Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bigfoot means big bucks for this 'expert'

According to a Nov. 2 Associated Press story, the executive director of the University of New Mexico’s Gallup campus raised a few eyebrows when he spent more than $7,000 in taxpayer money on a two-day, on-campus Bigfoot conference. "I’M NOT a Bigfoot expert, but at $1,000 per speaking engagement, I am willing to learn." The general manager of The McDowell News wrote a wonderfuly sarcastic editorial on the recent shenanigans of the Bigfoot community...

From the Fredricksburg.com

The wire service called UNM’s Dr. Christopher Dyer an “avid Bigfoot hunter in his spare time” who “says he only pursues the mythical creature when he isn’t on the job,” which means if he’s hanging around the school bookstore one day and spots Sasquatch, it’s only a coincidence.

Dyer called the conference the “largest and most well-attended event in the history of this campus” and defended its cost.

“People use monies from the taxpayers to do research. For Bigfoot or whatever,” he said, according to AP.

A post-conference, off-campus hunt for Bigfoot by the executive director and some of his companions—also paid for with UNM funds—yielded no sightings of the hairy mythical beast and Dyer admitted that taxpayers probably didn’t get a lot of bang for their buck with the failed expedition, if only because of lousy weather.

“I’d have to say it was pretty much a blown waste of money because we did not find evidence because of the snow. It was just impossible to get around out there. So in that case, yeah would we spend money on that again? Absolutely not,” he said.

UNM President Robert Frank wasn’t happy about the expense.

“Dr. Dyer needs to be much more thoughtful about how he undertakes these activities,” he said in what I imagine to be his best Dean Wormer from “Animal House” impersonation. “The type of expedition that just took place was not appropriate and will not occur in that manner again.”

The AP said the school was on the hook for advertising for the conference, meals for guest speakers, airfare and per diem.

“Self-professed Bigfoot expert Dr. Jeff Meldrum was paid a $1,000 honorarium plus expenses,” according to the story.

Self-professed? Wait a minute ... maybe I am a Bigfoot expert, if self-professing is what it takes.

The following is an unpaid advertisement for the newly formed Acme International Bipedal Humanoid Speakers Bureau, of which I am executive director:

Do you need a self-professed Bigfoot expert to speak at your next university conference, Rotary meeting or family reunion? If you have $1,000, I’m just the man for the job.

Hello, I am Scott Hollifield, executive director of the International Bipedal Humanoid Speakers Bureau and I have been a Bigfoot expert for the last two-and-half minutes.

During that time, I have extensively studied this amazing creature, his habitat, his elusive nature and what I might be able to buy with one thousand extra dollars. And now, I am available to share that knowledge with you for only $1,000, the cost of meals, airfare and all the cashews I can eat. I really like cashews.

During my informative and entertaining presentation, I will answer such Bigfoot-related questions as:

Does Bigfoot have a difficult time finding shoes?

What is the relationship between Bigfoot sightings and blood-alcohol content?

If Bigfoot fought the Loch Ness Monster, who would win?

Following my presentation, I will lead a select group of individuals on an expedition to locate Bigfoot. We shall leave no stone unturned, searching every pub, brewery and gentleman’s club in an effort to locate this magnificent beast and buy him a round.

To book an engagement, just contact me at the International Bipedal Humanoid Speakers Bureau, where our motto is, “We’re self-professed but we’re still the best (that you can get for $1,000).”

Scott Hollifield is editor/general manager of The McDowell News in Marion, N.C. Contact him at rhollifield@mcdowellnews.com.

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