I’d like to say a few words about bears.
I am afraid of them.
Yeah, I know, they’re adorable looking especially when used in ad campaigns for fire safety. Nothing is cuter than an animal in a ranger hat unless it’s a Chihuahua speaking Spanish but the Chihuahua probably wouldn’t kill you over a Twinkie.
And bears would.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m an animal lover. After all, I grew up in the Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Era. I know Marlin Perkins helped bring wildlife into American living rooms, but come on! That was T.V. and Marlin Perkins was….well, obviously really brave and I’m not.
We’re currently visiting a place where bears are prevalent and that means being really, really careful about leaving food where they can’t smell it because those dudes get ravenous ‘round about 3:00 a.m. and nothin’ – short of specially designed solid metal boxes – can keep them from a hearty snack. I mean, an entire cottage industry has sprung up around the sale of “bear boxes” in mountainous areas where humans have taken over bear habitats in the name of good family fun. I think it’s quite sad for the bears but it hasn’t stopped me from taking vacations like everybody else. I try to assuage my guilt by thinking that all that wasted food – unique only to humankind in industrialized countries – is somehow integral to the bear’s survival. On the other hand, I worry that they’re getting way to much high fructose corn syrup which should not be part the typical bear diet. I’m not an animal expert but I will put myself out on a limb and say I think Marlin Perkins would agree if her were here and I could ask him. Damn! Being human is so complicated! I give a shit. I don’t give a shit. I’m concerned but I’m not concerned. Let’s consult an expert! Argh!
And then there’s a good night’s sleep.
Now, I love a good night’s sleep as much as the next guy but my husband and I differ on one fundamental issue. He likes to sleep with the doors wide open all night long regardless of weather conditions. Fortunately, I own a lot of fleece. Unfortunately, I don’t love sleeping in it but for the sake of marital bliss, I do.
But sleeping with the doors open in bear country is muy stupido. Especially when sleeping on the ground floor with nothing between you and Gentle Ben but a flimsy screen and some medium weight damask curtains.
No. No. No. This will not do.
I tried to scare Artic Man with bear mauling stories I found on the internet. I tried using diagrams to compare bear bodies with human bodies and how bears clearly have the upper hand in a human/bear confrontation. He didn’t buy it. He accused me of being shrill. I probably was but in the face of possible mauling, I think shrill is within the confines of “acceptable”.
Time to pull out the big gun: A real live LOCAL newspaper article.
Yeah. This’ll do it.
I’m telling you the truth. This hungry bear just came inside the house! Just waltzed right in like one of the kids; didn’t even wipe his feet. This poor guy had to hold him off with a dining room chair until animal control arrived with one of those tranquilizer guns.
This isn’t about bears. It’s about fleece.
No. It’s about bears…..and Twinkies.
We don’t even eat Twinkies.
I’m using Twinkies to represent all forms of human food and human food has become the food of choice for bears these days and they’ll do anything to get it including climbing over sleeping humans who leave their doors open at night.
Look, I know fleece makes you sweat but—-
It’s not about the fucking fleece!
This is not working.
So I tried another tactic. I solicited a few of my fellow bear-fearing friends to stage an intervention since being told you’re prodding fate with a red-hot poker by your friends is much more effective than hearing it from your spouse.
And I am fleece free.