Please don’t point out the irony. I’m well aware this situation is dripping with it. As editor of America’s fourth most popular tabloid magazine I’ve printed one ridiculous story after the next, and now that I’ve seen an honest to God Bigfoot, no one will believe me. I feel like Elvis when he returned to Graceland, in 2017, after forty years of guiding climbers as a Sherpa in Tibet. Okay, that didn’t happen, but you get the point.

I saw a Sasquatch, guys. I saw it, with my own two eyes. It wasn’t the seven-foot, ex-basketball-player in a modified Chewbacca costume we always hire for National Enquirer cover shots. I could tell because this Bigfoot wasn’t complaining about the heat or blowing marijuana vapor through his mouth hole. Also, it wasn’t a human being. It wasn’t. Don’t you see? If anyone in this world is qualified to spot a bonafide Sasquatch, it’s the person who’s spent his life fooling everyone with masterful fakes.

How many times have you gasped in the supermarket checkout line, thinking, Dear God look at that obviously authentic photo! The National Enquirer has found the missing link! And Meryl Streep bathes in the blood of sacrificed kittens?! I’m both shocked and utterly convinced!

The Meryl Streep story was my idea, by the way. Good one, right? Haven’t you always wondered how she cranks out one Oscar-worthy performance after another? There’s the answer. Kitten sacrifice. The key is to find a real mystery but offer an outlandish solution. People repeatedly eat the disgusting beef at Taco Bell? It’s human meat laced with heroine. The Washington Redskins have somehow kept their unconscionably racist name? The team's owner is an Illuminati lizard-person. Kanye West? Short-circuiting Android.

I digress.

If anyone can identify a real Bigfoot, it’s me. My family and I had just spent a long day jet-skiing at our lakeside cabin, and everyone had gone inside to clean up before dinner. I stayed outside to grill. Dad doesn’t need a hard-earned shower, right? As long as he’s cooking your god damn burgers for you, while you use up all the hot water, he can stay filthy, right Sharon? Anyway, I was picking my wife’s burger-patty off the ground when I glanced at the tree line, and there he was. Bigfoot.

My heart skipped a beat. I felt like Michelle Obama when Barack peeled off his human mask to reveal he was a centuries-old Nosferatu. Okay, that didn’t happen, but you know what I mean. Loping through the sunset pines, just thirty meters away, was a hand-to-God Sasquatch. It was a little over six feet tall with surprisingly human proportions, and its body was covered with shaggy, brown fur, with what looked like a mattress tag near the butt. I didn’t get a good look at its face, since one of my contacts had popped out during a sharp turn of the Sea-Doo, but it might have been chewing gum.

My phone rested on the picnic table, ten feet away. I had to get it. This was the chance of a lifetime. I took a step and the Bigfoot jerked around, locking onto me like the Martian tractor beam that pulled Amelia Earhart’s biplane into space in 1937. My stomach dropped. I don’t know how I knew, but I was certain that if it wanted to, that creature could kill me in the span of a single breath. I held up my hands. The Bigfoot cocked its head for a moment, then did something I’ll never forget.

It flipped me off.

As it melted away into the woods, the implications of that rude gesture hit me like a bullet from the grassy knoll. Bigfoot was intelligent. It had been observing us, long enough to understand our communication. And it was kind of an asshole.

I did manage to get a picture, eventually. See this smudge here between these two trees? That might be the Sasquatch. My wife thinks it was someone from the office pranking me, but I know what I saw. My recent LSD microdosing had nothing to do with it. I also know that no one will believe me, all because of a few thousand false reports printed by my tabloid over the years. I’m the modern-day boy who cried wolf, right? I would remind you the moral of that story was everyone in the village died because they didn’t listen when he really saw the wolf.

You should listen to me now. I saw a Bigfoot, and it shot me the bird. The Bigfeet are among us.

And they are a bunch of jerks.