I can’t do it, man. I’ve been up here 45 minutes. I want to be brave and conquer this but I just can’t. I decided to back down, but my kneecaps are welded to my shins and there’s a pot-bellied pig behind me who keeps calling me a “waste of bacon.”
What am I gonna do?
Dear Scaredy Pig,
If you back down from this diving board, you will back down from every thing for the rest of your life. The night before your wedding you will climb out the window of the Four Seasons and repel down a rope of bed sheets. When your new boss asks for your salary requirements you will blurt out, “What ever you want to pay me.” You will mysteriously contract shingles the night before your midlife crisis adventure vacation and forfeit the $800 deposit on the helicopter. You will never eat escargot. You will never wake up in a foreign country with a beautiful stranger and wonder, “Why is there an ostrich in my room and when did I get this tattoo?” You will be everyone’s wingman but you will never fly the jet.
Plug your nose, jump straight out and don’t lean back. Send us a postcard from Morocco. The pot-bellied pig behind you has already been there.
I feel a dark presence. It won’t leave me alone. It follows me when I wander the forest, when I eat from campsite trashcans, when I pee on other raccoons’ campsites. I swear I hear twigs snapping behind me but when I turn around, no one is there. I feel like I’m going mad. I’m scared Jethro.
There is a legend of a spirit called Montepuma. No one can see him, but many say his presence can be felt as a sharp, rhythmic stabbing of eight tiny claws on your stomach while you watch television, or as a hard furry ball pushing against your computer at random intervals. He can’t be seen because he blends into his environment so thoroughly and quietly that most don’t notice him until he knocks over a glass of water. It is said that he can eat pancakes right off your plate and you won’t notice.
The fact that he is roaming a raccoons territory likely means that you have something he wants . . . possibly the beer caps and bread twisties you stole from a campsite of teenage boys while they were off shooting a potato cannon. You must try to appease him.
Before you go to bed tonight, chant his name while walking around your campsite counter clockwise three times, then back the other way, then change your mind and wander over to a pile of laundry. Raise your left paw to the heavens and say “O Montepuma, I offer this ball of tin foil to your spirit! Take it in good health and bad breath and be gone!” then throw it over your right shoulder. This should make the spirit leave you, at least for a while. Remember these kinds of visitations are rare and completely random. He may be gone for good, or he may come back in five minutes. There’s no way to know. But historical records indicate that he has a strong preference for cottage cheese.
even Banana Slugs.
I’m here to help. And you know you can trust me,
because I have an awesome soul-patch.
Submit questions for Jethro via his website: www.TheAnswerCat.blogspot.com.
This column will be posted there one week after its publication here in the absolutely awesome Culver City Crossroads.