Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Message in a Bottle Privileges Revoked!

(Maybe this post should be called "When Douchebags Visit the Parks" but we're trying to be less abrasive in our titles.)

Last week, Amy found a message in a bottle (see exhibit A). 

She was hiking near the savage river with the park’s geology crew when she noticed the glint of green glass near her feet. The object caught her off guard: there isn’t much litter in Denali, and it was the first she’d seen all year. As a good Samaritan she picked it up, intending to recycle it, when she realized that there was a note inside of it bound with rubber bands.

Exhibit A: Treasure Map???

Maybe this shouldn’t have changed Amy’s outlook from “ugh litter” to “OOOH MYSTERIEZ” but it did. It wasn’t quite the level of excitement Amy gets when she finds a dinosaur bone or really low-priced bags of jelly beans, but it was still all she could do to wait until she got back to office to pop the cork and figure out the secrets of the bottle. Would it be a cute note from a child? What about a romantic message through time intended for Sandra Bullock? Or perhaps, as her boyfriend pointed out, it would be a last will and testament dedicating an eccentric millionaire’s life savings to the finder of the bottle!

Nope. This was the message-in-a-bottle equivalent of picking up what you thought was a dinosaur bone only to find a still-warm turd beneath your fingers. A paragraph of ranting greeted a bummed-out Amy’s eyes, describing how her soul was headed to hell and the only way to save it was to turn to Jesus. But lest you think that God is reaching out to paleontologists by bombing the national park with glass (He doesn’t have Gmail), the story here takes a turn:

The author signed it.

This litterbug messenger of God is a pastor who works at a Baptist Church in Wasilla that Amy passes regularly on her way to Anchorage. In addition to communicating the state of souls via glass bottles, Pastor Clutter Nuts believes the antichrist will be a homosexual and is skeptical about the detriments of spousal rape, claiming that if a wife withholds sex from her husband she is “Out of line with God.” Clearly he’s a real charmer. Naturally Amy was happy to walk the note over to the nearest Law Enforcement Ranger, who assured Amy that Sir Scatters-a-Lot will be receiving a call about his littering problem (and hopefully paying the associated fine) in the very near future.

Speaking of defiling national parks, remember when we talked about Goblin Valley State Park? Of course you do - how could you forget all our amazing choad limericks? Well, one of Goblin Valley State Park’s phalluses recently got circumcised by a set of know-it-all boy scout leaders, who filmed themselves and put the video up on youtube and are now potentially facing charges.

These boy scout leaders claim that the rock would have definitely fallen, and that if they hadn’t vandalized the park then someone’s kid could have gotten hurt. Two members of a 300,000-year-old species pushed over and destroyed part of a 200 million-year-old formation, because they didn’t want to put a hypothetical child at risk. We’re unsure why these two think that they were more qualified to make judgments of park safety and stability than the employed geologists that work there. Must be they were mavericks.

But wait, there's more!

We well know that no Mary Anning's Revenge post is complete without a mental image so traumatizing you are never able to eat at certain establishments again. So here goes:  while on their way to observe and document a huge debris slide that covered the park road at mile 37, the Denali National Park geology crew made another horrifying discovery.
Walking up to the scene of the crime
There, in a pullout on the side of the road were the remains of the most fucked up meal ever. Recently burned wood, ashes, lighter fluid were on the ground. Boxes were scattered about and a pair of bloody gloves stood out against the pavement. On closer examination the crew found Petco boxes with raw intestines on top, the skin of a mouse, some sort of burned and partially eaten rodent, and the worst of all: the head of a large snake.  

Have you ever noticed how much Petco boxes look like the carryout containers at restaurants? Well, that observation got this shitshow nicknamed "Petco Take-out" and Amy will never see pet stores in the same light again. 

One of the other large boxes was really heavy but the geology crew was too freaked out to investigate (that's what Law Enforcement Rangers are for!) Apparently didn't contain Gwyneth Paltrow's head, but it did house a turtle. Reptiles do not fair well in the north, so Alaskans aren't particularly well versed withe that fauna. Fortunately, before the body was disposed some clever person put the turtle in warm water and lo, it was not dead but very, very cold. It has now been adopted by a local family.

So what's the explanation? Weird foreigners trying to have the "National Park Experience" by eating critters by the fire? Messed up ritual by the side of the road? The truth is we may never know.

Turns out the animals had been purchased in Fairbanks, a two-hour drive from the park. The video surveillance shows a white male with short blonde hair (or bald) carrying the boxes out of the store. He paid with cash. He used false information for filling out the adoption paperwork. Employees remember the man wanted to buy a snake, any snake, and was in a hurry. And then Chef Louis cooked his meal only TWO MILES from where Amy and her boyfriend were peacefully sleeping in their cabin.

Listen, tossing your dinner remains is bad enough when it's Panda Express let alone "couldn't get a panda, settled for a charbroiled hamster." Nobody should have to say this, but please do not purchase pets to cook and eat them. Please do not leave their tiny burnt bodies in the wilderness. Please do not ditch nasty messages in bottles, and please don't destroy 200 million-year-old formations because you're worried about some kid winning a darwin award. That's what those are for. Just leave the goddamned parks alone, mmkay?

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