You would think that Archie McPhee would be happy to have some kind of cryptozoological creature co-existing in our space, but there have been problems. First, it started showing up during the day when customers were around. Not that we see much of it, just a blur on the security camera or a fleeting glance as it slides under a pile of Handerpants.
Mostly, it seems to enjoy the Cat Lady Soap. Our theory is that the smell of fish reminds it of its ocean voyage to America back in the 1930s.
It was Pete that first spotted the tiny round metal cap embedded in the parking lot out back. It was hinged and not sealed shut. Pete got a flashlight and looked down into the bowels of what may have been a gas storage container for the old filling station that used to be on this location, and he saw the reflection of two tiny, unblinking eyes. Was it a rat? A raccoon? Gnomes? The only way to know for sure was to reach down and grab it.
Since it wasn’t moving, Pete was pretty sure it was dead, but as a test he got some cat food scented soap and left it next to the hole. Slowly, the aged creature made its way out of the hole. At first Pete and the small crowd of employees were horrified by its appearance, but after watching the Beast snarf down a bar of soap they found themselves caring about the skull-faced, insect-bodied loner that lived under the store.
Being the people we are, we immediately imagined a better life for the Beast. Not everyone can bring themselves to touch it, but Pete seems to have made friends and can even cuddle with the Beast during lunch. We set to work building it a comfortable habitat where it lives in our store.
Now when you visit Archie McPhee, be sure to stop by and say hello to our hairy, disturbing friend. Maybe even buy an extra bar of Cat Lady Soap to feed it on the way out. Feel free to take a picture, however, no flash photography. We find that exposure to light makes the Beast hibernate.
Oh, by the way, be careful where you step in our store. We also found two recently hatched eggs in that underground chamber. We think there may be some baby Beasts scuttling around causing trouble and eating an occasional cat. Still, baby Beasts? I bet they are cute!
Click here for a printable coupon for a free postcard when you come to view the Wallingford Beast. Valid from 10/1/10 at Noon til 10/31/10!