Okay, I cannot resist riffing a little on the so-called “goat man,” about whom I read in the newspaper a week or so ago. According to the Associated Press, a man (apparently) has been spotted in the mountains of northern Utah hanging out with a herd of wild goats—while dressed in a goat costume, no less.
Heh heh. No, really, they have photos.
It was Coty Creighton, 33, who first spotted Goat Man while on a hike. Coty had come across this herd of goats while on his outing and noticed Goat Man trailing along behind the herd.
The fact that Goat Man was bringing up the rear would seem to indicate that he is either especially slow on all fours or he has not exactly been taken in by the herd as one of their own. The slowness, though, could be due in part due to his costume, which, according to Mr. Creighton, includes fake horns and a cloth mask with cut-out eye holes. Creighton says the guy stopped from time to time to lift up the mask, apparently to better navigate the terrain. I have no reason to believe Mr. Creighton would be kidding us, so to speak.
Phil Douglas of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, while pointing out that this fellow is doing nothing illegal, says he is concerned that Goat Man may not realize the perils of running around with a herd of wild goats in the mountains dressed like, well, a goat—not that anyone is likely to have given this a great deal of thought up to now. “Who’s to say what could happen?” asks Phil.
Well, let’s think about all this. First of all, how can we be sure it’s a guy? The photo, which is attached and (reportedly) does not appear to be altered, doesn’t really look like a guy to me. Okay, maybe that right, front leg does look a little like a pink arm.
And how does Mr. Creighton know those horns are fake? And the mask—has it occurred to anyone that this could simply be a particularly ugly goat? But wait, how would a goat lift up his mask? If a goat could do that, it would have to be the goat’s face that gets lifted. Do goats get facelifts? Okay, forget that. So, if it’s a man, then, one can’t help but speculate as to what it is that he might be wearing under that goat suit. And how are the ol’ knees holding up on those rocks? It’s a goat’s life, after all, up there in the mountains. Did he take along a lunch? I have so many questions.
And how about this: what if it isn’t a man after all? What if it is (drum roll) a hungry wolf in goat’s clothing!? One might wonder, though, where a wolf would get an idea like that. Or maybe it’s a salivating coyote under that goatskin (Does Acme sell goat horns? Well, any company that sells dehydrated boulders […just add water] and instant feather pills [full body plumage guaranteed!] would certainly be expected to have a set or two of goat horns in inventory.) Or maybe it’s Sasquatch! Who hasn’t lost sleep worrying about the stress Bigfoot must endure from being relentlessly pursued by redneck, unshaven paparazzi wearing their baseball caps backwards and racing around the wilderness in muddy, four-wheel drive pickup trucks? Barring ready access to a pair of Jack Nicholson Ray-Bans, a goat disguise is perfect!
Getting back to the inherent dangers that might be associated with this behavior, Mr. Douglas was concerned about the fact that goat hunting season is coming up soon. Goat Man could accidently be shot. However, I think it unlikely that hunters armed with high powered rifles mounted with telescopic sights would go for a laggard at the back of the pack that seems to have black, empty eye sockets and plastic horns—and naked, pink forelegs. Speaking of mounts, I think the goat man is more likely to be at risk from lonely rams who may attempt to sneak up on him from behind.
[For those of you who keep up with such things, this whole issue seems to have been put to rest by a reporter at the Los Angeles Times. You can catch up on the details with this link.]