The Boston Yeti speaks out in exclusive interview
“The Boston Yeti is all of us.” – Boston Yeti
As Boston begins to slowly dig, tunnel, and blowtorch its way out from under a series of storms that this winter have dickslapped New England with the most snow in its recorded history, we ask ourselves what we learned here. This winter has given us a gallery of highlights and lowlights in which neighbor snow-raged against neighbor, people threw themselves out of windows in their underwear, and some dude tried to sell snow and succeeded.
But the undisputed star of the lingering clusterfuck that was Winter 2015 was the Boston Yeti, a mysterious, furry humanoid who after being spotted stalking Boston’s snowy streets during the first blizzard, quickly became a sensation, racking up 8 thousand followers on Twitter, sparking media coverage from Buzzfeed to the BBC, and fascinating snowbound millions who were stuck inside like freezer-burnt popsicles and needed a hero. After capturing the public imagination this delightful Somerville sasquatch was sighted again and again: helping embattled residents dig out their cars and even taking in a film. His fame has snowballed so rapidly that he recently appeared in a video with Boston’s mayor, Marty Walsh, in which he was offered the mayorship.
With the threat of snow once again looming the Boston Yeti agreed to speak with Death+Taxes on the condition that we preserve his anonymity and his legend. While maintaining his air of mystery the Yeti came across as a classy guy and a bit of nerd, and we learned some shocking facts: He’s a vegan, a classical music buff and, yes folks, he’s single.
[Note: comments have been condensed, edited, and translated from Yeti.]
What was your intention when you first began venturing out into public in Boston this winter? How did this all start?
It all started when the city started buzzing about the first snowstorm back in late January. Per usual grocery stores were overcrowded, perhaps some were feeling scared, and there was just an overall sense of anxiety in the air. I figured this could be a great time to hit the streets to not only raise awareness about Yetis, but also to say hello to passersby and try and spread some general happiness. In a small way, I was hoping my presence could be the de-icing rock salt to our city’s icy predicament.
Has the community been supportive? Both of what you’ve done and of you being a Yeti in general?
Oh without question people have been supportive. At the end of the day it has nothing to do with being an internet sensation or any of those fleeting qualities so often associated with social media. What it has to do with is positivity and imagination. We all possess these things and I think we might all be better off if we let them bubble to the surface more often.
Have you always lived in Boston or is it the type of deal where you appear whenever and wherever you’re most needed?
I’ve always lived in and around the woods of Greater Boston. This is my home. Why? Well, to partially quote the hit by The Standells: “Because I love that dirty snow. Oh, Boston, you’re my home.”
— BostonAttitude (@BostonAttitude) March 16, 2015
What are some of the best and strangest reactions you’ve gotten?
Best reaction: Boston Police Commissioner Evans likened sitting with me to sitting with Santa Claus at Christmastime. Strangest reaction: A kind man in East Boston seemed a bit stunned and just stared at me as I descended upon his frozen and buried car, shovel in hand, and helped dig him out.
Did you expect this to blow up the way it has?
Not at all, though one can never really anticipate something like this. Perhaps this is my own imagination at play, but it seems there has developed over this winter a rekindled interest in the mysterious sides of life. Just recently Discovery News posted an article about Yetis. I’m also told there was a commercial that aired sometime around the Super Bowl that featured a cousin of mine. And aside from me specifically, I was delighted to see so many others embrace humor and kindness as one remedy for dealing with difficult situations. It’s really all quite wonderful.
For a terrifying man-beast you have a lot of Twitter followers. How are you enjoying social media?
Social media is a lot like cryptozoology: It’s mysterious, perplexing, and can sometimes lead to wildly exciting surprises. Twitter has been my main vehicle for connecting with friends from all over the world. My only complaint is that Twitter does not offer a “Growl” feature – much in the way people enjoy the “Favorite” option. This would be much better suited to the needs of us Yetis.
I know that you’re choosing to remain anonymous but what can you tell us about yourself? What are your hobbies? Any pet peeves?
Hobbies: Long walks in the woods, woodcarving, and playing Settlers of Catan.
Pet Peeves: Accidentally walking through spider webs and ironing.
I understand that you’re a vegan. What’s your favorite food?
Vegan curry: Taro, French bean, fried tofu, seared rice cake, bok choy, peanut. Also, Fruit by the Foot. Yes, it’s vegan. Look it up!
Is there anything else about you that people may find surprising?
I’m a good listener and quite partial to classical music. Years ago I would spend several winter nights a year listening to the joyous sounds flowing from New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall.
— Pure Cocobeet (@PureCocobeet) February 20, 2015
People seem to have responded to you in a visceral and loving way. It’s like they needed something warm, fuzzy, and six-feet tall to get them through the winter. Do you have any words of encouragement for those still facing snow-related adversity?
As I said to someone else recently, the Boston Yeti is all of us. Try to keep things in perspective, appreciate nature (and those mysterious things that lurk among us) and respect what it has to offer. Thankfully this is New England, so we always have spring to look forward to! Chin up, Boston!
What are your plans for the future?
My goal is to turn some of the energy surrounding me into something positive for my community. There are other furry mammals out in our communities that need help in some way or another. In conjunction with this I’d like to help the people of Boston and beyond find their inner Yeti.
I would love to throw out a first pitch at a Red Sox game.
Thank you for your time. Lastly, because we’re sure to get a lot of inquiries, are you single?