This is a report on Chessie, the mysterious sea creature who is said to roam the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. It was written by Rachel Marin for the Maryland Unit in Mrs. Endicott’s Talented and Gifted U.S. History class at James Madison Junior High School on May 10, 1983. Because this report is supposed to be about current issues that affect the Maryland area, this researcher will focus on the series of Chessie sightings that occurred between 1978 and 1982. In this report, she aims to document these sightings, as well as to set them in their cultural contexts, for, as Dr. Richard T. Worthington, the esteemed president of the Society for the Study of Maryland Monsters, writes in the annual pamphlet put forth by his important society, Monstrous Maryland, “the monsters that appear in folkloric narratives cannot be separated from the cultures in which they were produced” (3). Consequently, this report has two purposes: firstly, this researcher hopes to encourage scientists to look further into the existence of Chessie, who may be something other than a regional folkloric entity, who may, in fact, be a real creature who is, even at the time of the writing of this report, lurking in the depths of Maryland waters; and secondly, she hopes to provide future folklorists with a blueprint of the cultural contexts in which the monster sightings occurred, and on which she can report with accuracy because during these times she was alive and living in Prince George’s County, Maryland, so that they might continue research into why so many sightings happened in this relatively brief period of history.
Part I: Background Information
In the background section of this report, this researcher will review the four times that Chessie was sighted during the time period of 1934 to 1977. As for the cultural contexts, this researcher had not yet been born during the times of the first three sightings; however, she had been born by the time of the fourth sighting, which occurred in July of 1977. Unfortunately, though, this researcher had moved from the house in Prince George’s County, Maryland, to live in an apartment in Snohomish County, Washington, during this time period because her father had been sent to the university out there to do research for a master’s thesis. Therefore, she cannot offer the cultural context of the Maryland area at the time as promised in the introductory portion of this report; and yet, she can offer the cultural context of the Washington area at the time, which may or may not be important. Anyways, given the evidence offered by witnesses who sighted Chessie in the years before 1978, this researcher believes that Chessie is a dinosaur of prehistoric origin, one that was previously unknown to exist, but is related to the brontosaurus, except that it lives in water rather than on land. As for the cultural context, she discovered two important things around the time of the 1977 sighting. Firstly, she discovered that the silver-blue fish that swim in Silver Lake, which is in Cowlitz County, Washington, all look the same; and secondly, she discovered that Mount St. Helens, the mountain that rises really high above Silver Lake, has a boy’s name even though it seems like a girl’s name, a fact that suggests that boys can seem like girls and vice versa, which means that those silver-blue fish that all looked the same could be either boys or girls, or maybe neither or maybe both, or maybe even something in between.
In terms of the history, Chessie was sighted four times between 1934 and 1977 at a total of three different locations. In 1934, two fishermen, Francis Klarrman and Edward Ward, saw the “‘creature coming up for air’” in the Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore, Maryland. According to Mr. Klarrman and Mr. Ward, “‘[i]t had a head about as big as a football and shaped somewhat like a horse’s head’” (Lake, 19). In unpacking this quotation, this researcher wishes to point out that the monster’s head is described as being “‘as big as a football,’” which, to be honest, isn’t very big, a fact to which this researcher can attest because one night back in 1976 she was staring out her bedroom window in the house in Prince George’s County, Maryland, into the side yard, and she saw Mickey Flanagan and Lori Tripoli, both of whom at that time went to James Madison Junior High and the latter of whom used to babysit this researcher, tossing a football back and forth; and this researcher, who was wearing her glasses, saw very clearly that the football was only about as big as, well, a football. In addition, the monster’s head is described as being “‘shaped somewhat like a horse’s head,’” which, if one really thinks about it, means that the head is shaped kind of like an isosceles triangle, with the long part of the triangle pointing downward and without the hard angles, which is the way that a brontosaurus’s head is shaped, only the latter is a much shorter triangle, therefore the fishermen’s use of the word “‘somewhat.’” Consequently, the creature that Mr. Klarrman and Mr. Ward observed may be related to the brontosaurus, and therefore of prehistoric origin, although scientists say that the dinosaurs became extinct back when that asteroid hit and dust from the earth blocked out the sun. Moving forward to 1943, a military helicopter flew over the Bush River at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay in Harford County, Maryland, and the crew reported seeing something “‘reptilian and unknown in the water’” (Simmons, 15). The fact that the creature is identified as “‘unknown’” suggests that perhaps a previously undiscovered species of dinosaur, one similar to the brontosaurus but that lives in water rather than on land, was not only in existence during prehistoric times but survived the asteroid and continues to inhabit the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Interestingly, though, the helicopter crew did not mention the head of the creature, how big it was or whether it was shaped “‘like a horse’s head.’” This lack of concrete description of the creature’s head, however, may be due to the fact that the crew members were high above the water in a helicopter, and they couldn’t see very clearly from that far away. Although this researcher has never been in a helicopter, she has left her glasses on the bathroom sink after washing her face and brushing her teeth, so when she is sitting in her bedroom staring out the window before going to sleep, the Flanagan’s house next door looks really blurry, so she can imagine that the helicopter crew, being high above the water, had trouble making out any concrete details about the creature other than that it was clearly “‘reptilian and unknown.’” Jumping forward to 1963, the creature was seen again in the Bush River by a helicopter pilot named Walter Myers, who wrote the following in a letter: “‘I assure you that Chessie exists or my eyes were deceiving me’” (Lake, 19). Although Mr. Myers, like the helicopter crew, does not offer further description of the creature, the fact that he names the creature is important because it suggests that the creature took on a name sometime between 1943 and 1963, a twenty-year time period that includes America’s use of the atomic bomb in World War II, the building of the highway system, and the time when people only had sex when they were married and then only to have children. Finally, a more recent sighting occurred in July of 1977 and was documented by photographic evidence. At this time, a fisherman named Greg Hupka spotted the creature in the Potomac River. The source does not say whether the Potomac sighting occurred on the Maryland or Virginia side of the river; however, this researcher is not especially worried about the lack of a concrete location, for, as one knows, animals, including fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals, are not subject to the false geographical boundaries delineated by man. Although some experts suggest that the head of the monster, seen somewhat blurrily rising from the waters in the photograph, may be the head of a turtle, Mr. Hupka denies their claims, stating that “‘No way it could have been a turtle’” (Simmons, 16). Mr. Hupka substantiates his claim by explaining his familiarity with the sea creatures of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, and this researcher is inclined to believe Mr. Hupka, for, as an experienced fisherman, he would know a turtle when he saw one. To wrap all this up, the creature was seen a total of four times between the years of 1934 and 1977, which, taking into consideration that dinosaurs have long life spans, is ample evidence that the creature has been living in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries for a very long time.
With regard to the cultural context, and as has been previously mentioned, this researcher had not yet been born during the time periods of the first four sightings, and, although she had been born by the July 1977 sighting, at that time she was not living in the house in Prince George’s County, Maryland, but rather in an apartment in Snohomish County, Washington, where she attended Lynnwood Elementary School for part of second grade, from March of 1977 through June of 1977, and for most of third grade, from September of 1977 through March of 1978. At Lynnwood Elementary, students sat at little desks and stored their books and pencils in the cubbies beneath the seats of those desks, and when at Lynnwood Elementary for the third grade, this researcher was sent by Miss Byers, who became Mrs. Bloch, to sit at a special desk in the back of the classroom every day during Language Arts where she was given books meant for sixth graders to read during the period. But this researcher was sitting in the seat of her regular desk that day in the fall when Miss Byers showed an episode of In Search Of… on the screen that she had pulled down in front of the blackboard at the head of the classroom before she closed the blinds and turned out the lights and went to stand at the back of the classroom where she turned on the film projector. When the film clicked and began to whir, Leonard Nimoy appeared on the screen, and he talked about the Loch Ness Monster, whose name is Nessie, and who lives in Loch Ness all the way over in Scotland. He showed a blurry, gray photograph in which Nessie’s head rises above the water of Loch Ness, and, as this researcher was wearing her glasses at the time, she saw that the creature’s head was, like Mr. Klarrman and Mr. Ward described in the 1934 Chessie sighting, shaped kind of like a horse’s head, which is shaped kind of like a brontosaurus’s head, which suggests that Nessie is related to Chessie, and therefore also related to the brontosaurus of prehistoric times. In any case, after the film was over, Miss Byers opened up the blinds and this researcher saw that it had begun to rain outside and the rain made the classroom seem as gray and watery as Loch Ness in that photograph, which was as gray and watery as Silver Lake in Cowlitz County, Washington, to which her parents had taken her one day in July and where she swam with a school of silver-blue fish that all looked the same, and because the fish didn’t seem to notice her, probably because of the way in which the sunlight filtered through the water to turn her white skin, which has blue veins running underneath it, the same silver-blue as the fish, she felt like she was one of those fish until she had to come up for air. When she broke the surface, the water ran down her forehead and into her eyes and everything was blurry until she wiped her eyes and after she did, and even though she wasn’t wearing her glasses, she saw Mount St. Helens rising really high above the lake. Looking back now at the time of the writing of this report, this researcher sees that it was in the same month that she was swimming with the school of silver-blue fish in Silver Lake that Mr. Hupka saw and photographed the creature in the Potomac, a fact that may or may not be important. Anyways, the fall after that summer, Miss Byers also taught a unit on Washington history. In that unit, this researcher learned that the name of Mount St. Helens, which seems like a girl’s name, is really a boy’s name, for Mount St. Helens was named after Alleyne Fitzherbert, who was 1st Baron of St. Helens all the way over in Ireland, which is close to Scotland, where Nessie lives in Loch Ness. It was after the Washington Unit, though, that Miss Byers became Mrs. Bloch and took a whole week off to go on her honeymoon, so a substitute teacher taught the class and didn’t seem to know that this researcher was supposed to sit at a special desk in the back of the classroom during Language Arts. So this researcher was stuck at her regular desk, where she stared out the window at the rain that made everything seem as gray and watery as Loch Ness and Silver Lake, in the latter of which she had swum with the silver-blue fish that all looked the same, and she thought about how boys can seem like girls and vice versa, which means that those silver-blue fish could be either boys or girls, or maybe neither or maybe both, or maybe even something in between.
Part II: 1978
Although unofficial reports suggest that Chessie was sighted over twenty-five times in the summer of 1978, only two sightings are officially documented. In the first sighting, a fisherman spotted the creature in the water of the Chesapeake Bay at Calvert Cliffs, Maryland; and in the second sighting, a farmer saw the creature swimming in the Potomac River in Westmoreland County, Virginia. In terms of the cultural context, by the time of these sightings, this researcher had moved back to the house in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where she again attended Bolton Elementary School. Given the evidence that arises from the 1978 sightings, this researcher believes that, despite what one witness claims, it is still unknown as to whether Chessie is a boy sea monster or a girl sea monster, or, perhaps, neither or both or something in between; and, in addition, Chessie is not a giant anaconda as one expert believes, but rather a dinosaur of prehistoric origin. With regard to the cultural context, in the year of these sightings this researcher discovered two important things: firstly, she discovered that Justin Mack and Tammy Larson were going to do something really bad outside the back door to the music room; and secondly, she discovered that what she had already done with Tammy Larson in the claw-foot tub in the upstairs bathroom of Tammy’s house was even worse.
In the summer of 1978, a fisherman spotted Chessie in the Chesapeake Bay at Calvert Cliffs, Maryland. According to the fisherman, Chessie was “‘speeding through the water, and although she never surfaced, she kicked up a high wake’” (Simmons, 17). The really important part of this quotation is the use of the pronoun “‘she,”” for the fisherman identifies the creature as a girl, which previously had been unknown. Although this researcher does not wish to go against the fisherman because, after all, he is a fisherman and so presumably knows how to tell a boy sea creature from a girl sea creature, she wonders how he was able to tell that the creature was a girl because when this researcher was swimming with that school of silver-blue fish in Silver Lake, all of the silver-blue fish looked the same; consequently, she wonders if Chessie, who lives in water rather than on land, could be like those silver-blue fish. And yet, it is important to note that the creature, as has been proven earlier in this report, is related to the brontosaurus because of the shape of its head and because it is clearly reptilian, and one scientist claims that dinosaurs are subject to what is called “sexual dimorphism,” which is a fancy way of saying how girls look different than boys, like in how girls have longer hair than boys. For example, although Mickey Flanagan and Lori Tripoli, who by the fall of 1978 had left James Madison Junior High to attend Frederick Douglass Senior High, at the time both had long, kind of blond, feathered hair, Lori’s hair was definitely longer than Mickey’s hair. Going back to the dinosaurs, though, that scientist claims that through sexual selection, which is a type of natural selection, which was proven by Charles Darwin all the way back in the 1800s and means that animals develop certain characteristics in order to better survive in their environments, dinosaurs may have developed what are known as “display structures,” which means that they grew horns or crests or long necks in order to attract better mates. This researcher, however, and despite the evidence of display structures provided in the example of Mickey Flanagan and Lori Tripoli, who are humans and not dinosaurs, is disinclined to believe the scientist because he only looked at something like twenty fossils, and they were all fossils of the same kind of dinosaur, which was a type of dinosaur that didn’t live in water but rather on land, so it is conceivable that he was incorrect about other types of dinosaurs, including one like Chessie that previously had been unknown to exist, because he didn’t study all the different types of dinosaurs, or, obviously, the type of dinosaur that Chessie is. And besides, the fisherman who saw the creature at Calvert Cliffs did not identify what it was about Chessie that made him think that it was a girl sea monster and not a boy sea monster. Of course, that fisherman may have been too far away or not wearing his glasses so he couldn’t see it very clearly, but, if this is the case, then he shouldn’t have made a claim about whether Chessie is a girl or a boy.
In the second sighting, the one in Westmoreland County, the farmer saw the creature while standing on the riverbank of the Potomac. According to the farmer, the creature was fourteen feet long, and it was “‘somewhat uniform in size, about as big around as a quart jar’” (New York Times, 25). This sighting captured the interest of an expert at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, who looked into the matter and came up with the theory that back in the 1930s, which was the time of the Great Depression, which was before World War II when America dropped the atomic bombs that ended the war and afterwards Germany was split into two countries separated by a wall, wooden ships traveled between the Americas in the Atlantic, and giant anacondas swimming at the mouth of the Amazon River, which is in South America, somehow got stuck in the hulls of the ships and were transported up the eastern seaboard. When those wooden ships were later abandoned due to shipwreck and other causes, they were left to rot on the riverbanks, and the giant anacondas, escaping from the hulls into the Potomac, bred in the waters. Even though this theory was put forth by an expert at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, this researcher is disinclined to believe it because, according to Reptiles: The Big Book of Facts, giant anacondas reach sexual maturity at around the age of three, at which time they mate in what is called a “breeding ball,” in which “two or more male anacondas wind around a female anaconda and wrestle for a chance to mate with her” (Horlick & Morley, Eds., p. 43). In order for this theory to be true, one would have to prove that both male and female anacondas were caught in the hulls of those wooden ships, a fact that the expert does not prove in his study. In any case, and assuming for the sake of argument that there were both male and female anacondas on those ships, it seems pretty unlikely that, given the fact that the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are significantly colder than the waters of the Amazon, the male anacondas, being cold-blooded reptiles used to a warmer climate, had the energy to mate, as a breeding ball requires a lot of extra energy, a fact that will be proven later in this report. Therefore, this researcher finds the theory suspect, which is further evidence that Chessie is a dinosaur of prehistoric origin.
As for the cultural context, in March of 1978 this researcher’s father completed the research for his master’s thesis, so this researcher left Snohomish County, Washington, where she attended Lynnwood Elementary School, which was just as well because Miss Byers, who became Mrs. Bloch, was going to have a baby that would be born in June, so for the last few weeks of school a substitute teacher would come in, and she wouldn’t know that this researcher was supposed to sit at a special desk at the back of the classroom during Language Arts in order to read books meant for sixth graders. In any case, this researcher returned to the house in Prince George’s County, Maryland, as well as to Bolton Elementary School, which, unlike Lynnwood Elementary School, did not have regular desks; instead, students sat in brightly colored, plastic chairs placed around rectangular tables with metal legs, and because there were no desks with little cubbies beneath the seats, students carried “tote-trays,” which held their books and pencils, with them everywhere except for the cafeteria and the gym and the bathrooms, of which there were two, and the blue one was for boys and the pink one was for girls. Following the Chessie sightings of the summer of 1978, this researcher entered the fourth grade at Bolton Elementary School, where she sat on one side of a rectangular table, and Justin Mack sat on the other side, and in between them sat Tammy Larson, who did not walk to school but instead rode the bus because she did not live in the Bolton neighborhood but rather up by the old town in a white clapboard farmhouse, to which Tammy had once invited this researcher to spend the night, and where, in a claw-foot tub, she and Tammy had rubbed one another’s bodies with different colored sponges, and it had felt so nice to be rubbed, the bright light of the overhead making their white skin, which has blue veins running underneath it, seem silver-blue in the water. That night happened during the spring of 1978 when this researcher was still in the third grade, and when school let out for the summer, her parents didn’t want to drive her all the way up Route 301 to the old town on a regular basis, so this researcher didn’t see Tammy again until Mrs. Davidson assigned her to that table when she started the fourth grade. Going back to that day in the fourth grade, the day that is the main subject of this portion of the report, everyone in the classroom was quiet because they were working on the fraction sheets that Mrs. Davidson had handed out, and this researcher accidentally dropped her pencil on the floor beneath the table. When she crawled under the table to retrieve it, she found a note, perfectly folded into a neat rectangle with a little tab that read “Pull” tucked into the fold. This researcher knew that the note wasn’t for her because the only person who wrote her notes was Rebecca Cooper, who had big, bubbly handwriting, and who never pressed the pencil down hard enough on the paper so the words always looked like ghost-words, so this researcher had to squint really hard to read them even when she was wearing her glasses; and whomever had written the word “Pull” on this note had handwriting in which the letters were small, black lines that looked more like numbers than letters, and the writer had pressed down hard on the pencil, so hard that the letters looked almost black. She put the note in the back pocket of her jeans, which were Wranglers because back then both boys and girls wore Wrangler jeans, and crawled out from underneath the table and settled back into her plastic seat, where she continued working on the fraction sheet. But this researcher couldn’t concentrate on the fractions, the numbers of which kept turning into the letters written on the tab of that note, so she looked over at Mrs. Davidson, who was sitting at her desk and who was busy grading yesterday’s fraction sheets, and then she put her hand in the back pocket of her jeans and slid out the note and between her knees beneath the table, she pulled the tab and unfolded the note, on which was written in dark letters that looked like numbers, “Dear Tammy, Meet me outside the back door to the music room after school. I want to touch your boobies. Signed, Justin.” This researcher, because she had rubbed Tammy’s body with those different colored sponges that night in the claw-foot tub back in the third grade, knew that Tammy didn’t have boobies; instead, Tammy had a chest as flat as Justin’s chest, which was as flat the table top and as flat this researcher’s own chest at the time. Anyways, this researcher folded the note back into shape and slid it into the back pocket of her jeans and then the bell rang and it was time for lunch in the cafeteria.
At Bolton Elementary School, the cafeteria had yellow walls and a yellow tile floor and a kitchen in the back room. It is important to note, though, that the cafeteria was actually a much bigger room, one that had a long sliding vinyl door that sometimes, like during music recitals and Christmas pageants, stood open, but mostly it was pulled closed. The other half of the room, the half that wasn’t the yellow cafeteria, had gray walls and a gray tile floor and an office in the back room. This half of the room was the gym in which Mr. Clarke made the boys climb ropes up to the rafters while the girls did somersaults down on the floor, although he made both boys and girls play smear-the-queer, and, sometimes, do nothing other than run back and forth from one gray wall of the gym to the other for the entire 45 minutes of P. E. Anyways, that day in the cafeteria, this researcher stood in line and bought her tray of pizza burgers and school corn and then she brought that tray over to one of the long tables assigned to the students in the fourth grade. She sat across from Rebecca Cooper, to whom she was going to show the note, but then she remembered Mickey Flanagan, with his feathered hair that was not as long as Lori Tripoli’s hair, and how once that summer, right around the time of the Chessie sightings, she was staring out her bedroom window one evening when it was growing dark, and she saw Mickey lying on top of Lori in the side yard, but because this researcher wasn’t wearing her glasses, she couldn’t tell what they were doing down there on the ground. This researcher ran down the hall to the bathroom, where she found her glasses on the sink, and then she ran back down the hall to her room, where, through the window, she saw Mickey still lying on top of Lori, who was lying really still, and Mickey’s head was thrown back and his eyes were closed, but then he opened them and saw this researcher at the window and rolled off of Lori onto the grass and looked this researcher straight in the eyes and put his finger to his lips, so this researcher knew not to tell anyone that Mickey had been lying on top of Lori in the side yard because it was bad. So she didn’t take the note from the back pocket of her jeans and pull the tab and show it to Rebecca Cooper because she knew that what was written on it was bad, was bad like what Mickey Flanagan and Lori Tripoli had been doing in the side yard was bad, and for some reason this researcher knew, too, that neither of those things was as bad as what she and Tammy had done in that claw-foot tub. So after lunch, when this researcher was on the blacktop for recess, she found Tammy Larson hanging upside-down from the monkey bars, and this researcher told Tammy to meet her outside the back door to the music room. Tammy, who by the fourth grade had become the best at doing those somersaults down on the floor in the gym, dropped down from the bar in a perfect flip, and the two of them walked to the back door where this researcher gave Tammy the note and said, “I thought you might want to have this,” and then never said another word to her again.
Part III: 1980
In the summer and fall of 1980, Chessie was sighted a total of three times at three different locations, and, that fall, this researcher entered the sixth grade at Bolton Elementary, which would be her last year in elementary school before going on to James Madison Junior High, where she will write a report on Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay sea monster. Taking into account the reports of witnesses who saw Chessie during that time, one could surmise that between 1978 and 1980 Chessie grew in size, so one could hypothesize that, if that scientist, the one who believes that dinosaurs are subject to sexual dimorphism, is right, Chessie was going through what is known as puberty and developing secondary sexual characteristics, which are related to display structures, which are different for girls than they are for boys. However, due to the fact that the scientist only looked at twenty fossils, and the fossils that were all from the same type of dinosaur, this researcher remains unconvinced that the creature is subject to sexual dimorphism; consequently, it is still questionable as to whether the creature is a boy or a girl or neither or both or something in between. In terms of the cultural context, though, this researcher discovered during this time that humans, although not necessarily all types of dinosaurs, are definitely subject to sexual dimorphism, and because they are, boys are boys and girls are girls, and boys are supposed to like girls and vice versa, which makes what Lisa Eason did to the couch at Kara Murphy’s slumber party very bad, although not as bad as what this researcher did with Tammy Larson in that claw-foot tub back in the third grade.
In their reports on the 1980 sightings, witnesses describe the creature’s length. In the first sighting, a farmer near Cole’s Point, Virginia, saw the creature swimming in the Potomac, and he reported that the creature was fourteen feet long. However, a group of men who saw the creature two weeks later, again in the Potomac and about fifteen miles south of the farmer’s sighting, said the monster appeared to be twenty-five feet in length. In the third sighting, a man who spotted the creature in the Patuxent River in Prince George’s County, Maryland, reported it to be forty feet in length. What this researcher finds interesting is that the monster seems to be growing in length since the first sightings in the relatively recent series of sightings occurred. In the first sighting of 1978, the monster’s length is not mentioned; however, in the second sighting of 1978, the monster is reported to be fourteen feet long, just like in the initial sighting of 1980. In the later 1980 sightings, the creature is reported to be twenty-five feet, and then forty feet. This observation goes back to that scientist, the one who said that dinosaurs are subject to sexual dimorphism, in that the creature’s growth in length may suggest that it was going through what is known as puberty, a concept that will be explained later in this portion of the report, and, therefore, developing secondary sexual characteristics, which are related to display structures, which may include a growth in length like in how dinosaurs grew horns or crests or long necks in order to attract better mates. Looking back now at the time of the writing of this report, this researcher remembers that although Lori Tripoli had long, feathered hair back in 1978 when she was lying on the ground with Mickey Flanagan in the side yard, her hair at the time was only a little past her shoulders; however, by 1980, her hair was all the way past her bra strap, which means that it had grown in length. In addition, and although the hair on Mickey’s head had not grown longer than it had been back in 1978, by 1980 Mickey had little hairs growing out of his chin, and he had begun to wear a fringed jacket of brown suede. All of this means that by 1980 when they were in the tenth grade, both Lori and Mickey had developed what may be seen as display structures, which means that they were going through what is known as puberty. Going back to Chessie, though, this fact leads to the other fact that, as has been previously mentioned in this report, dinosaurs are known to have long life spans, with some living over 100 years. As Chessie is a dinosaur of prehistoric origin that has not yet been discovered, one that is kind of like a brontosaurus, it is conceivable that this new type of dinosaur could live for more than a hundred years, so it makes sense that Chessie, even though the first sighting occurred in 1934, could be entering what is known as puberty at 44 years of age. And yet, and once again, that scientist only looked at twenty fossils, and they were all fossils of the same type of dinosaur, one that doesn’t live in water but rather on land, so the theory that all types of dinosaurs are subject to sexual dimorphism is still in question.
In terms of the cultural context, in the fall of 1980 this researcher entered the sixth grade at Bolton Elementary School, and that school year a number of important things happened. One thing is that Kara Murphy had a slumber party in the basement of her house that this researcher attended. At the party, Kara played the Blondie record, and Julie Dolan sang “Call Me” while jerking her thumb to her chest, which was bigger than any of the other girls’ chests in the sixth grade, except maybe for Wendy Blackstone’s chest, which was so big that one time, when Mr. Clarke made everyone run back and forth from one wall of the gym to the other, Kevin Stewart was running one way and Wendy Blackstone was running the other way and Kevin ran smack into Wendy and gave her a titty-twister right there in the middle of the gym. Anyways, at Kara Murphy’s slumber party, everyone played “Truth or Dare,” and when this researcher picked truth, Kara asked her which boy she wanted to go with, and this researcher said Jeremy Ollinger because he was nice and had blond hair and blue eyes and because he was a boy and not a girl like Tammy Larson, whom this researcher was glad that Kara Murphy had not invited to the slumber party. This researcher picked truth because she knew that it was better to pick truth than to pick dare because Lisa Eason had already picked dare, and Kara had dared Lisa to hump the couch, and although this researcher, at the time of the slumber party, didn’t know exactly what humping was, she knew that it was bad just like she knew that what Justin Mack had written on that note to Tammy Larson was bad, and that what Mickey Flanagan was doing to Lori Tripoli in the side yard was bad, although she knew that what she and Tammy had done in that claw-foot tub was even worse.
Looking back now, at the time of the writing of this report, the memory of that slumber party makes this researcher think of the time she was at the Oxon Hill Library and all of the mothers, including her own mother, had a meeting with the librarian, Mrs. Hall. This researcher, who was supposed to be in the children’s section of the library but instead was standing outside the door of the room in which the mothers were meeting, heard Mrs. Hall talking about books that older girls were reading and passing around to each other in brown paper bags. She heard Mrs. Hall mention a book named Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones, and a book named Go Ask Alice, and a book named Forever, which this researcher found on the shelves in the young adult section of the library, but since she was reading books three grades above her anyways, she checked it out and in the car on the way home she was reading it when she came to a strange use of the word “coming.” This researcher asked her mother what that word meant in its context, which was when the boy character and the girl character were in a bed, but her mother just stared straight ahead out the windshield and then she said, “Ask me later. I am too tired to explain it now.” But this researcher knew by the tone of her mother’s voice not to ask her later, although she did ask her later to sign a permission slip saying that she could participate in the Sex Education Unit at Bolton Elementary School. The day of the Sex Education Unit, Mrs. Pullman and Mr. Clarke separated all the sixth grade girls and sixth grade boys into two separate lines out in the hall, and then Mrs. Pullman led the girls to the cafeteria with its yellow walls and Mr. Clarke led the boys to the gym with its gray walls, and the sliding vinyl door that separated the one big room into two rooms was closed. As this researcher was not in the gym, she cannot report what Mr. Clarke told the boys, but she did hear the boys laughing on the other side of the sliding vinyl door. But as this researcher was in the cafeteria, she can report with accuracy that Mrs. Pullman talked about how around the age of twelve or thirteen, what is known as puberty happens to both boys and girls, which means that they begin to exhibit secondary sexual characteristics, which are related to display structures, which are related to sexual dimorphism. At puberty, boys begin to grow hair on their faces and their chests and between their legs, and their voices begin to crack but then they stop cracking and when they do their new voices are lower than they were before. And at puberty, girls begin to grow hair between their legs and they begin to grow breasts, which is related to getting their periods, which is when the eggs that are inside of them and that aren’t fertilized by sperms get flushed out with blood, which is why at this time of the month girls have to wear maxi-pads and should never wear white pants because if they have an accident then everyone will see it. Mrs. Pullman also said that when girls are having their periods they sometimes get stomach aches, which are called cramps, and that sometimes they get very emotional and cry all the time for no reason and can’t really see anything very clearly, which is why sometimes when girls are having their periods they stay home from school until they are feeling better. Mrs. Pullman also talked about how boys have sperms and girls have eggs and how boys are supposed to like girls and vice versa so that the sperms can fertilize the eggs when boys and girls come together in what is known as sex, which is when the boy lies on top of the girl, who lies on the bottom and keeps really still, and the boy inserts his penis into the girl’s vagina and the two of them “come” to make a baby. Interestingly, Mrs. Pullman did not mention anything about a breeding ball, which, as noted earlier in this report, is what giant anacondas do in order to mate, which means to “come” to make a bunch of baby snakes, although breeding balls happen with humans just like they do with snakes because one night not long after Kara Murphy’s slumber party, when this researcher was in her bedroom staring out the window and was wearing her glasses because she had remembered to put them back on after she had washed her face and brushed her teeth, she saw Mickey Flanagan and Keith McConnell from down the street in the Flanagan’s driveway. They were lying on the ground only they weren’t lying on the ground like Mickey Flanagan and Lori Tripoli had been lying on ground back in 1978; rather, they were rolling around and hitting each other with their fists while Lori stood in the front yard next to the lamp post jumping up and down and screaming her head off. But in any case, while this researcher was sitting on that yellow tile floor listening to Mrs. Pullman speak, she kept thinking about those silver-blue fish with which she swam that time in Silver Lake, and although she wasn’t wearing her glasses at the time, she was pretty sure that all those fish looked the same; and, on top of this, the law of probability suggests that not all of them were below the age of puberty. And she kept thinking about the dinosaurs, and how that scientist didn’t really prove that all types of dinosaurs are subject to sexual dimorphism because he only looked at twenty fossils and they were all fossils of the same type of dinosaur, a type that doesn’t live in water but rather on land. And then she thought again of that time that she was staring out the window at the breeding ball, which was when she noticed that Lori Tripoli’s hair had grown in length, and that her boobs had grown bigger, too, so big that they bounced up and down as she stood next to the lamp post jumping and screaming her head off. It was at this time, too, that she noticed that Mickey Flanagan, after he had stopped rolling around on the ground with Keith McConnell and instead was standing up and breathing really hard, which means that he had just spent a lot of extra energy, which proves that breeding balls require a lot of extra energy, had begun to grow those little hairs on his chin and to wear a fringed jacket of brown suede. But going back to the slumber party in the basement of Kara Murphy’s house, which is the main subject of this portion of the report, Lisa Eason chose dare so she had to hump the couch, which is how this researcher found out what humping was, only Lisa humped that couch like she was the boy and the couch was the girl, and she did the humping in front of other girls, which makes what she did doubly bad, but not as bad as what this researcher did with Tammy Larson in that claw-foot tub because at least Lisa was lying down on the couch instead of sitting up in the tub and at least the couch was just a couch and not another girl.
In any case, another important thing happened in the spring of 1981, which was the spring after the 1980 Chessie sightings. This researcher’s parents took her to see Dr. Powell at his office down in the Clinton Medical Building, and Dr. Powell had just read an important paper in an important medical journal about how severe near-sightedness could be kept from worsening in patients if the patients were given contact lenses to wear instead of glasses. As this researcher had severe near-sightedness, Dr. Powell recommended to her parents that she be allowed to have contact lenses, and for some reason her parents agreed even though they hadn’t agreed to drive her up Route 301 to see Tammy Larson during that summer after the third grade. This researcher had to wait three weeks for the contact lenses to come in, but it is important to note that she got them by the day of the roller-skating party for the sixth grade that took place in the room that was half a cafeteria and half a gym but on that day was just one big room because Mr. Clarke and Mrs. Pullman opened that sliding vinyl door like they did for music recitals and Christmas pageants, so the two rooms were one room even though the colors of each half were different. This researcher wanted the contact lenses to come before that day because in her bed on Sunday nights when she was staring out the window through which she had seen Mickey Flanagan tossing around a football with Lori Tripoli and Mickey Flanagan humping Lori Tripoli and Mickey Flanagan and Keith McConnell getting into a breeding ball, she had been listening to Casey Kasem count down to Number One. Back in the fall of 1980, which was before the spring of 1981, Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” beat out Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” even though Air Supply’s song was better, and ever since that night this researcher had been turning the dial on the radio every night, scrolling through WPGC 95.5 all the way to Q107, trying to catch Air Supply’s song, and when she did, she would imagine that Mr. Clarke and Mrs. Pullman would play that song for the couples’ skate at the roller-skating party, and that because this researcher wouldn’t be wearing her glasses but instead her contact lenses, and, as Lori Tripoli had said one night back when she used to babysit, boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses, and because this researcher is a girl and girls are supposed to like boys, she imagined that Jeremy Ollinger would roll up to her where she would be waiting for him on the steps of the stage where the Christmas pageants took place. He would ask her to skate with him and he would hold her hands as he skated backwards and she skated forwards because boys are supposed to skate backwards and girls are supposed to skate forwards during couples’ skates just like boys are supposed to lie on top of girls and girls are supposed to lie beneath boys and keep really still when boys and girls are humping or having what is known as sex. Anyways, on the morning of that roller-skating party, this researcher was sitting at the kitchen table putting in her contact lenses when David Hartman and Joan Lunden on the TV reminded everyone that it had been one year since Mount St. Helens, which has a boy’s name even though it seems like girl’s name, had erupted. And as she sat at the kitchen table, this researcher thought of the silver-blue fish that all looked the same and with which she had swum in Silver Lake until she had to come up for air, and she thought of how the ash that Mount St. Helens had spit up into the air had blocked out the sun, and it occurred to her that maybe those silver-blue fish had died just like the dinosaurs had died back when that asteroid hit and dust from the earth had blocked out the sun. So this researcher began to cry, which made everything seem blurry until she wiped her eyes, and when she did, everything became clear, and because she is a girl, and because girls are supposed to like boys, she put on that shirt with the pink and yellow stripes and the ruffles running down the sides over her training bra that she had begged her mother to buy because the training bra had pads that made her look like she had boobs even though they weren’t really boobs like Lori Tripoli’s boobs or even like Julie Dolan’s and Wendy Blackstone’s boobs. This researcher put that shirt on with her Jordache jeans, which all the girls were wearing just like all the boys were wearing Levi’s jeans, and that afternoon, she sat on the stage where the Christmas pageants took place and watched the skaters go round and round, waiting for Mr. Clarke and Mrs. Pullman to play that Air Supply song. And when they did, she watched Justin Mack and Tammy Larson go round and round the big room as she waited for Jeremy Ollinger to ask her to skate with him, and when he did, she and Jeremy went round and round the big room that was split in two not by the sliding vinyl door but by the colors of the walls and floor.
Part IV: 1982
In 1982, Chessie was sighted three times: once in May, and twice in October. In all three of the sightings Chessie was spotted in the Chesapeake Bay, and in the earlier sighting Chessie was videotaped swimming in the water, a fact that makes this sighting very important. In terms of the cultural context, by the time of the later 1982 sightings, which happened in the fall, this researcher had entered the eighth grade, which is her second and final year at James Madison Junior High, and, after which, in the fall of 1983, she will go on to Frederick Douglass Senior High, although Mickey Flanagan and Lori Tripoli won’t be there because they were in the Class of 1982. But in any case, this researcher can now say with certainty that Chessie, a dinosaur of prehistoric origin, one that is similar to the brontosaurus but lives in water rather than on land, is, despite the fact that it lives in water, unlike those silver-blue fish with which this researcher swam in Silver Lake. Consequently, Chessie is like the type of dinosaur that scientist studied, and, therefore, is subject to sexual dimorphism, so Chessie must be a boy or a girl, and, given the evidence put forth by witnesses in the 1982 sightings, Chessie is a girl sea monster just like that fisherman pointed out when he spotted Chessie in the Chesapeake Bay at Calvert Cliffs back in 1978. In addition, this researcher, who is a girl, can now say with certainty that she likes boys instead of girls, and she wishes that she had never done what she did with Tammy Larson in that claw-foot tub back in the third grade, which was during the time before she knew that she wasn’t like those silver-blue fish that all look the same.
On the first of October, a doctor named Dr. Tom Wilson saw Chessie, who had three humps sticking out of the water, swimming just south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge; and on the third of October, a man named Bob Hannigan saw Chessie, who had seven humps sticking out of the water, swimming in the Chesapeake Bay near Rock Hall in Howard County, Maryland. Dr. Wilson, who is a doctor, and, therefore, presumably knows math, calculated the length of the creature as if it were swimming flat and claims that what he saw of the monster above the surface of the water totaled fifteen feet in length. And although this researcher is not a doctor, she can still do math, which is proven by the fact that back in the fourth grade she got an “A” on all of the fraction sheets that Mrs. Davidson handed out, and so, given Dr. Wilson’s calculations, she calculates that the seven humps reported by Mr. Hannigan must total thirty-five feet in length. Considering this information in relation to the 1978 and 1980 Chessie sightings, which suggest a growth in length, this researcher must again consider whether that scientist’s theory about how dinosaurs are subject to sexual dimorphism applies to all types of dinosaurs, and, if it does, that between 1978 and 1982 Chessie was going through what is known as puberty and developing secondary sexual characteristics, which are related to display structures, one of which may be a growth in length. This researcher wishes to go back now to the 1934 sighting in which Mr. Klarrman and Mr. Ward noted that they saw the creature “‘coming up for air’” in the Chesapeake Bay, a fact that, although this researcher didn’t realize it at the time when she was writing the background portion of this report, suggests that Chessie cannot breathe under water, which means that Chessie has lungs rather than gills, which makes sense because only fish have gills, and, as has been already proven earlier in this report, Chessie is a dinosaur, and dinosaurs are reptiles. Consequently, Chessie is like the type of dinosaur that scientist studied, the one that doesn’t live in water but rather on land, because that type of dinosaur has lungs, and, given the fact that both Chessie and that type of dinosaur are alike in this way, the law of probability suggests that they are alike in other ways, too, so it is safe to assume that, because Chessie must come up for air in order to survive in its environment, Chessie is subject to sexual dimorphism. What this means is that Chessie is like Mickey Flanagan and Lori Tripoli who, between the years of 1978 and 1982, were going through what is known as puberty and developing secondary sexual characteristics like display structures; and, according to that scientist, dinosaurs develop display structures in order to attract better mates with whom to touch and hump and have what is known as sex, the latter of which is when boys lie on top of girls and girls lie beneath boys and keep really still as the boys insert their penises into the girls’ vagina so that they can “come.” Of course, though, boys and girls coming, just like boys and girls touching and humping, is very bad unless the boys and girls are older and married and trying to have a baby like Miss Byers, who became Mrs. Bloch, did back when this researcher attended Lynnwood Elementary School in Snohomish County, Washington, and which is what people did way back in the 1950s, and, this researcher surmises, maybe did in the 1960s and the 1970s, too, although not in the 1980s because in June of 1982, this researcher, who by then wore only contact lenses and never glasses and so her near-sightedness had not gotten any worse, and, in fact, she could see things much more clearly in her contact lenses than she ever had in her glasses, was staring out her bedroom window one night while turning the dial on the radio, scrolling through WPGC 95.5 all the way to Q107, trying to catch that J. Geils song about the angel who is a centerfold, saw Mickey Flanagan and Lori Tripoli in the side yard. All of the lights were out in the Flanagan’s house and the only car in the driveway was Mickey’s black Trans Am, which his parents had given him because he had just graduated from Frederick Douglass Senior High, but the sky was not yet totally dark so this researcher could see the plaid blanket on which Mickey and Lori were sitting. As they were sitting on that blanket, Mickey pulled Lori’s shirt over her head, and after he did, Lori pulled the elastic band out of her hair, and when she did, her hair fell all the way down to her waist. And then Mickey unhooked Lori’s bra so that her boobs, which by then were huge, bounced out, and then he pulled down her shorts and the panties beneath those shorts so Lori was sitting there completely naked. And then Mickey pulled his shirt over his head and then pulled down his shorts and the shorts beneath those shorts and he, too, was completely naked. And then Lori lay down on the blanket and kept really still, and Mickey lay down on top of Lori and inserted his penis into her vagina even though they weren’t married. And because they weren’t married, they weren’t trying to have a baby, another fact to which this researcher can attest, because before Mickey lay down on top of Lori, he rolled this rubbery thing onto his penis, and even though Mrs. Pullman had never mentioned anything about this thing during the Sex Education Unit at Bolton Elementary, this researcher knew that it would keep the sperms from getting inside to fertilize the eggs. And she knew, too, that what they were doing was bad, just like the humping they did was bad, and just like the touching that Justin Mack and Tammy Larson were going to do outside the back door to the music room was bad, although none of these things were as bad as what Lisa Eason did at Kara Murphy’s slumber party when she played the boy and the couch played the girl and she humped in front of other girls, although what this researcher did with Tammy Larson in that claw-foot tub back in the third grade was definitely the worst. But going back to Chessie, the fact that the creature was reported as having three humps and then seven humps, with Dr. Wilson, in the earlier sighting, calculating the creature’s length above the water to total fifteen feet, and this researcher, in the later sighting, calculating the creature’s length above the water to total thirty-five feet, provides ample evidence that Chessie, whom that farmer down in Westmoreland County claimed to be fourteen feet back in 1978, has grown in length, and, therefore, has developed secondary sexual characteristics, which are related to display structures, with the growth in length being the equivalent of growing horns or crests or long necks. In fact, Chessie may now be even longer, for there may be even more humps that Dr. Wilson and Mr. Hannigan didn’t see, not because they were too far away or weren’t wearing their glasses, but because the humps were below the surface of the water, a fact that will be proven later in this portion of the report.
Moving forward, or, really, backwards in terms of time, the more important sighting happened earlier, on Memorial Day in 1982, which wasn’t very long before the time that Mickey Flanagan and Lori Tripoli were having what is known as sex in the side yard, when Bob and Karen Frew videotaped Chessie swimming in the Chesapeake Bay at Love Point, Maryland. This tape marks the first videographic evidence that the creature exists, and in the video, Chessie swims just below the surface of the water at a rapid pace, and its body is clearly very long and clearly very big around, and there are dark spots on the video that suggest it could be even longer, with some of its body below the surface of the water. Mr. Frew, who took the videotape, reported that the creature’s head was “‘a little more round than a football’” (Washington Post 2), and this description leads back to Mr. Klarrman and Mr. Ward’s 1934 description, in which they said that the monster “‘had a head about as big as a football and shaped somewhat like a horse’s head.’” Although Mr. Klarrman and Mr. Ward described the creature’s head as related to a football in terms of size, Mr. Frew described the creature’s head as related to a football in terms of shape, which makes a lot of sense because a horse’s head is shaped kind of like a football, except “‘a little more round[ed]’” and with, if the football is held in a vertical position with the laces pointing downward instead of going across, the top lopped off; in other words, in the shape of an isosceles triangle but without the hard angles, which is the shape of a brontosaurus’s head. And besides, and has been proven earlier in this portion of the report, Chessie’s body has grown in length; therefore, Chessie’s head would presumably have grown in proportion to its body, so by 1982 Chessie’s head would be considerably bigger than a football, which, as this researcher pointed out earlier in this report, isn’t very big. In addition, Mr. Frew noted that the creature was “‘30 to 35 feet in length…in girth…it’s about the size of a good-sized person’s thigh—about 10 inches in diameter’” (Washington Post 2). This quotation is extremely important for two reasons: firstly, it confirms again that the creature is growing in length, for in the second sighting of 1980, the group of men who saw the monster in the Potomac reported it to be twenty-five feet in length, and in the third sighting of 1980, the man who saw the creature in the Patuxent River reported it to be forty feet in length. And although thirty-five feet is less than forty feet, this researcher has already noted that there are dark spots on the video that prove that it is even longer than Mr. Frew claimed, and those dark spots point to the idea that Chessie, by 1982, was fifty feet in length. In this way, the monster is like this researcher, whose hair is growing in length, because, back when Lori Tripoli used to babysit, she told her not only that boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses, but that boys like girls who have long hair, so after this researcher got contact lenses, she stopped cutting her hair, which, by the time of the writing of this report, is almost down to her bra strap. Secondly, it confirms that the creature is growing in girth, for in the second sighting of 1978, the one that occurred down in Westmoreland County, the farmer who saw the creature claimed that it was “‘somewhat uniform in size, about as big around as a quart jar.’” Clearly, the monster has gotten bigger in the last four years, for the diameter of a quart jar is only 3.9 inches, which is considerably less than 10 inches. In this way, the monster is again like this researcher, whose chest has grown in girth and is no longer as flat as the top of a rectangular table with metal legs like it was back in the third grade when she and Tammy Larson were sitting up and facing each other in that claw-foot tub where they rubbed one another’s bodies with those different colored sponges. That night in the tub, Tammy rubbed this researcher’s lips with the blue sponge and this researcher rubbed Tammy’s lips with the pink sponge and Tammy rubbed this researcher’s chest with the yellow sponge and this researcher rubbed Tammy’s chest with the gray sponge and for a long time they rubbed those sponges around the round, pink stars on each other’s chests. And then they moved those sponges downward, the bright light of the overhead making their white skin, which has blue veins running underneath it, seem silver-blue in the water, and they rubbed each other’s little nubs that seemed to glow like the lightning bugs they had caught earlier in the back yard and tingle like the Pop Rocks they had eaten as they put those lightning bugs in that quart jar with the holes poked in the metal top, which was before Mrs. Larson called them into the white clapboard farmhouse and told them to go upstairs and get cleaned up because it was late and time to go to bed. This researcher knows now that what she and Tammy did was the worst because she and Tammy are both girls and that touching and humping and having what is known as sex are only supposed to happen between boys and girls. In addition, this researcher and Tammy were both sitting up instead of lying down, which is never supposed to happen because boys are supposed to lie on top of girls and girls are supposed to lie beneath boys and keep really still, but she and Tammy didn’t know whether they were boys or girls or maybe neither or maybe both or maybe even something in between, so they didn’t know in what position they were supposed to be. In any case, all of this leads back to the previously questioned hypothesis about whether all dinosaurs are subject to sexual dimorphism, which relates to the idea that Chessie had entered what is known as puberty sometime between 1978 and 1982, and how neither of these things can any longer be questioned because the videographic evidence offered by Mr. and Mrs. Frew shows incontrovertibly that the creature has grown in length and girth, and, therefore, was developing display structures, which are related to secondary sexual characteristics, with the growth in length being equivalent to girls growing long hair and the growth in girth being equivalent to girls growing breasts. All of this means that it is safe to assume that not only is Chessie a dinosaur of prehistoric origin, and all dinosaurs are subject to sexual dimorphism, and boy dinosaurs develop certain kinds of display structures and girl dinosaurs develop other kinds of display structures, and boy and girl dinosaurs develop these display structures in order to attract better mates with whom to come together in what is known as sex in order to have babies, but that Chessie is a girl, a fact that leads this researcher to the following question: Where is the boy who will be Chessie’s mate? This point leads back to Mrs. Frew, who said how the creature was “‘similar to the Loch Ness Monster’” (Washington Post, 3), a fact that this researcher noted earlier in this report, having seen that film in which Leonard Nimoy showed a photograph of the Loch Ness Monster, so perhaps Nessie could be Chessie’s mate. However, Nessie lives all the way over in Loch Ness, which is in Scotland, which is close to Ireland, which is where St. Helens is, but Scotland is different from Ireland just like boys are different from girls, and, in addition, no one knows whether Nessie is a boy or a girl, so it is impossible to know if Nessie could be Chessie’s mate. Consequently, what scientists need to do now is to find Nessie and discover whether it is a boy sea monster, and, if it is, then those scientists need to find a way for Nessie and Chessie to live together in either Loch Ness or in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
With regard to the cultural context, by the fall of 1982, when this researcher entered the eighth grade at James Madison Junior High, she had stopped pretending to like Jeremy Ollinger just because she is a girl and girls are supposed to like boys, and instead really liked, and still likes at the time of the writing of this report, Matt Sheridan, who plays cornet in the orchestra in which this researcher plays clarinet and once, although this was back in the seventh grade, an eighth grader locked this researcher in the instrument closet with Matt Sheridan and it was really dark in there but this researcher knew what to do which was to lie down on the ground and be really still and wait for Matt to lie on top of her. But before this could happen, Mr. K. unlocked the door to the instrument closet and told this researcher and Matt to get out of the closet and go back to their seats because the spring concert was coming soon and everyone needed to practice. This happened in the spring of the seventh grade, right around Memorial Day, which was when Mr. and Mrs. Frew videotaped Chessie in the Chesapeake Bay, a fact that may or may not be important. In that spring, too, this researcher was walking down the back stairwell behind a girl whose hair went all the way down to her waist, and this researcher wanted to ask that girl how she had gotten her hair so long because this researcher, even though she hasn’t cut her hair since the sixth grade, still doesn’t have hair down to her waist, which means that she has not yet developed her display structures in the right way. However, she has grown boobs that are so big that once, in Mrs. Moyer’s Talented and Gifted U.S. History class, which this researcher took in the year before she took Mrs. Endicott’s Talented and Gifted U.S. History class, Kevin Stewart snapped her bra strap. This happened during that day when Mrs. Moyer was showing that film on World War II, which was about how America dropped the atomic bombs in Japan and about how afterwards Germany was split in two. In the film, the bomb made a cloud of dust that blocked out the sun in the same way that later Mount St. Helens did when it erupted and in the same way that earlier that asteroid did when it hit the earth. And as this researcher was watching that film, she felt something wet between her legs because she had gotten her first period, and, of course, she was wearing white pants, so she ran out of the classroom and into the back stairwell and down the steps to the nurse’s office on the first floor. The nurse gave her a maxi-pad and called her mother on the phone, and this researcher’s mother came to the school and the two of them sat in the nurse’s office, where her mother asked if she had a stomach ache and if she was feeling really emotional and crying for no reason and if she couldn’t really see anything very clearly and so wanted to go home. But this researcher said, “no,” because she was wearing her contact lenses and just needed to wipe her eyes and then everything would become clear; and besides, she couldn’t go home because, at that time, Shannon Prichard, who plays flute in the orchestra, liked Matt Sheridan, which meant that if this researcher didn’t go to orchestra, Shannon would have found a way to go into the instrument closet with Matt, and this researcher didn’t want that to happen, so she took the brown paper bag in which her mother had packed a pair of panties and this researcher’s Jordache jeans, which all the girls were still wearing just like all the boys were still wearing Levi’s jeans, and went into the bathroom in the nurse’s office and changed her clothes. And a little while later, when this researcher had left the nurse’s office and walked up the steps in the back stairwell and was about to open the door to Mrs. Moyer’s classroom, she remembered that she had left her white pants in the bathroom, so she returned to the back stairwell where she walked behind that girl with the hair that went all the way down to her waist. When this researcher was on the bottom step of the stairs above the landing, and that girl was on the top step of the stairs below the landing, the girl looked up and this researcher saw that it was Tammy Larson. Tammy’s boobs, which were huge, bounced as she took that first step down, and when they did, this researcher reached over the rail and put her hands on Tammy’s boobs so that her palms met Tammy’s round, pink stars, and then she twisted hard, and Tammy screamed and this researcher screamed and the sound of screaming echoed in the stairwell as it does right now inside this researcher’s head.
In the course of writing this report on Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay sea monster, this researcher has come to the following conclusions: firstly, Chessie is a dinosaur of prehistoric origin, one that was previously unknown to exist but is similar to the brontosaurus except that it lives in water rather on land. Secondly, as Chessie needs to come up for air in order to survive in its environment, Chessie, even though it lives in water rather than on land, is like those dinosaurs that scientist studied, which means that Chessie is subject to sexual dimorphism, so, sometime during the time period between 1978 and 1982, Chessie went through what is known as puberty and developed secondary sexual characteristics, which are related to display structures. Thirdly, Chessie is a girl sea monster because she grew in length and girth just like this researcher’s hair and chest are growing in length and girth, and as girls like boys and vice versa, scientists must now determine whether Nessie, who lives in Loch Ness, is a boy sea monster in order to discover if Chessie and Nessie can be mates and come together in what is known as sex, which, in the olden times, is what married people did only in order to have children. What this means is that when Mount St. Helen’s erupted and the ash blocked out the sun, all the silver-blue fish that looked the same died in Silver Lake, just like when America dropped the atomic bombs in World War II and all the people died and afterwards Germany was split in two, and just like when that asteroid hit and all the dinosaurs died except for Chessie and Nessie, about whom this researcher hopes to someday write a master’s thesis like her father. In that thesis, she will prove that Chessie and Nessie are really just two mysterious sea creatures who are not subject to sexual dimorphism like that scientist says, but, instead, are neither boys nor girls or maybe both or maybe even something in between, so they could be like what an author named Sigmund Freud says in that book that this researcher found in the adult section of the Oxon Hill Library back in the seventh grade, and which she checked out because she was already reading three grades above her anyways. That author says that boys and girls start out the same in being something called “polymorphously perverse,” which is a fancy way of saying how they don’t know yet that they are boys and girls, so they don’t know yet that boys are supposed to like girls and vice versa; consequently, they just like whomever they like. In other words, they are like those silver-blue fish with which this researcher swam in Silver Lake in the year before 1978, after which everything changed, and she learned that there are boys and there are girls and that boys and girls go together unlike her and Tammy Larson, whom this researcher hopes to never see again.
Alexander, K. A. (1982). Chessie surfaces: The Frew tape. In Monstrous Maryland [Pamphlet] (pp. 1-5). Baltimore, MD: The Society for the Study of Maryland Monsters.
Anonymous. Return of “Chessie”: The mysterious sea creature of the Potomac. (1980, June 22). The New York Times. p. A25.
Anonymous. Bay monster: 30-foot sea serpent captured by eastern shore couple (on film). (1982, July 12). The Washington Post. p. C12.
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