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August 11, 2008

Moose on the loose

Tonight, as I came home from my Washington, D.C., corporate bubble, I spied a bull moose in the subway.

There he was, standing just on the edge of the woods in a swamp, chewing thoughtfully and looking right at me.

Before you call for a drug test, I should mention he was a part of the latest in what turns out is a series of tourism posters in our mass transit system, touting the Great State of Maine.

"Moose take up a lot of space, but not as much as that guy with the backpack" — the poster quips. Having stood next to *that guy* (normally, a tourist headed to the National Mall with his family to see the Air & Space Museum), I can confirm that this particular animal is, in fact, a pain to stand near, especially when the train unexpectedly lurches forward. And though moose are not as big as one of my college classmates posited "a swingset", Joe Backpack has nothing on a  5-to-7 foot tall, 600-to-1,200 pound bundle of muscle and antlers.

I can push back against the man (or woman) intruding on my personal space with the backpack. I have no issue using my elbows, either. But Mr. and Ms. Moose are better viewed from a distance on the trail, or even better, the car.   

Jessica Strelitz is a contributing writer to Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

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