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.