Last night I stumbled across the greatest tv show of all time. It took me a while to realize that I was in the presence of greatness, because I was initially in a state of shocked disbelief.

The show (needless to say) was “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty” on Spike. It was transcendent. I only caught the last forty minutes of what turned out to be the third episode, but I immediately set the DVR to “kill” – I will never miss another episode of this show. In forty minutes, from which I am now 12 hours removed and therefore may be failing to remember some of, I witnessed/experienced/thought the following:

-Okay, there seem to be teams of 2 competing to discover evidence that Bigfoot exists.

-Wait, did that graphic just say that this pair was a biologist and a ghost hunter?

-Did that biologist just say that he refused to allow the ghost hunter to set up any traps? Didn’t someone else just say that they’re all supposed to be trying to trap animals right now?

-Hold on, now. This couple is supposed to be a pair of wildlife photographers. Did she just try to hide that trap by putting two handfuls of pine straw on top of a 2’ x 1’ x 1’ metal box? That box looks like it’s got a pompadour now, but it sure as fuck isn’t hidden!

-Now the same couple is arguing over whether or not the box has been concealed too completely to bother setting the trap mechanism inside. I can still see the box! Plainly! What the hell is wrong with these people?

And then it hit me. I was only five minutes in at this point, and was beginning to understand the majesty that was unfolding in front of me on my tv screen. This show was like The Biggest Loser, except that the people on it weren’t fat, they were stupid! And presumably, the dumbest one/ones would be eliminated at the end of the program. Fucking brilliant! That $10 mil was safer than if it was in a bank. These yahoos had no chance of catching Bigfoot, and only partly because Bigfoot doesn’t exist. This was the most glorious snipe hunt in history.

In the interest of full disclosure, it must be noted that although all the contestants were stupid, some were also fat. Other thoughts/observations/recap from the rest of the episode (in chronological order, as best I can remember):

-So none of the teams were able to capture any animals at all? What a shocker. Now they’re getting reamed by the scientists on the judging panel for their ineptitude – if they can’t capture animals that Bigfoot might eat, how could they hope to capture Bigfoot, etc. That’s a bit cold, dissing Bigfoot hunters for being incompetent to their faces. Then again, they did agree to be on the show…

-So that guy quit his job, sold everything he owns and cashed out his 401k to hunt Bigfoot? Surprised he hasn’t been Raptured yet…

Then it was time for them to go out and try to get 1) DNA evidence, and 2) Clear photographic evidence (I think) of Bigfoot to claim the prize. In other words, it was getting dark. So that evening, I got to watch the team of two female bow hunters poking around in a pile of shit, the origin of which they could only speculate upon. How the hell do you go bow hunting without being able to read scat? I don’t know a damn thing about hunting, I’ll grant, but in my world, that’d be like going to the junkyard to try to find a replacement transmission for my car and not be able to tell what make of car I was looking at while I was there. Seriously??

Anyway, they found a hair in the poo, which they photographed and attempted to collect. Mysteriously, no hair was found when their sample bottle was later inspected. This lends weight to my theory that Bigfoot is actually a ghost. Which, in retrospect, makes the biologist / ghost hunter team that much more reasonable.

Speaking of them, after night fall they came across some cows, which they had been expecting since the biologist had been able to identify cow patties he’d found. To his credit, he quipped that he wouldn’t be surprised if another team collected a cow patty as Bigfoot evidence by the end of the night. I was utterly shocked that no one did. But when he and the ghost hunter came across the cows, he decided to “stalk” them (a term he confessed to repeatedly) for reasons that remained enigmatic at best. While he engaged in cow stalking, the ghost hunter believed that she observed a large creature running upright from one tree to the next. It was around 10 at night, in the woods, and I didn’t notice her using any vision aids at the time.

Naturally, she freaked out.

She spent the remainder of the night telling the story over and over, and hyperventilating. As a ghost hunter, she pretty much dishonored the legacies of courage of both Shaggy and Scooby-Doo.

So while the biologist and the ghost hunter start trying to figure out why the cows spooked, at night, while he was “stalking” them and she was freaking out, the team of two Native American brothers appear. They had been observing the cows from the opposite direction, it turns out (while concealing themselves like hunting lions, no explanation given), and they were burning sweet grass. It was their edge, they explained, as they believed that Bigfoot was a spiritual creature and would be drawn to them by their beliefs and culture. Nobody could figure out why the cows had decided to move on. I wondered if maybe smelling smoke in the middle of the night had something to do with it, but I was in no position to contribute this theory.

Meanwhile, another team had made plaster casts of indentations in the ground, and discussed how the “footprints” contained crushed rocks, which would require a heavy animal. Heavy indeed. Another team found a “nest” which they photographed and claimed was covered with hair. Which they failed to collect. What were those two criteria to collect the prize again?

And finally, our intrepid wildlife photographers were engaged in another LOUD argument about whether she should use a red light or a white light to walk through the woods at night. She couldn’t see with the red, he claimed the white would scare Bigfoot off. All of this at about 60 decibels.

The next day, the judges reviewed the evidence collected, and sent one team home for having the weakest collection. Which team? I ain’t saying, wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise, but it was at this moment that I learned that I was watching episode 3 of the show. Which meant that there had been two teams that were even dumber than the ones still there!!

Mike Judge, my hat’s off to you. You, sir, are a prophet.

10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty airs new episodes on Fridays at 8PM (Mountain) on Spike.

by John

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