How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mike's Yard Bear?

Continued From: Bear Scare

Being surprised by a black bear near the stroke of midnight and the myocardial infarction of Mikey, well, that tends to wake up a man.

Thank goodness, I didn't attract a decaf bear, or I might have passed out and not have been able to jump into action.

A wide awake chap must protect his castle, especially when his wife is absent. Donna was pajama partying with her mother that night, unavailable to protect me.

Here I was practically in a full-throttled body smackdown under a wild beast (no time for a prom night joke here) without the expressed written permission of World Wrestling Entertainment, its officials, its patented bonehead goons, and Ranger Smith of Jellystone Park, and my wife is off at her Mommy's, doing the unthinkable.

Girl talk.


As usual, in a subversive ritual they don't think I know about, those ladies have the audacity to commandeer and operate a TV remote control device, a proprietary gadget from the undisputed domain of us bear-wrasslin' men, and they take turns clicking themselves into thumb frenzies.

Up and down the channels, they punch. Thumb. Thumb. "Seventeenth Century Doily Stitches" at HGTV. Thumb. Thumb. Wheeling, dealing, and CorningWare on QVC. Thumb. Thumb. Slo-mo ogles at the visual stylings of Larry King.

All the while, they bite the dimples off homemade Brad Pitt-shaped sweet buns -- and the bear bites the smirk off home-dead me.

I was terrified the bear would bust his way into the house, foraging for food, see me as a threat (or treat) and attack. There would be no stopping him, nevertheless I was frantic to locate a weapon.

I clutched Kelp and Morty, one in each mitt. Cats make lousy grenades. I put them down and remembered the secret weapon stored under the sink.

My brother had gifted us with an aerosol cannister of bear mace. It was a festive Christmas. One spritz taught Santa to keep his hands off the damn milk and cookies.

I had no idea if the bear mace would work or not. The shelf date was chiseled in Roman numerals.

The directions were confusing and there was a dangerous chance the spray might backfire into my face. I could not survive a bear in hysterics, pounding his paw on the ground, roaring in uncontrollable laughter, if that humiliation were to happen.

Think, Mike, think.

Thumb? Thumb?



The phone rang. It was Stan, my projectionist friend, working late at the drive-in theatre ("All Denzel. All the Time. Except When the Sun Is Up.").

"HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLPPP!!! Help me!! What am I going to do?! Help! HELP! There's a bear! There's a big bear! He's got a PAW!" I said, which in my language means, "Hullo?"

"What?" said Stan, before shifting to: "Shoot it!"

"I don't want to kill it! I'm a vegetarian! I don't kill things! Indeed, I am an enigma! I may be passing into conundrum! I just want the bear to GO AWAY!"

The cell phone signal distorted, as Stan replied, "[unintelligible] Trap."


"The [unintelligible] Trap."

"The Family von Trapp?" I asked, puzzled. "Okay, here goes...

"I have confidence in sunshine
I have confidence in rain
I have confidence that spring will come again
Besides which you see I have confidence in me."

"No!" Stan screamed from my phone, "Quit singing! I said 'The Parent Trap!' Remember 'The Parent Trap?'"

"Not 'The Sound of Music?'"


"I have pleather lederhosen--"

"No," he insisted. "Do 'The Parent Trap' trick. Remember Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills find a bear in their campsite? Grab big pots and pans and clang them together like the Hayleys. Make lots of noise. Bears hate noise and he'll go away."

"You think?"

"It could work."

"You think?"


"You think there's time for soup?"

Continued: Urine the Know

"I Have Confidence in Me" by Richard Rodgers
Bear photos from earlier visit
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