By means of introduction, let me state here that I used to spend summers living in a mountain cabin with my family. There was no phone. No electricity. No running water. Doing our business meant walking up the path behind to the outhouse and returning, often with just the light of the moon to guide us. Sounds serene, doesn't it?
Except if you happen to be a young man with what some might describe as an over-active imagination. In which case, some of those strolls to the comfort station were less comforting than others. For those trips I tended to take the Radar Lite, a great beast of a flashlight that could be used to signal passing aircraft, if necessary. And there was a flashing red hazard light on the back end of the thing, probably for use in case of road hazards and the like. I figured it would come in handy if I was confronted in those late night trips to the loo. If I needed some sort of emergency help. If aliens landed nearby and wanted to abduct me, for example.
This kind of speculation was brought on by the lack of television, which offered us a chance to read every word of every Time Magazine and daily newspaper that found its way into our mountain retreat, as well as countless Peanuts collections, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and literature ranging from polite young adult novels to Michael Chricton, Bram Stoker, and HG Wells. All of which created a combustible mixture of fantasies that sometimes made it less than desirable to venture outside once the sun had gone down.
Because, aside from all those graphic descriptions of cattle mutilations that may have coincided with strange lights in the sky, there were reports of Bigfoot. Never mind that none of them included Rocky Mountain National Park as the location of such sightings, but if there were aliens landing and turning cows inside out, why wouldn't there be an eight foot tall Sasquatch lurking just outside. Waiting. Waiting for someone's bladder to get just a little over-full. Waiting to pounce. Or whatever it is that Bigfoot was supposed to do. Not satisfied with assertions made by so many that this missing link was profoundly private and most likely vegetarian in his appetites, I chose to proceed with great caution. Sometimes I was accompanied on these sojourns by our intrepid mountain dog, Rupert. A dachshund who transformed, in his mind, into a beast several hands high with a bark that was amplified by our proximity to a large pile of granite. I let Rupert go out ahead of me.
In all those years, all those trips to the outhouse, not once did we encounter Bigfoot or an alien probe. Now, forty-plus years later, the FBI has released what they hope is their definitive report on the matter: No such thing. What a relief. Guess I won't need the Radar Lite anymore.