The marauding bog of All Hallow’s Eve

A giant floating bog on North Long Lake near Brainerd, Minnesota. (KARE 11 screenshot)

Aaron J. Brown

Aaron J. Brown is an Iron Range blogger, author, radio producer and columnist for the Hibbing Daily Tribune.

October, month of the dead. The leaves fall and the flowers die. Colors fade to gray, brown and a deathly yellow. Hence the annual debauchery of Halloween, one final howl before the virginal snow and holy days of winter.

Which monster will haunt you this All Hallow’s Eve?

Dusk bathes the shoreline of North Long Lake, a waterhole just outside Brainerd. A young couple cuddles on the dock.

“Oh, Jimmy,” she says. “A crystal calm lake. A brisk October night. It’s all so … romantic.” She giggles.

“I know, Jane. It’s so hard to find time to be alone when we’re staying at your parents’ house. And, indeed, we are all alone.” He reaches to caress her blonde hair inside her Vikings hoodie.

“But Jimmy, we shouldn’t. We aren’t married yet and my parents’ creepy neighbor has a telescope.

“The sun will set soon. We have nothing to worry about.” Jimmy kisses her.

“I suppose it’s alright,” Jane coos. They neck passionately. “But wait. What’s that? In the distance?”

Jimmy squints. “That? That’s nothing. Just a floating bog in the lake.”

“It’s just … really big.”

“Nah, I’ve seen bigger.”

Jane’s voice rises. “No, look at it. It’s floating right toward us.”

“Sure, gradually. Like a pool floaty. Nothing to worry about.”

“It’s the size of a football field!” Jane screams.

“You’re exaggerating.”

“If that thing keeps coming this way it’ll smash my dad’s dock to pieces!”

“At that speed? You’re nuts. Let’s get back to making out.”

“Jimmy, you don’t understand. You’re overlooking an important aspect of physics.”

“I don’t think so, Jane. I’m looking over your physique, and I like what I see.”

“Knock it off. You’re ignoring the role mass plays in the inertia of objects. Just because an object moves slowly doesn’t mean it lacks inertia, especially when that object is extremely large. A giant floating bog moving at half a knot still has tremendous destructive force.”

“Baby, trust me. It can’t compete with the force of my love for you.”

“That’s sweet, but we should prepare to evacuate the dock. The bog is coming closer.”

“Is that some kind of innuendo?”

“Absolutely not. And, frankly, I’m not in the mood anymore.”

Suddenly, a tremendous creaking rises from the hollow cavern under the dock. The bog arrives! Slowly, over the course of several minutes, the massive bog crushes Jane’s dad’s dock while the couple looks on, sipping cocoa and arguing about whether or not thrust was involved. The bog finishes its terrible deed and retreats into the night. Meantime, Jane’s dad bumbles down from the house.

“My dock!” he cries! “What happened?”

“Oh, hey sir,” Jimmy says. “It was, like, this big bog that came out of nowhere and, like, totally smashed your dock.”

“You expect me to believe that?” Jane’s dad yells. “I have no idea what my daughter sees in you.”

“A lack of inertia,” she says. “Jimmy, it’s over.”

Thus, it came to be that a terrible Halloween bog crushed not only a dock, but also one young man’s heart.

***

On Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 a giant bog broke free on North Long Lake near Brainerd. For weeks after, this 1,000-ton monstrosity bounced around the lake, smashing docks and boat lifts. Residents still live in terror that the marauding bog remains at large. Bogs like this are unusual, but not unheard of. In fact, one might be floating in a lake near you, or lie dormant beneath the waves, waiting for its chance to smash your dock, or break your heart.

Mwaah-ha-ha-ha-ha! Happy Halloween!

Aaron J. Brown is an author and college instructor from northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. He writes the blog MinnesotaBrown.com and hosts the Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio. This piece first appeared in the Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017 edition of the Hibbing Daily Tribune.

 

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