Saturday, August 13, 2016

Fair and Balanced: The Beast's Rebuttal

     Reached at his Fern Valley Redoubt, the Beast had a word or two to share regarding the Fox 11 story “captured” below.

     First of all, the story is a little blurry. It could be an actual screen shot of a Fox News 11 webstory, or it cold be a clever forgery. Are these people accustomed to publishing stories based on testimony by people with names like "Colonel Cotton?" Sounds  more like "Colonel Cotton-Mouth" to me.
    I  was in Mountain Center that day, and though it could be a concidence, I did see someone who might have been “Colonol Cotton” as he staggered down the steps from a poorly maintained RV. The aroma of the Winnebago was a mixture of hot rubber, petro-chemicals, human waste, and various deodorants. As “Col. Cotton” emerged, so did the unmistakable skunk-smokey smell of the herbal smoking mixture he and “Mrs. Cotton” had been partaking of in the “cabin.” They had not recently bathed, and the masking odors they both utilized barely subdued the odors of grease from fast-food eateries, ranch dressing, something that disagreed with “Col. Cotton’s” insides, and a recent fishing trip.    
     Since the interview only quoted “Col. Cotton,” I will refrain from touching on “Mrs. Cotton’s” odor. But I do think I recognized “Gretchen” from somewhere, and she had a strangely familiar face. 
     "Mrs. Cotton” did have quite  a head of hair, but the "Colonel's" fur was patchy at best. His greying roots gave away an amateurish dye-job. 

At this point the Beast sighed heavily. "I sometimes get tired of addressing these kind of stories, but I can still hope it provides a teachable moment."

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Crazy Like A Fox

     This came in today through the Intertubes. A Beast sighting at the Mountain Center gas station. Neither Fox News nor Colonel Cotton have replied to requests for comment.

     Not to be too politically correct, but Fur Covered Americans sometimes take exception to the generic "Sasquatch" (a much blurrier creature) and the old canard about "skunks" and "rotten meat." Modern Idyll-Beast Researchers prefer "garlicky," "hints of sage and cedar," and "undertone of bacon."

    We hope Colonel and Mrs Cotton enjoyed their visit to California, and look forward to interviewing them up at the Research Center on their next visit.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Saunders Meadow Beast Crossing

Safety minded citizens have created a new Beast Crossing on an undisclosed byway near Saunders Meadow Road. This image captures the magic of twilight and the effectiveness of these handy and beautiful signs. Be sure to keep your eyes open, and drive safely people.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Don't Call Them "Chicken of the Forest"

     We at the Idyll-Beast Research Center have never masqueraded as “Mad Men,” but we do dabble in the dark arts and have recently volunteered our services for a little public opinion shaping.

     Our Local Quail Covey now has a public relations firm (Idyll-Beast, Draper and Associates) to help shape the opinions (and dining habits) of certain carnivorous sectors of the population, We are encouraging the local predators to “Eat more rabbit!”. After extensive focus-group testing the team has rolled out a campaign including:

“Rabbit: It’s what’s for dinner!”
“Nine out of Ten raptors surveyed prefer rabbit.”
“Rabbit: so plump, so delicious, so plentiful!” 

     The campaign touts the many benefits of rabbit, seeking to brand it as the gold standard of gustatory value and convenience: “You’d have to catch a dozen of those boney and wily Quail to equal the food value of a single sluggish and dim-witted rabbit. Think of the time you can spend with your family, and the looks of delight on their faces whenever you bring home Rabbit!”

     Crows, Ravens and Blue Jays are being informed of the latest studies recommending a diet high in grains, greens and bugs, road-kill in moderation, and complete avoidance of Quail chicks. The tiny birds are high in cholesterol (as are Quail eggs) and the little bones send hundreds of Raccons and Stellar’s Jays to veterinary emergency rooms each year.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Visitors to our buffet relax, socialize and enjoy a variety of scratch grains. It's always nice to fill the crop on a cold morning. The Idyll-Beast has been serving meals to the local covey in an attempt to recruit research cohorts. The best science is not always done on a full stomach, but some questions are much clearer after a meal.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Turnaround is Fair Play

    This month’s edition of the Journal of Simian Anthropology included the publication of a groundbreaking study underwritten by the Idyll-Beast Research Center. “Cryptid Infiltration of a Hominid Population in the San Jacinto Mountains” was described by its author as a 
“...noninvasive interdisciplinary study of the cognitive and communicative capabilities"
…of a community most readers will recognize.

    This researcher has become known as “Idyll-Beast Goodall.”  Resemblances between the Beast and the eponymous primatologist have left some accusing Idy of stealing her Curriculum Vitae from Jane Goodall’s Wikipedia page. The CV recounts that as a beastling, her parents gave her a lifelike human doll; neighbors worried it would cause nightmares, but instead it was the beginning of a lifelong fascination with other primates.
    She became perhaps the first Idyll-Beast ever accepted into a human society. The animal served 26 months as a Member of the Board of Directors of the local Chamber of Commerce, first appointed and then elected. As the lowest ranking animal in the troop she staffed the Chamber visitor center, answering phone calls and e-mails, and participated in grooming rituals called “Board Meetings.”

    Living among humans, she began to identify individuals. giving them names: Fifi, Fido, Spot, Bowser, a controversial practice held by critics as reducing objectivity. And just as Goodall has expressed belief in or fascination with Sasquatch or Yeti, Idyll-Beast expresses a belief in or fascination with Jane Goodall. And certainly the two seem to employ similar techniques, for better or worse:
Offering them snacks they become more accustomed to my presence, lose their natural shyness. Actually this species is not that shy. Some walk right up and begin petting you. This makes me think that they have been previously domesticated. I understand that they have repeatedly attempted to domesticate one another, to treat each other as beasts of burden. They are a kind of expert in the sphere of domestication, and with certain exceptions, specifically the cat, tend to bamboozle or ambush the other species into exploitative relationships. Even within the species, and even within their “domestic” relations, these sometimes violent tendencies can be observed….

…The exchange of food “gifts” and sharing of discovered snacking fodder seems important to them, as in the other chimps. Obviously mothers have the first part in this, Dad brings home the bacon, and the concept of sharing is part of the sibling relation and is crucial to the forming of alliances, including courtship. What could be more important to communal living and family life than table manners? Eating with another animal makes you generally well disposed to them, if they have good manners. They consider the teaching of manners to dogs an art form, and hold competitions…

Upcoming publications include an article in the Journal of Speculative Primatology, co-written with Noam Chimpsky and Kanzi.
Keep warm people. Good luck on your research, and Happy Hollidays

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

From the Archives of the Idyll-Beast Research Center

     From time to time we like to poke around in the old archives and dust off a bit of evidence from the more or less distant past. This week's gem reminds us how one Idyllwild old-timer, Ernie Maxwell,  imagined the Beast.
     We could discuss probable height and weight, the length of the arms, the articulation of the knees and hips, all in the name of trying to dismiss the possibility that the cartoon depicts a man in a fur suit. We could present expert opinions as to the state of the art in fur suit making the year the cartoon was published, and the possibility of an Idyllwild resident (perhaps even Maxwell himself) having such a suit.

     But all this misses the point. Emax was a credible artist, and although his cartoons of people were described by one editor as "grotesque," his Idyll-Beast is quite sleek. It's hairstyle correlates well with modern sightings. He seems to have outdone himself with realism, to have pushed the self-imposed limits of the cartoonist's medium to bring the reader face to face with the Beast. And for that we salute him.