By Jill Pertler
The legend of Bigfoot has existed for generations. The hairy, smelly creature has been sighted mainly in the northwestern United States and Canada, but his territory must be expanding because a documentary filmmaking crew from a national cable television channel recently expressed interest in coming to my remote corner of the universe to attempt to find Sasquatch. It seems someone in a nearby town discovered footprints showing evidence of a bipedal with elongated walkers ambling through the mud.
Bigfoot (or Sasquatch if you live north of the border) was so named for his large undertaking. Reported footprints measure from 14 to 24 inches. In human terms that's a heck of a big Nike.
My dad wears size eight-and-a-half shoes. My husband 10-and-a-half. In the last two months, my teenage son's feet morphed from single digits to a size 11-and-a-half. I don't need a film crew to show me where Bigfoot lives. He's alive and well and hunkered comfortably in my family room.
In addition to his namesake mammoth feet, Bigfoot is reported to be a large, hairy, ape-like creature standing anywhere from six to 12 feet tall. Bigfoot fans also mention a foul odor emanating from the beast or perhaps from his feet. No one's gotten close enough to determine for sure.
Large and hairy can describe many a teenage boy. And, anyone who's come within sniffing distance of a high school locker room knows all about foul odors. My son hasn't yet hit the 12-foot mark, but if his feet are any indication, a growth spurt is in his future.
He isn't alone. Like the legend of Bigfoot, humans have been spurting for generations. According to the Center for Disease Control, Homo sapiens are indeed growing taller. In the last 150 years, the average height of the average human has increased four inches.
Experts believe Bigfoot is omnivorous, largely nocturnal and often inactive during the cold winter months. They forget to mention he sleeps past noon on Saturdays, has a penchant for midnight snacks and a propensity for video gaming. Those opposable thumbs sure can come in handy.
Bigfoot proponents differ in their opinions as to whether the big guy is an ape or early human being. At my house it is hard to tell some days, but I'm leaning toward the human being theory. Some days.
Bigfoot enthusiasts point to footprints as their largest piece of physical evidence. I have vast experience with footprints in the bathroom, the kitchen, the bedroom and even sometimes on the walls. Don't ask.
Followers of Bigfoot have spotted the creature on thousands of occasions. Still, scientists discount its existence, saying climate and food supply issues would make survival in reported habitats unlikely. These scientists chock up the Bigfoot phenomenon to legend, folklore, misidentification and at worst a hoax. Besides, they point out, where is the real physical evidence of a large creature living in the wild ? hair, bones and even Bigfoot dung?
They have a point. A big animal is bound to leave a big trail including big doo-doo.
Bottom line: if Bigfoot is real, how does he find such big hiding places? Does he have a family? Has anyone ever spotted a Littlefoot? Why hasn't anyone brought our famous footed friend out of the woods and into the open by producing a high quality photo or video of this larger-than-life rural legend?
Good questions, for sure. But I have something even closer to home affecting each of us. Why are humans growing taller? What is the purpose of our feet getting larger? Is it true our bodies are becoming more hairy? And smelly? All these questions indicate something is most certainly underfoot. Something big.
I have a hypothesis regarding the answer. Could it be we are evolving into Bigfoot?
Jill Pertler, award-winning syndicated columnist and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" is collecting fans on Facebook on her Slices of Life page. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit her website at marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/.