, a press conference won’t be called by a talk show host and two guys who need help tying their shoes.  It will be called by a panel of scientist with indisputable evidence. 

To that end, Professor Jeff Meldrum has penned the definitive book on Bigfoot.  It’s called Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.  It’s devoid of hyperbole and sensationalism.  Meldrum is an expert in human locomotor adaptations.  He applies his expertise to the evidence that is available.  I recommend the book highly even if you’re a nonbeliever, but most especially if you want to find a reason to believe.   


Here is a link to an NPR interview Meldrum did in November of 2006. ‘Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science’.  I’m an author of science fiction and horror.  It’s almost expected of me to believe in something as outrageous as Bigfoot.  But think of everything that Meldrum is risking by saying he’s a believer.  Now think about the extra scrutiny he’s receiving right now because three tools put a Bigfoot costume in a freezer and called a press conference.  BTW – What is wrong with this nation’s media?   They actually sent reporters to the press conference.       



Dumb & Dumber – The case of the Georgia Bigfoot Body

If I were to write a comedy about two guys finding the body of the missing link, I couldn’t write anything that comes as close to being as absurd and funny as what has been unfolding in the mountains of North Georgia over the past several weeks. I knew that fact is stranger than fiction, but I had no idea it was more hilarious. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, (and unless you’re a Bigfoot fanatic why would you) two good old boys in Georgia with ties to law enforcement have claimed they have the dead body of Bigfoot. Their names: Matthew Gary Whitton and Ricky Traylor Chuck Dyer (Does anyone really need four names?). Their contribution to science: unabashed inanity. Imagine Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb & Dumber and you will have some idea of the character and mental acuity we are dealing with here.

The plot: Matthew and Ricky, bored with dealing with the criminal element in North Georgia, decide to start a business. They attend a small business fair in Atlanta with an eye on opening up a Starbucks franchise in Lumpkin, Georgia. They give all their cash to a random employee at the convention center claiming to be the president of Starbucks. Hilarity ensues when they discover their mistake. A series of pratfalls and slapsticky goodness follows until the guys literally run into their destiny – a booth for a business that will cost them nothing more than a pair of Nikes and a stick of gum – . They attend a three hour class to become certified Bigfoot trackers. The class entails them learning how to spell Bigfoot forwards and…. Here’s the tough part – backwards! Yikes. The reasoning for spelling backwards? Everyone knows you don’t truly know a wild animal until you’ve seen him from the rear. Huh? Makes sense to them. Completing their three hour course in a mere two days, they jump into the Bigfoot tracking business whole-heartedly. They put up a website on their microwave, and wait for the money to roll in. After two months of checking the microwave for emails and not receiving one single inquiry, they realize while the interweb is great for cooking burritos in record time, it’s a lousy place to try and run a business. They decide to try and upload videos for Youtube through their coffeemaker. As the weeks roll by with no luck, their eight-year-old neighbor takes pity on them and helps them setup their website on a computer, and he also edits and uploads their Youtube videos. Finally, they’re in business.

As luck would have it, they land their first customer, a blind, brain damaged primatologist who is dead set on finding the elusive undiscovered bipedal primate he has given the scientific nomenclature Biggist Apist. They set out on their weeklong expedition with pellet guns and a day’s supply of power bars. An hour into their hike they stumble across the dead body of Bigfoot… kind of. Turns out it’s just a freakishly overweight squirrel, but due to the fact they cheated on their final exam in Bigfoot tracker school, they misidentify the carcass with the help of their blind, brain damaged primatologist client. Pictures are taken with a camera with a cracked lens and sent to the local paper. The paper runs the story. Really, what else are they going to write about in Northern Georgia? A national press corps bored by war and global climate change, picks up the story and runs with it. A press conference is called and… how will it end? We will know this afternoon because the real Matthew and Ricky are holding a press conference today to talk about the Bigfoot costume they have in a freezer…. I mean the body they found.

While my version of events is completely made up, I encourage you to watch the videos made by Matthew and Ricky and see how far off I really am. In one of them, they even have Matthew’s brother pose as a scientist to verify that their body is indeed a genuine Bigfoot. The problem is that he states he’s really interested in primate pathology and that’s why he flew in. Pathology is the study of diseases. Why would a scientist whose specialty is primate disease be interested in Bigfoot?

Here are the videos. They’re about 10 minutes each, but they are funny. Enjoy!

I should point out that I actually feel bad for these guys. I don’t think they know how far over their heads they’ve gotten. If I’m wrong, and they really do have Bigfoots body, I’ll donate a hundred copies of The Takers to libraries in the North Georgia area.

UPDATE*** Here’s a link to a Fox News story about the press conference.  The title says it all: Bigfoot Hunters Press Conference Reveals… Little

Banned Books Week

Mark September 27 – October 4, 2008 on your calendars for Banned Books Week. What’s Banned Books Week? Here’s a description from the website:

Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. Started in 1982, Banned Books Week was launched to draw attention to the growing number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. Banned Books Week is held in the last week of September and is sponsored by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and the National Association of College Stores. Banned Books Week is also endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.

Support freedom of expression. Read a banned book.

Morgan Freeman Hospitalized in Serious Condition After Car Crash

Actor Morgan Freeman has been hospitalized in Memphis, Tennessee after flipping his 1997 Nissan Maxima several times.  He’s listed in serious condition.  I hope he’ll be okay, but… a 1997 Nissan Maxima?  Are you serious?  He’s Morgan “Friggin” Freeman.  He won an Oscar for Christ’s sake.  Why is he driving a ’97 Maxima?

Here’s more on the story: Actor Morgan Freeman hospitalized at The MED after serious car accident

Got Milk?

A Golden Retriever in a Kansas zoo has taken over the mothering duties of three tiger cubs. Seems the natural mother got involved with some nefarious types and neglected her babies. Is it me, or does there seem to be a story about neglectful tiger mothers every month? They’re they Andrea Yates of the animal world. The kicker of this story is the zoo bought the retriever to be the adoptive mother of the tiger cubs.

Clown Dresses as Joker and Gets Arrested

Heath Ledger went to all the trouble of making the Joker cool again, and this clown has to go and ruin it.

Heath Ledger went to all the trouble of making the Joker cool again, and this clown has to go and ruin it.

A 20-year-old man (I’m using the word loosely) dressed up as the Joker was arrested in Michigan for trying to steal Batman posters at a movie theater.  If you’re 20 and you’re dressed up like the Joker, that should be reason enough to throw you in jail.

Batman: The Dark Knight

Click on Heath to track this weekends box office.

Click on Heath to track this weekends box office.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it now. Batman: The Dark Knight will be the highest grossing film of all time. This weekend will smash all box office records. I’m rarely right, but who cares, really?