Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Day I Met a Bear

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up, take a seat, grab a blanket and a bowl of popcorn, because I’m about to tell you about the day I met a real live bear.
And I’m not going to cheap out on you and tell you about the time I went to the zoo. No sir, no ma’am, there was nothing in between this bear and I but air. And a lake. But it wasn’t a big lake, and science has proven that bears swim better than Micheal Phelps. Freestyle, at least. They have a bit of trouble with the butterfly, and don’t even talk about the breast stroke.
Bears are terrible at the breast stroke.
Anyway! I was at Diabetes Camp, somewhere in the wilderness of…
I don’t actually remember where. All I know is we got in a car, drove for a long time, and ended up in a place where there were trees and we had to sleep outside.
Let me tell you about Diabetes Camp. I don’t have diabetes. Honestly, I don’t. It’s not one of my many faults. And yes, it is a fault. I’m not going to sugar coat it for people who do have diabetes. People with diabetes suck. Wandering around, all “my pancreas doesn’t work due to a genetic defect!” and expecting us to feel sorry for them. WELL I DON’T! Your reign ends today, diabetics! From now on, you must take a SHOT OF INSULIN EVERY TIME YOUR BLOOD SUGAR IS OUTSIDE OF THE NORM! HOW DOES THAT FEEL, HUH?
I’m kidding. Diabetics are cool. Except when you get them all together at a camp in the middle of nowhere. Then they turn into monsters. “Luke, take this saline shot so you know how it feels to be a diabetic.” “But I’m not a diabetic.” “Shut up and stick this needle in your arm for no reason!”
Or “Luke, we’re doing a talent show and you’re in it!” “What? No I’m not. When is it?” “It’s right now you’re on stage haha look they’re all laughing at you for being NORMAL!”
Actually, talent show night was kind of fun. I recited poetry badly and people clapped politely because I was a little kid who thought he was a hot shot and they didn’t have the heart to boo me off the stage.
The person who performed before me left two quarters on the ground, and the entire time I was reciting my poetry I was wondering if it would be rude to collect those. I didn’t, but the guy who came right after me did, and everybody was okay with it. Ah, missed chances. I could have had two more gumballs. Oh well.
I mentioned the sleeping outside, didn’t I? A tarp was required, because if you didn’t use a tarp, you got soaked with dew.
I think something is wrong with your camp when a tarp is required just to sleep. And yeah, some people claim that you’re not doing it RIGHT until a tarp is required to sleep, but they’re crazier than most diabetics. Besides, I was, like, eight.
I think I promised you guys something… what was it?
There was a fishing spot a little way outside the campsite. It looked like somebody had cut out a description from Huckleberry Finn and stuck it in the wilderness for me to find. The second day at camp I went to the nearest store and bought a bamboo fishing pole. The only thing I needed to make the cliche complete was a straw hat, but, unfortunately, they were sold out of those and to this day I do not own a straw hat.
My birthday is coming up, by the way. *cough cough*
So, I spent a few hours out of every day dangling this line in the water, not catching anything but that was okay because at least there weren’t any diabetics nearby, trying to stick unnecessary needles in me.
One of these days I heard something crashing around in the bushes across from my fishing spot. Expecting that they had finally found me, I put my jacket on (because it’s harder to stick a person when they’re struggling AND they have a thick jacket on) and shouted an inquiry as to the nature of the person across the pond.
What peeked out of the bushes at me was almost as bad as what I had expected.
It was a ceeeute little bear cub.
I hightailed it out of there so fast I left my bamboo rod behind, and my nonexistent straw hat spinning in the air as though it were in a Warner Brother’s cartoon.
I found the nearest adult, let him put a few saline needles in me to calm him down, and told him about the baby bear. He took off running, too.
Eventually, somebody brave was found, and they found a pickup truck, and the cub was chased away with several tons of screaming steel rolling merrily behind him, probably creating a serial camper killer in the process but successfully saving a camp full of diabetics who probably deserved devouring.
And I never went fishing again.
Except for that one time when we almost caught a Marlin the size of the Leviathan.
And that other time we almost caught a catfish that was also pretty big.
And that other time.
Okay, yeah, I’ve been fishing a few times since. But I always check the bear forecast first!

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