BLOOMINGDALE MOOSE PROJECT








THE BLOOMINGDALE MOOSE PROJECT

You have, no doubt, heard stories of the huge bull moose seen roaming the Bloomingdale area the last few weeks. Stories have been flowing among the customers at Gene's Grocery, in downtown Vermontville, concerning the size of the mammoth creature. It seems with each report that the beast becomes more massive.

Bob Skeels and Sandy Hayes were recently sitting around the pot belly stove at Gene's, drinking high test coffee and comparing notes about sightings each had made on various occasions. Gene interupted the conversation. "You know, if I didn't know you guys so well, I would question the authenticity of your dissertation."

Bob took a thoughtful bite from his moon pie. "I can see where you might presume that our narratives are laced with fabrications, mere concoctions of our overactive psyches but I can attest to the veracity of our commentary."

Sandy adjusted his wide brimmed Stetson hat so that he could get a clear view of Gene, who was now standing on his stepladder and placing boxes of granola on a higher shelf where they would be more easily seen by the city folks, the "New Adirondackers", as he called them, who had been moving into the area in droves, looking for cheap land. Since the advent of computers and home offices more people were opting to live in the mountains and do their commuting via the internet. These folks were under the impression that granola was a food cherished by Adirondack folk in general.

Sandy raised his coffee cup towards Gene. "I realize that those who haven't perceived the megalithic quadruped might surmise that we have taken liberties with the truth but I, for one, will not be judged a mythomaniac by every small town politico I encounter in my everyday activities."

Sandy tossed his half finished coffee into the trash can beside the stove and slammed the door as he left. Bob and Gene looked at each other and shrugged as the sound of squealing tires faded in the distance.

Early the next morning Sandy pulled his pick-up into Gene's parking lot and got out. He went to the back, adjusted some camping equipment and pulled out a small, leather shoulder bag and entered the store. Gene was making some tofu subs for a group of four well-dressed fishermen who were waiting by the meat counter. Sandy could tell by the new fishing gear they were carrying that they were "New Adirondackers" from down the road. The locals don't wear L.L.Bean fishing vests. They took the sandwiches and a case of N.A.beer and left.The locals don't drink N.A.beer.

Gene walked over to the counter after wiping some tofu off his shoe. "That stuff is messy but the "New Adirondackers" really seem to have an acquired taste for the repugnant material, I'm not really sure what it's composition is but it does bestow a satiny patina to my foot gear."

"Hi Gene, I would like to offer my sincere apologies for my rude behavior yesterday but I am not used to being accused of taking liberties with the truth. I am prepared to prove that what I have recounted to you about the grandiosity of the moose is gospel. Behold, I have my video camera at hand and I and two of my cohorts are going on extended odyssey into the forest to gather evidence. They will meet me here momentarily."

Sandy poured some coffee from the freshly brewed pot on the counter into a styrofoam cup , dropped two quarters into the coffee can, removed three and went to the barrel beside the pot belly stove and and made himself comfortable. Within five minutes the door swung open, ringing the cow bell hanging on a leather strap nailed to the back.

Maude Barney trudged in, burdened by a large backpack which was half the size of her body. She was only about five feet tall but strong as an ox. She laid the pack near the stove and went to the counter for a coffee.

"That's on me!", Sandy called out.

"To hell with you! I ain't going to be obligated to you for nothing! The only reason I'm guiding you into the woods is because I hope to see you get stomped by that dang moose!"

Maude was a true woman of the woods and beneath her tough exterior dwelled a heart of stone. She spent most of her life in a small cabin deep in the woods and earned money selling pelts from various animals she found by the roadside. She also concocted an excellent moonshine, which was considered the very best in the area. The local bar owners bought it, bottled it and sold it in their establishments. It caught on quickly with the "New Adirondackers", who utilized it as a rust remover and laxative

Maude took a swig of her coffee. "Where's that other good fer nuthin' who's goin'with us? I ain't hangin' aroun' here all mornin'."

Just then the bell jangled and in walked Hawley Snyder. Hawley was a stocky barrel-chested German in his late fifties. As far back as anyone around could remember, all he ever wore was a yellow jump suit with a red lightning bolt and a leather football helmet. It was rumored that he had at one time travelled the world as BANGO, THE HUMAN CANNON BALL. Later, it is rumored, he wrestled alligators at a roadside attraction in Georgia. No one knew for sure, since Hawley couldn't speak a word of English. No one was sure of which language he spoke but it didn't matter much since he hated people and spent most of his time in the woods anyway.

The unlikely trio climbed into Sandy's truck and headed up the highway. As Gene told the news reporters later, "The last time anyone set eyes on those wackos they were headed toward Franklin Falls."

FOLLOW UP
Several weeks later, a "New Adirondacker", while hiking, found a camera containing a grainy video tape. Here are some excerpts from the tape.
AUDIO
"There it is! My God, it's GIGANTIC!"
"It doesn't see us! Get it's attention."
"I'll go up to it and hit it with this stick!"
"Hit it again, you dang fool,it doesn't notice you!"
"Ooops!! Oh,oh!"
"Run,you dang idjits!! RUN!!"