My day with Bigfoot

The alarm goes off, and my daily routine begins. Out of bed, into the shower, wash, brush, dress. From there, it’s straight into the Crunchgear writer chatroom.

Greg K. has entered the room
Greg K. Good morning, party people.
Doug A. happy Bigfoot day, Greg

Crap. Today was the day of Bigfoot press conference. I wanted to use Qik to share the conference with the world, but I still hadn’t managed to track down anyone involved who could tell me what exactly I’d need to get in the door — or if I even could. It’s one of the few nasty parts of being a blogger – a small (but just big enough to be horribly annoying) chunk of people out there still don’t consider bloggers to be press. I dig up the e-mail address of Tom Biscardi (the main face of the whole Bigfoot fiasco), rocket off an email, then hop in the car and tear down the 101.

About 15 minutes into the drive, I get a response: “Tell them at the door Tom said it was o.k.” Jackpot! That M.I. A song from the Pineapple Express trailer is playing on the radio; I celebrate by cranking up the volume and doing all of the gunshot noises with appropriately matched hand gestures.

Four and a half hours, a nasty bout of surprise traffic, and a mad sprint through Palo Alto’s Cabana hotel later, I wind up in the press conference about 10 minutes late. I pop out my handset, cross my fingers, and start up QIK. No 3G. Not even a hint of edge. After relocating myself at least 5 times in hopes of finding reception (likely annoying the hell out of the entire back half of the audience), I lose hope. Users were treated with one half second of video before streaming (or even liveblogging) went out the door.

I glance around, considering one final relocation for the sake of reception. The audience was a mix of bloggers, younger guys writing for various school papers, some dude in a bigfoot suit, and a good number of traditional media folk who were making it quite obvious that they hated being there and wanted to get the hell out as soon as possible.

With everyone waiting to ask their pressing Bigfoot question, things teetered on the edge of chaos.  There were at least a handful of times where questions were yelled over each other, resulting in a big blur of RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE with some higher-toned RABBLES mixed in. For the questions that were heard and fielded, answers were as ambiguous as you might expect. When was it found? No one remembered an exact date. What happened with the DNA testing? One test said human — the other said it was 96% possum. Did they have video of the live ones? Yeah, but they weren’t releasing it yet.

After about 30 minutes of questioning scrutiny, the audience got sick of waiting for what they really came for: “When will we see more evidence?”, came a voice from the back. To paraphrase the response: “When we’re done answering questions. Are you all done listening to us talk?” The crowd goes crazier than Doug Aamoth at a New Kids concert.

Tom takes one step toward the table where the photographic evidence was to be passed out, and the entire audience collectively decides to make an attempt at standing on the exact same spot in the room at once. There are no Excuse-Mes. No “Oh, sorry for stepping on your toe with my massive feet while wearing a backpack full of AV gear.” Just a crap ton of hot, tired journalists trying to get their hands on the goods without much regard.

Believers were in a state of wonderment as they oggled the shot of Bigfoot marching through the woods; skeptics wondered if it was just a still from Harry and the Hendersons. Overall, I don’t think anyone left the press conference feeling any different than they had when they entered.