Back in 2013, a Bangor Daily News reader sent in a trail camera photo of an unidentified critter that someone — I forget who — called a “chimichanga.” We knew, and knew our readers would understand, that we were having a bit of fun playing with words, and were actually referring to the mythical and legendary “chupacabra.”
Let me make this perfectly clear: The butchering of the word chupacabra, writing chimichanga instead, was intentional.
What we learned: The internet is not good with nuance, or (at least, to us) slick and funny plays on words. The story exploded on the web, for all the wrong reasons. Chief among the story’s popularity: The internet masses thought we hicks up here in Maine couldn’t tell the difference between a fried burrito and a vampire-like beast. Did they laugh at us? Yes. And did we laugh right back, knowing that none of the commenters on other websites had read our story in its entirety? You bet we did.
Hundreds of Reddit commenters took us to task. My column even got mentioned on a Pinterest list of 25 stupid headlines.
That’s OK. At least we made a few people laugh, though not in the way we’d intended. Truthfully, thousands and thousands of pageviews later, we’re still chuckling a bit.
Which brings us to today’s new, improved mystery beast. No, this is not a chimichanga. It’s not even a chupacabra. I’m betting it’s either a mangy coyote, or a wet, bedraggled dog. Or a fox. Or … after further review, and in the interest of creating another internet explosion, I suppose the video that BDN reader Jerry sent to us could actually show a not-yet-known, supernatural critter.
“This was taken back in May of this year in my backyard. I live just a few miles from the center of Old Town, but [I’ve] seen more wildlife around here then one would ever expect,” Jerry said. “This particular video has me stumped. Friends have guessed everything from a sickly dog to a gargoyle. By the way, the date and time stamp on the camera does not work. I was hoping you or some of your readers may have some idea.”
So, there you have it. Jerry needs our help. What do you see on the video? Wolf? Coyote? Fox? Very tall rat? We’re open to all suggestions.
And if you want to call it a chimichanga, feel free. For the record, I like mine with sour cream and guacamole.
Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.