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My Search for Bigfoot Led Me to a Republican Party Fundraiser

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BIGFOOT
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But even if they discover a 10-foot-tall ape man living in the forest, that doesn't necessarily mean it's "Bigfoot." Maybe it's a different giant ape man.

The most famous purported footage of the legendary Bigfoot is a short clip from the late 1960s, supposedly filmed by two men in Bluff Creek, California. Bigfoot enthusiasts claim this as proof of the legendary creature's existence. I mean, sure, it's obviously just a suit. But there's no way to prove it's not the real Bigfoot wearing that fake Bigfoot suit.

There's a reality show on the Animal Planet channel called Finding Bigfoot. I'm not sure I would describe Bigfoot as an "animal", per se. On the other hand, Toddlers & Tiaras and Long Island Medium are broadcast on The Learning Channel, so there's obviously no correlation between a television network's name and the content it airs. The other day, I watched Inside Llewyn Davis on the "Movies That Don't Suck" Channel. (It sucked.)

On Finding Bigfoot, Bigfoot experts attempt to... well, find Bigfoot. If you've never seen the show, you might be asking, "Do they ever find Bigfoot?" Oh, they come close. But, alas, each week's search inevitably ends up empty. That's because there's no such thing as Bigfoot. I don't know how much longer the show will continue to air, but I'm pretty sure I know how the show will end; they won't find Bigfoot. I predict the show's final episode will be something akin to the Sopranos finale.

Finding Bigfoot is like trying to find someone having a good time at a nightclub. It's a futile search.

I use the term "Bigfoot expert" loosely, by the way. Can you be an expert on something that doesn't exist? I'll have to ask my minister. No, but seriously, I can describe the eating habits and sleep patterns of my invisible childhood friend Marty, but that doesn't make me a scientist.

For years, people have been searching for Bigfoot. You'd think they would have found him by now. I'm not looking for my ex-girlfriends, and yet I'm constantly bumping into them at the mall. #Awwwkward.

I refer to Bigfoot using the masculine pronoun "him," not based on the sexist assumption that he is a male, but rather because I know how sensitive women with large shoe sizes can be. Although it's true that women do get shut out from most of the good myths, Medusa and "Britney Spears Singing Live" notwithstanding.

On Facebook, Bigfoot's homepage has over 50,000 "likes." A lot of people like Bigfoot, apparently. O.J. Simpson has less than 30,000 "likes," and he won the damn Heisman Trophy! I'm at a loss as to why he's not more popular.

Some people refer to Bigfoot as Sasquatch, which is an attempt to add legitimacy to the nonsense. Sasquatch sounds more "scientific", I suppose. But when I hear Sasquatch, I just think of squash, the vegetable. Squash tastes awful, but it's cheap and easy to grow. So if your friendly neighbor has a garden, he or she will probably stop by the house and offer you free squash, usually baked in some food form: squash bread, squash muffins, squash brownies, pot squash, etc. They should refer to Bigfoot as "SasZucchini."

The real question that Bigfoot fans should be asking themselves is not "Does Bigfoot exist?" but rather "Who cares if Bigfoot exists?" A human/ape hybrid lives in the woods. So what? You can describe the grandfather from Duck Dynasty pretty much the same way, but nobody thinks it's some sort of zoological breakthrough. You know what's a lot weirder than a giant ape man? Platypuses.

There was a time when facts mattered. Not anymore. People believe what they want to believe. They see what they want to see. They hear what they want to hear. Right-wing pundits spend countless hours trying to come up with some sort of "liberal scandal" to blame for the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. In a violent, anti-American region of the world, over 100 Islamic militants set out to kill Americans within a time frame too short for our military to enact any sort of rescue plan. There. But this doesn't fit the Republican Party storyline, in which President Obama and Hillary Clinton are responsible for every bad thing that happens in the world. And all logic that points to the contrary serves only to strengthen the resolve of our Republican members of Congress. "We've decided that it's Hillary's fault. Therefore, the facts show that it's Hillary's fault!" And if Bigfoot is caught on film taking off his Bigfoot mask, the Bigfoot experts will simply explain that "he's shedding."

Or maybe there was never a time when facts mattered. I guess I just want to believe that.

Oh, one might argue that the belief in Bigfoot is harmless fun. And that's true to some extent. But to deny facts and logic in favor of conspiracies and fantasy is not harmless when it means that parents aren't vaccinating their children, and it's not fun when Representative Michele Bachmann thinks gay people can be "converted" to heterosexuality. Forget Animal Planet. Finding Bigfoot should be on Fox News!

I've spoken to Tea Party members. Honestly, if at any time during their political ranting they throw in a "and a giant ape man has been living in the forest for hundreds of years", the gist of their narrative wouldn't skip a beat. It's genuine craziness.

One problem with the Republican Party's search for Bigfoot is that it's impossible to prove a negative. In other words, one can't actually find Bigfoot to prove that he's not real; therefore, Bigfoot might be real because we just haven't found him yet. This is similar to how global warming skeptics argue their case. "You can't prove global warming is going to cause massive planetary destruction because so far it hasn't happened yet." Aside from the fact that global warming has caused massive planetary destruction, this debate style renders actual facts useless. Global warming skeptics might also suppose that the giant meteor crashing towards Earth won't do any damage. After all, you can't prove that it will wipe us all out until it actually does. So let's spend more time debating the issue.

I liken the search for Bigfoot to the history of professional wrestling. At one time, professional wrestling sold itself as authentic. Most people had no doubt that it was fixed. But a small percentage of brainless idiots were convinced it was real. Finally, the people running professional wrestling admitted that the matches were fake, with scripted storylines, etc. (other shocking news headlines that day: "Study Finds Teenage Boys Are Horny" and "Mondays Suck.") So now just about everyone accepts that pro wrestling is fictitious, and fans enjoy the matches as such. Yet there is still a small pocket of yokels who refuse to accept reality. Somehow, they know something that nobody else does. And, despite overwhelming facts that point to the contrary, these people still believe that professional wrestling is real.

It's time for the cryptozoologists to come clean. The jig is up. Nobody wants to take away your fun. Wear your Loch Ness Monster t-shirt. But accept reality. Don't be the guy who thinks The Undertaker really did come back from the dead to re-take his world wrestling championship title belt.

The evidence is in. Global warming is real. You can't convert a person's sexual orientation. Benghazi isn't a "scandal." And there's no Bigfoot. But the Bigfoot experts say, "We still believe," which not coincidentally is Mitt Romney's 2016 presidential campaign slogan.