Chris: The Closeted Park Ranger

This is Chris. He works in the graphics department.

Chris hails from the outskirts of Pennsylvania, near the state of Ohio. He likes to watch sports. He wears button down shirts.  I always looked at Chris as the weird co-worker who appears at my desk and stares into my eyes until I offer him a piece  of my lunch because he is the weird co-worker who appears at my desk and stares into my eyes until I offer him a piece of my lunch.

Last Tuesday I needed Chris’s signature on an expense report. I walked down the hallway into his corner office. Something weird happened. The lights were off and Chris was sitting in the dark, hysterically crying. The crying wasn’t what struck me as weird. Chris is very emotional and usually cries aftermeetings because he was “so proud his team’s beautiful powerpoint presentation”. What was weird, was that he was holding a pamphlet on Park Rangers. He raised it in the air. I felt like I had witnessed a murder; saw something I shouldn’t have seen.

I took two steps back towards the door. I hoped Chris hadn’t yet seen me. “What do you got there?” he blubbered toward me. “Expenses,” I said.

I walked back towards him. He grabbed my wrist. “I used to be a Park Ranger,” he told me. He looked off into the distance. He then spent the next hour going through the pamphlet and showing me pictures of his former life. Chris revealed to me he is a closeted Park Ranger.

This photo is from the first time Chris used his Walkey Talkey. “I felt so cool,” he told me. “I felt like a real ranger.”

Here is a picture of Chris with his saw and curved knife. He said he had to grow a beard to protect his face from Mosquito Bites. He got nervous when I asked why his beard was so grey.

Below is the picture from what Chris considers “the proudest moment in his life”. It was a hot afternoon and he was giving a group of high school students a tour of the forest. Something white on the ground caught his eye. Chris walked over to the group of shrubs and kicked them. He took out his monocle. Upon closer look, he realized they were  a rare specimen of Mushrooms. These mushrooms were sought out all over the United States for years. Chris made the discovery! He was featured in the Department of Environmental Conservation Weekly Magazine. He was laughing so hard in this picture.

Chris continued to blubber like a hyperventilating child. I held him in my arms. I rocked him like a baby. I told him it was all going to be ok and to stop blubbering. If he wanted to be a Park Ranger, then why not. Be a Park Ranger. He told me Park Ranging is not accepted in his family. His family refers to Park Ranging as the “Devil’s Sport”. I said his family was being over dramatic. Then I told him this quote, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss

Chris soon fell asleep. His 6 foot tall body slowly crushed my organs. I imagined he was dreaming of starting a fire or rescuing a crippled bluebird. He began to drool so I pushed him off my lap. He fell to the ground with a thump. I tiptoed out of the office.

I hope Chris accepts his outdoor passion

IN REALITY: Chris does work in my department and he is one of the funniest people I have ever met in my life. You should check out/follow him on twitter: @diddas12

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0 thoughts on “Chris: The Closeted Park Ranger

  1. i also used to be in the closet, but after people told me I talked in that ‘park ranger’ tone of voice and hung out in the park ranger part of town and was even caught hanging out in a park ranger bar, I realized it was pointless to try and hide it. At least I didn’t let it get to the point where I was crushing people’s organs. I’m sure Chris will come around.

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