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hs26150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 26

Paula found Jeremy at the bar talking with a handful of Sasquatch hunters she recognized from the press conference that morning. He was drunk and he was talking too loud, and making big gestures with his arms. The Sasquatch hunters didn’t mind and continued shelling out for rounds of whisky shots and pints of cheap draught beer so bitter it curled your tongue no matter how much you’d numbed your taste with liquor. Paula had read up on this model of man. She visited their websites while waiting for final proofs of the next day’s paper to make it back to her desk for one last look and edit. They were crazy, of course, it was absurd believing this Sasquatch thing was anything more than a hoax – a hoax she suspected was orchestrated by two misfit goth teens.

As she approached the bar, Paula noticed a stocky bearded man signal to the bartender that he was buying the group another round. A cheer went up and glasses were clinked. Paula’s mind flashed to a newsmagazine clip from the nineteen seventies he’d watched online that day, about a Swiss immigrant who became so obsessed with his hunt for the Sasquatch he left his wife and children. He admitted he’d spend what little money he made as a lead miner on his Sasquatch hunts instead of on food for his kids. Paula waved the bartender over. This round was on her, she told him. She regarded the Sasquatch hunters with disdain. They were laughing and oblivious to anything but themselves and their Sasquatch stories. Go home and feed your kids, she thought to herself before she hiked up her best smile and introduced herself to the men.

Jeremy was not impressed. He was drunk, but there was no alcohol-fueled goodwill in his voice. “Is there a problem?”

“Excuse me?”

“With the paper? Is there a problem?”

Paula was confused. “No. I don’t think so. At least there wasn’t when I left the newsroom. Maybe I should check.” She hated that she couldn’t play it super-cool, zapping Jeremy with put-downs and glib one-liners the way she thought and fantasized about.

“Well?”

“Well what?”

The bartender walked a tray of beer and shots over to the group. “These are on the lady.”

The Sasquatch hunters cheered and clinked their glasses again. Jeremy grumbled a forced thank you and Paula smiled.


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