Jul. 11, 2005: Getting the “Bear” Facts From The Source

A few weeks ago, I discussed slides of my vacation. In passing, I happened to mention the Bear from Big Canoe. The column got a lot of mail, but no one was the least bit interested in my vacation. Everybody wanted to know more about the bear. Go figure.

To accommodate my readers, I recently sat down with the Bear from Big Canoe for an in-depth interview. Actually, I didn’t sit down. He chased me up a tree and then ate my tape recorder. What follows is a rough transcription of our conversation, given that I had to gnaw my notes on the tree with my teeth.

ME: Why did you eat my tape recorder?

BFBC: I was hungry. They have some very strict rules here at Big Canoe about not feeding the bears. We bears find these rules both arbitrary and discriminatory so I called the ACLU to complain. They sent some weenie out to investigate the situation, but my brother ate him.

ME: Were you surprised at the reaction that you received from the column?

BFBC: To tell you the truth, I was a bit uncomfortable being in your column because you are very controversial and just a little weird. I would have preferred Bill O’Reilly or Molly Ivins, but when you are a bear, you have to take what you can get.

ME: Those are pretty arrogant comments coming from a dumb animal.

BFBC: If I’m so dumb, how come I am on the ground and you are sitting up in a tree, gnawing this interview with your teeth?

ME: That’s a valid point. What would you like readers to know about you?

BFBC: First, I think you humans are very strange. You crash airplanes into tall buildings and blow up subways and buses and kill other humans for no good reason. If a group of coyotes had done that to us bears, they would be a sack of bones and a distant memory by now. You see, animals have a concept called survival of the fittest. Eat or be eaten. Mark my words: Those bad humans are going to wipe you out, unless you wipe them out first. You dang sure ain’t going to love that bunch of scum into submission. Yet, a lot of you seem to want to stick your heads in the sand. You either have the brains of an armadillo or the backbone of a guinea hen. I haven’t decided which.

ME: Those are pretty harsh comments.

BFBC: You asked for it, bucko. While I am on the subject, let me say that you worry too much about what others think of you. Take France, for example. Why does anybody care what France thinks? I sure don’t. As far as this bear is concerned, France is nothing but a bunch of irrelevant wine-suckers with the work ethic of a three-toed sloth. Oops! I shouldn’t have said that. Now I will probably get sued for slander by the National Council of Three-toed Sloths.

ME: Don’t worry. My teeth are worn down from gnawing this interview on the tree limb, and I’m not sure how good my notes are. Anything else you want to tell the readers?

BFBC: I would like for them to know that we bears can be good role models for you. We don’t go out of our way to hurt anyone, but if you mess with us, you are going to get your fanny kicked in a hurry. I must admit that it’s pretty neat to walk through the woods and hear the deer whispering, “Here comes the bear. Better stay out of his way. He’s a bad dude.” You humans could learn a lot of good things from bears, if you spent more time studying our ways and less time watching MTV.

ME: I really appreciate the time you have given me today. I have just one more question.

BFBC: Fire away.

ME: Are you going to let me down out of this tree?

BFBC: Sure, but you had better watch out for my brother. If he will eat an ACLU weenie, he’s liable to eat anything.