Thursday, December 23, 2010

From the Archives of the Idyll-Beast Research Center

In the spirit of Holiday sharing, we at the Idyll-Beast Research Center have opened up our archives to "re-gift" some of the data that has come our way. Last year we interviewed long time local Pat Ladd about his experiences with our furry neighbors on the hill. His reports are real eye-openers, and advance the cause of scientific inquiry. They are presented to you un-retouched, raw material for future researchers.

Thank you Pat, and thank you Idyllwild.

Witness: Pat Ladd
Interview date: 1/5/2010
This happened 5 or 6 years ago. The first sighting was off of Fobes Ranch Road. Down the dirt road off the right-hand side, 2-3 miles in. There was a creek back there where we went to look for rocks, me and John Schroke. You can polish and sell them. We saw multiple tracks, different sizes, big and little ones. They weren’t bear and they weren’t human, they were too big. Little ones all the way up to ones too big to be human. They were fresh. We went and brought the ranger back to show him. He didn’t know what they were, no idea. John made plaster casts of them with dry-wall plaster he had in his truck. Those cast are now lost, lost in a marriage break-up thing.

A month later we came back to the same area. There are some really beautiful rocks for carving and selling there. Crystals too. I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. That’s when I tapped john on the shoulder, I said:
“look over there!”
“No that’s just red shank [a kind of tree]” he says.
“No, look right there”
“Oh my God.”
We backed out of there slowly. It was not growling but sneering, showing its teeth like a dog threatening or warning. So we backed out and split, a half mile to the truck.

The next sighting happened probably 4 years ago, maybe 3 and 1/2. I was going down to Clifford Dorn’s by the Boy Scout camp. Back side of Garner Valley, over the Hill off Morris ranch Road, We were driving along and I said “Stop the truck right here.” I pointed to it and he saw it.
“That’s just a tree trunk.”
I said “Watch this!”
I got out of the truck and shook my hands and ass, and it did the same thing right back, raised its hands and shook its ass, like it was mocking me. It didn’t look angry. It just turned and walked off. It was just sunning itself watching the road, across the canyon about 200 yards away, close to the Scout camp.

Another one that happened 3 or 4 years ago, we were living on South Circle. Jeff (Harron, Harrison?) was camping out over on Strawberry Creek, by the Church Camp. One morning, sun barely up, he came pounding on the door, saying “Pat, Pat, you’re not going to believe this!”
“A Bigfoot stole my sleeping bag!”
It shook him by the feet and he back-pedaled out of it thinking it was a bear. Then he saw it was not a bear, it was upright. Not a bear, not human, it was Bigfoot. He was pretty adamant about it.
He told other stories; one of them stole a chicken from his open fire, that same year. He heard something in the bushes. He went to his tent to get his gun… and turned to see this thing take the chicken off his fire.
He also recalled the time one of the creatures spooked a horse he was riding.

Another person that’s seen them is Old Bruce, of Val and Bruce’s market down by Mountain Center. He sells roasted nuts and beef jerky down by the highway. They broke into his store. He thought it was people and went upstairs to get his gun. It was this big hairy thing, not human, not any other animal from around here. They had lots of incidents, cabins broken into.

Clifford too has seen a lot of them. He was a trailblazer, knows every inch of the back country up here. So did I, back in the day. He’s seen whole families, groups of them.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Isn't She Lovely

Our researchers recently uncovered this treasure, a "lively portrait" of one of history's most spellbinding Idyll-Beasts, Barbara Ursler. Born in Augsburg "High Germany," she married a dutch man who "exhibited" her throughout Europe and England. Eventually she disappeared and is believed by some investigators to have escaped with Spanish explorers and made her way to the new world, eventually settling in the mountains of "Alta California." Barbara is here seen with a small pipe organ, on which she was proficient. The portrait transports us back in time. Imagine being among the select audience at one of her concerts. The grace of her figure, the wisdom of her gaze, the allure of her furry shoulders. And then the music begins....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Season's Beastings

Researcher Paul Carmen submitted this evidence from the Halloween parade. "Pope Idy the 1st" lead the children down North Circle Drive, greeting bystanders with growls that sounded like "Bless you my Beastlings" and "Deliciousness is no sin!" Apparently the Beast decided that dressing as a priest would be too scary for the youngsters and opted instead for the elegant rainments of the pontiff. And indeed, to a Beast, what could be scarier than a human who believes he's infallible?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Beast wishes

This just in from the Rocky Way Beast Cam. Idy seems to be waving. Stunning view.
It's going to be a great Halloween people, I can smell it.

Screeches and Moans? I think not.

Saw that show on cable TV, researchers out in the bog, Bogey Creek, saying they had recorded some "thing" in the night. Screeches and moans no one there could identify. Perhaps they needed a musician. Or a linguist.
Our Furensic Linguists at the Idyll-Beast Research Center are publishing credible arguments that they have translated Beast discourse. Technical discussions about weather, climate, foraging, human activities, and of course, aromas.

Here are some of the findings:

Human Scientists call themselves Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Like we didn’t get the part about “smart” so we had to be told twice. If the Beasts had been consulted other names might have been put forward. “We could have lent a hand… oh, I’m sorry, animals don’t have hands.”
Some creatures use Homo Trespassus, Man that Goes Where He Is Not Wanted. Or man that knows he is always trespassing because he puts up so many fences.
There is the more blunt Homo Homicidis. Man the Man Killer. Ouch. “Old kill joy” is one you hear from time to time. And Homo Megalmaniacus. Man the Big Headed.
Most creatures polled consider “Homo Habilis” acceptable. “We got to hand it to you people, you really do know how to do things. Oh, I’m sorry, we don’t really have hands.”

Then there are discussions of the aroma of humans. Dogs definitely pro, foxes and deer and most other creatures not so much. “It depends on what they’ve been eating,” say others. And all those chemicals humans use to disguise their aromas. “P.U.” “If they just ate sensibly they wouldn’t need deodarant.”

One thing predators, herbivores and even scavengers agree upon: "Life is delicious."

Beasts do get steamed up about certain human expressions, especially our use of words like “beastly” and “brutal” to describe behavior more distinctly human than animal. Words like “animalistic,” movies like “Animal House.” Meaning bad behaviour.
Animals are sometimes cruel to one another (especially in captivity) but most only kill for eating purposes.
“Blame it on us, guys.”
“The Humane society, the place where they euthanize animals. We get that.”

The other apes are unimpressed by our efforts at political organization. “With us the shrieking dies down from time to time. Those people just never stop!”

One thing most Beasts take issue with is the so-called “Doctrine of Human Exceptionalism.” What exactly is so unique about you humans? Smarter? Maybe. But smart is as smart does.
Language? Most all animals (and members of the plant kingdom as well) are conducting ongoing experiments in the field. Male frogs found out a long time ago what kind of talk lady frogs like to hear. Eureka. Trees send chemicals around, warnings about pests and such.
Human writing? Well, most of it isn’t that good. And they say that if you give enough monkeys type writers you’ll find a Shakespeare. But you would need a lot of monkeys, and most monkeys have better things to do with their time than sitting in front of a typewriter all day.
Tools? Who are you calling tools? Chimps can do a bit of tool making. Birds too. Many animals are like living Swiss-Army Knives. The Platypus. It’s got that beak, those claws, that spiny fur. Lays eggs too. Beauty and utility.
But there’s not much time for engineering when those other beasts are so attractive. Animals are somewhat concerned about our pro-creation, however. “They’re so ugly, how can they even stand to do that. Face to face even.”

It’s hard to know whether they aren’t sometimes pulling our legs.
“Apes against evolution” is a group threatening pickets of school board meetings.
“The claim that humans descended from the higher apes is insulting nonsense,” say the primates. “We want our day in court!”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


These are the photographs from Ms. Sanguinetti's camera, referred to in an earlier post. These images are unretouched except for color correction to soften the effect of the flash on skin and fur tones. Science marches forward.

Resort Sanitorium Reviewed

Beta testing of Idyll-Beast Research Center Resort Sanitorium.
Our first visitor shares her weekend with you.
Dr. Mary Sanguinetti, the first visitor to our newly re-furbished resort lodge has been kind enough to contribute her research to this blog. Thank you Mary.

“I suppose I’ve always been curious about mysterious Beasts, the possibilities of strange species in our midst. When I was six, my mother took me to see Jean Cocteau's 1947 film Beauty and the Beast, which left an indelible impression on me. Although I still enjoy Beast-themed films, I doubted that the Idyll-Beast existed....but was still intrigued by a photo of the supposed creature taken in front of Cafe Aroma.

A dear friend, affiliated with the Idyll-Beast Research Center, told me that the creatures were a very real part of his home town and invited me to participate in the Beta testing of the Center’s new Resort and Sanitorium. On a whim I accepted the invitation. I needed rest from my hectic life working for a major academic publishing company in the Bay Area. A relaxing weekend in Idyllwild sounded like just the thing.
And so easy. A short flight, a waiting shuttle, a 90 minute drive. We arrived after dark and my old friend greeted me at the door of the Lodge. The newly refinished main room is used for exercise classes, symposiums, and workshops. My loft bedroom was comfortable and the staff accommodating.

I awoke early in the morning fresh and ready to meet the Beast. There was a brief extremely low impact aerobics workout and then breakfast. Breakfast was everything and anything I wanted.Then I explored shady pathways along the creek. I lolled about and then went out for a champagne brunch at a Mexican restaurant where a mariachi serenaded me. I visited Bubba’s Books and met its proprietor, Steve. Steve also operates the Idyll-Beast Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe, known as “the Cave.” There I learned more about the Beast’s penetration into human culture in this valley. There were many informative displays. And attractive research material at reasonable prices.

Then back to the Resort to rest and recharge.

In the evening I decided to go out to Café Aroma to catch a little music. I was haunted by an image of the supposed Idyll-Beast in front of Aroma. I had heard of the large footprints, and of the Idyll-Beast Festival. As I approached the café. I noticed the tables all seemed to be full. The staff back at the Resort had told me that reservations were recommended, even required, on summer weekends. They had also told me of their overflow seating, the “cheap seats,” where locals caught the acts while perhaps sipping a cocktail in a lawn chair. As I looked for a seat, I saw there, in the soft glow of the stage lights, what was either a man in desperate need of a full waxing and shaving or an Idyll-Beast!

I was shocked to see him in a public place as they are said to be reclusive. But he seemed to be enjoying the music. And no one seemed to have noticed him. It was late, a nearly moonless night, and the customers were drinking in their little islands of candlelight.
The couple sitting next to him got up and sauntered into the night, so I edged closer, seat by seat. Soon I was sitting next to him. He occasionally tapped his feet, or let out a little growl of enjoyment. Would he understand English? How about French? Summoning my courage I gently tapped his furry shoulder.

I think he raised an eyebrow. I nervously dropped my hand bag. The Beast immediately fell to his knee and began to try to rescue the contents, but his paws where so large. He merely corralled them as I scooped them up. Our eyes met, his large liquid beautiful eyes gazing out hypnotically from behind his luxuorious fur. “Excuse me.” I stammered. “Excuse-moi,” the Beast growled sweetly. We sat down again and exchanged occasional quiet comments during the music. The Beast was more civilized than I imagined. And more conversant. I could understand most of his few words. His fur was not as off-putting as I had feared. It seemed well groomed, not matted and dirty. It had a heavenly scent, with a hints of pine, cedar and sage.

I mentioned to him that I had hoped to find a table but knew it was unlikely. The Beast excused himself and in a moment returned with a waiter who escorted us to a candlelit two top just feet from the stage. People did begin to notice now. A few i-phones flashed. The beast seemed to be accustomed to the attention of the “Beastarazzi,” and even posed with one regular. We ordered drinks and I calmed my nerves with a delicious flower garnished Bellini. The Beast asked for Pellegrino. The Big bottle. After downing a number of glasses with a straw, he began to slurp from the bottle directly. Then he noticed me and sheepishly “Excuse-moi”-ed again. He even used a napkin.

Frank Ferro, Aroma’s host, introduced himself and complimented the Idyll-Beast for his taste in feminine company. “But you are always with the most beautiful women.” I was taken aback at his inexpert flattery. Frank seemed to realize he had been indiscrete and offered me another drink. My head was already swimming from the altitude, the first cocktail and the unexpected situation. I was still clear-headed enough to ask him to use my camera for a few photos, for evidence. I had to capture this moment. The townspeople went on as if nothing unusual was happening. Only the tourists still whispered and glanced.

As we finished our “Chocolate Indulgence” my furry companion gestured for the bill and produced a wallet out of a fold in his fur. There was money in it, but he seemed unable to handle it. A fistful of bills was soon scattered across the table. He succeeded in pulling out the ones he wanted, but I had to help him get the rest back into his wallet.
I was so tipsy, but I still wanted to interview the beast, and I thought perhaps I would never see him again. I doubted that I would be able to make an appointment for tomorrow. I asked him if I could interview him back at the research center. He told me that his “cave” was on the way and invited me to stop in. Although he had said “cave” it was actually quite nice. It was a fur lined study behind the Idyll-Beast Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe, which is called “the Cave.” There we enjoyed a cup of elder berry tea as I asked him about himself.

He had no idea how old he was. When he was younger there was no electricity, no cars. His family he believed to have been “harvested” by human hunters. “Got to go sometime.” An early 20th century photograph of an Idyll-Beast in a carnival cage turned out to be an uncle. I sensed his loneliness.

Foraging was quite good, although changed from the old days. The beast-berries were making a come back, and the local Restaurants were better than ever. He was not a strict vegetarian, but claimed to avoid eating humans, unlike some of his ancestors. His feelings about the encroaching human community were mixed, “Not all bad,” he murmered reflectively. “You came.” Soft music played in the background and candles glowed in huge chunks of quartz or some other clear stone.

The Beast offered to let me run my fingers through his collection of celebrity hair-pieces. It seems that many a vacationing Hollywood B-Lister had felt an unexpected breeze as they strolled through the Idyllwild evening. The Beast was fascinating. And the more I knew about him the more sensitive he seemed. He was kinder and more thoughtful than many of the men I had dated. He shied away from human contact for the most part but enjoyed music and the occasional contact with more tolerant “furless ones.” He began to play a strangely familiar tune on a Ney, but by then it was getting late and my head felt heavy. I must have dozed off. The last thing I remember was a soft paw stroking my cheek and the sensation of being carried through the dark woods.

The next morning I awoke in my room in the Lodge. Had it all been a dream? I saw a wisp of golden fur on my blouse.
Then I remembered my camera. Where was it?

NOTICE: Dr. Sanguinetti’s camera was found outside Aroma that night! When our technical team have determined the authenticity of the images they will be released on this site.

Monday, August 23, 2010

As the Fur Turns

The missing 55 minutes, that’s the problem with the recordings of the Mid-Summer’s Night Chamber of Commerce meeting. Various versions of that evening's events have surfaced, but none completely satisfy. One version has it that as the evening went on Chamber Then-Still-President, Acting Secretary and etc. Ken Carlson slowly began to change into an Idyll-Beast. First the hair: beautiful golden fur sprouting all over his face. Then the body: his stature and posture looking stranger and stranger there on the dais. And his defense became less and less intelligible until the Beast, protesting, had to be led outside, where he remained the rest of the evening pressing his muzzle against the window.

No one has reported that this actually happened. But a lot of unusual events do go unremarked around here. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but Ken’s continued (normal) appearance about town give the lie to this story. He was seen at Café Aroma the very next night, standing at attention (with hand over heart) as the Skeleton Crew belted out the Perry Mason theme. Carlson is also said to be considering a spot in next season’s reality TV bomb: the Bachelor, Pine Cove Edition. Way to stimulate the local economy, Ken.

By now we’ve all heard or read that Ken had to write a check to the Crier for $5,000. For pettifogging tom-foolery. For wasting the court’s time and Town Crier’s rich British masters’ money. There was no Golden Parachute for this skydiver into the abyss of small town politics. He did it all for free. And he says it has made him much more popular. He was quoted as saying “litigation is not positive for anyone.” Not even lawyers, I guess. Did he really say that? Now we all know about that Secret Graveyard out behind the chamber meeting hall. Graveyard of ambitions, they say. Not buried too deeply. As kids we used to dare one another to spend the night there. Especially on Good Friday, when “God is dead and the devil is loose.” There is a ritual that former directors are said to have recourse to. It involves a candle, a mirror and a copy of the Chamber By-Laws. I am already looking forward to the “All Hallows Eve” Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beyond Belief

Some have remarked my apparent absence from the Idyll-Beast Festival Parade. I got to tell you, people, the behind the scenes work has been a little more than I bargained for. Not much time for singing and guitar playing. So that part I apologize for. And I can't complain. The parade was awesome. I observed it from my mobile parade observation center.

Frank and Connor O'Feral pulled the Idyll-Beast on a golden chariot. Frank, Cafe Aroma's (what is Italian for ubermensch?) in a loin clothe and ropes of garlic. The man has amazing pectorals. And "Slave" tattooed across his back. I never knew. Conner was dressed for golf. Lori brought the whip. And this year's Grandmother Idyll-Beast, Yong Neu, carried one end of the Festival banner (Beast Fest 2010, the Beast is Among Us,) while her granddaughter, the gifted Junior Ms Idyll-Beast, Haley Neu, distributed candy. Both of them wore furry crowns and scepters. At some point past half way, Grandma Idyll-Beast finally took charge and shooed the Beast off the Chariot so she could ride a spell. And the Beast 'aped' the Belly Dancers.

And that's just the caboose of the love train! First came Aphrodite and her mobile temple, populated by a selection of Idyllwild's goddesses (funny they did not look ancient to me; of course, they're immortal!) Then came the Tribal Rondevouz Belley Dancers. Ululating.

Later, at the Beast-Fest proper, Mother Beast (Rhonda leGate) and Little Miss Beast (Aubrey Moutin) received their tiaras and scepters. The menu included Golden Calf Sandwiches. Beast sightings occurred throughout the day, with the Village Center Shops reporting dozens of encounters. As would be expected, there were other clusters of sightings at Cafe Aroma and the Idyll-Beast Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe.

Truly, the Beast is Among Us.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beast Briefs

*9:30 A.M Saturday July 3rd- that's the time for those who wish to gather at the Idyll-beast Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe at 54785 North Circle. Those who wish to participate in the parade contingent. It's easy, we'll show you how. If you or someone you know owns a fur suit, this is the day to take a long slow walk in the hot sun. Fur is optional though, all types of skin, scales, exoskeleton or feathers are welcome. The day has come when a creature will be judged not for the color, or thickness and shagginess of his or her coat, but for the Beastliness of their character.

*The Video purportedly taken by an Idyll-Beast at the June 23rd Midsummer's Night Chamber of Commerce Meeting has been much talked about but not yet publicly released. WikiLeaks is being studied as one channel for the public access to this document. Maybe the Beast was working on a documentary. Or some strange kind of voyeurism. The real news is the Video's parliamentary importance: it appears to be the only evidence of the meeting. One Director forgot to turn their personal recording device on. A reporter forgot to turn over his cassette. Only the Idyll-Beast had his device engaged. And when the Beast left (at approximately 6:55) it apparently tried to demonstrate the working of the camera to (former Chamber Mascot and present Director) Steve Moulton, but Steve just waved the creature away. The camera seemed too complicated. It has not been revealed if then-still-president-and-acting-Secretary Carlson was taking minutes of the session.

*You people are beautiful. The Beast is Lucky to have such friends. Farewell and Beastspeed!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Midsummer's Night Chamber of Commerce Meeting

Video which has recently come into our possession seems to show an Idyll-Beast among the gathered townspeople at the June 21st (Midsummer Night's) Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce Meeting. The video is of poor quality, the camera shakes and furry fingers occasionally cover the lens. The sound also leaves much to be desired. Some observers note that these people, the members and directors of the local chamber, are always blurry, like Big Foot. The Idyll-Beast, on the other hand, is definitely a HD Beast. So much more detail than you expect.

The meeting's agenda was dedicated to the expulsion hearing of President, Acting Secretary, etc etc. Ken Carlson. Judging by the evidence, the evening was operatic, Wagnerian in its tedium, tension and incomprehensibility. Mimi Lamp, the soprano, wove her piping cries of "you're a lawyer!" into Ken Carlson's solos, and Richmond Blake, an exasperated baritone, provided punctuation. Marshall Smith lead the chorus.

Ken charged that the assembled mob were not lawyers and could not understand the complexities of Chamber by-laws. He also repeatedly questioned their memories. Perhaps he has a point, as members kept interrupting him to ask "What did you say your profession was? We've forgotten!"

Ken at least had one more chance to air the matter of the Town Crier's policy regarding entertainment listings: that only businesses that purchase advertising are included in the weekly entertainment calendar. Allegedly an offer was made to the Chamber directors: free advertising in exchange for the removal of the Chamber's on-line, free-to-all, event calendar. The directors who entered into this negotiation became, in Ken's eyes, villains in the service of the paper's "rich British masters."

The video unfortunately breaks off before the denouement (that's french for "conclusion") but news has trickled out that the coup was successful and Ken has been removed. Participants were heard chanting "Ding, dong, the witch is dead" as they headed across the highway for refreshments. Later, tipsy revelers were seen performing a strangely familiar dance around a hastily erected Beast Pole.

A corner would seem to have been turned, a chapter closed, but the story is not over. Ken has promised a kind of
Götterdämerung of litigation, a Twilight of the gods of lawsuits that will drag the Town Crier into an abyss of debt and disgrace, forcing them to fire their staff to pay an army of lawyers to fend of his lawsuits. Soon enough we'll all be thinking of fire; at least we'll have that in common. Some researchers have come to the conclusion that Ken became President of the Chamber of Commerce by wishing on a cursed monkey paw. Or a faux paw. One question remains: does he have any wishes left?

All this brings us to the Idyll-Beast at the Midsummer's Night Chamber of Commerce Meeting. One explanation for the Beast's presence is that he (or she, did any one see?) was there to fulfill an ancient covenant or, as we say today, "Contract and Licensing Agreement." The Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce has a foundation myth. It is a tale of bargains struck with forces, like Commerce, powerful beyond our reckoning. Blood oaths, secret handshakes, arcane symbols embedded in our community.

The covenant states that a Director, upon being removed from office by a 2/3 vote of the Board , is to be handed over to the local Idyll-Beasts. In the old days they said the expelled directors were dragged off and eaten. We live in kinder gentler times, or at least more euphonious ones. Now-a-days we speak of "being invited to a repurposing workshop" or just "recycling." But it seems something went wrong Monday night and the Beast left early, without Carlson. Maybe he didn't like what he saw, or smelled. The Beasts are said to have discriminating palattes.

Will there be new rules? Will the Idyll-Beast care? We can only wonder, and the Beasts are probably wondering too.

Monday, June 21, 2010

If a Beast tweets in the forest, will anyone follow?

Dear readers, I apologize for my recent silence. It is not for want of material, but rather the overwhelming abundance of new developments that have demanded my attention. For the faithful I provide "Beast Briefs," updates on the multifarious activities of the Beast and the Research Center.

* Our Twitter-Beast project will now allow humans all over the world to follow the Idyll-Beast. The project has been kept under wraps until now. A number of Idyll-Beasts (all volunteer of course) were tested for digital dexterity, tech skills and literary style. Eventually one candidate was presented with a mobile device that will allow the twittering multitudes to better understand a Beast. Science marches on. Bubbles the chimp's got nothing on you, Idy. Follow the results at

* The Idyll-Beast Festival and Parade planning commission has been working with Festival Sponsors to provide a weekend-long Extravaganza of Infotainment and Fun for the whole family. The theme will be "The Beast is Among Us." The parade contingent will meet at the Idyll-Beast Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe Saturday Morning July 3rd. We will join the parade and meet up with the Cafe Aroma group, adding a little shag to their theme "Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Idyllwild." Any one wishing to participate can e-mail us at or just show up. It is a bring your own beast affair, although some fur will be available. I'd like to take this opportunity to send out a special invitation to misses Idyll-Beast past and present to bring it on down. If you still have your furry crowns and scepters bring them. If not, we will provide suitable and historically accurate reproductions. Once a queen of the Idyll-Beast Festival, always a queen. I will soon post a list of events at the various venues during the festival weekend.

*The Museum and Gift Shoppe survived our first "going out of bussiness sale" and continues to provide retail community outreach. Until the Chamber of Commerce gets back on its feet we will do our best to fulfill the function of visitor's center as we enlighten and entertain the lucky lost who find us. New products include Idyll-Beast Research Center fridge magnets, a new shipment of postcards, and more furry "Beastern Standard Time" clocks. We still have tee-shirts, Beastiopathic remedies, Li'l Researcher Adventure Play Sets, and the usual assortment of debris you'd expect to find in a cave inhabited by furry hominids who love music. sports, books and fur.

Thank you again for the love you all have shown for the Beast. This year's Idyll-Beast Festival promises to be the best ever.

Friday, May 21, 2010


It seems that the Idyll-Beast has taken a definite and even systematic interest in the goings-on at the monthly Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce meetings. For the second time in as many months the meeting has been observed by a silent shaggy presence. It is disconcerting to note that the Town Crier’s coverage of the May meeting overlooked this uninvited guest, but there is a possible scientific explanation for the oversight: Recent research points out that we often don’t see what we don’t expect to see. Just as subjects watching a basketball game on a video screen usually will not notice a gorilla walking across the court, reporter Marshall Smith simply did not notice the Idyll-Beast staring right at him for almost two hours with a pair of binoculars.

With the full (three person) board in attendance this month’s meeting was much livelier than President Carlson’s April solo performance. Things began slowly with the usual laments and attempts to rally the troops behind an effort to construct a public restroom. Indeed, public defecation has got to be the number one problem facing our downtown. We at the Idyll-Beast Research Center suggest little plastic bags dispensed at conveniently located kiosks around the village. And signs telling visitors that littering ordinances will be strictly enforced.

Marshall Smith showed up to represent the Town Crier, whose management Carlson referred to as “little people in love with power,” and is now suing for libel. The Idyll-Beast seemed to take special interest in the growling and bristling as the two man-beasts squared off over the state of the Town Crier’s membership dues and their competing claims to be the “architect” of the “Clean Slate” group that swept into power a few years ago and then resigned one by one.

Another important issue discussed was the ballot for the upcoming Board of Directors election. Carlson took charge of the ballot, adding his own name, claiming to have nominated himself. The other directors questioned the propriety of the addition. President, Election Supervisor, acting Secretary, Candidate and Vertically Challenged Person in Love with Power Ken Carlson asked if anyone present had witnessed his self-nomination at the April meeting. Former member Steve Moulton stated that he had been there and had not witnessed the Alleged Self-Nomination. Ken then appealed to the Idyll-Beast in the room, and the Idyll-Beast gestured in a way that left it clear that he also believed Ken was shooting with blanks. From a scientific point of view, this is an exciting development: the president of the Chamber of Commerce hanging his fate on the testimony of an Idyll-Beast. And even an Idyll-Beast knows that a meeting is only official if a quorum of officers is present and that by-laws state that nominations are to be made at the March meeting.

Things finally reached a climax when Board Members Mimi Lamp and Richmond Blake took the beast by the ponytail and presented Ken with their own motion to expel him from the Chamber. Ken will have thirty days to prepare his defense for the June Meeting, which he referred to as a “Kangaroo Court.” These two scrappy newcomers showed bravery in the face of threats of legal action. Carlson already is suing The Town Crier for libel, and Lamp claims that Carlson has threatened to sue any Board member who opposes him. People, spay and neuter your pets.

The June meeting should be even more exciting. There is a little known passage in the by-laws that states that a deposed officer is to be stripped of his insignia of office, bound, and handed over to the Idyll-Beasts. Folks around here say that sometimes at night in the high country you can hear the souls of former Chamber of Commerce Directors wailing like banshees from the lair of the Idyll-Beast.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Idyll DNA

The results of the Human/Idyll-Beast Genome Survey have been released and are coming home to roost. The survey covered the entire area of the mountain community, including, in addition to metropolitan Idyllwild, Anza, Garner Valley, Pinion, Poppet Flats, Skunk Junction, and Beast Cove. We also took samples from residents with no fixed address.

It should be noted we did not harm the humans in any way. Eschewing traps or tranquilizer darts, we instead gathered our samples through non-intrusive methods; digging through household garbage, picking up hair from salon and barber shop floors, wiping down empty glasses in restaurants, etc.

The survey sampled both old-timers and recent arrivals. We found that almost all members of families that had been here for three or more generations had between 3 and 4% Idyll-Beast DNA. Recent arrivals had less, although there were some surprising outliers. The results show just how illusory the supposed man/beast boundary really is and how, at least in the past, the human community was intimately connected to the Beast.

Researchers add that the specific Idyll-Beast DNA that local humans are carrying within their genome does not seem to express itself in any known morphological or behavioral sense. Rather it is part of the "noise" or so-called "junk DNA" that reside between active genes. We call it "Idyll-DNA."

Friday, May 7, 2010

Idyll-Beast Sighted at Chamber of Commerce Meeting

The Idyll-Beast sighting at the April 19th Idyllwild Miniature Chamber of Commerce meeting raised many questions. Although acting president Ken Carlson welcomed the furry presence as a gesture of support for the Chamber, a more likely explanation for the sighting is the Idyll-Beast’s attraction to carrion. Or simple curiosity. The Beast is nothing if not curious, and no one at the Idyll-Beast Research Center is entirely sure who is studying whom.

Carlson’s motion to draft the beast as an officer on the Chamber Board was greeted with general consternation. Even an Idyll-Beast knows that Chamber by-laws prohibit nominations from the floor at the April meeting

The Beast brought popcorn, apparently believing some kind of show was in store. Carlson had promised a smack down with the Town Crier, accusing them of behavior unbecoming to a Chamber member and threatening them with expulsion. Representatives of the paper declined to dignify the challenge with a response, so Ken played to an empty house. The Beast dozed off several times during the proceedings, waking up when Steve Moulton suggested that the time had come for the Chamber to disappear. Idyll-Beasts love magic. Indeed the present rate of attrition has lead townspeople to speak of the “Incredible Shrinking Chamber of Commerce.”

Ten seats on the Board, three of them filled, and the three never seen in the same place at the same time. But Carlson is ever the optimist, still full of schemes to seize businesses through eminent domain to make way for public restrooms.

Apparently the Idyll-Beasts are taking notice. Don’t be surprised if Ken is soon tranquilized, inspected for parasites and rabies, and then released with a radio tracking collar.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Den of Antiquities

The dedication and hard work of our team of restoration experts have transformed the Idyll-Beat Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe (54875 B North Circle) into a den of antiquities. The most recent addition to our collection is a spectacular testimony to their expertise. This gorgeous fur covered "Beastern Standard Time" wall clock really brings back memories of old Idyllwild. It most likely graced the walls of one of our ancient public drinking establishments, perhaps the American Legion or Burley's. It pays tribute to the brief period of our history when Idyllwild declared its independence from the outside world as the "Beast Flag Republic," with its own time zone, Beastern Standard Time. This ran an hour to an hour-and-a-half (at least) behind the rest of the world, welcoming visitors into a more relaxed approach to time, one more tuned to the passing of the seasons than the sweep of the second hand. The illuminated portrait of Idy below invites us to join him for an evening of foraging and hijinx. The clock itself no longer runs. Perhaps it never did.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pick of the Litter

Spring is here, whelping season. The days are getting longer and the beasts emerge from their lairs with gambolling beastlings. The Idyll-Beast Research Center is offering these deluxe furry Beast Crossing Signs to safety conscious Idyllwilders. The signs are covered by a double guarantee: First, no one has ever had an Idyll-Beast related accident near one of them. Second, we guaranteed them against hair loss and will gladly groom and trim the signs once installed. We provide mounting hardware, styling gel, and all inoculations.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Standard of Evidence

The photos below did not make it into this weeks Town Crier. There is an interesting story here, touching on editorial decisions and standards of evidence. I submitted a notice about the First Annual Idyll-Beast Research Center/ Astro Camp Beaster Egg Hunt to this paper and was asked for accompanying photographs. The photos I took were, to be honest, very blurry. And I guess the connection between bluriness and beastliness was lost on the editors. Luckily one of the hunters had taken some shots that were clearer. These were also submitted and rejected... the editor could not see the fur on the Beaster Eggs. At least not without putting his glasses on. Above, the reader will find an enlargement of the relevant basket and hopefully the fur will be visible to even the most skeptical. I welcome the application of the highest standard of evidence to the work of the Idyll-Beast Research Center, and am thankful for the opportunity to present our case to the reading public.

Monday, April 5, 2010

First Sunday after the first Beast sighting after the first full moon of spring

Sunday April 4th marked the first annual Idyll-Beast Research Center/Astro Camp Beaster Egg Hunt. Astrocamp faculty and staff joined with members of “that other scientific organization on the hill” to celebrate the solemn and frivolous holiday. After the traditional reading of the Legend of the Idyll-Beast” celebrants hunted for brightly colored fur covered eggs hidden by the Idyll-Beast around the meadow behind the Astrocamp lodge. The prize for most eggs gathered was awarded to the youngest hunter, Samantha Cunningham, who received an Idyll-Beast Research Center “Li’l Researcher Adventure Play Set.” The delicious treasure inside the eggs was shared after a festive meal.

Samantha really set an example, pushing much larger hunters out of her way to grab that last egg. This girl has definitely heard the call of the Idyll-Beast. She attended another egg hunt in town but complained the eggs were "too easy to find. Like they were hidden for three-year-olds." Congratulations to Samantha from the staff of the Idyll-Beast Research Center. Remember the Festival (July 3-4) and we will surely enter your name into consideration for Little Miss Beast. Or maybe Miss Tween Beast as the case may be.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do I Smell a Deduction?

In hard times people talk about signs and portents. Well, a new sign has appeared in the window of the Idyll-Beast Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe. It is a little confusing. It says "TAXE$00" but should say "TAXES $5.00." Steve (Moulton) was trying to economize a little by leaving a few letters off the sign. What he means to say is that he is offering his considerable financial acumen and formidable accounting skills to the general public at an unbelievably low price. Various services may be available, but the only one I am allowed to mention is the 1040 EZ. Five dollars.
You've heard the expression "squeeze that dollar 'til the old eagle grins?" Well grinning is just stage one of Steve's dollar squeezing, a highly technical process better left to the imagination. We at the Idyll-Beast Research Center stand behind his work. In the unlikely event that your return should be audited, we will send an accountant in a fur suit to defend you before the IRS. That will throw them off their game.
Interested parties may phone Steve at 659-4925. Tell him Idy sent you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Update: The Idyllwild Miniature Chamber of Commerce (see our earlier post) has found a worthy task. First a little back history. It seems that the coalition of local business owners working on our latest tourist attraction, the Idyllwild Miniature Golf course, attracted the attention of a group known as the Global Anti-Golf Movement (GAGM.)

This group has for years been a gadfly to owners of golf courses world-wide. Mostly they criticize the environmental impact of greens-keeping practices. It turns out an astonishing amount of water is used to keep those greens so pretty, so much so that each 18 holes of golf consumes an average of 80,000 (eighty thousand) flushes of an ordinary toilet. And then there are the pesticides and fertilizers. Beyond the envoronmentalist angle, they go on to call Golf a human rights violation and say it fosters elitism.

Our project is an indoor course that takes the golfer through 18 local businesses. Teeing off at the Creek House in Fern Valley, (par 3) avoiding the water hazards in the restroom of the Idyll-Beast Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe (par 5), a hole in one at Bubba’s books, winding through Café Aroma (par 7) and ending up, after 13 more stops including Jo Ann’s, the Liquor store and the Hardware store, at the Haunted Trailer Park. The idea of the course is to provide a good, wholesome, non-elitest leisure activity while acquainting visitors with many of our local shops and restaurants. All a shopkeeper needs to participate is a tin can tucked away in a corner and some signs directing the golfer from the “tee” by the front door, past their merchandise and to the “hole.”

When our plan was explained to the good folks at the GAGM they quickly withdrew their opposition to the proposed course. But then a splinter group, the Global Anti-Miniature Golf Association (GAMGA) reared its ugly little head. You know how they say sometimes the smallest arguments are the nastiest? Well, these difficult people mean business. It turns out they are part of the Creationist/Global Warming deniers’ camp. They claim that the little concrete volcanoes at miniature golf courses contribute more green house gases than all the world’s cars and cows combined (they heard this on the radio) and that the concrete dinosaurs embarrass parents trying to bring their children up on the biblical account of creation. Furthermore they claim that those little windmills are part of a socialist agenda to brainwash children into thinking of wind power as a friendly source of clean renewable energy instead of an economy-sinking boondoggle.

So we were more than happy when Idyllwild Miniature Chamber of Commerce head Ken Carlson offered his considerable charm and talent to explain to this latest band of misguided crusaders that our course will be nothing like that. No dinosaurs, no volcanoes, no windmills (yet,) just 18 holes (at least) of retail, dining and service. It’ll be down right patriotic. Eighteen opportunities for enterprising local business folk to come between flat-landers and their money. or pardon me, administer a little retail therapy. Imagine how easy it will be to talk a customer into another (cappuccino, squirrel neck tie, high colonic, whatever) while he or she is trying to putt their way out of Flufffy’s “sand trap” in the bathroom.

And this is so cheap. The clubs and balls we picked up at the Help Center. I don’t even need to get them back when people finish the course. I’m making the little signs myself. When the going gets tough, the enterprising get cracking. Who was it who said “It is only when you are pursued that you become swift?”

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Chamber

A few days back we mentioned the demise of the Chamber of Commerce. It seems we were a bit premature. Chamber President and last man standing Ken Carlson has announced the start up of a new Chamber, the Idyllwild Miniature Chamber of Commerce. "We'll save a lot of money on this," explained Carlson. "We'll move to a much smaller office, for one thing. And we'll focus on really small bussiness people." Various locations have been suggested for this new office. The Idyllbeast Research Center has offered the use of it's back room, with the right to a high traffic corner to display brochures. Wherever you begin accepting new members we'll be there dues in hand. Check OK?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Zeke Remembers

Part of our mission here at the Idyll-Beast Research Center is to commemorate this mountain community’s rich past by remembering. And our memory expert we call Zeke. Zeke used to contribute occasional material to the old “Town Howler” paper. We are proud to invite old Zeke to take us on a trip down Memory Lane

Remember that place they called “the Clam Shack?” Down by where the highway makes a curve. I don’t know if that was the real name, but all the musicians hung out there. And played. And not just musicians, all kinds of unknown jeromes went there to play a spell. People you never heard anywhere else you heard at the Clam Shack, They were what the management called “exclusives.”

Some folks used to call it “the Devil’s Clam Shack,” especially towards the end. Maybe ‘cause the waitresses wore those little horns and tails.

Some real characters could be found there on an afternoon. That guy they called “Wolfie,” ‘cause he filed his teeth down like a wolf. And had a small pack of real wolves. He’d parade them up and down so everyone could get a real good look. Whether there was music or not you’d find him at the clam shack. We hear he got arrested for bombmaking, but that was later on, down in Anza. Real nice picture of him in the Crier with that orange jump suit. Not all white folks look good in orange.

Then there was the Ratllesnake Man. Rattlesnakes you couldn’t say they was a business for him, but they were surely an avocation. Folk would take him up on a neighborly invitation to visit his little shack, maybe smoke a bowl of the local produce and then out came the snakes. He loved to show off how he could handle the critters without getting bit. Kind of a “snake whiperer” thing.

There was the fellow they called “the Cocaine Contractor.” A real contractor, and they say a good one. That wasn’t his wife he was dancin’ with at the Clam Shack though. Wifey finally caught up with him in the parking lot of the local feed store and made a little demolition derby bangin’ her brand new pick-up truck against his brand new matching pick-up truck. Should have seen those vehicles when she was finished.

That’s what we’d call “local color.” Some of these people and places have gone the way of all things, or at least the way of most folks who handle live Rattle Snakes. The Clam Shack, most folks here don’t even remember exactly where it was. It wouldn’t be nice to associate it with any current business. In the end the boss got caught in flagrante delicti with one of the staff. Kind of dried up the financing seeing as how it was the mother-in-law that was paying the bills. Lessons learned.


One favorite topic in the Hill-o-sphere is the shortcomings of local businesses. Either the match of goods and services to local demand, the attitutude of the shopkeepers, or the hours. It’s hard to blame folks for grousing a bit when the economy's in the dumper, but there is some sense to at least puttin’ up a front when flatlanders are present. We try to put an optimistic face on things at the Museum and Gift Shoppe (located at 54785 B North Circle Drive, between the Creek House and Bubba's Books.) We are all about the enthusiasm. And we are always talking up the town.

When it comes to keeping regular hours, however, I see how people could be a little confused. We ask the customer’s understanding. It really does make sense. First of all, the Idyll-Beast Research Center Museum and Gift Shoppe operates as an annex to Bubba’s Books, a place where Bubba can put his more high-end merchandise. So it’s open whenever Bubba’s Books is open: Monday, he’s closed, other week-days he’s open from four until dusk. It gets cold and dark fast around here. And there’s no point in being there when the dump is open. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we try to get out there a little earlier, certainly before noon. And now Maria is bringing her stuff out. A real festival of variety. And with the “woman’s touch,” the place is looking a lot more attractive these days. She’s there sometimes too. And for special events, tours, odd jobs (Rent-a-Beast, Idyll-Beast and Associates, Sightings etc) e-mail me at or phone me at (951) 306-8501 (Bubba doesn't have a phone.)


One of our lovelier neighbors is seen here saluting the Beast. It's going to be a great year. People get ready.

In one of its last official actions before disintegrating, (see our retraction on January 11th) the remaining officers of the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce have made it official:

"In recognition of the outstanding contribution the IDYLL-BEAST has made to the Culture, History, Ecology and Economy of our Community, we hereby declare 2010 the Year of the Idyll-Beast."