Anybody feel like living dangerously this Halloween?
Oh sure, you could dress up as a member of the wealthiest 1 percent and go crash an Occupy Wall Street rally. But I've got something a bit scarier in mind for the upcoming All Hallow's Eve.
What say we all put on our mule deer costumes this Monday night and go out trick-or-treating?
Now THAT'S dangerous.
Yes, it would appear the nature lovers in Bountiful are at it again, insisting that their city leaders do something about an unruly group of woodland creatures that simply refuses to stay out there in its ever-decreasing woodland.
Last winter, you may recall, the city of Bountiful put out a contract on its domestic deer population -- the does and fawns, anyway. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources answered the call with a marksman sporting a silencer on his rifle, and 16 animals were "culled" from an estimated herd of 500 or more.
Well, apparently, the news of a crazed gunman indiscriminately shooting women and children in Bountiful failed to spread around the deer community, because they're back in town again this year.
And so, it would seem, is the DWR marksman.
Speaking of deer and the DWR, how 'bout that whole "robo-deer" creature that state wildlife officials have been using this month to catch poachers? Apparently, the DWR is using remote-controlled robot decoys to catch deer poachers in the state.
The robotic animals are placed along roadsides at night, and when a potential poacher stops and takes a shot at the decoy, officers swoop in.
Robotic deer in the dark. If that doesn't just sound like the setup for a great B-horror flick, I don't know what does.
Call it "Attack of the Night of the Living Zombie Robo-Deer." It's the chilling tale of a rogue Terminator-looking metallic deer with glowing red laser eyes and razor-sharp titanium fangs, exacting its bloody revenge on the ornamental shrubbery of unsuspecting East Bench residents throughout the greater Bountiful area.
Hold me, I'm scared.
And in other Halloween news ...
Earlier this month, Iconosys, Inc., a company that calls itself "a leading mobile safety smartphone application developer," just made taking the kids trick-or-treating a LOT easier.
No more schlepping around the neighborhood with your little costumed monsters in tow. Now, you can let your smartphone do all the work.
That's right, people. There's an app for that.
It's called Trick or Tracker 2.0, and it allows parents to watch their children on Halloween without actually, well, you know, watching them. Using GPS technology, the application can track a trick-or-treater's coordinates and give the parent the exact physical location of the child.
Or, at least, the exact physical location of the child's cellphone.
'Cause if I'm a little ghoul or goblin intent on causing some Halloween mischief, and my folks have installed a GPS tracking application on my cellphone, I'm hiding that sucker in my room before I slip out for the evening. That way, I've got an airtight alibi when the pumpkin hits the fan. ("I didn't egg the Wilsons' house, Dad, I swear. I've been home sick in bed all night. Don't believe me? Check your smartphone app.")
Trick or Tracker 2.0 even has a "geo-fence" feature that can be set up to alert you in the event your children, in their cute and cuddly Bambi and Faline costumes, wander outside an allowable area and into a dangerous neighborhood. Bountiful comes to mind.
Of course, such technological advances come with a price. Although the app itself is only $4.99 -- and, it turns out, Iconosys is even offering the use of Trick or Tracker 2.0 for free on Halloween Day -- there is one little catch. It does require that both parent and child have smartphones.
Whoa. Giving a kid a smartphone? That seems a little dumb, don't you think? But, as the Trick or Tracker people insist, "If the child is too young to use a smartphone, Iconosys believes that they are probably too young to trick-or-treat without being accompanied by a parent or guardian in any event."
Which sorta defeats the purpose of the whole thing. Because, I say if a kid is old enough to have a smartphone, he's probably too old to go trick-or-treating anyway.
So I guess that the vast majority of us will be taking the kids out trick-or-treating the old-fashioned way this Halloween, huh? Meaning, we'd better start getting our costumes ready for the big night.
Say, do these antlers make me look fat?
Hey! Late October! And you all know what THAT means: Time to start listening to Christmas music. Wish Mark Saal a Happy Holidays at 801-625-4272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.