Posts Tagged ‘montana’

Dear Sesame Street: Please stop teaching kids it’s OK to feed wild animals

Not even the squirrels. That's how serious this is, folks.

Not even the squirrels. That’s how serious this is, folks.

Though I know I’m not “supposed to,” every once in a while I break down and let my toddler watch a limited amount of TV, because sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps my sanity intact on a day that involves multiple meltdowns and outfit changes.

I make myself feel OK about this by putting on Sesame Street, since hey, at least it’s educational! Or so I thought.

Recently we watched an episode in which Elmo and Friend go on a camping trip. Elmo’s incessant need to piercingly narrate every damn thing they do apparently attracts all the woodland creatures within a 12-mile radius, and soon Elmo is inviting them to stay for dinner. Before you know it, a beaver, some turtles, a few raccoons and an entire flock of ducks are on their second helping of dandelion soup in what is clearly the start of their never-ending dependence on humans to provide basic sustenance.

All right. I know some of you might think I’m blowing this out of proportion. They’re not even real animals, for chrissakes. They’re puppets. PUPPETS. And it’s not like every toddler who watched the episode immediately started using Goldfish crackers to coax some new fluffy friends to live in their garage, dooming them to a life of human-fed captivity.

But hear me out. Less than 24 hours after watching this episode, I saw this unfortunate news:

Yellowstone

Think this is mere coincidence? Think again. It’s quite clear Sesame Street is at fault for each and every stupid tourist-wildlife encounter in recorded history.

OK, that’s a mild exaggeration. But sadly, it’s not unusual to hear a lot stories like this in Montana and other Western states, where it seems residents and wildlife intersect more regularly than in other parts of the country. Most of us grew up learning it’s not OK to try to feed or touch the wildlife.

Apparently, some idiot tourists don’t understand that Yellowstone National Park, et al., is not a goddamn petting zoo, and the animals don’t need you to feed them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in order to survive. And that by doing these things, you’re actually risking both your and the animals’ lives.

Obviously, Sesame Street is not solely at fault for people thinking it’s OK to feed and/or touch wild animals. (And I admit, I’m making quite the cognitive leap by even trying to connect these two specific incidents.)

The thing is though, you also can’t only blame the idiots, either. When it comes down to it, most of them just don’t know any better. Where many of these tourists are from, close encounters with actual wildlife happen next to never, and when they do, they actually are in a goddamn petting zoo.

It’s kind of like when a tourist from Montana, who may or may not write a blog that rhymes with “Thuirrel Proughts,” stops in the middle of the sidewalk in New York City to stare up and take a photo of a skyscraper, because it’s something she doesn’t see every day at home. Doing so is apparently Extremely Annoying to resident New Yorkers (albeit slightly less Life Threatening than sharing a s’more with a wolverine, but I digress.)

Ya know what though? At the time, she just didn’t know any better.

You know what could’ve helped her know better? An episode of Sesame Street in which Big Bird’s country-born cousin Pudgy Pigeon comes for a visit, and someone with a thick Bronx accent yells “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!” after she abruptly stops to take a selfie in front of the restaurant from Seinfeld. Then she would’ve known better.

(Or a quick Google search. That probably would’ve done the trick, too.)

Anyway, the point I’m getting at is that while the premise of this Sesame Street bit seems innocuous, who knows what seeds it’s already planted in the heads of tiny city-born tots who might try to hug a grizzly bear in Alaska a decade from now. Because according to a beloved children’s program, befriending wild animals and inviting them over for pizza and a sleepover is just a normal part of experiencing the Great Outdoors.

So, in a feeble attempt to counter the damage already done — and with that air of smug self-righteousness you’ve come to expect on Squirrel Thoughts — I’m offering some tips for any potential tourists who still might not know any better:

  1. DO NOT TOUCH THE WILDLIFE.
  2. DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE.
  3. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BEFRIEND THE WILDLIFE. NO MATTER HOW CUTE AND FLUFFY IT LOOKS. YOU ARE NOT MOTHERFUCKING SNOW WHITE. THE ANIMALS DO NOT WANT TO BE YOUR FRIENDS. THEY WILL MAUL YOU AT THE DROP OF A HAT. OR CHEETO. ESPECIALLY A CHEETO.
  4. ENJOY THE MAJESTIC CREATION THAT IS NATURE FROM A SAFE VIEWING DISTANCE.

I apologize for the stilted Internet yelling, but it’s the only chance I have at drowning out the children’s media behemoth that is Sesame Street.

Also, if you prefer information from legitimate resources, here are few:

Four reasons not to feed wildlife

Wildlife safety in Glacier National Park

Yellowstone visitors place bison calf in SUV; newborn euthanized

(FOR THE RECORD: I realize that other states, even on the East Coast, have wildlife, and that not everyone who visits from those locales are completely oblivous about how to interact with wild animals. I also realize that many of the tourists who commit these transgressions are from other countries, and who knows what kind of access they have to Sesame Street. In turn, I hope anyone offended by this — including but not limited to Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and, especially, Snuffy — realizes that it’s all in good fun. Unless you have tried to caress a mountain goat. Then you should read that shit a few more times.)

 

I must leave this place immediately

Someone posted this photo to the Facebook page of a local TV station recently:

Snake

That is a snake. What kind of snake? A huge-ass one. Just chillin’ out on a sidewalk, right in the middle of the town in which I live.

This is the worst thing that’s ever happened.

The worst part about the worst thing that’s ever happened? The corner listed with the photo is wrong, because it does not exist. (Avenues intersect with streets, not other avenues.) So I don’t even know where it actually was.

IT COULD BE ANYWHERE.

It could be somewhere I run a lot.

It could be right outside our apartment building.

It could be under our bed, waiting for me to go to sleep so it can slither around my arm and hiss in my face, causing me to scream myself to death.

THIS PLACE IS NO LONGER SAFE. I MUST LEAVE IT IMMEDIATELY.

Things I will and will not miss about Great Falls

It is officially official: Zach landed a job at the firm he interned at in law school, so we will be moving back to our beloved Missoula in just a few months! (And possibly sooner for me, depending on my job prospects.)

I have been in love with Missoula since I started college there at the University of Montana more than 10 years ago. To me, it’s easily Montana’s best city. It embodies a perfect balance of progressive idealism and rugged individualism, and it’s never too far from your front door to the great outdoors, with a perfect view, to boot.

For most people who live here, this view is only a short drive and moderate hike away.

For most people who live here, this view is only a short drive and moderate hike away.

Though I’m excited that we are lucky enough to settle down in a place we genuinely love, I will also be sad to leave behind the life we’ve built in Great Falls. This town gets a bad rap; it’s definitely not the destination of choice for the younger set. It has a lot of potential, but many folks here may need an attitude adjustment before it can turn that corner.

There are a several aspects of Great Falls I will miss, and many I definitely won’t.

Things I will not miss about Great Falls

The obsession with chain restaurants. I have never seen an entire community get as excited as people here do when news breaks about a new chain restaurant coming to town. Seriously. When Buffalo Wild Wings announced its plan to open a restaurant in Great Falls, people lost it. Lost. It. It was by far  by FAR  the most-read story on our website for several days, and approximately 8 million people liked and shared the news on social media. Four gazillion people will probably go on its opening day, defying all mathematical probabilities in a town of 60,000 people.

However, this is not the best chain restaurant-related news Great Fallsians could receive. Nope. That would only happen if the Holy Grail of chain restaurants announced its impending arrival to town. That’s right: Olive Garden.

OK, Great Fallsians. Have you ever actually been to an Olive Garden? I know those people in their commercials look like they’re having a ton of fun while enjoying an authentic Italian meal  like they truly enjoy spending time with their families and don’t all secretly want to punch each other in the throats  but they are actors. Paid actors.

When real people like you and me go to Olive Garden, this is what happens: We get a shit ton of buttered and salted styrofoam disguised as breadsticks and a lump of chicken covered with Cheese Product that was still frozen until 5 minutes before it hit your plate. Meanwhile, your parents ask you for the millionth time when you’re going to get a boyfriend/girlfriend, when you’re going to get married to said boyfriend/girlfriend, when you’re going to reproduce a human child with said husband/wife instead of just schlepping around that damn dog/cat/gerbil with you everywhere you go, and then you snap back  “STOP ASKING SO MANY QUESTIONS!” Then everyone eats in silence for the rest of the meal, interrupted only with the occasional “Can you please pass me some more styrofoam breadsticks?”

Is that the kind of dining experience you’re hoping for at Olive Garden? I wouldn’t wish that scenario on my worst enemy (OK, I probably would. I’m vindictive sometimes.) Great Fallsians, please know that I mean this from the bottom of my squirrelly heart: You deserve better.

Also: You are never getting an Olive Garden. This is not a bad thing.

Missoula has its fair share of chain restaurants and big box stores, but it’s also a community that oozes support for local eateries and shops. When we want to go out to eat in Great Falls, it’s often a struggle to think of the limited options (my pescetarianism doesn’t help with that). In Missoula, we have the opposite problem: It can be hard to narrow down the choices, and when you choose one, you can’t help but wonder what you’re missing out on at another.

The drivers. As I’ve mentioned before, the drivers in Great Falls are not the most courteous. In addition to the fact that many couldn’t care less about whether they run down a little old lady walking across the street, there seems to be some sort of game going on in which drivers score points for how many red lights they can run, how many miles per hour over the speed limit they can go, and how many times they can turn or change lanes without signaling. Maybe I’m just jealous because no one ever invited me to play.

Obviously, this is a problem in just about any place. No one ever goes to a city and says “Wow, there are some really good drivers here!” In fact, I’ve previously written about how awful I think Missoula drivers are, so I’m not going to see much improvement on that front. But even if they are apparently physically prohibited from using a blinker, they will at least stop to let me run across the street.

The weather. Good God, the weather here is heinous. I know  it’s heinous in a lot of places, particularly in Montana. But Great Falls weather is the worst. Especially the wind. Always with that damn wind in Great Falls. You kind of stop noticing it after a while, but it’s always there, slowly wearing on you.

Of course, it’s especially terrible in the winter, when the chill of said wind makes the temperatures feel 15 to 25 degrees colder than they already are, resulting in conditions as low as 40 degrees BELOW zero. Do you know what it’s like to not be able to feel your face? Like, it’s so cold that you straight-up cannot confirm whether your face is still attached to your head? I do, because that’s what the wind does to you during the winter in Great Falls.

It’s probably the worst in the spring though. The temperature has finally started to creep above freezing, the sun is shining, and you glance out the window, expecting a lovely day. Then you walk outside and nearly get blown back in by a 40 mph gust of wind. And don’t even think of trying to have hair in Great Falls. It will probably just end up looking like this all the time:

Great Falls: Not a great place to have hair.

Great Falls: Not a great place to have hair.

And did you know it’s possible to suffer an injury caused by wind? Folks, it is. One time, I was leaving a store on a particularly windy day, and I opened my car door and was putting my purse down in the passenger seat before getting in. All of a sudden, a ginormous wind gust blew my door shut on me, knocking me over and causing me to hit my shin on the exposed car frame. I probably could have died, but I’m really brave so I made it.

The scar on my skin may fade, but will my soul ever truly heal?

 

Things I will miss about Great Falls

Sunshine in the winter. For all the shit I just talked about Great Falls’ weather, there is one thing I will miss about it: The sun, especially in the winter. Even when it’s the aforementioned 35 below zero, or during less extreme temperature drops, the sun is typically shining. Not so much during a Missoula winter. It may not get as cold, and it’s definitely not as windy, but daaaaamn, Missoula can get a girl down in the winter. It’s cloudy most of the time, and inversions often creep into the valley and stick around for days, sometimes weeks. It’s depressing as hell. It’s what made me believe that Seasonal Affective Disorder is real and not just a condition invented by pharmaceutical companies to sell drugs. If I ever OD on Vitamin D supplements, Missoula inversions are probably to blame. But the tradeoff — the fact that Missoula tends to see spring green sooner and fall foliage longer  is worth it.

The River’s Edge Trail. Great Falls has this amazing trail that meanders for miles and miles and miles and miles (seriously, it’s like 35 miles total) along the mighty Missouri River:

Photo by Larry Beckner, Great Falls Tribune

Photo by Larry Beckner, Great Falls Tribune

It’s absolutely perfect for avid runners like me. You can get in a lot of miles just on that trail, and I’m lucky enough to live just a few blocks away from accessing it (with only one pedestrian danger zone to cross to get there).

Now, the one downside of this trail is that in the summer, there’s a decent chance you could encounter the Prince of Darkness himself on it: Mr. Snake. And I’m not just talking about your garden-variety gardner snake (though those are around and freak me out, too). We’re talking the vilest of the vile here: The Rattlesnake. The ones that will gouge your leg in a venomous rage without a second thought, then call in his evil serpent brethren to drag you into their lair to finish you off.

Luckily, the snakes only slither around the eastern-most portions of the trail, so I can avoid their deathly embrace by turning around before I encroach on their territory. And, of course, I always keep my trusty Snake Rock with me, just in case.

My friends and co-workers. You’ve probably heard a saying along the lines of: “A place is only as good as the people you know in it. It’s the people that make the place.” That never rang true until I lived in Great Falls.

I don’t know that you will ever find a group of colleagues who have a better, and perhaps more twisted, sense of humor than those working together in a newsroom. Especially at a newspaper, which, let’s face it, is part of an industry that’s seen better days. We laugh as we recount the ridiculous comments and phone calls we get from people accusing us of instigating a conspiracy to implement Obamacare for Goats or asking that we run a correction because they believe Montana’s borders are wrong and we’re actually part of Canada (the second one actually happened). We have to laugh, through the good times and the bad, if only to keep ourselves from curling up into little balls and crying.

We also have a great group of friends here outside our work lives, and only partly because all the young people in Great Falls immediately discover they must band together if they want to survive. It’s tough to make friends after you set out into the real world, when you don’t necessarily have the comfort and convenience of instantly bonding with people you share the same class/team/dorm/
sorority/college newspaper office with. But with our friends in Great Falls, we hit the jackpot.

(Shhhh, secret time: I’m subtlety bombarding them all with subliminal messages convincing them to move to Missoula, too.)

That “je ne sais quoi.” For all the things I clearly will not miss, there is something about Great Falls, something I still can’t quite put my finger on after four years of living here, that has made me like it, despite feeling like I shouldn’t. To borrow a term from a fancy French owl, Great Falls just has a certain “je ne sais quoi” for me.

Perhaps it’s the people I’ve known here. Or maybe all that sunshine. I don’t know what it is, exactly  only that I’ll miss it when I’m gone.

In which I school a small child at my beginners’ ski lesson. Kind of.

When you've forgotten how to ski, they start you off with the wee ones.

When you’ve forgotten how to ski, they start you off with the wee ones.

Sometimes, I’m a bad Montanan and forget to go skiing for 15 years. Which is mostly my loss, because it’s one of the few ways to actually enjoy the five-month-long mini Ice Age known as “winter” here.

So, for the first time since an eighth-grade field trip, I decided to unforget how to downhill ski one weekend and took a beginners’ lesson up at the local mountain. I assumed the other people in my lesson would be first-timers — kiddos, mainly — and I planned to totally school these pint-size fools on how to pizza and french-fry.

Skiing basics, courtesy of this site. Which probably got it somewhere else.

Skiing basics, courtesy of this site. Which probably got it somewhere else.

I got to my lesson though, and it was just some punk-kid instructor, “Landon,” and Zoe, a 7-year-old girl who had apparently been abandoned by the rest of her family so she could learn how to ski while they gallivanted across the mountain.

Now, I’d like to say I schooled Zoe in our lesson. But after “Landon” had trouble hiding his frustration and impatience with her as she struggled to master the basics after our first run, which prompted her to start crying because she missed her mommy … well, that would just seem kind of mean.

Things started out all right. I was pizza-ing and french fry-ing like a pro in no time. Zoe did fine on the bunny hill, and we went up on the lift after just two practice runs.

This is when Zoe fell apart. Her french fries led to speed she just couldn’t handle. Speed she just couldn’t handle led to falling. Falling led her to point her skis down the mountain instead of across it. Pointing her skis down the mountain instead of across it led to her to slide down it instead of pushing herself up. Sliding down the mountain instead of pushing herself up led to her scarf falling off and her coat coming unzipped, which I helped her reassemble after it became clear “Landon” wasn’t going to do a damn thing about it.

(I use quotes not because that wasn’t his real name — it was — but to help convey the appropriate amount of disdain you should feel for  him. It’s not that he was mean to her on purpose, per say; more that his tone was better suited for one of his brahs than a first-timer tyke.)

We got to the end of the run, and it was clear “Landon” was not particularly impressed with either of us, and was downright fed up with Zoe and her pizza-french fry issues. So we decided to take a break in the lodge to warm up. We sat down, and I tried to make conversation with Zoe to help her feel more comfortable. (“Hey, want to see a picture of MY BUNNY?!” — my go-to conversation starter with every child I encounter).

This is the point when she burst into tears (which I hope doesn’t reflect poorly on me or Pancake). I ran over to her side of the table, asking what was wrong. She missed her mom, who was God-knows-where on the mountain. Luckily, shortly after she started to cry, an adult she knew (I think) came by and consoled her. “Landon” took this as a cue to head back up on the lift, and that was the last we saw of Zoe on the slopes.

(Moments later, it occurred to me that I may have just let Zoe get kidnapped by a sexual predator. Don’t worry though! I saw her with her family as we were leaving the mountain, and she looked happy as a clam and had apparently moved on from any lingering abandonment issues.)

(It just now occurred to me that the man from earlier could have been some sort of weirdo cult leader who led Zoe away to join him and his cult brethren in the woods, and she’s probably performing  some bizarre marmot-sacrifice ritual as I type. Zoe’s family, if you’re reading this: I’m really sorry about the cult thing. I should have seen that coming.)

So, yeah … considering she started crying for her mom and may or may not be sacrificing a marmot in the woods right now, it seems a bit harsh to say I “schooled” Zoe at beginners’ skiing. But I since I didn’t start crying for my mommy, I think it’s fair to say I had the better time.

Sadly, Zoe could have used this info, "Landon."

Sadly, Zoe could have used this info, “Landon.”

Why I’m not drinking (not even a drop)

Drunk squirrel

I woke up on the first day of 2014 the same way I imagine a lot of people did: with a pounding headache and the desire, if I could work out the pertinent details quickly enough, to never move again for the rest of my life.

I decided several times in 2013 to stop drinking. The first time, I made it around 40 days. The second time, a week or so. With the last streak, which started toward the end of September, I lasted exactly 100 days. I discovered near the end of the month that I would hit the century mark on the last day of 2013. The coincidence seemed like an auspicious start to the new year, so I decided I would break my streak at the end of that evening. At midnight, I had my first drink in more than three months: a glass of wine.

Then I had another. And another. And another.

It always starts with one drink, of course, but that’s never the one that gets me in trouble. It’s the second, the third, the fourth …

Thing is, I have a really tough time saying no to those subsequent drinks, even when it’s just me asking the question. Once I start feeling a little tipsy, I can’t resist alcohol’s promise to at least make me feel that I’m interacting like a normal, un-awkward human person. Despite learning the hard way that booze has a compounding effect when consumed in a condensed period — over and over and over again throughout the past decade — the lesson never quite seems to stick.

So, instead of starting the new year off right by enjoying a cup of coffee and going on a nice long run on a sunny winter morning, I wasted it trying to block out the light while watching How I Met Your Mother reruns on Netflix for the umpteenth time and relying on cheese fries for sustenance. (EDITOR’S NOTE:  Cheese fries are .4 percent sustenance, 99.6 percent ooey-gooey deliciousness.)

I’m still glad I decided to imbibe while ringing in the new year, because now I’ve officially confirmed a realization I’d suspected but chose to deny for years: For me, it’s easier to abstain from drinking all together than to try to drink in moderation.

I wish I could simply enjoy one drink and call it good. I envy those who can. But the inner angel-versus-devil monologue launched by one measly drink is exhausting, and the devil currently sports what must be a 98-to-2 record. Sometimes, I handle the aftermath of the devil’s victory well. Other times, it turns me into a genuine psychopath who bursts into tears at the slightest provocation and spontaneously stomps and kicks. It’s not pretty.

It’s a hard realization, especially in your 20s, when a lot of social outings still revolve around getting together at bars and breweries. And I genuinely enjoy a good Montana craft beer for the taste, not just its inebriating effect. It seems almost sacrilegious to live in a state with the second-most microbreweries per capita and not enjoy a brew from one, not even once in a while.

But, my 100-day streak has inspired confidence that I can, in fact, do this. And do it without completely retreating into a hermit cave.

I’m sure my willingness to give up this oft-enjoyed pastime would come as a shock to many people, especially those who knew me in college and could tell you how hilarious it is that I think I can dance after a few beers. Trust me, you don’t earn the nickname “Little Kicks” if you have amazing rhythm and killer moves. (Don’t worry, friends. I’m sure I’ll work up the confidence to dance without that liquid courage sooner or later.)

Am I never going to drink another drop of alcohol again? I don’t know. Forever seems like a long time to give up anything. But I’m at the point where I know those drops must come sparingly. I’ll just have to take it one day at a time.

2013: Our squirreliest year yet!

2013 was pretty good to me. I got married to my best friend. ALF was at our wedding. (True story.) I have awesome friends, a loving family and the privilege to live and run in Big Sky Country. My obsession passion for punctuation led to my most popular post ever (with an assist from the WordPress editors. Thanks, guys!)

And, lucky us, WordPress has real, live helper monkeys working around the clock to generate year-end stats for Squirrel Thoughts. Let’s take a look!

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Has anyone fed the helper monkeys lately? They’re probably getting hungry.)

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Weekend adventure: The Great Pumpkin is in our midst!

Last week one of my co-workers wrote an article about a giant pumpkin grown in Shelby, Mont., that squashed the previous state record for giant pumpkin-ness. It weighs 1,168 pounds, and is currently the 28th largest pumpkin in the country, according to the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth. (Yes, I squeed upon discovering such a commonwealth exists.)

The great pumpkin lives!  (Photo courtesy of Kyle Koschmeder)

The Great Pumpkin lives!
(Photo courtesy of Kyle Koschmeder)

Naturally, I was mesmerized from the get-go.

When I first told Zach the Great Pumpkin was in our midst, he was unimpressed. See, he hails from Eureka, Ill., the former Pumpkin Capital of the World, apparently, so he’s seen his fair share of extreme pumpkins. And, there are some hard feelings regarding Eureka’s fall from pumpkindom, as a neighboring community stole the namesake Libby pumpkin plant, and the title along with it, some years ago. (Never mind that all this happened before Zach was even born.)

Despite his initial lack of enthusiasm, Zach suggested we take a day trip up to Shelby, which is a little more than an hour north of Great Falls, to see the G.P.  So we hopped in the car Saturday afternoon, ready for a little adventure.

We got to Shelby, parked, and realized we should probably find out just where in town this G.P. was located. We looked it up and found out it was reportedly stationed at Shelby Paint and Hardware. Then, in a quintessential small-town moment, we looked up from the phone to realize we were right across the street from it.

We went inside and asked an employee where we could see the Great Pumpkin. Much to our dismay, she informed us that the G.P. had already been purchased and transported to another small town that’s actually only 10 minutes from Great Falls, instead of 75. But, we were in luck, because there was ANOTHER GIANT PUMPKIN outside. This one only weighed about 800 pounds, compared to nearly 1,200 for the actual G.P., but it was still larger than your average gourd.

Still pretty big, though it looked kind of mushy.

Still pretty big, though it looked kind of smooshed.

We weren’t going to settle for second place though, not after dreaming of meeting the Great Pumpkin for three entire days. After a quick stop at the Oasis, a little dive bar next to the hardware store that had an unusual combination of dead animal heads and ladies’ undergarments hanging on the walls, we started back down I-15 to Vaughn, the G.P.’s new residence.

Oasis

About an hour later, we reached the corn maze to which the Great Pumpkin had been sold. We quickly realized we were the oldest people there without kids, and that they wanted us to pay $16 to enter.  The lady at the entrance was kind enough to let us go in without paying when she found out we just wanted to a few moments to take in the Great Pumpkin’s magnificence.

And then, there it was, in all its 1200-pound glory:

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Giant pumpkin portrait

Real Great Pumpkin

A dream is realized!

Since there’s really not much you can do with a giant pumpkin other than get a few pictures taken with it, we left about five minutes later. We thought we had wrapped up our giant-fruit encounters for the day. Boy, were we wrong. Pleasantly, pleasantly wrong.

On our way home, we stopped off at Albertsons to get some dinner ingredients. And, much to our delight (while, mine, at least), we spotted … HIM.

z

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Blue

An employee at a Spirit Halloween Store, he stood on the sidewalk next to a busy street, dressed up like a giant blueberry, hoping to lure customers into the nearby store with his dance moves and blueberry-ing.  Well, that’s what he said when we pulled up next to him, and I shouted “Hey, what’s your deal?” out the window.

(OK, I guess this wasn’t technically another giant fruit, just a dude dressed up as one. Counts in my book though.)

In the end, it took us about two hours longer than we needed, and we drove 150 miles out of our way, but our adventure to find the Great Pumpkin was worth it. Linus would be proud.

Linus with sign

Linus

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