Al Batt: A Bigfoot saw me but nobody believes him

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2022

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Tales from Exit 22 by Al Batt

My name is Batt.

I’m a private investigator.

Al Batt

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I get $5 a day minus expenses.

I’ve been meaning to write a business plan.

I sat in my smoke-filled office located in my obscure corner of the world. I don’t smoke, but some things shouldn’t be reheated in a microwave. The leisure suit I wore matched any gravy stain. 

I’d learned plenty from the patter of tough talkers like Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, but I continued my education. I did a Clint Squint as I stared through the smoke at my certification of participation from the Day Late Mail Order Hard-boiled Detective and VHS Tape Repair School. The certificate was held in place by a piece of masking tape discolored with age. I’m fixing to put a frame around that impressive certificate of participation  when my ship comes in. A fly landed on it. There was nothing I could do about it as my flyswatter license had been revoked.

A loud noise interrupted my thoughts. It wasn’t an angry mob carrying pitchforks. The phone rang — a landline, a rotary dial phone, an ancient means of communication. It rang like cellphones try to ring. I have a landline so I can slam the phone down. It has the added benefits of never becoming lost or butt dialing anyone.

Anyway, the phone rang. As I reached for the phone, I heard, “Dun dun dun duuuun!” That short three-chord musical phrase or sting is used in movies and TV to indicate a moment of suspense. A phone call provided the dream of possibilities and the gloom of responsibilities. A sultry and bothered voice sounding like Marilyn Monroe on a good day and a bad day told a tale of woe about a Bigfoot. She’d met him at the Big Portions and More Restaurant, where if you want smaller portions, you eat farther away. 

He’d skipped out on his check and didn’t leave a tip. She needed that money. He’d told her he was working in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She wanted him found. I asked for a description. She said he had big feet. That would prove helpful. 

It wasn’t long before a neon pink rabbit sign greeted me as I pulled into the parking lot of the Rabbit Ears Motel. I never expected to be in such a classy joint, but was happy to be allowed up on the furniture and they remembered to water me. The Rabbit Ears Motel has nothing to do with the simple, old TV antenna, the dipole antenna is called “rabbit ears” because it looked like a pair of rabbit ears springing from the top of the TV set. The motel is named for two giant stone monoliths about 30 minutes outside of the city. The Rabbit Ears Motel is a lovely place to stay in Steamboat Springs.

I’d never searched for a Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch or Abominable Snowman before, but that didn’t mean I was inexperienced. I’d found a jackalope, a rabbit with antlers, in a thrift store in South Dakota. It looked surprised as if it believed itself to be mythical. I located a chipbuck in my yard. It’s a cross between a chipmunk and a white-tailed deer. The result is a tiny rodent with big antlers. They are rare, as their antlers make it impossible for the little mammals to enter their burrows for safety and they often fall victim to predators. And I once drank iced tea from my wife’s Yeti mug. 

I looked under my hotel bed just in case. No Bigfoot there. The hotel room had no junk drawer for it to hide in. I tried to think like a Bigfoot, but struggled to think like myself.

What is made of leather, a foot long and sounds like a sneeze? A shoe. I needed shoes as mine had suddenly gone out of style.

I shopped for shoes. That’s how I stumbled upon Bigfoot. He was the assistant manager of the big and tall men’s department of a busy store.

He promised to pay the woman via PayPal the minute his ship came in and to buy me a frame for my certificate of participation. That was good enough for me.

He seemed nice but blurry.

Al Batt’s columns appear in the Tribune every Wednesday.