Thursday, August 19, 2010

The day I rescued that beaver costume from a certain dumpster death was the day my life changed forever.

Not actual costume, but it looked identical to this one.
In the year 1993, being called a "beaver" was no longer considered P.C.

Because of these changing times, in 1993 I also became a proud owner of a beaver mascot costume. 

Throughout high school, I worked as a sweeper boy at a local elementary school.  As innocent as most beavers may appear, the school I worked at became victim of increasing pressure from  local citizens to change the mascot to something less, uh, innuendo-istic.  These anti-beaver-ites thought they ruled the world with their sad beaver disdain.

Despite the presence of a protruding stinger, the administration decided upon a bumblebee.

The day I rescued that beaver costume from a certain dumpster death was the day my life changed forever.  (I doubt anyone has previously blogged the last sentence.  Ever.)

 ... 2 years later ...

My high school graduation was to be followed by an eventful trip to my grandparent's cabin near Yellowstone National Park with four of my best friends.

We took the beaver suit.

During our vacation, we went fishing, swam in the river and ate steaks that seemed to be filled with more steaks.  Much of our time was spent goofing around like normal 18-year-olds do.  My mom is still wondering how the shocks on her minivan wore out so quickly that summer. (Not related to teenage promiscuity of any kind.)

Alas, the day of reckoning arrived.  My buddies and I had given it much thought and we were going to take Yellowstone National Park by storm.  A storm of beaver so frightening, not even a Cobra Kai leg sweep could defeat it.


All five of us clamored into the minivan and drove straight for Old Faithful. Upon our arrival, one particularly zany pal immediately dawned the beaver suit, complete with a flappy tail and a goofy red heart on it's chest.   It was adorable.

He was adorable.  We could hardly contain our laughter.

We had no idea what the reaction would be from the throngs of people gathered round to watch white water shoot into the air.  Little did we know that folks from all across this great land would line up to have their pictures taken with an enormous, bucktoothed, semi-aquatic man-mal. My beaver friend spent at least two hours roving the hot pots, posing for pictures and pretty much laughing it up with bumbling tourists wearing over-sized fanny packs filled with granola.

Unfortunately, I did a thorough search of our home and I could not find a single picture of this marvelous beaver dam great day.  I know the pictures exist: the beaver trying to start the wave around Old Faithful, the beaver at the urinal, the beaver getting kissed by two female Rangers. (FYI: Female Rangers are just about as sexy as you'd imagine female Rangers to be.)  I'm hopeful one of my friends has photos that I could post.

I have never actually seen a real beaver in Yellowstone.  I am sure they are there, but even in Yellowstone they are pretty elusive.  Thus, I was confused if the tourists actually thought that the park's mascot was our beaver suit.  You would think a bear, buffalo or an van full of Asian people would make a much more suitable mascot.

As we piled back into the van, we high-fived  (cool at the time) and lauded our total beaver-ization of Old Faithful.   We then discussed and agreed upon one final prank.

Now, anyone that has visited Yellowstone knows that if you see an animal in your car - be it a moose, a fox, a squirrel or a unicorn - you must slam on your brakes, get out of the vehicle with your camera in tow and excitedly approach it.  It's a little bit like when a Los Angelan sees a 10 car pileup or a New Yorker sees a dead person in an alley - they see them all the time, but they can't NOT take photos.

It was this unbridled tourist thirst for roadblocks and nature photography of furry woodland creatures that gave us our plan...

We waited for the roads to clear for a few minutes and my friend - still dressed as a furious man-beaver - squirted into the field and ducked behind a log.  Meanwhile, my friends and I started to jump, point and take pictures.

Within 5 minutes we had created a roadblock of mammoth proportions.  Cars from every state in the union had backed up and a few brave souls started to venture out into the woods to see what the brown fur lurking behind the log might be.

With their cameras at the ready and shoulder bags swinging, the tourists crept upon my slouching friend who would occasionally huff and grunt - adding to the allure. A few came within a couple feet, tiptoeing as if they were sneaking up on a sleepy, baby giraffe. 

At that moment, my woolly costumed friend stood on his hind legs, waved his arms and proclaimed, "WELL HELLO EVERYBODY!"

The tourists, still unsure what mysterious animal was lurking behind the log, SCREAMED and DARTED!  The mayhem continued for about 3 seconds. 3 loooong seconds. My friend then darted back to the van and we peeled out like a couple of Dukes of Hazard bandits.  (The beaver boy may actually have attempted to jump through the van window - Dukes style - which I am sure was quite a site in and of itself.)

Once on the road again, we rolled with laughter at the thought of a giant beaver jumping out of the Yellowstone thicket at a bunch of unsuspecting tourists.

To this day, I still think about the story that some Chinese dude is telling his kid back home...

"And then, just as I was about to reach him, he stood up on two legs and yelled profanities at us and jumped into the getaway car."

We were such morons.

66 comments:

woman:confused said...

OMG, that was the funniest junk I've read in a LONG time!

You are WAY cooler than any of my friends. We just dumped over port o potties on abandoned construction sites in the middle of the night. By "we" I mean "them" and by "them" I mean my brother.

Mighty M said...

Sooooooo hilarious!! You are a gifted story re-teller!

Missy said...

I have done some partying in my time, but never in a beaver suit! LOL You are so, so funny!

Emmy said...

Okay I am laughing so hard I am crying. A bus full of Asians as the mascot hilarious! Oh please let one of your friends have a picture.

Melinda said...

Thats AWESOME!!! HAHAHAHAHA! He totally should have run at people before he got in the van, I love it!!

middle child said...

So the guy who told me he "doesn't do that" because of something that happened to him at Yellowstone was telling the truth?

Dayna said...

Oh. My. Gosh. That story was hilarious!! I can totally picture that happening.

What a great prank!

-stephanie- said...

Morons who had the best summer ever! Funny stuff!

DeNae said...

Very funny! Way to keep the "Bigfoot" myth alive.

FabuLeslie said...

Wait. You were a sweeper boy?

Just kidding. That sounds like the most delightful road trip ever, even if you didn't pee on the side of the highway.

P.S. Thanks for all the encouraging words about running.

Teachinfourth said...

Man alive, Abe…that is simply brilliant. When I was a teenager, my friends and I had discussed pulling a 'Bigfoot' prank, but it was just all talk. We never did it.

Rock on, Mr. Go-and-Do for you went and did. Thou rocketh.

Kristina P. said...

That sounds like one scary beaver!

Allyson & Jere said...

Awww man, you gotta love retarded 18 year old boys and their ideas of a good time. Won't lie, this was REALLY funny. And I enjoy harmless hilarity.

I also enjoy Old Faithful, and Yellowstone, and long walks on the beach...uh, oh wait, sorry.

Anyway this was a HILARIOUS story for sure. LOVE that you saved the beaver costume from dumpster doom.

Knox said...

I was in Yellowstone one summer in the early nineties. Can NOT believe I missed this. I laughed so hard (suddenly) I spit on the computer.

Kelley said...

Aaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha!!! I just LOVE that...all of that. THAT was good stuff. THAT made me laugh! I love that you rescued that costume, that your friend wore it around Old Faithful (ahhhahahaha!!) and that he tucked himself behind a log like a real animal. That, that, that! I loved all of that! Need to go to sleep...

Saimi said...

I'm still laughing!

Jillybean said...

You did this last week, right?

Meathead said...

BWAHAHAHA! That's Beaverlicious.
So funny reading it, I can only imagine the laughs you guys had at the time!

Melissa said...

Hehe! Funny.

Speaking of beavers- (and this comes from my father in law who is a very wholesome man) 20 years ago my he bought into a carpet franchise. They sent him a whole roll of carpet and he was very excited to sell it. The carpet name was Beaver and the color was Surprise. Not even kidding. He tells this story often and we always laugh so hard!

sinika said...

Um, sorry- that last comment wasn't from Melissa- I just helped her with her blog today and forgot to sign out!

MiMi said...

Um. I'm a Beaver. True story.
My MIL was the ORIGINAL Beaver.
For reals.

Okay, if you don't get that just google Oregon State Univ.

Noelle said...

Morons maybe...but morons I would have loved to see in action!!! This was one of my favorites Cheeseboy!

Garden of Egan said...

I would have given my firstborn to have seen that!!!!

I'm a little surprised the beaver wasn't shot by Fish and Game.

ScoMan said...

Hahahaha I'm sure you're not the only one blogging about these events.

Because not just the Chiense dude will be retelling this but there'll be a blog somewhere where someone has posted "Did I ever tell you about the day I saw some guy in a beaver suit?"

Ash said...

oh gosh - lol! i got a bit bored in the beginning part of the post but the ending caught me in tears of laughter!

happy weekend, you!

~ash's mum

Powdered Toast Man said...

I wish I had a story like this. You need to find those photos!!

What other fantastic stories are you hiding up your sleeve?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And if you'd pulled that prank here in the south some redneck would've eaten man-beaver that night...

Mamma has spoken said...

I know of a high school whose mascot is a Trogen. Maybe we can get the beaver to meet up with them?
I've been to Yellowstone and know totally of what you are saying. Once we pulled over because everyone was pointing and taking pictures of something.....
Now I wonder if that was you??

T said...

too funny! pictures are all over the world of this one - probably framed on some female ranger's nightstand as we speak.

Joe Cap said...

What???? You mean high-fiving is NOT cool anymore?
Your lucky you didn't get in trouble from any of the rangers for doing unauthorized tourist entertainment.
I bet if you charged for a photo you could have cleaned up.

daylily777 said...

Very creative use of a Beaver Suit!
Blessings,
~Myrna

Pearl said...

Beaver-infused jocularity. :-) A story well told!

Pearl

Sam Liu said...

Mighty M is so right, you have a real knack at telling stories! This was so funny, and such an engaging read. My favourite part - "You would think a bear, buffalo or an van full of Asian people would make a much more suitable mascot." Sheer hilarity :D

Pedaling said...

this is why I love the youth!
sooooo funny!

Hart Johnson said...

BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Man, I wish you'd been in my pack of friends back in the day. We definitely needed you. Though you would have only been 8. Still, you got the mojo. We woulda been inspired.

McKenzie said...

That is hilarious! Makes me want to go find a beaver costume haha!!

StephenC said...

Found you from your comment on my guest blog (posole) at jennsfoodjourney. I love your writing, witty, snarky, all the things I love. I'm becoming a follower.

Marlene said...

Hey...I come from a country of beavers!

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

That was so much better than dressing as a bee, even with its growing stinger. How boring that one would've been.
Great story!
xoRobyn

Heff said...

Large, Hairy Breavers can come off as quite a shock. I have personal experience.

Pat said...

That is really, really funny! I would have LOVED to have my picture taken with a beaver! And hiding in the woods and jumping out? I would have laughed my butt off! What a great story!

Mommy Lisa said...

Aw come on - all 18-year olds are morons. :) That was wicked!

C'est La Vie said...

hahahahahahhahahahaha i am not even shocked...

Marnie said...

OMG!!! Now that is funny. I can just imagine the look on their faces. Talk about a Polaroid moment.

The Invisible Seductress said...

You are freaking hilarious!! When I grow up I want to be just like you!!

M-Cat said...

Oh my heck! I started laughing so hard that one of my boys came into the bedroom to see what was so funny. As he is my prankster kid, I told him he had to hear this story. I got as far as reading the title when he said, "Hang on a minute Mom - I gotta take a poo. Be right back"

I'll let you know what he thinks of your story......

M-Cat said...

official review? Dude thinks it's funny. You're not gonna get much better than that, and the the belly laughs he erupted in.

Dave said...

There is only way you could have improved that prank. Right after proclaiming "WELL HELLO EVERYBODY!" your friend should have pulled out a boombox and started dancing like a robot to the Primus song, "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver." (According to my calculations, it was released that very summer.)

Georgina Dollface said...

That was hilarious! Although you probably scared the bayjezus out of them, those tourists must have awesome stories to tell to their grandkids. I'm sure they have all recovered by now after years of therapy. - G

Connie said...

Funny stuff! Only 18 year olds could think of such weird things to do! Well, maybe not just 18 year olds. My 20 year old missionary son wore a spiderman suit in South Africa on P-day when they went to an amusement park. People thought that was great and had pictures taken with him. I've been thinking of doing a post about that, instead I write a post about Cracker Jacks. Same thing, right?

Love your writing! You have a flair.

lisleman said...

you know if more teens today would put on beaver costumes there would less of a drug problem. (but I don't know of teenage pregnancies, beavers are sexy)

W.C.Camp said...

You ought to try robbing a bank in that get-up - you could back up to the counter and SLAP down your demands! Great story! W.C.C.

handstowar said...

Dude... high fives are still cool. Aren't they?

Funny stuff.

Camie Rae said...

Dude, that is singlehandedly the BEST thing I've ever heard...or read. Regardless, allow me to expound on WHY. My family lives in Star Valley, Wyoming, approx. two hours away from Yellowstone. I live in Riverton, Wyoming, again approx. two hours away in the other direction. So in order to get from one house to the other, I have to travel the road of doom, aka Teton Park. I have, on many occasions, missed hitting a tourist by milimeters. You know, the same kind you spoke of, the kind that stop in the middle of the road to look at some form of wildlife. SO the very thought of you pranking any form of Teton/Yellowstone visitor makes me so happy. SO happy, in fact, that I want to go out and do it...you've still got that costume right?

Lola Sharp said...

Oh man, there are so many things I could say...so many things.
But, since I'm a lady *clears throat* I'll simply say: well done.
I mean, really, is it so surprising that a beaver changed your life? What guy doesn't love a stuffed beaver?

Joann Mannix said...

I am having a very stressful day here at the homestead. We are packing the girl up to take her back to college. Of course, she has not finished packing and we are still all waiting and there is lots of yelling, mostly by me. So, in order to lower my blood pressure, I decided to sneak away and read a few of my beloved blogs that I've missed so much these last few days.

Thanks, Cheeseboy. Because of you and your beaver, I can now say, I'm not going to stroke out. So feel good today. You saved a life, you and your beaver. That was the best story of all time. Perhaps even better than the pooping in the pants. I'm not sure. Close, at least.

Michelle Pixie said...

I do hope you find some of those pictures! That is the best beaver story I've ever heard!! ;-)

Pat Tillett said...

You were most certainly NOT morons!
You were genuises...

GREAT story!

Baby Sister said...

Hilaroius. Definitely a fav.

Lourie said...

Hilarity, coolness, and "candid camera" moment all rolled into one!

Sco said...

This story better be in your canon, and is one of your best!

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Hilarious! Cheeseboy you never fail to entertain! When do you go back to school?

SparkleFarkle said...

Terrific story! What a cool situation you guys put yourselves up to. I will look forward to the pictures. as they're bound to surface. (<-- I Hope, I hope!) Too bad Jerry Mathers wasn't on vacation in Yellowstone at the time. Now THAT would have made for the ultimate beaver/"Beaver" photo op, eh?

SF~~~~~*

tiburon said...

The beaver suit just kicked this party up a notch.

I really should have demanded it for dinner on Friday.

Next time it will be required.

Glamazon said...

Oh my gosh, I have to stop laughing, I'm going to wake the children.

All of your 'never kissing someone hot until you kissed your wife' stories are suddenly starting to make so much sense :)

Mary said...

stupid stuff like that is what made HS bearable!