In the summer of 1981 I went to Colorado to play some pick up gigs for a local band and spend a weekend camping on Pikes Peak. They don’t believe in the possessive ‘s’ in Colorado. The gigs were relatively uneventful. The band did mostly covers and had a slate of groupies who thought REO Speedwagon was the bomb. Quite honestly, after the experience I couldn’t listen to anything featuring Kevin Cronin without gagging. It’s not his fault, he’s actually a very nice guy, but it is what it is. Being trapped in a room full of women who aren’t cool enough to go see the real REO (who played nearby while I was there) is akin to being trapped in a Wal Mart with a bag of meth and a wad of cash. Yes, you can get some, but do you really want it?
I’m proud to say that even as a 19 year old guy (I turned 20 in September) who would hump the leg of strangers in a park, even I found my limits.
Somehow that gives my soul comfort.
However, when their bass player got healthy and returned I went on my planned camping trip. 3 buddies of mine and I traipsed up the mountain, wandered away from all the commercial facilities and set up camp a few thousand feet up. We made a nice dinner and cracked open a few beers to celebrate the evening. Or maybe we were just celebrating the fact that we had beers. Memory blurs.
Either way, at some point, nature called. So I answered. I wandered into the forest and whipped out Mr. Happy, who was very happy I’d avoided the grungy groupies, and went about my business. As I was standing there nurturing nature a rouge moose wandered into my little niche. There aren’t a lot of moose in Colorado. In fact, until then, I would have figured the number would resemble zero.
But there it was.
So, thanks to my city upbringing and the fortitude of beer, I reached up and petted the moose while saying “Who’s a cute Bullwinkle?”
As it turns out, he wasn’t.
He caught me between his rack and began shoving me backwards towards a gravel path. I was getting slapped around and bounced and knew that things like ribs were getting fractured or broken and was pretty sure that my blood was supposed to stay on the inside.
One of my buddies had the presence of mind to break out his .45 and fire a couple of shots over the nice Bullwinkle. Had he actually shot the moose all he would have done is make it madder. The noise scared the moose and it ran back into the forest.
A short trip to the local hospital later, where the doctors used their best bedside behavior and laughed their asses off at me, I got some stitches and one of those cool rib wraps that no one uses any more.
As you may have figured out, I survived.
Well, thanks to MSNBC I now know that I’m not alone.
At least when it comes to petting moose.
Don’t mess with the moose.
That’s the warning police in Anchorage are repeating after one of the animals kicked a woman in the chest and shoulder at a city park. She was checked by medics Monday afternoon and didn’t have to go to a hospital.
The Anchorage Daily News reports the moose had been in Town Square Park most of the day feeding on trees. The woman in her 20s was attacked when she tried to pet it.
Police spokeswoman Anita Shell says the moose is not a threat unless provoked, so people need to give it space.
I think the message is clear enough.
BORN RUFFIANS – The Ballad Of Moose Bruce