Tag Archives: Montana

Why Alaskan Moose Don’t Attend Kindergarten

Every word of this story is true.  Well, almost every word of this story is true.  Okay, part of this story is true.  Okay, okay, this story was inspired by a true story (that someone told me about).  Let’s call it, “Hollywood true.”

It involves a man being abducted by aliens who conducted a series of disturbing experiments involving his….  Wait.  No. That’s not the story I was going to tell you about.  The story I was going to tell you about involves a moose.  Actually, several moose.

Dan Joling, a writer for the Associated Press, recently penned an article warning Alaskans about “grumpy moose.” One moose kicked a woman in the head while she was out feeding her chickens.  (If you’re keeping track, this is reason 185 why you should never own a chicken).  Another moose charged at some folks at an Alaskan ski resort – twice.  (Say what you will about moose – they’re persistent.)  The “take-away,” if you will, from Joling’s article is that if Alaskan moose attended kindergarten, they would come home every day with notes saying that they didn’t “work and play well with others.”

On a related note, my wife’s family has a cabin in Montana.  Here is how you get there:

Step 1.  Drive to the state of Montana.

Step 2.  Continue driving into the state at Montana’s legal speed limit of 500 miles an hour.

Step 3.  When you  reach The Middle of Nowhere, make a sharp right turn at a sign that says Fish Creek Road.

Step 4.  Continue driving for several more hours, and after bouncing along on a gravel road for three full eternities, you finally arrive – at a location where you need to continue driving for several more hours.

Step 5.  When your kidneys finally unionize and demand humane working conditions, you reach the cabin.

The cabin sits in a valley where no electronic communications exist, nor will they ever exist.  People in the darkest, most remote corners of the jungles of Borneo will have four full bars of wifi before any electronic communication penetrates this valley.  What do exist in this valley, however, are moose.  Now, I would love to tell you that these Montana moose are not grumpy like those rude Alaskan moose who keep kicking women in the head as they feed their chickens.  However, I am not in a position to do so.  This is because WE STAY AWAY FROM THE MOOSE.  My wife’s family is very large (to be precise, after the last baby was born, including cousins – the number stands at 1,383,052).  All of us, at one point or another, visit the cabin, AND THIS KEY, none of us is clinically insane (Well, there is…  No!  I’m joking!  Not a single one of us is clinically insane).  So we stay away from the moose.  We exercise a Zero Tolerance Moose Policy as it pertains to moose and all moose-related creatures.  The nuances of their personalities, therefore, remain a mystery to us, unlike, may I point out, the Chicken Lady of Homer, Alaska.  So that’s the point of my very true story.

However, now that I’ve told my moose story, on second thought, maybe I should have told you about the alien abduction instead.

Open-minded Omnivore Options

Roadkill

By Jack Edwards

If I had to describe myself in one word, that word would be “omnivore.” “Omni” meaning “eats everything.” And “Vore” meaning “which is not securely nailed down.” Merriam-Webster.com defines omnivorous as, “avidly taking in everything as if devouring or consuming.” Not merely “taking in,” mind you, but “avidly taking in.” (Avidly, meaning enthusiastically, eagerly, fervently.) So, essentially, according to Merriam-Webster, I am a gigantic, snack food devouring locust. Sadly, this is true.

Omnivores eat a wide variety of meats, including the beef variety, the pork variety, and, I am now learning from reliable news sources, the roadkill variety. Lawmakers across our fruited, and apparently carcass-strewn, plains have been busily making sure we can legally announce that roadkill is “What’s for dinner!” According to a Fox News article published last year, Montana has joined about one-third of U.S. states to legalize “harvesting” roadkill. The article includes the following actual statements:

1. Roadkill “provides a leaner alternative to factory-raised meat.” (If you don’t mind the aftertaste of road tar.)

2. Certain states that allow the harvesting of roadkill require a permit. (Perhaps this is an option sportsmen can check when buying their annual hunting tag. Instead of just choosing firearm or bow, they have a third option, “Ford Taurus.”)

3. Residents in certain states are apparently just too good to eat roadkill, including: Texas, Washington, Tennessee and California. (Who would have thought that Texans were so hoity-toity?)

The article didn’t clarify whether you needed to buy the roadkill permit before or after your lucky twist of fate. I once drove from Great Falls, Montana, to Havre (also referred to in Montana as, “You can Havre”) late at night. The woman at the airport car rental kiosk told me it was a dangerous nighttime drive because of the deer. It turned out that she had a gift for understatement. Conservatively, there were about one million deer per highway mile – all staring with their beady, glowing eyeballs at me. Several times, I had to stop my car, get out and lure them off the highway with a bag of caramel corn which I had the good fortune to buy at the airport. Now that Montana has joined the civilized world, I want to go back and purchase a permit. I’ll rent a Hummer, you know, just in case I accidentally hit a deer.

A few years ago, creative entrepreneur-chefs in a small Oregon town opened a place called “The Roadkill Café,” surprisingly, it went belly up. It now appears that they were culinary geniuses ahead of their time.

For years now, I’ve been thinking of starting a bumper sticker company. This is because I feel passionately about a deeply personal and truly heartfelt message. And that message is that printing a ten cent sticker and selling it for three dollars is about as close to printing money as you can get without those goons at the Treasury Department throwing you a little surprise party which ends with them dragging you off by your ankles never to be seen or heard from again. But I digress. One of the stickers I’ve always thought would be a red hot seller would read in large bold letters, “I Brake for Animals,” and then directly below in lower case it would say, “taller than my bumper.” But now that I’ve been educated to this hip new wave of eating roadkill, while the top line of my sticker will still read, “I Brake for Animals,” the bottom line will now read, “after impact.”

Well, it’s been a long day. I plan to unwind by going on a leisurely drive through the countryside. I’ll take my F-350 4×4 Ford Pickup, the one with the reinforced steel front bumper. You know, just in case I accidentally hit a freezer full of venison.