A great portion of the Otter Lore I know comes not from direct experience, but from stories. (Our talents may span various media at this point, but we're all pretty adept at spinning a yarn.) Being, as I was, a bit too young to experience some of the milestones of Otter history, I can at least claim to have HEARD about pretty much all of it at one time or another. (Hell, there have been times I've remembered stuff that happened to Mark or Roman that THEY don't even remember.) So anyway... CHUD.

I heard about CHUD frequently from Mark, mostly because we worked together in a video store that carried the B-movie of the same name. CHUD was often treated as a pseudo-non-sequitor punchline whenever someone asked "do you know what I hate?," but he was also apparently this laughable and disgusting Don Johnson wannabe in Ms. Wiz's theater class. All I know for certain is that CHUD was to be hated... or at the very least, feared. Imagine my surprise, then (go ahead... imagine it), when we actually ran into CHUD in public one day.

It was July 1991, and a herd of us (what do you call a group of Otters anyway?) had assembled at the movie theater to see "Shecky" Schwarzenegger's latest sci-fi epic, Terminator 2. There, at the concession stand, stood this individual that I had to admit really did resemble a cannibalistic humanoid underground dweller. Mark identified him for me, and I expected him to run away screaming in horror. For some reason, though, he broke into a huge grin, and threw a familiar arm around CHUD. "Look!" he said with glee. "It's CHUD! You gotta love CHUD!" This was all news to me. I thought you had to do pretty much anything BUT love CHUD. Maybe I had misinterpreted Mark's repeated warnings and tales of terror. Or maybe there was a hint of exaggerating to the tales. Nah... it had to be me.


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