Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why the Jackalope?


I know it's odd.

A grown man referring to himself as a mythological creature of western lore.

I get it. I do. I'm not ashamed.

A few years ago I needed to start a blog. Myspace was all the rage and I was getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan for more than a few days; the stars seemed aligned and what resulted was a mildly entertaining online diary for my friends and family back home. At least, that was the party line anyway. The problem was that it had to be somewhat anonymous. I'm not James Bond or anything, but when you're deployed and wearing a beard it's not a great idea to advertise everything about yourself. Consequently, a moniker was in order.

As I spent the better part of my youth getting dragged around in the back of a pickup truck by my father in an attempt to kill every Chukar east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it seemed appropriate to latch onto something that uniquely represented the oddity that is my personality. For those that have never heard of such a thing, the Jackalope has a long and sordid history, most of it totally made up.

Ronald Reagan had one over his mantle. He somehow managed to convince the reporters interviewing him that it was real, or so the legend goes. But I digress. . . .

The Jackalope itself is generally a taxidermist's practical joke consisting of a Jackrabbit head combined with a couple of small antlers designed to give the impression that such an animal once roamed the earth. The legend of their actual existence probably comes from the Shope papillomavirus that wild rabbits are sometimes afflicted with. This virus results in some serious tumors which can give the appearance of horns or antlers. The whole concept is not unlike the Manatee inspiring the existence of mermaids.

At any rate, I saw these things everywhere while I was growing up. In truth, Wyoming really has a corner on the market, going so far as to actually trademark the term. (I'm awaiting a cease and desist order any day now. I'm sure both my readers in Canada are going to be really upset.) That being said, what lives in Wyoming generally lives in Nevada too, except for maybe Dick Cheney. So I decided I'd adopt the Nevada sub-species, Jackalopis Legalized-Gambling-orensis, or Nevada Jackalope.

While I was in Afghanistan the idea was to represent the Warrior Rabbit, which seemed fitting giving that the Jackalope won't fight unless cornered, which is more or less how we worked things over there. Now that I'm no longer getting shot at it seemed appropriate to, well, start running.

And so, here's me hoping that the whole concept doesn't come off as stupid, but when you refer to yourself in the third person as a made-up hybrid animal, I suppose it's the risk you run.

But then again, at least I'm running.

By Marcus with No comments

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