Fake Bigfoot dies: How not to stage a hoax

Aug 28, 2012 at 3:02 p.m. ET

It’s all fun and games until someone from Montana hatches an ill-conceived Bigfoot scheme and gets run over in the process, and then it’s hilarious. Or is it? We’d never celebrate the misfortune of others, but let this be a lesson to the rest of us. Here's how not to stage a hoax…

Ghillie suitAlcohol should never be a factor

Think back on your biggest regrets: You know, those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” moments. How often was alcohol a factor? We don’t know if Randy Lee Tenley of Kalispell, Montana was under the influence or not as tests results are not yet available. But I’d probably wager my last 20 bucks that he was. For the last time, alcohol should not be involved in 1) Making a decision on whether or not you go home with someone on a Friday or Saturday night and 2) Staging a hoax. Alcohol consumption compromises your decision-making ability and is responsible for delayed response times, both of which seem to be factors in this unfortunate incident. Think about it. When was the last time you heard a sober person say, “Hey, let’s throw on a Ghillie suit and run around the highway in the middle of the night so someone will call in a Bigfoot sighting.” Exactly.

Ghillie suits are for hunting and paintball, period

For those who don’t live in Montana, a Ghillie suit is a hairy/camouflage suit worn by hunters and paintball enthusiasts. And now, apparently, they are used by guys who want to stage a Bigfoot hoax. So we’ll have Randy to thank for the now-being-manufactured warning labels similar to the ones on kiddie pools that say “No diving.” (Thank heavens for those warnings, which kept us from swan diving into 6 inches of water!) I guarantee that, as we speak, “Getting liquored up, putting this on and running around in the middle of the night pretending to be Bigfoot may be fatal” warning labels are being sewn into Ghillie suits.

Please, don’t be from Montana

Can’t people do stupid lame-a** stuff in other states for a while? Montanans are tired of making national headlines for things like the Unabomber and failed Bigfoot hoaxes. Now the rest of us who live in Montana are going to have to laugh right along with the rest of the country when Leno and Letterman have a field day with this. You can’t pay for this stuff. We don’t blame them. We just want the rest of the world to know that Montana isn’t just home to Freemen and Bigfoot impersonators.

Think of the people you leave behind

God rest this poor guy’s soul. We all have people in our immediate circles who make clowns out of themselves or pull pranks to make the rest of us laugh. We love those people. But let this serve as a harsh reminder that our loved ones have to explain how we passed. How would you like to be Randy’s mom? “I’m so sorry you lost your son. How did he die?” Can you put a positive or sympathy-soliciting spin on “He was pretending to be Bigfoot and was run over”? Does Hallmark make a sympathy card that says, “In your time of loss, we just want to express our sincerest sympathies that your loved one failed miserably in his Bigfoot hoax”? How would you like to be the first responder on the scene and have to say into your radio, “We’ve got a, um, what’s the radio code for ‘guy run over after staging a Bigfoot hoax’.” What about the poor teenage girls who ran the guy over? Can’t you just hear the whispers following them down the halls of their high school? Consideration for the ones we leave behind should be motivation enough for not doing these kinds of things.