Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Second Best Easter Ever (Blood On the Snow)

The best Easter was undeniably in the year 0 CE. This was when Jesus Christ, a prominent radical Jewish leader, returned from the grave after his crucifixion by the Romans, found several well hidden colored eggs, healed a lame rabbit, and disappeared, thereby predicting there would be six more weeks of winter weather.

The second best Easter was April 1, 1991, in Anchorage, Alaska.

If you think the next story is made up, even the officer's name, then you are mistaken. This is something which, to quote Dave Barry, I cannot make up.

It was a bright day at Russian Jack Park on Sunday, April 1, 1991. The sun was shining on the snow, which was several feet deep in the wooded areas but easily navigable in the main staging area of the Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt. 15,000 colored eggs had been hidden for the event.

*In doing research for this post I discovered that Kiwanis are not birds indigenous to New Zealand but instead an organization which took the name of a Native American word roughly translated as "we have a good time – we make noise" and was founded in Detroit, Michigan to distribute Christmas basketballs to the poor children. *

The troubles of 1991 ('the troubles' comes from an Irish phrase referring to anytime the shite hits the pub) started when several intrepid egg hunting children were, as quoted in the Anchorage Daily News, "lost in the woods and stuck in punchy, waist-deep snow. Others were complaining of frozen fingers and toes."

The Kiwanisians requested aid with a general child round-up. The aid came in the person of the highly decorated Officer Fred Jones.

Fred Jones walked through the woods into progressively deeper snow. Anyone who has walked in waist-deep snow knows that it puts one at a significant disadvantage when confronted by a local moose. Anyone who has seen a moose in the summer and wondered why the aforementioned Jesus had given it long spindly legs would understand in the winter.

So a moose, attracted either by the eggs, the noise of the children, the cracking of tasty branches as adults, children, and one police officer tramped through the snow, or perhaps looking for another moose with which to have a little back-alley love approached Officer Jones.

Officer Jones tried to move away from the moose and to scare the moose away with the traditional police warning "Freeze, Moose! Step away from the eggs!"

There are not any "No Moose Left Behind" government programs to educate the moose in English, so the moose instead charged toward Officer Jones.

Being stuck in the snow and unable to free himself to avoid being trampled, Officer Jones took the only action available to him at the time.

Officer Jones unholstered his service handgun and proceeded to, in front of hundreds of horrified children, blast away at the moose. Irreparably perforated, the moose fell and bled out into the snow as children fled and cried in shock.

Luckily no people were hurt in the dramatic daylight shootout and a charity was able to salvage the moose meat to feed its congregation.

Children at the event never forget that Easter. They still sing the familiar Anchorage Easter song: "Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, hippity hoppity – wait, it's Officer Fred Jones! Blam Blam Blam Blam!"

It should be noted that the next year Officer Fred Jones decided to take leave during Easter and was out of town on the day of the Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt and Rotisserie Moose Bake-Off.

And that, boys and girls, is the story of the second greatest Easter ever.

Please pass the jellybeans!

Also, visit Blue Monkey Jammies
She has a great Easter cartoon!


Tricia said...

Great Post!
I certainly wouldn't want to be charged by a moose- especially if I was stuck in the snow.

We had a moose up at our cottage that would come around and peek in the windows at us. Luckily it never surprised us while we were outside!

Jas said...

It is good that some of those kids will have fond memories of Easter.

Best Easter story ever...... after of course the Groundhog buddy Jesus.

smussyolay said...

several questions:

are moose dangerous? can they hurt you?

why would you hide eggs in snow?

is the name of your town anchorage or los anchorage (is that supposed to be funny?)?

Eric said...


The town is Anchorage. Los Anchorage is a lame joke.

Moose are vegetarians but will trample you to death if they feel threatened. They wander all over Anchorage, especially in the winter when their food is covered with snow at higher elevations. Downtown Anchorage is right by the water but the suburbs extend up the Chugach Mountains in several directions. The Municipality of Anchorage is the size of the State of Delaware, so there are moose and bear and wolves and all sorts of critters running around hither and yon.

The thing about moose is that they wander into your yard and eat your trees and shrubbery. A couple winters ago we had a moose in our backyard for three days, just laying around and pooping. We had to take the dogs into the front to do their "business" and when the moose eventually wandered off we discovered that dogs love to eat moose poop. Moose poop looks like Whoppers candy, by the way. Very uniform. They make swizzle sticks out of it to sell to tourists. No kidding.

Anyway, the real problem with moose comes if you get between a mother and a baby moose. The mother will charge you and stomp you into jam. They are not as graceful as horses but definitely have the kicking power. And since they have very long legs, you are at a distinct disadvantage, whether or not you are in snow.

There's a horrible video of a little Asian man trying to sneak past a moose which had decided to camp out in front of the University of Alaska Anchorage Sports Complex. The Asian man, nearly 80 years old if I recall correctly, tried to just tip-toe past the grazing animal. The video can best be described as "sneak, sneak, sneak, stomp, stomp, stomp." He died.

Statistically you are probably more likely to get hurt by a moose than a bear in Anchorage. Although statistically you are much more likely to get hurt by a car. Or a person.

And I have no idea why anyone would hide eggs in the snow.

I have no idea why we shoot off fireworks on the fourth of July, either. The sun is still out all freakin' night. It never gets really dark. Fireworks in the light is not like fireworks in the dark. Big waste of money, I think.

Squid pro quo:

What is Chicago Style Pizza ? Is that just made up to suck the tourists in?

smussyolay said...

well...chicago style pizza is deep dish. in comparison to new york pizza, which as i understand it, is super thin and floppy, and you fold up huge slices of it and eat it and are careful not to let the grease get all over you.

i prefer what i think of as wisconsin/midwest/chicago thin crust. it's not like new york pizza, but you definitely don't get it out west, for instance. it's just great, homemade pizza. great cheese, great sauce, great meat if you're into that sort of thing. me, not so much...although i did grow up eating 'sausage, mushroom, onion' as our family pizza. i prefer 'mushroom, onion' now, although i never can find anyone to eat that with me. either someone hates mushrooms, or onions, or both. and i've become sort of a pork avoider for the most part. occasionally some bacon, but i'd rather not eat any sausage (esp. on pizza) unless it's really good homemade stuff (that i usually find in wi or some really good pizza places down in chicago).

that aside, chicago style pizza is deep dish. sauce on top, ingredients in the middle with cheese, thick crust. i normally don't eat it, cause i can eat about a piece (maybe a piece and 1/2 cause i still want to have more taste and i can convince myself to have 'a little more.') and then i'm full. and i have a brick in my stomach for a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

it's good stuff, and it's what people take tourists to, but i prefer a good chicago thin crust. (cause i can eat more of it!)

actually, i'm off to eat pizza in a little bit! yum.

i should have just blogged this.

PJ said...

HILARIOUS STUFF!!! I can really see our officers doing something this incredibly stupid too, without the snow. Just found your blog. As a fellow 911 dispatcher, I'll link to you. Good luck.

KaraMia said...

OMG, that was seriously hilarious!

Jaws said...

Now that would have been a amazing story if the moose came back to life after 2 days!!..LOL

Great story.

J. said...

Holy hell that would be awful. Funny but awful.
Came on over from the Mayor's site.
I grew up in Northern Ontario, so I'm quite familiar with the beasts. Sure wouldn't want to be trampled!

rockyjay said...

Hopefully that kid's been told NOT to keep all your eggs in the same basket!

I just wish someone'd told me when I was a kid...

Still Searching... said...

It's so very funny and so very sad all at the same time. Those poor children! But you HAVE to laugh, you simply must...what must have been going through that man's mind w/ a moose charging and him w/ nowhere to go! LOL.

Dad (and Mom) said...


Happy Birthday tomorrow. Guess we'll let you put in the public domain your "quantos anos"

Anonymous said...


Happy Birthday to you today. And your Second Best Easter Story is incredible. You are a terrific writer.


Deb said...

OMG, that was too funny! I know I shouldn't laugh because it's serious, but damn, too funny. Good thing the tradition isn't an Easter Moose...

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