After collaborating on my latest book, Bigfoot in the Bronx, Sasquatch and I celebrated by taking a four day bender fueled by cheap whisky and expensive cigars. Truth be told, I vaguely remember where we went during that trippy odyssey. It was all about celebrating the success of an interspecies project and just plain having fun after a year in lockdown and the mental assault of pandemic mania brought on by way too much media consumption. We were done and we were free to roam about the cabin.
Now the book was out, the party ended and we parted ways for a few weeks, Sassy disappearing into the wilds of the Catskills (where I hoped he wouldn’t come across the Wraith!) and I back to my belfry of broken dreams. He’d told me he had matters to attend to, while I had another book to start. We agreed to meet after a spell at the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. There, we’d fish the Hudson, take in some sun and crack a few imperial IPAs.
Not one to waste a special moment, I asked Sassy if he would agree to an interview that I could share with my readers. It’s one thing to enjoy the fictional madness we had concocted, but another to get some insight into what it’s like to be a cryptid in a world of crushing, idiotic humanity. He clipped off the end of a Nat Sherman cigar, ate a raw fish he’d snagged a few moments before, and said, “Sure. Why the fuck not?”
What follows is all real, and so very, very true.
HUNTER – We humans have given you and your kind a load of monikers over the decades. What do you prefer to be called, other than Sassy?
SASQUATCH – Let’s get this out there now. You are the ONLY person who can call me Sassy. I mean, you get me, man, so we’re cool. But if someone came to my neck of the woods and tried that, things probably wouldn’t end well for them. For me, personally, I dig Bigfoot because look at these U-boats! That’s an undeniably big foot. In a formal setting, I’ll take Mr. Foot, too, I guess. And hey, we all know what it means when you have big feet.
HUNTER – I’m well aware, since you don’t wear pants. When you’re not hanging with this mid-list horror writer, where do you spend your time?
MR. FOOT (because it sounds funnny) – Let’s just say the Catskills. I have family and friends up there, and the last thing we need is Matt Moneymaker and Bobo coming up and invading our space. Nice guys and all, but after they leave, a gaggle of idiots come swarming in. You humans are loud and messy and annoying as hell with all that wood knocking. It’s like trying to sleep next to a demented woodpecker.
HUNTER – So, wood knocking is a myth?
MR. FOOT – Total. I don’t know who made that up, but it didn’t come from us. We’re not Neanderthals. We know how to speak. Do you just randomly pound on a tree when you want to talk to someone?
HUNTER – Never have.
MR. FOOT – Exactly. It’s dumb. Plus, it hurts the trees. I’m not saying I’m a tree hugger, but I do respect nature.
HUNTER – If you could have voted in the last presidential election, who would you have voted for?
MR. FOOT – Seriously? I would have voted both candidates off the quote, un-quote island. There are many reasons we keep to the shadows, and that’s just a glaring example. Shit, I’d rather see a Chupacabra in office than anyone you’d selected. And Chupacabras are jerks. But at least they have a lick of common sense and a moral compass.
HUNTER – Wait, Chupacabras are real?
MR. FOOT – If you don’t believe, ask any random goat.
HUNTER – Okay, let me switch gears. When we were working on Bigfoot in the Bronx, we took a little trip through my old stomping grounds one night.
MR. FOOT – Brilliant idea to do it during Halloween.
HUNTER – And that’s when you told me we had to set the book during Halloween, too. Remember how I wanted to set it during Groundhog Day?
MR. FOOT – Yeah, that still doesn’t make sense.
HUNTER – Considering how much we argued about it last time, I’m going to just let it go. Anyway, what were your impressions of the Bronx.
MR. FOOT – First, I dig how you people call it the Bronx. It’s like that with my kind. We live in the woods, not just woods. I have to say, I liked the tiny street your grew up on. Kinda quaint, which I wasn’t expecting. And that cemetery! There’s a world of history under that dirt. I could have explored that place for weeks.
HUNTER – Pardon the interruption, but you mentioned the cemetery. A lot of people claim that since they never find a Sasquatch body, you can’t exist. Some say that like us, you bury your dead. Is that true?
MR. FOOT – Different tribes handle it their own way. I once ran across this extended family down near Fouke who ate their dead. (Visibly shivers). Not cool, man. For us, we’re all about the cyclical nature of life and death. We know how difficult it can be to find a good meal when you’re a large mammal. We’re very in tune with others like us, say, like bears and big cats. When we die, we’re brought to where those guys hang out and fill their bellies.
HUNTER – Sounds pretty gruesome.
MR. FOOT – I mean, we’re dead at that point, so it’s not like we give an antelope’s asshole what happens to our body. Anyway, back to the Bronx, it was a cool place. That is, until you took me to where the subway runs. Look, I mark my territory, too, but the smell of urine there is bat crap crazy. What is with you people? And speaking of people, how can you live on top of each other like that? There’s a big, beautiful world out there. Why resign yourself to living like canned sardines? I have to say, when we were done, I kinda felt sorry for you as a species.
HUNTER – That’s funny, because my readers felt sorry for your character in the book.
MR. FOOT – Well, it was about time you didn’t just go all hog wild on killing cryptids. You’ve always been a stand up guy to me, but there are some cryptids out there who have dart boards with your face on them.
HUNTER – Jesus, really?
MR. FOOT – Oh yeah. What if I wrote twenty books about killing humans? You think I would be on any human Christmas card lists? No way. If you ever plan to go searching for a cryptid, come to me first. I’ll let you know if you’ll be treading on friendly ground or not.
HUNTER – Like the Jersey Pine Barrens?
MR. FOOT – That is now a no-go. JD is pretty pissed at you.
HUNTER – Telling a New Yorker to stay out of Jersey isn’t a bad thing. Now, speaking of whisky.
MR. FOOT – We weren’t talking about whisky.
HUNTER – Hey, I’m the interviewer here. What’s your favorite adult beverage of choice?
MR. FOOT – Honestly? I know you and I have poured a lot of that brown fire water down our necks, but if I had my way, I’d be just as happy with one of those Skinny Girl margaritas. Or their peach vodka. Good stuff, and I don’t have to worry about counting calories.
HUNTER – Are you messing with me?
MR. FOOT – Hell no. My wife loves it, too. Saturday afternoons, after a day of wrangling the kids, we like to split a bottle and just chill as we watch the sun set.
HUNTER – How many kids do you have?
MR. FOOT – Three with my current wife. I have seven in total from a mix of exes and a hookup here and there.
HUNTER – Sasquatches have hookups?
MR. FOOT – Unlike you, we don’t fight against our nature. It’s all about survival of the species, man. Don’t look at me funny. I’ve noticed quite a few of your kind excelling at spreading their seed. Like the world needs more humans. Sheesh.
HUNTER – This is not going where I had expected.
MR. FOOT – I’ve read your books. Neither is your career. (laughs his fool head off) I’m just kidding. You know I love you.
HUNTER – As much as the Jersey Devil hates me?
MR. FOOT – I wouldn’t go that far. The wife might get jealous.
HUNTER – Are there any other things you’d like people to know about you that they wouldn’t have guessed in a thousand years?
MR. FOOT – I like to retain some mystery. But let me see. You know those shirts that all say we’re the hide and seek champions? As a general rule, we HATE that game. Give me Stratego or poker any day. We’re much deeper thinkers than you give us credit for. I’ve binge watched the entire series of Homeland about four times.
HUNTER – Wait, you live in the middle of nowhere. How can you watch television?
MR. FOOT – (with a smile) That’s for me to know. I’m huge into Tex-Mex. Got a taste for it when I lived down in south Texas. Oh, and my favorite color is puce.
HUNTER – Puce? I don’t even know what that would look like.
MR. FOOT – Google it, buddy. Puce with a p-u. (laughs)
HUNTER – We need more cigars. How about we end this and go grab some?
MR. FOOT – Can we get some Skinny Girl?
HUNTER – Really? That’s how you want to end this? My readers will think you’re a wimp.
MR. FOOT – Yeah, well, the day they can call me that to my face is the day a T-Rex will march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
HUNTER – Good point.
As the great Bugs Bunny said, That’s All Folks! At least for now. Want to make Sassy a happy Squatch? Grab a copy of BIGFOOT IN THE BRONX. And next time you’re deep in the woods, leave a bottle of Skinny Girl margarita behind. Oh, and stop knocking on trees!
Believe it or not, it’s pure coincidence that the release of Bigfoot in the Bronx happens to fall on the same day as King Kong vs. Godzilla. I could never have planned it so well. Trust me.
So, who wants to squatch this place up?
It’s hunting season for best friends Shay and Vito. This year, with a bad economy and Shay out of work, it’s more important than ever to bag a deer so they can feed their families. Tucking their truck in their secret spot outside a state park in the Catskills, they settle down, waiting for a deer to come to them.
What they get is a giant creature that outruns a speeding deer and savages it with its bare hands and jagged teeth. Someone hidden in the woods shoots it with a tranquilizer dart. Shay knows what the beast at their feet is, and how its discovery can change their lives forever. They load it into their truck and head home for…
The drugged Bigfoot awakens in a cramped shed in Shay’s backyard. Confused, terrified, angry, it breaks loose in the middle of the night, seeking refuge in a nearby cemetery. When the bagpipes of a morning funeral drive it into a killing rage, the carnage has just begun.
From playgrounds to golf courses, apartment buildings to subway cars, the bigfoot is on the move – and it’s not happy. Can Shay and Vito find and recapture the beast before it burns the Bronx to the ground?