When I think of summer, I think of bears. Nearly every summer when I was a kid we’d visit Sequoia National Park, and every visit had its bear absurdities:

Like the bear that broke into a nearby camper’s Volkswagen and sat on the emergency brake. The man heard the racket and peered out of his tent just in time to see the bear “driving” his car downhill into a redwood grove. The bear survived. The bug didn’t.

Or the morning we woke to the sound of the blusterous old lady in the cabin next to us, shrieking, “Bad bear! No!” A huge black bear had decided to shop for groceries in her cooler, so naturally she’d felt the need to discipline him. We came out to see her fearlessly (and stupidly) whacking him on the bum with her broom. The bear continued to fish for goodies with Curiousone paw while nonchalantly swatting at her with the other. He finally galumphed away with a tender salmon in his mouth, opting not to eat the much tougher old lady.

Years later, my college buddy Jay and I drove to Sequoia at the start of the summer. We arrived in the wee hours and threw down our sleeping bags in the first cushy meadow we could find. I disappeared into slumberland, but Jay sat for awhile, eating Lay’s potato chips and communing with nature. Around dawn, I awoke to a low grunting sound, and told Jay to shut up. The grunting continued. I opened my eyes and saw a large bear snarfing potato chips from the Jay’s Lays buffet, i.e. the chips scattered across Jay’s sleeping body! I watched in frozen silence. The bear finally left with the bag in his mouth (chip bag, not sleeping bag). To this day, Jay thinks I ate his chips and made up the story.

Bears can be…

AdorableAdorable - hello world“Hello, world!”

AmorousAmorous“Not in public, Larry.”

CoolCool -She's all whoa, and I'm all how you like me now“She’s all ‘Whoa!’ and I’m all ‘How you like me now?'”

DangerousDangerous - look, 2 dinnersMan: “Look, dinner!  Bear: “Look, two dinners!”

DeviousDevious“I’m not the droid you’re looking for.”

NostalgicNostalgic - if ya want it, baby, ya got it, just bust a move“If ya want it, baby, ya got it. Just bust a move!”

ParentalParental - Don't leave the lid up, Mom hates that“Don’t leave the lid up. Mom hates that.”

EmbarrassedEmbarassed - Oh, crap,someone's watching“This never happens, really. I just slipped on the…oh, never mind.”

Come to think of it, bears are a lot like humans.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Bears!

  1. cindy knoke says:

    We may have played together in Sequoia’s campgrounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Precious One says:

    Not that old lady – she is one of great faith! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know I have “arrived” when you name one of your bears after me.😂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Bears are so cute! From a distance, of course. Last spring here in the suburbs of St. Louis we had to be careful because we had several young male black bears migrating through. They behaved themselves for the most part. And so did the people.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. revruss1220 says:

    Thanks for the highly entertaining bear stories. But your narrative and the attached photos are about as close to a bear as I prefer to ever be, thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. CLEvangelism says:

    Ninety percent of the bad dreams I’ve had throughout my life have involved bears or mice. In fact, I had a bear dream August 24th (and promptly posted it to Facebook, which is why I remember the date).

    I worked out the mouse fear after working at Petco (which is a horrible, horrible place and no one should shop there) and, recently, ushering three field mice out of my apartment after I coerced my cat to drop them. But having watched “Grizzly Man” and “The Revenant,” I’m praying I never have to work out my fear of bears.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Alien Resort says:

    Does the “nobody can eat just one” Lays potato chip apply to bears?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Delightful post, Mitch! Especially enjoyed the amorous bears. Reminded me of a shoe-shopping trip with my parents when I was thirteen. As they walked ahead of me, they began to hold hands– can you imagine?! I was mortified, and spoke similar words to your caption: “Please! Not in public!” After all, they were OLD–Dad was 37 and Mom 33!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. LOVE this! I’ll be sharing it with my sister – the one I take a trip with every year out west in her RV.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. anitashope says:

    Wonderful post. Made me smile and yea, they are just like humans…

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thanks for the smile to end my work week!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. lynn__ says:

    Adorable bears!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So fun!!!😎😎😎😎

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Gary Fultz says:

    Yes they are like humans. We have very wild black bears here. Often in our yard. They can be as weird as some people I know. We watched a cub jump and try to do a 360 in the air (like a basketball move) Then the mama bear tried it…fun but they don’t mix well with people (or dogs). One tried to eat my fishing tackle box and part of a life jacket.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. mitchteemley says:

    Yep. They can’t all be Winnie the Pooh. In fact, none can.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Vera says:

    Do they hug? Or, where does the phrase ‘bear-hug’ cone from?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. nancyehead says:

    My husband met a Grisley on an Alaskan trail. He managed to scare it away. That lady whacking the bear really was stupid. Nice, light post to start our weekend. God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Inkplume says:

    Love this story … but I may never go camping again.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Great post, Mitch. The wild offers a lot of comical moments. It is nice to be able to see them. Until instincts take over and you are in the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Dazzling Dew Drop | garyfultz

  21. CLEvangelism says:

    For your photo collection. Look at him all sprawled on his tummy in the video. Poor little guy. I’d have been worried that his mom was in a stall though.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Accurately named, we live in Woodinville. Bears are part of our weekly conversations around here. We’ve named them (though none named “Larry.”), and someone has created a personal FB account on behalf of the bears— writing/posting from their perspective! It’s quite entertaining.

    Entertaining until they knock my hives over and rob my honey bees! (I’m a hobbiest beekeeper). Every year, we put safe guards in place and every year (minus this year— so far), the bears remind us that they are smarter than us!

    Though they frustrate us, causing more work and costing us sometimes some serious dough, we love them. We never tire of seeing them hanging out in your backyard!

    Liked by 1 person

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